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Finally, a rally in hog prices

National Pork Board Livestock semi trailer leaving a farm yard

It has been a rough winter for hog prices. Since the start of December, Iowa-Minnesota negotiated direct carcass hog prices have averaged $48.34 per hundredweight, down $15.62 compared to the same period last year. The average live price for 51-52% lean hogs during February was $37.69 per hundredweight. That is the lowest month since November 2016.

Barrow and gilt prices, Iowa-southern Minnesota, carcass base price, weekly

Calculations by Lee Schulz at Iowa State University indicate a typical Iowa farrow-to-finish operation lost $11.44 per hog marketed in February. That was the seventh consecutive month with red ink, making this the longest unprofitable streak since May 2013.

Iowa market hog profit, Farrow-finish, monthly

Fortunately, last week was a very good one for hog prices. The national average negotiated barrow and gilt carcass price for plant delivered hogs on Friday’s afternoon report was $54.20 per hundredweight, up $8.34 from the previous Friday and the highest for any day since Nov. 12.

The pork cutout value gained $3.85 per hundredweight last week climbing from $65.04 per hundredweight to $68.89 per hundredweight. Prices of loins, hams and bellies each rose. The cutout value will need to continue rising if the hog price rally is to be sustained.

Pork cutout value, weekly

Hog futures prices also posted a strong rally last week. All of the lean hog contracts from April through December gained at least $8 per hundredweight during the week. The April contract ended the week at $68.80 per hundredweight up $8.25 from the previous Friday. The July contract gained $9.32 to end the week at $89.38 per hundredweight. The August contract settled at $89.75 per hundredweight which is the highest close for any August hog futures contract since Jan. 6, 2015.

What is the reason for the price rally? The rally hasn’t been driven by a shortage of slaughter hogs, at least not in the United States. Because of flooding in the western Corn Belt, last week’s hog slaughter was down 3.3% from the week before, but it was still 1.4% above the same week last year. Hog slaughter has been above the year-ago level every week this year except for one.

China’s losing battle with African swine fever appears to be the primary cause of the price jump. Chinese hog prices are the highest in 14 months as ASF continues to spread. The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs reports the nation’s swine inventory is down 13% (sows down 15%) year-over-year. Declining Chinese production increases the amount of U.S. pork expected to be exported. USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service reports that as of the week ending March 7, U.S. exports of fresh and frozen pork muscle to China totaled 29,100 metric tons which compares to 11,500 metric tons at the same point last year.

U.S. pork exports to major Asian markets, carcass weight, monthly

It looks like Chinese pork production will be down all year. That will cause pressure to import a lot of pork. But, keep in mind the Chinese government doesn’t like to import large quantities of pork and they especially won’t want to import large quantities from the United States.

Barrow and gilt slaughter since Dec. 1 has been 0.6 percentage points higher than indicated by the market hog inventory in the December Hogs and Pigs Report. Look for a slight upwards revision in the December market hog inventory when the next quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report comes out on March 28.

Hog slaughter, Federally inspected, weekly

Thus far in 2019, hog slaughter has been up 2.2% and, because of heavier weights, pork production has been up 2.5%.

During the first two months of 2019 it looks like imports of both feeder pigs and sows were down; but barrow and gilt imports are up compared to the same period in 2018.

USDA’s March WASDE estimated pork production for 2019 will be 4.2% more pork than last year. The USDA is forecasting an average liveweight price for barrows and gilts in 2019 of roughly $42 per hundredweight. The average liveweight price for 51-52% lean hogs in 2018 was $45.93 per hundredweight, down $4.55 per hundredweight from a year earlier.

Hog prices declined in February, but retail prices were up. The average retail price of pork in grocery stores during February was $3.731 per pound, up 1.7 cents from the month before but down 0.9 cents from a year ago.

Retail price comparison, Monthly

U.S. per capita consumption of red meat and poultry this year is expected to be 1.7 pounds greater than last year and 3.7 pounds more than in 2017. The growing supply of meat on the market will keep pressure on meat prices.

Margins for pork retailers expanded in February. The wholesale-to-retail price spread was up 17.3 cents from January to the most since August. Pork packer margins tightened to the smallest since May 2018.

On Thursday afternoon of this week, the USDA will release their monthly Livestock Slaughter report. Preliminary data indicate February hog slaughter was up 4.9% year-over-year, with the same number of slaughter days as last February. The March Cattle on Feed report will be released on Friday afternoon as will the Cold Storage numbers for Feb. 28.

Source: Ron Plain, who is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

'See, discover, connect' is theme for 2019 World Pork Expo

National Pork Producers Council Each year, more than 20,000 pork producers and representatives attend the event at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.

The world's largest pork-specific trade show promises three days packed with education, innovation and networking. Presented by the National Pork Producers Council, the 2019 World Pork Expo is set for June 5-7 with this year's theme “See, discover, connect.”

Each year, more than 20,000 pork producers and representatives attend the event at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines to attend educational seminars, learn about the latest products, services and technology within the trade show and share ideas and perspectives with their peers.

“Expo has something for everyone, regardless of your operation’s size or whether you’re an owner, grower, employee, veterinarian or allied industry representative. All aspects of the pork production cycle are presented at Expo,” says David Herring, NPPC president and pork producer from Lillington, N.C. “It’s a great place to see what’s new, discover opportunities and connect with other pork professionals.”

