July 23, 2016

Trump Takes Aim at Renegotiating NAFTA – TPP “Not Going to Happen”

At the Republican National Convention last night during his presidential nomination acceptance speech, Donald Trump declared that he would renegotiate or scrap the NAFTA trade deal if he is elected – and he also had sharp words about China’s trade practices along with the lingering TransPacific Partnership Agreement.  Trump touted “individual deals, with individual countries.”

Trump has described the NAFTA trade deal with Canada and Mexico as a U.S. job killer.

The North American Free Trade Agreement took effect in 1994 during the administration of President Bill Clinton, the husband of Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Trump used last night’s speech to repeat his criticism of Hillary Clinton’s past support of free trade deals.

RNC Convention Trump on Trade

Clinton no longer supports NAFTA or TPP. During her first White House bid in 2007, she called NAFTA “a mistake.”  Clinton once hailed TPP as setting “the gold standard in trade agreements” during her time as Secretary of State in the Obama administration, but has since come out in opposition of TPP during her presidential bid.

Democrats host their national convention in Philadelphia next week.


Finding the Balance in Sustainable Agriculture – The Triple Bottom Line

More U.S. food companies are focused on sustainable agriculture — and believe the ag retail sector is a crucial partner in scaling sustainability.

Land O’Lakes, Inc. on Wednesday announced the formal organization of a new business unit, SUSTAIN, and its leadership.

SUSTAIN was developed in cooperation with United Suppliers (USI).

General Mills, Smithfield Foods, Campbell Soup Company and now Kellogg’s are advocating SUSTAIN in their sourcing regions. The ultimate goal of the project is to work with farmers along all points in the food supply chain to reduce fertilizer runoff, safeguard the environment, and ensure farm productivity.

The SUSTAIN business will be led by Matt Carstens, who has moved to Land O’Lakes, Inc. to serve as senior vice president.


Land O’Lakes, Inc., which recently announced a new public-private partnership with the State of Minnesota to protect and improve water quality across the state, brings a strong and evolving commitment to do more with less while helping feed a growing global population.

USI is a cooperative of 560 locally owned and controlled agricultural retailers who operate nearly 2,500 retail locations, and who serve growers spanning 45 million acres in the U.S. and Canada. USI’s SUSTAIN platform has been helping growers across the country train ag retailers in using proven, effective technologies, practices, and products to improve their soil health practices. The ag retail staff then shares this knowledge with the growers they serve, so the potential for bringing sustainability to scale is tremendous.

USI’s goal is to have 10 million acres enrolled in SUSTAIN by 2020. This represents the largest agricultural sustainability commitment by any agribusiness or food company to date.



Beef Checkoff Goals Laid Out At Summer Business Meeting – AUDIO

BeefCheckLogoState beef council leaders were in abundance when the cattle industry held its 2016 Summer Business Meeting in Denver last week. Tracy Brunner, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, says the leaders played a key role in checkoff committee meetings that helped lay the groundwork for checkoff programs that would begin in about two months.

As representatives of the Federation of State Beef Councils, the producers were demonstrating the value of the state/national partnership that is the foundation for the Beef Checkoff Program…

Brunner 1

Because the checkoff is a grassroots program, each state determines its own plans and priorities…

Brunner 2

Brunner says that in addition to their participation in the Federation of State Beef Councils, state beef councils have a key role in making sure the $1-per-head Beef Checkoff Program is successful…tape

Brunner 3

The state leaders who are Federation of State Beef Council directors joined with Cattlemen’s Beef Board members in the checkoff committee meetings to begin developing programs for the 2017 fiscal year, which begins October 1.

Projects conducted by the beef checkoff must be approved by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the U.S. Department of Agriculture before they’re implemented.