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Agri-Line - Le Mars Agricultural Connection

Pork Industry Continues To Expand

(Le Mars) -- The nation's pork industry continues to expand with announcements of new pork processing facilities to be built in Sioux City, Michigan, and this week Prestige Farms made the announcement to construct a new pork processing facility near Mason City, Iowa.  An Iowa State University livestock economist says the nation's hog numbers continue to increase.  Lee Schulz says pork production has set new inventory records for the last few years, and doesn't show signs of slowing down.

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Schulz says the added hog inventories will ultimately mean lower prices for producers and consumers as we will have an abundance of pork products.  He says the new processing facilities are strategically located to absorb the expansion within the pork industry.

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The Iowa State University livestock economist believes the only way for consumers to keep up with the loaded supplies is to see pork exports increase.

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On Friday, the U-S Department of Agriculture will issue its quarterly hogs and pigs report.  Schulz anticipates that report will show even more expansion in the pork industry.

   

Northey Comments About National Ag Week

(Le Mars) -- One farmer produces enough food to feed more than 144 people. This is National Agriculture Week, a time when we honor the nation's farmers and everyone involved with agriculture and who is responsible for bringing food to our table.  Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says Iowa agriculture is an amazing industry.

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Northey says agriculture has a bright future and he is encouraged to see so many young people getting involved with an agricultural career.

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The Iowa Agriculture Secretary says agriculture has a great story to tell, and farmers need to continually tell the story of agriculture through social media, and the general media.  Northey says people need to be reminded that our food is not necessarily produced by a large mega corporate entity, but by farm families who care about the quality of food that we consume everyday.

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Pork Forum Delegates Discuss HSUS Lawsuit

(Des Moines) -- Delegates of the National Pork Board met last week in Indianapolis, Indiana for the National Pork Forum.  The delegates of the National Pork Forum had an interesting meeting and according to Derrick Sleezer, a pork producer from Cherokee, Iowa and the current President of the National Pork Board, discussion focused on the popular promotional phrase "Pork, The Other White Meat".  Nearly every consumer has at one time or another heard that popular catch phrase, and Sleezer says the pork check-off, along with the branded marketing phrase is responsible for the increase of demand for pork products.  Back in 2006, when the National Pork Board split from the National Pork Producers Council, the pork board entered a contract with the pork producers council to purchase the rights to the phrase "Pork, The Other White Meat".

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Sleezer says the terms of the contract even met with the approval from the U-S-D-A, and for several years both sides were in agreement with the contract terms and payments had been made.  However, recently, the Humane Society of the United States or HSUS, has filed a federal lawsuit contesting that contractual agreement.

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The Cherokee, Iowa pork producer says the National Pork Board still holds the rights to the phrase "Pork. The Other White Meat".  But he says, if the Humane Society of the United States should win the lawsuit, it would be costly for pork producers, and the industry would need to start over.

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The U-S Department of Agriculture has subsequently entered into settlement discussions with the Humane Society of the United States, and the federal agency has withheld the approval of the annual payments between the National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers Council.  The USDA also wants another valuation of the popular trademark and phrase.  At the recent National Pork Forum, delegates from each representative state signed an advisement telling Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to allow the original terms of the contract to proceed.

 

   

National FFA Week Is Being Observed

(Le Mars) -- This week is recognized as National F-F-A Week, a week when we honor the largest youth organization and those who wear the blue cordoroy jackets, but hold gold standards.  Once known as Future Farmers of America, the organization has evolved over the years, and changes have occurred, including the name of the organization. Michael Tupper of New Hampton, Iowa, currently serves as the president of the Iowa FFA.  He says F-F-A has expanded to involve all careers in agriculture, not just production agriculture.

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Tupper says F-F-A doesn't necessarily teach youth about agriculture, as much as it utilizes agriculture as a means to teach responsibility, leadership, public speaking skills, confidence and character. He says those are the traits that employers and companies desire, and are looking for in a future employee.

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The Iowa FFA president says he was encouraged to join FFA from his two older sisters who also were members.  But he says it was the contacts he made and the friends he met that kept him in FFA.

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Tupper says there is a special connection with FFA and our first United States president, George Washington, and that is why FFA Week falls on or around Washington's birthday.

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When FFA chapters hold official meetings, Tupper says they again recognize Washington's influence, especially when the treasurer explains why they stand next to the emblem of George Washington.

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There are three FFA chapters within Plymouth County. They include Le Mars Community High School, Akron-Westfield High School and Kingsley-Pierson High School.

 

   

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