Expo’s crown jewel is its vast trade show where more than 500 U.S. and international companies display products and services from animal health, nutrition, building and equipment, finance, marketing, genetics and more. The Jacobson Exhibition Center will return this year, combining with the Varied Industries Building and outdoor displays to present more than 360,000 square feet of exhibit space.

“Exhibitor interest continues to build, and we plan to expand the outdoor exhibits in the space between the VIB and JEC,” says Doug Fricke, director of trade show marketing for NPPC. “For people who haven’t been to Expo for several years, they would be surprised to see how much the show has changed. If you hope to see it all, you will definitely need two days.”

More exhibitors also want to link up with the live-hog shows to display their products and services, so areas around the swine, sheep and cattle barns will be seeing more activity.

Company-sponsored hospitality tents continue to flourish and can be found throughout the fairgrounds. Fricke expects 60 or so hospitality tents at this year’s Expo, giving allied industry representatives an opportunity to connect with producers and their employees in a more relaxed setting.

Expo attendees can visit the trade show from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5, and Thursday, June 6, and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, June 7.

The three days of Expo are packed with events and activities, from educational seminars to live-hog shows to business meetings to music and plenty of tasty, grilled pork.

Always high on that list are the nearly two dozen free educational and informational seminars that address innovative production and management strategies, as well as current issues, topics and trends that producers face on and off the farm. The PORK Academy and Business Seminars will run throughout the day on Wednesday and Thursday in both the JEC and VIB

But there are a host of other activities that Expo visitors won’t want to miss:

  • Junior National — The World Pork Expo Junior National, hosted by the National Junior Swine Association and Team Purebred, kicks off Expo week with activities on Monday, June 3. In its 16 years, the Expo Junior National has grown into one of the nation’s largest youth hog shows. Organizers report that 1,500 exhibitors from 32 states and 3,500 hogs are expected for this year’s show. The Junior National combines educational activities and certification programs, with swine judging, live-hog competitions and showmanship.
  • Open Show — On Friday, June 7, the open show, presented by the National Swine Registry, features hundreds of crossbred and purebred boars and gilts from throughout the United States. A breeding stock sale rounds out the live-hog events on Saturday morning, June 8.
  • Pre-Expo tour — A two-day, Midwest Agricultural Tour takes place ahead of Expo, beginning on the morning of Monday, June 3, through Tuesday, June 4. Participants will travel across Iowa into Illinois and Indiana, for a first-hand look at crop and pork production, farm equipment manufacturing and commodity shipping.
  • NPPC hospitality tent — Expo offers an opportunity to visit one-on-one with NPPC board members and staff to gain perspective on legislation, regulation and public policy issues that impact pork production.
  • MusicFest — Presented on Thursday evening, this social event provides an opportunity for visitors to relax, enjoy some free live music and refreshments, while interacting with their peers. This year will feature country singer/songwriter Jake McVey and the crowd-pleasing cover band The Pork Tornadoes.
  • Big Grill — More than 10,000 free pork lunches are served during the three days of Expo. Plan to stop by from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to enjoy some tasty pork.

“Expo is truly an industry-wide event and reflects the vitality of U.S. pork production,” Herring says. “As individuals make plans to attend this year’s Expo, I want to reinforce the importance that biosecurity measures play on our farms every day and that we need to take the necessary precautions anytime we leave and return to our herds. After all, we all want to ensure the health and well-being of our industry for years to come.”

Pre-registration is available online and offers a discounted rate of $10 per adult (ages 12 and up) and $1 for children, 6 to 11 years old. Onsite registration will be $20 per adult. Whether you pre-register or do so onsite, it provides entrance into Expo for all three days. There is also a special Friday-only option for $10.

Source: National Pork Producers Council, who is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

Farm Progress America, March 18, 2019

Max Armstrong talks about trade and continued negotiations with China over future trade. Max offers insight from an official from the American Farm Bureau Federation who noted that while talks continues there’s no word on any actual future meetings. There are several issues about China trade that need to be worked out.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Max Armstrong, veteran farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

Photo: narvikk/iStock/Getty Images Plus

U.S. seizes 1m pounds of smuggled pork from China

NPB Pork export containers-NPB pic cropped.jpg

U.S. federal agents seized 1 million lb. (454 metric tons) of pork smuggled from China to a port in New Jersey amid fears the meat could contain traces of the African swine fever virus, according to Bloomberg and other media outlets.

The action marks the largest-ever seizure of agricultural products in the U.S., according to Anthony Bucci, public affairs specialist at U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP). The pork arrived in more than 50 shipping containers over the past few weeks to the port in Newark, N.J., hidden in containers of ramen noodles and laundry detergent, he said.

"At this point, it’s an ongoing investigation," Bucci told Bloomberg, adding that the customs agency is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The U.S. has never had African swine fever, and officials are stepping up efforts to keep the disease out.

According to, officials announced the seizure of more than 50 shipping containers during a press conference Friday morning at a warehouse in Elizabeth, N.J. Three rooms were filled wall to wall with packages of the illegally smuggled pork products.

“Agriculture specialists made a critical interception of these prohibited animal products and stopped them from entering the U.S. before they could potentially cause grave damage,” said Troy Miller, director of CBP field operations in New York/Newark.

If African swine fever infected U.S. livestock, it could cause $10 billion in damage to the pork industry in just one year, Miller said.

More than 100 CBP agricultural specialists and canines from USDA worked to uncover the prohibited food, he added.

The pork was smuggled in various different ways, including in ramen noodle bowls to Tide detergent, deputy chief agricultural specialist Basil Liakakos said.

