SwineCast Industry


With the holiday season coming up, please take some time to thank the many farmers, ranchers, chefs, growers, artisans, bakers, friends and family who help bring/make food as part of the social center piece.

Sometimes the simplest expression of gratitude are the most profound. This Thanksgiving season, we encourage you to use social media to show just how thankful you are for the food we enjoy every day. In doing so, we will also be thanking those many people and industries who bring food to our tables.

Ways to share? Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are some starting points.

What Is The 5 Step Animal Welfare Rating Program?

Whole Foods highlights through a 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating system how animals are raised before being purchased by consumers. Global Animal Partnership (GAP), developers of Whole Foods' rating system, seeks to achieve higher welfare for farm animals by building partnerships, working in collaboration with farmers, ranchers, food retail, and animal science experts.

Whole Foods Market harbors the same hopes for its chickens that many parents do for their kids: That they'll get plenty of fresh air, live at home until they reach maturity and avoid gaining weight so fast that they can't walk.

While Whole Foods Market was the driving force behind developing the standards, GAP Executive Director Miyun Park believes they will move well beyond the chain, spurring "massive improvements in the way animals are raised in this country."

The 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating is available for beef cattle, pigs, and broiler chickens.

How Are Feed Vs Fuel Going To Look In 2011?

Dr. Robert Wisner, University Professor Emeritus at Iowa State University, has published an in depth report on the corn and soybean availability for biofuels in 2011.

Corn use for fuel ethanol production has become the second largest source of demand for the U.S. crop, with total corn use for this purpose expected to be only about 10% less than its use for livestock and poultry feeding in the year ahead.

He offers several points that those in animal production and crop production need to keep in mind:

  • Corn supplies will be tight and some rationing of demand likely will be needed in the year ahead.
  • With the very small reserve supplies of corn that are expected at the end of August 2011, more corn acres almost certainly will be needed next year to meet continuing demand growth.
  • In the year ahead, we anticipate further ethanol expansion, but at a much slower pace than in recent years as the industry approaches a “blend wall”.
  • With low stocks, corn prices have the potential to be very volatile.
  • Advice To Veterinary And Gradate Students

    Stephanie Rutten, DVM, PhD, offers advice to fourth-year veterinary students and graduate students about swine production and disease prevention. Best advice? Good hygiene.

    First, never underestimate the value of good hygiene!  When disease occurs, most people are inclined to reach for a product.  We see this often in our own healthcare—if you’re sick and go to the doctor, you expect to get a prescription.

    Second piece of advice? Understand the difference between a field trial and a field test. "Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics" reminds us that numbers can be used in a variety of ways and it is important in science and management to understand their meaning.

    Is GIPSA Good For The Swine Industry?

    The National Pork Producers Council released a statement, on the eve of the final day for comments, that says the USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule is not good for the swine industry and consumers.

    In its comments, NPPC, which has called the regulation a “bureaucratic overreach,” said that GIPSA lacked authority to, for example, declare that no showing of injury to competition is necessary to establish a violation of the PSA. It pointed out that federal courts have uniformly rejected that view and that Congress rejected a similar provision during debate on the 2008 Farm Bill.

    Final comments on the GIPSA ruling are due November 22. Take action.

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