August 22, 2014

National Farmers Union To Leave Beef Checkoff Working Group

For three years, the Beef Checkoff Working Group has been meeting to discuss reforming the Checkoff program.  The group is made up of beef industry stakeholders but, as we learned this week, one of them is thinking about leaving.  Roger Johnson is the President of the National Farmers Union.

Roger Johnson 1

The recommendation to leave the Working Group, Johnson says, is coming from the National Farmers Union Legislative Committee.  The decision will now go before the NFU Board which meets early in September.  Along with wanting to separate the policy organization from the Checkoff, the National Farmers Union has other suggestions for reform

Roger Johson 2

Johnson says that there is also the belief that the Beef Checkoff should be fully refundable

Roger Johnson 3

Lastly, Johnson says that the NFU believes that there should be a referendum of the Checkoff at least every five years to make sure that the program is operating as it should





Aberdeen Packing Plant To Reopen With New Angus LLC

New Angus LLC the company that bought the old Northern Beef Packing Plant in Aberdeen South Dakota is working to get the facility opened in the future.  New Angus Executive Chairman Keith DeHaan, a Platte, South Dakota native says he’s excited about the possibilities but that it will take time to correct some infrastructure and equipment problems before they can open

Aberdeen Packing Plant 1

DeHaan says they’ve been speaking with cattle producers from both South and North Dakota and getting great input and ideas. He says they have no specific timeline for opening

Aberdeen Packing Plant 2

He says their goal is to process 1,000 to 1700 head of cattle a day but they won’t know the specific number until they open. He says they have great financial backing and support from White Oak Investors from California which owns New Angus LLC

Aberdeen Packing Plant 3

DeHaan says the Aberdeen community has been very supportive of their project and there are many former beef plant employees who are interested in coming back to work for New Angus once they get operational.


Russia Food Ban To Have Global Effect

After banning food and agriculture imports from the U.S, Canada, The E.U., Austraila and Norway, Russia is seeking alternate markets for the country that imports 40 percent of its food.  According to the Pig Site, over the last week the Russian veterinary and food safety authority has approved several food processing operations in Chile and Brazil for export to the Russian Federation.  The move could be a boon for exporters in those countries, but not good for Europe, where the Russian embargo is starting to hit home.  The European Commission has introduced support measures for certain perishable fruits and vegetables this week.  The market situation for all products will be discussed in another meeting with E.U. experts and experts from the European Parliament in Brussels on Friday.

The European Commission said it will continue following markets development for all sectors affected by the Russian ban on agriculture and food products and will not hesitate to support further sectors heavily dependent on exports to Russia or to adapt the measures already announced, if necessary.

Reports on how the ban will effect U.S. ag markets have been mixed.  Previously, Russia had purchased substantial amount of poultry from the U.S. but those numbers had come down and poultry suppliers had said they would be accessing other markets.  Russia had already placed a ban on U.S. pork in the months prior to the agricultural embargo, limiting the effect on that industry.