“This was highly orchestrated,” said Stephen Maloney, CBP acting port director for the Port of New York/Newark. “There was a concerted effort to conceal here to bring this product in.”

Agricultural specialists and inspectors are still going through the boxes. Once all 50 shipping containers have been examined, the confiscated products will be incinerated, Miller said.

“I’m quite confident that if is anyone is smuggling illicit items in through Newark, we will continue to identify, seize and destroy the products," Miller said.

USDA will continue to investigate the smuggling and eventually decide what, if any, repercussions China and people involved will face, the media outlets reported.

The Newark port of entry is one of the busiest in the country and sees thousands of cargo containers pass through it every day.

This Week in Agribusiness – March 16, 2019

Note: Start the video and all parts will play through as the full show

Part 1

Max Armstrong opens the show talking with Isabella Chism, Indiana Farm Bureau Leader, chair of the Ag Council about the purpose of National Ag Day. Max also talked with Hilary Maricle, Nebraska Farm Bureau, also discussed key priorities on tap while she visited Washington D.C. for the Ag Day events. Steve Bridge and Mike Adams talk markets with Matt Bennett,

Part 2

Steve Bridge and Mike Adams continue their market conversation with Matt Bennett, In Colby Agtech, Chad Colby offers a look at two tractor rollouts from the winter farm shows. Max Armstrong shares insight on testimony from Capitol Hill where the key issue was trade, and he got insights from Dave Salmonsen, congressional relations. American Farm Bureau Federation. And Max talked about the Waters of the United States issue with Don Parrish, regulatory relations, AFBF.

Part 3

Steve Bridge and Mike Adams share a report about trade in China in a conversation with Terry Brandstad, U.S. Ambaddador, China. Steve and Mike discuss the E15 summer sales proposal and the process ahead. They also discussed the Trump Administration budget proposals that included cuts to come key ag programs including crop insurance support.

Part 4

Max Armstrong continues his National Ag Day conversation with Richard Fordyce, administrator, Farm Service Agency, about that USDA division and how they support agriculture. Max talked with Luke O’Leary, president, FFA, and what that group was doing in Washington, D.C., for the celebration. Ag Meteorologist Greg Soulje looks at weather for the week ahead.

Part 5

Ag Meteorologist Greg Soulje offers his extended look at the weather including his four-week forecast.

Part 6

In Max’s Tractor Shed, Max shares the story of a 1974 Allis-Chalmers 180 owned by Bill Mullins, Elizabethtown, Ky. Mike Adams profiles Rolla FFA in Rolla, Mo. The chapter at Rolla Technical Institute, has an active calendar including a greenhouse and a welding shop. Member Brody Brown shares why he wanted to be an FFA member at Rolla, and he’s moving up in the leadership of the organization. In Samuelson Sez, Orion Samuelson shares responses from readers challenged to tell him what they would discuss if they had their own television show.

Part 7

Steve Bridge and Mike Adams close this week’s show with a report from Max Armstrong who continues his Plan Smart, Grow Smart series with BASF with a visit to Fansler Farms in central Indiana.

AASV honors leaders, newcomers

American Association of Swine Veterinarians NHF-AASV-19-awards.jpg
The American Association of Swine Veterinarians honored its leaders during the group’s 50th Annual Meeting. Steven Henry (left) received the Heritage Award, Peter Davies (center) was honored with the Howard Dunne Memorial Award, and William Hollis was named Swine Practitioner of the Year.

A record number of people attended the recent annual meeting of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians to celebrate the association’s 50th anniversary in Orlando, Fla. In addition to looking back on the 50 years of the organization and swine health care over those years, the organization honored industry stalwarts as well as newcomers.

Steven Henry is in elite company, becoming the fifth recipient of the AASV Foundation’s Heritage Award, presented by Paul Ruen, AASV Foundation chair. The Heritage Award recognizes individuals who have lifelong outstanding achievements in swine veterinary medicine. It is only awarded on an as-needed basis (not necessarily annually) when a deserving individual has been nominated and selected. Awardees have demonstrated their eligibility through their membership in the AASV, service to the AASV, and service to the North American swine industry.

When asked to reflect on his career as a swine veterinarian and his involvement with AASV, Henry says, “I am so proud of the AASV and what it continues to accomplish! To be recognized by my peers with this honor is most humbling. Just the opportunity to spend my career in this wonderful industry, to be a part of the progress in advancing the health of pigs was reward enough. Of course, recognition makes it all the more special.

“The AASV, begun as a small specialty species group of the AVMA, rapidly shed this cocoon to include experts from many diverse fields. With core missions of science, education, collaboration and communication the AASV advanced the careers of all of us. Now members are leaders in the world swine industry, providing expertise on health and production challenges. Because members so willingly share and collaborate, the capability to actually eliminate diseases and pathogens from herds is now an accepted standard of care. Swine medical care has evolved from ‘attend to these sick pigs and clean up the mess’ to elimination of the pathogen so there won’t be another mess. It takes strong, visionary leaders to accomplish such big leaps. And the AASV organization and members have done just that! What a wonderful place to have as my ‘veterinary home’ for an entire career. Being recognized for having fun with pigs and people for these many years is special beyond words.”

Henry received his doctor of veterinary medicine from Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1972. After graduation, he practiced in Illinois as a general practitioner before returning to Kansas in 1976, where he practiced with his partners at Abilene Animal Hospital P.A., retiring in 2017.

For more than 45 years, Henry has specialized in health management and diseases of swine. With an expertise in disease prevention and diagnosis in optimizing swine herd productivity, he has consulted in North and South America, Asia and Australia. He shares his knowledge of swine health by presenting continuing education courses for veterinarians and students at KSU. He has an extensive publication history in professional and industry publications and has authored veterinary book chapters.

A diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Swine Health Management, Henry received the first Allen D. Leman Science in Practice award, was recognized as AASV’s 1981 Swine Practitioner of the Year, and received the Howard Dunne Memorial award in 2002. He was also recognized by Iowa State University with the Science with Practice Award in 2014. Henry is a Distinguished Veterinary Alumnus, KSU in 2002.

Henry has been involved in various AASV committees, represented AASV in the American Veterinary Medical Association’s House of Delegates, and served AASV as president in 1982. He volunteered for the AASV program planning committee and has presented numerous seminars. Henry has served on the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Advisory Committee and the AVMA’s Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents.

Henry was also a pork producer, and has served on various committees for the National Pork Producers Council and the National Pork Board.

Henry and his wife, Vangie, enjoy time on their farm, their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. A cellist, Henry plays with the Salina Symphony Orchestra and the time spent in various ensembles.

Davies receives Howard Dunne Memorial Award
Peter Davies received the Howard Dunne Memorial Award, which recognizes an AASV member who has made important contributions and provided outstanding service to the association and the swine industry.

“I am humbled and honored to have my name added to the list of Howard Dunne Award recipients — a list of AASV icons, mentors and friends who have served and guided the swine veterinary community through the years. I am indebted to countless colleagues who have educated me along the way, and to the AASV for including me in its culture of exchanging experiences and lifelong learning — every conversation is an education!” Davies says of receiving this honor.

Davies was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia, but in his youth spent much time in the wool and wheat producing region around Newdegate where his grandfather was a pioneer farmer, and for about 50 years his uncle Des Cuff always kept a few pigs for fun. There, he became interested in “all creatures great and small,” and never considered a profession other than veterinary medicine.

Davies received a bachelor of veterinary science with honors from the University of Melbourne in 1975, and a doctor of philosophy from the University of Sydney in 1983. He has practiced as a clinical veterinarian in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ireland. During 1984-86, he worked as a livestock adviser on an agricultural and community health project for small farmers in the northeast of Brazil. During 1987, recognizing the importance of veterinary expertise and specialty with life balance, he became involved in swine research as a senior veterinary officer for the South Australia Department of Agriculture, from where he was recruited to work at the University of Minnesota in 1991.

Davies has educated veterinary students in swine health and production, epidemiology, and food safety at North Carolina State University, Massey University in New Zealand, and the University of Minnesota, where he was the Allen D. Leman Chair of Swine Health and Productivity 2003-09. Described as a lifelong learner, Davies has facilitated lifelong learning opportunities for practitioners, including a peer group program titled Epidemiological Skills for Swine Practitioners. Davies and the current Leman Chair, Cesar Corzo, are collaborating to create an updated iteration of that program to commence later in 2019. Davies has served on several NPB and AASV committees, has provided leadership for AASV and Leman Swine conferences, and regularly has been an invited speaker at international meetings on swine health and pork safety.

Davies has an extensive body of research and publications in swine health, antimicrobial use and resistance, and zoonotic and food-borne pathogens, including salmonella and methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. He is now in the midst of a five-year National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-funded study of infectious disease risks at the human-swine interface. Focused on MRSA, hepatitis E and influenza, the research participants are practicing AASV members, together with a control group of companion animal veterinarians.

Davies was a member of the International Scientific Committee of the International Research Center in Veterinary Epidemiology, Copenhagen, Denmark during 2000–2007, serves on the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, and is on the editorial board for the Merck Veterinary Manual.

Davies and his wife, Rebecca, live in Minneapolis, Minn. They have two sons, JT and Brendan.

Hollis named Swine Practiioner of the Year
William Hollis was named 2019 Swine Practitioner of the Year, an award given to the swine practitioner who has demonstrated an unusual degree of proficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of veterinary service to clients.

Hollis is currently a partner and veterinarian of Carthage Veterinary Service, which consults in more than 10 U.S. states and provides consulting services in several other countries. In December, Hollis was elected president of Professional Swine Management, the swine management service company he and other CVS partners founded in 2000.

“This is a dream come true to be recognized by my peers in the industry. There have been many people in my life who have helped me continue to grow as a veterinarian and a business owner. My family has supported some crazy long days and time away. I really appreciate the recognition,” Hollis says.

Hollis was born in Bushnell, Ill., where he attended high school. During 1986-87, Hollis served as the Illinois FFA president, and the National FFA Vice President during 1988. He received a bachelor of science in agriculture and a doctor of veterinary medicine (1996) from the University of Illinois.

Recognized by his peers as demonstrating strong proficiency and effectiveness in veterinary service, Hollis understands what constitutes sound science and bases decisions on data and information analysis, diagnostic interpretation, and intervention planning and communication. As a farm management adviser, he strives to build client partnerships that are both sustainable and profitable, facilitates producer family and industry networking, and invests in farm and industry staff training.

Hollis is a Pork Quality Assurance Plus Adviser, served on the National Pork Producers Council Animal Health Food Security Policy Committee, and served on the National Pork Board’s Swine Health Committee. He has served on the American Veterinary Medical Association’s House of Delegates representing AASV, on the AASV Board of Directors representing District 5, and continues to serve on the AASV Animal Welfare and Operation Mainstreet Committees. Hollis is an active participant in the AASV/National Pork Board Operation Main Street project giving local presentations to raise awareness about modern pork production.

Hollis and his wife, Brigit, who is also a veterinarian, have been married 23 years and live in Hamilton, Ill. They have an 18-year-old daughter, Bailey, and a 16-year-old son, Ben.

Madsen named Meritorious Service Award recipient
David Madsen is this year’s recipient of the Meritorious Service Award, given to individuals who have provided outstanding service to the AASV.

“AASV has been a large part of my professional, educational and personal career, providing lifelong learning and introducing me to a large number of outstanding individuals. Although it took me 23 years to become involved with association tasks, my involvement was both rewarding and enlightening, to say nothing of challenging and entertaining. I would trade my experiences through AASV with no other opportunities,” he says.

Born into a Nebraska family that raised purebred Hampshire pigs, Madsen became determined to become a veterinarian after following a local veterinarian on his father’s farm. He earned his doctor of veterinary medicine in 1969 from Purdue University. At graduation, he was the only member of his class with an interest in pigs. He was a swine veterinarian and practice owner in Illinois, Indiana and Missouri, then moved to Nebraska to initiate SwinePro Associates LLC., in partnership with Jack Anderson, DVM, in 1994. Madsen was also the director of Health Services for Heartland Pork in Iowa and Premium Standard Farms/Murphy Brown in Missouri and Smithfield in Princeton, Mo.

Madsen attended the pioneer class of the Executive Veterinary Program at the University of Illinois, and achieved Diplomate status of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Swine Health Management in 1995, where he later served 10 years as the vice -regent, Credentials.

Madsen became a charter member of the American Association of Swine Practitioners (now AASV) in 1969. He served as a district director for the AASV board in 1992 and as AASV president in 2001. He represented AASV in the American Veterinary Medical Association’s House of Delegates for 12 years, and was selected to represent all food animal veterinarians on the seven-person committee to write the AVMA Overarching Principles of Animal Welfare. Serving on the AASV Foundation Board, Madsen was integral in the support of future swine veterinarians. He proposed that the foundation develop a free pre-conference seminar for students and recent graduates by funding the speaker expenses. He planned and moderated the first AASV student pre-conference seminar. Madsen proposed the phrase, “Ensure Our Future: Leave a Legacy,” adopted as the motto by the AASV Foundation Board.

Madsen and his wife, Sandie, have a daughter, Jenna, who lives in Minnesota with her husband, John, and their daughters Ellie and Sophia. Retired in 2014, Madsen and Sandie live in Dillon, Mont., where he serves as Swine Outreach coordinator for the Montana Board of Livestock, working with 4-H and FFA groups across the state. He also works as a part-time general practitioner in a mixed practice, and provides surgical services for the local animal shelter.

White named Technical Services/Allied Industry Veterinarian of the Year
A swine industry veterinarian who has demonstrated an unusual degree of proficiency and effectiveness in delivery of veterinary service to their companies and their clients, as well as given tirelessly in service to the AASV and the swine industry, is the perfect person to be named the AASV’s Technical Services/Allied Industry Veterinarian of the Year. Ron White fits that bill and was awarded the honor that was established in 2008.

“I am grateful to receive the 2019 AASV Technical Service/Allied Industry Veterinarian of the year award. I am truly honored and humbled to receive this award. AASV has been a large part of my professional career providing education and interaction at meetings with swine veterinarians from around the world. I would like to thank the AASV membership, my family for their support, and my colleagues for the fantastic technical support network,” he says.

Beginning his career in mixed animal practice as an associate and owner, White joined Solvay Animal Health as a technical services veterinarian specializing in swine medicine in 1994. He then joined Fort Dodge Animal Health as the Swine Unit Business manager and served as Senior Swine Research Manager. In 2005, he joined Iowa Select farms as director of Biosecurity and Health before joining Pfizer Animal Health in 2008. White currently serves as Group Director, International Diagnostic Medicine for Zoetis. White has served on a variety of AASV committees, and chaired the AASV Foundation golf outing for many years. Recognizing the importance of student encouragement and inclusion at meetings, White has also reviewed student presentations.

Originally from Osceola, Iowa, White helped many farmers in his area, including one who raised timber pasture pigs. He first became interested in science, livestock and veterinary medicine by growing up on an acreage, raising 4-H projects, and helping a local famer gather, process and sort pigs. He received his doctor of veterinary medicine from Iowa State University in 1990, and completed the Executive Veterinary Program at the University of Illinois in 1998.

White has presented information on livestock health and production at numerous international and regional meetings. He thoroughly enjoys meeting new veterinarians and producers, understanding different production systems, and investigating methods to improve herd health and production through improved use of diagnostics, and credits the inclusiveness of AASV with providing the connectivity to many contacts. 

White and his wife, Sue, live in Ames, Iowa, and have two sons, Brady and Trevor.

Meet Paul Thomas, Young Swine Veterinarian of the Year
The youth movement in the swine veterinary ranks is in good shape, and Paul Thomas was honored as the 2019 Young Swine Veterinarian of the Year. This award is given annually to an AASV member five or less years post-graduation who has demonstrated the ideals of exemplary service and proficiency early in his or her career.

Thomas says, “I’m very honored to receive this award. I have a great deal of respect for the AASV and my colleagues in this profession, so to be recognized by them means a lot to me. I’m very thankful to the veterinarians and staff I work with at AMVC and SMEC for the incredible mentorship and support I’ve received from them early in my career and to my wife, Jennifer, for her constant support.”

Thomas grew up on a farrow-to-finish swine and row-crop farm near Camanche, Iowa. Family has made a large impact on his career choices. His father encouraged all Thomas children to learn as much science as possible. He has three brothers and a sister-in-law who are all veterinarians; spending time with his older brother, Pete, in the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab solidified his interest in veterinary medicine.

Thomas received a bachelor of science in animal science (2009), doctor of veterinary medicine (2013), and a master of science in veterinary preventive medicine (2015), all from Iowa State University. He also completed a post-doctoral fellowship with the Swine Medicine Education Center and AMVC Management Services as an associate veterinarian, where he is currently still employed.

At AMVC, Thomas works with sow farms and grow-finish pigs within the AMVC system, consults with clients and supports SMEC operations by teaching fourth-year veterinary students and conducting PigPROS seminars to introduce industry stakeholders to the process and constraints of modern pork production. Early in his career, Thomas is a respected role model for students, colleagues and other young swine veterinarians. As a teacher, he creates a rich, witty and interactive learning environment for all participants. As a veterinarian, he adapts easily to provide the best service for each client and communicates in a way that caretakers, co-workers, clients, owners and superiors can all understand, respect and appreciate.

His wife, Jennifer, says, “I am so proud of my husband. As his wife I know how dedicated he is to his profession, job and clients. Paul always strives to do the maximum in whatever he is trying to achieve and always puts his clients and others first.”

Thomas and Jennifer have a 1-year-old son, Augustin (Gus), and live in Audubon, Iowa.

American Association of Swine Veterinarians NHF-AASV_Student_OralPresentation-Kimberlee-Baker.jpg

Recipient of the $5,000 scholarship for Best Student Presenter during AASV’s Student Seminar is Kimberlee Baker, Iowa State University. Pictured with Baker is Lucina Galina (left) of Zoetis, sponsor of the Student Seminar and Best Student Presenter Award.

15 veterinary students awarded scholarships
The American Association of Swine Veterinarians Foundation awarded scholarships totaling $25,000 to 15 veterinary students.

Kimberlee Baker, Iowa State University, received the $5,000 scholarship for top student presentation. Her presentation, “Detecting porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus via polymerase chain reaction by pooling pen-based oral fluid samples,” earned her the Top Student Presenter Award, with finaical support from Zoetis.

Additional scholarships totaling $20,000 were funded by Elanco Animal Health.

Four veterinary student presenters received $2,500 scholarships: Sam Baker, Iowa State University; Enise DeCaluwe-Tulk, University of Guelph; Erin Kettelkamp, University of Illinois; and Marjorie Schleper, University of Minnesota.

Five veterinary student presenters received $1,500 scholarships: Daniel Brown, University of Illinois; Brandi Burton, University of Illinois; Kayla Castevens, North Carolina State University; Anne Szczotka, Iowa State University; and Abby Vennekotter, University of Illinois.

Those student presenters receiving $500 scholarships were Matt Finch, Iowa State University; Matthew Herber, University of Pennsylvania; Joshua Hewitt, Iowa State University; Sophia Leone, Colorado State University; and Katelyn Rieland, University of Minnesota.

Forty-four veterinary students from 14 universities submitted abstracts for consideration. From those submissions, 15 students were selected to present during the annual meeting. Zoetis, sponsor of the Student Seminar, provided a $750 travel stipend to each student selected to participate.

Poster competition showcases student research
AASV provided an opportunity for 15 veterinary students to compete for awards in the Veterinary Student Poster Competition. Newport Laboratories sponsored the competition, offering awards totaling $4,000.

On the basis of scores received in the original judging of abstracts submitted for the AASV Student Seminar, the top 15 abstracts not selected for oral presentation at the annual meeting were eligible to compete in the poster competition. A panel of three AASV practitioners interviewed the competing students and scored their posters to determine the scholarship awards.

Newport Laboratories announced the following awards during the AASV Luncheon on March 11.

$500 scholarship: Jordan Buchan, University of Guelph — Top student poster, “How neonatal factors affect reproductive performance of swine replacement breeding stock”

$400 scholarships: Amanda Anderson, Iowa State University; Jacob Baker, Iowa State University

$300 scholarships: Andrew Noel, Iowa State University; David Pillman, University of Minnesota; Brooke Smith, University of Illinois

$200 scholarships: Gabrielle Fry, Purdue University; Taylor Homann, University of Minnesota; Katie Kehl, Kansas State University; Elizabeth Noblett, North Carolina State University; Emily Nogay, University of Pennsylvania; Shelby Perkins, University of Missouri; Justin Schumacher, University of Pennsylvania; Rachel Stika, Iowa State University; Jonathan Tubbs, Auburn University.

In addition to the poster competition awards, each student poster participant received a $250 travel stipend from Zoetis and the AASV.

2019 AASV officers installed
Nathan Winkelman was installed as the AASV president, succeeding C. Scanlon Daniels, who is now immediate past president. Jeffrey Harker has ascended to president-elect. The newly elected vice president is  Mary Battrell.

“We have just celebrated 50 years of AASV progress and may well see as much technological change, swine disease control and elimination, and progress into the next half century as in the last. I’m proud to represent a group of swine veterinarians dedicated to improving the health and welfare of their clients’ pigs. Strong AASV leadership will work diligently with our allied industry partners and affiliated organizations on our current challenges and opportunities facing the global and domestic swine industry. Heightened awareness regarding transboundary disease prevention, preparedness in case of a foreign animal disease outbreak, and improving market access for ag exports are issues front and center. Please let us know your concerns and how we can serve you better at any time. Thanks again for the opportunity to serve as your AASV president,” Winkelman says.

Winkelman was raised on a diversified crop and livestock farm near St. James, Minn., and received a bachelor of science degree in animal science and DVM from the University of Minnesota. Upon graduation, he joined a swine-exclusive veterinary practice in Morris, Minn., with Rod Johnson and Tony Scheiber. Currently, Winkelman is a partner with Adam Mueller in Swine Services Unlimited Inc., a swine research and consulting practice in Rice, Minn. He has served on the AASV Board of Directors and currently sits on the AASV Foundation Board. In addition, Winkelman is an active participant in the AASV/National Pork Board Operation Main Street project giving presentations to various groups to raise awareness about modern pork production.

Harker grew up on a diversified livestock and grain farm in south central Indiana. After graduation from Purdue University, Harker joined Max Rodibaugh at Swine Health Services as an associate veterinarian and then became a partner in 2001. Their practice (now AMVC Swine Health Services) is dedicated to swine, and serves a very diverse swine clientele ranging from small show pig herds to contract growers in integrated production. Harker has served on the AASV Board of Directors, has represented AASV in the American Veterinary Medical Association’s House of Delegates, and has served on the AASV Annual Meeting Planning Committee. Harker has also been involved with the National Pork Board’s Operation Main Street program since it began several years ago.

Battrell was born and raised on a diversified crop and livestock family farm in Albany, Ohio. She earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from The Ohio State University followed by a master’s degree in animal science with a focus in ruminant nutrition from the University of Tennessee. Upon graduation, she moved to Iowa and worked as a sales representative for the Upjohn Co. 

“I am grateful for the opportunity to become more involved in the continued success of this association. AASV has so many talented members and allies. I am confident that working together we will accomplish great things for our pigs, producers, and this association,” she says.

Battrell earned her doctor of veterinary medicine and a master’s degree in swine production medicine from Iowa State University in 1995. She began her veterinary career in North Carolina working for Fred Cunningham, Brown’s of Carolina and Pharmacia as a technical services veterinarian. Since 2000, Battrell has worked for Smithfield Hog Production, where she is currently the staff veterinarian for Smithfield Hog Production’s East Central Region and is responsible for the health and well-being of 140,000 sows farrow-to-finish. She has been actively involved in the development of the Smithfield Animal Care Program and their Contingency Plan for a Foreign Animal Disease. Battrell was the 2018 recipient of the AASV Swine Practitioner of the Year award.

Battrell and her husband, Wayne Banks, live in Garland, N.C., with their son Don Banks.

Daniels grew up on a family owned and operated livestock enterprise in central Iowa. He attended Iowa State University where he received a bachelor of science in animal science and a DVM. He also has an MBA from the University of Guelph. Daniels has been previously employed as a staff veterinarian by Iowa Select Farms and Seaboard Foods. Currently, he operates a diversified food animal veterinary practice, laboratory and multi-species contract research organization in Dalhart, Texas. Daniels has been active in multiple AASV committees and has served on the AASV Board of Directors representing District 7 on two occasions.

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Tom Burkgren, retiring AASV executive director

Record attendance
AASV’s 50th annual meeting drew record attendance of 1,243 total attendees, including 773 paid registrants (also a record) and 116 veterinary students from 23 colleges of veterinary medicine. Participants hailed from 29 countries, with more than 300 attendees from outside the United States. The total attendance also included 283 exhibit representatives from 97 companies and organizations.

John Waddell opened the Monday general session with the Howard Dunne Memorial Lecture. During his presentation, “Built to last: 50 years of AASV,” he reflected on the past 50 years of AASV. He shared memories of swine veterinarians who gathered together in 1969 to organize the American Association of Swine Practitioners, and focused on the people that continue the legacy of AASV.

Deborah Murray presented the Alex Hogg Memorial Lecture “Today’s swine veterinarian: Challenges and opportunities for the future.” Her presentation described the changing profession and evolving needs of AASV members. She highlighted the novel ideas that students, the next generation of swine veterinarians, can bring to the industry. Strong mentorship offered by AASV members to younger veterinarians is important to encourage those ideas.

Accomplishments, lessons learned and memories over the last 50 years were shared in special videos throughout the meeting, including the AASV Golden Anniversary video shown during the Monday general session. The videos were produced by AgCreate Solutions Inc. under the direction of AASV member Sarah Probst Miller, the company’s creative director and president.

A special thank you and award of gratitude was given to AASV Executive Director Tom Burkgren. He is retiring after 25 years of service to the AASV. Past presidents, staff and family gathered on stage during the awards ceremony to thank Burkgren. 

Source: American Association of Swine Veterinarians, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

Drastic cuts to agriculture proposed in Trump budget

Getty Images News/Mark Wilson Copies of the budget for Fiscal Year 2020

President Trump released his $4.7 trillion Fiscal Year 2020 budget this week with proposed increases in defense spending and $8.6 billion for the Mexican border wall. The proposed budget would cut spending for Medicaid, agriculture, environmental protection, transportation, education and other non-defense departments and agencies.

USDA would be one of the departments hardest hit by President Trump’s proposal. The budget proposes cutting agriculture by 15% with major cuts in crop insurance, conservation and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and includes stricter means testing for commodity programs. Many of the budget proposals were soundly rejected during consideration of the 2018 farm bill.

Crop insurance: The administration is proposing a 31% cut in the current crop insurance program. Producers would pay a larger share of crop insurance premiums going from the current 38% to 52% under the proposed budget. A 12% cap would be placed on insurance company underwriting gains. Farmers with an adjusted gross income over $500,000 would not be able to participate in the crop insurance program.

SNAP: The farm bill fight over work requirements for SNAP recipients will continue under the proposed budget. The budget proposes tightening the SNAP work requirements by requiring nearly all able-bodied adults up to the age of 65 to work or be in an approved training program. Current work requirements are limited to able-bodied adults without dependents at home and are under 50 years old. Also, the budget is proposing again the “Harvest Box” in which a portion of SNAP benefits would be in commodities. This was suggested last year by the USDA and was widely criticized.

Commodity programs: The means test for commodity programs would be lowered from $900,000 to $500,000 AGI.

Programs eliminated: The budget proposes eliminating a number of USDA programs including Rural Business-Cooperative Services programs, Single Family Housing Direct Loan program, McGovern-Dole International Food and Education Program, Food for Progress and school equipment grants.

User fees: The administration’s FY ’20 budget is proposing Food Safety Inspection Service user fees to cover all domestic inspection, import re-inspection and most of the central operations costs for federal, state and international inspection programs for meat, poultry and egg products. User fees are also proposed for animal welfare, veterinary biologics, and biotechnology regulatory services. Congress will have to approve legislation to implement these user fees which is not expected to happen.

Congressional indications are this budget is dead on arrival.

Effort to extend biodiesel tax credits
Congressmen Darin LaHood (R-IL) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA) have been joined by 42 congressional members in a bipartisan effort for a multi-year extension of the biodiesel tax credit.

In a letter to House leadership, the members say, “Biodiesel production could add 63 cents of value to every bushel of soybeans. That value is especially important right now, when farm income is at its lowest point in more than a decade, crop prices are below the cost of production, and farmers are bearing the brunt of ongoing trade disputes. We strongly support a multi-year extension of the incentive to provide the policy certainty necessary to help the biodiesel industry and rural economies continue to grow.”

biofuels illustration

EPA proposes allowing year-round E15
vironmental Protection Agency released its proposed rule that would allow for year-round sales of E15. Currently, E15 cannot be sold during the summer months, June 1 through Sept. 15.

The National Corn Growers Association says, “Allowing year-round sales of higher blends of ethanol not only grows a domestic market for farmers, but E15 gives consumers more choice at the pump, a lower price option and greater environmental benefits from a cleaner fuel. It’s time to remove the barrier to all of these benefits.”

The proposed rule also makes proposed reforms to Renewable Identification Numbers markets including:

  • Prohibiting certain parties from being able to purchase separated RINs;
  • Requiring public disclosure when RIN holdings exceed specified thresholds;
  • Limiting the length of time a non-obligated party can hold RINs; and
  • Increasing the compliance frequency of the program from once annually to quarterly.

The EPA plans to hold a public meeting on March 29. Also, the public comment period on the proposed rule ends on April 29.

Source: P. Scott Shearer, who is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

Canada funds additional detector dogs as part of ASF prevention strategy

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Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, stands at the Montréal-Trudeau airport with two Canadian border services officers and two detector dogs.

As part of Canada's African swine fever (ASF) prevention efforts, Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada's minister of agriculture and agri-food, announced March 14 new funding of up to $31 million to increase the number of detector dogs at Canadian airports to help prevent illegally imported meat products from entering Canada.

This funding will allow for the addition of 24 detector dog teams over five years, bringing the total number to 39 Food, Plant & Animal Detector Dog Service (DDS) teams.

According to the announcement from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), illegally imported meat and meat products from countries affected by ASF present one of the greatest risks for introducing this animal disease to Canada. Detector dogs are the best available method to intercept meat products, making them the most effective tool in protecting Canada's swine population from ASF as well as other animal diseases, CFIA said.

"As Canada's new minister of agriculture and agri-food, I am committed to continuing Canada's efforts to prevent the introduction of African swine fever into the country. By working collaboratively, producers, the Canadian public at large and the international community can help stop the spread of this deadly disease affecting swine populations and protect Canada's fourth largest agricultural sector," Bibeau said.

Canada's action comes after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced plans to intensify multi-agency efforts aimed at preventing entry of ASF into the U.S., including funding for an additional 60 new beagles at U.S. ports of entry.

Additionally, Canada announced that it will host the first international ASF forum in Ottawa, Ont., from April 30 to May 1, 2019. In collaboration with the U.S. and supported by leaders from Mexico, the European Union, the U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization, the World Organization for Animal Health, provincial, territorial and state partners and industry, CFIA said this invitation-only forum will provide an opportunity to further strengthen international cooperation to stop the spread of ASF.

"Foreign animal diseases pose a serious threat to Canadian industry. While there has never been a case of African swine fever in Canada, the Canada Border Service Agency recognizes the risks posed by travelers and commercial imports and has taken steps to keep our country safe," said Ralph Goodale, Canada's minister of public safety and emergency preparedness. "Adding additional trained detector dogs will further strengthen their capacity in the years ahead."

ASF is a serious viral disease that can cause fever, internal bleeding and high death rates in pigs. It is highly contagious and can spread rapidly through both direct and indirect contact with infected pigs or pig products. ASF only affects members of the pig family.