ADC requests FDA to take action over misleading ‘milk’ labeling

By MAA
The American Dairy Coalition (ADC) has requested that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration  take immediate action and prohibit the use of “milk” in product labels used on plant-based alternative products.

Consumers rely on product labels, titles and advertising to make educated decisions on food products their families consume. Plant-based dairy alternatives that use the term “milk” vary dramatically in nutritional content from the FDA Federal Standard of Identity in law for milk products. According to the letter sent from ADC Founder Laurie Fischer to the FDA,  allowing manufactures of dairy-alternative products to imitate true dairy products through use of the world “milk” requires FDA regulatory action. The FDA must stop the intentional imitation these manufactures are using to destroy the reputation our industry has worked so hard to create.
According to the ADC, plant-based alternative dairy products have based their livelihood upon imitating dairy products. Allowing for this continuous misrepresentation is allowing them to mislead customers. Milk is milk, it is natural, consistent and wholesome and has defined compositional characteristics or manufacturing parameters unique to its standard of identity. Plant-based non-dairy alternatives purposely mis-brand products to make consumers believe plant based alternatives meet the same standard of identity as milk does. Any food product that uses a food name established by a FDA standard of identity but does not conform to the standard is deceiving.

Dairy farmers voice support for local communities, sustainability efforts

Peninsula Pride Farms President Don Niles speaks during a gathering Tuesday of Kewaunee County farmers and ag professionals.

By MaryBeth Matzek
MAA Editor

CASCO, Wis. — Farmers and agricultural professionals from Kewaunee County gathered Tuesday morning at a local dairy to voice their commitment to agriculture, the community and the environment.

“We are committed to the belief that agriculture, a strong community and environmentalism can co-exist. Farms are an important part of our local communities,” said Lee Kinnard, the fifth generation of his family to farm in the county. “We take pride in being part of that 1.7 percent of the U.S. population that feeds everyone else in the country and we also take pride in protecting the environment.”

Nearly 100 area farmers and others connected to agriculture attended the gathering at Kinnard Farms Inc. near Casco prior to a state Department of Natural Resources public meeting to collect comments about the water discharge permits for five large farms. Farmers in Kewaunee County have come under scrutiny because of water quality issues. Continue reading “Dairy farmers voice support for local communities, sustainability efforts”

Bills could impact dairy industry’s future

By American Dairy  Coalition

On Oct. 25, two important bills passed through the House Judiciary Committee, both with the potential to have a large impact on dairy producers across the nation who are struggling to find reliable labor.

The first of these two bills is the Agricultural Guestworker Act (AG Act). This bill will discontinue the H-2A visa and replace it with an H-2C program that would allow dairy-operation employers with year-round work to apply. It eliminates requirements that employers provide transportation and housing and allows employers to have contractual or at-will agreements with workers.

While not perfect, this bill could have a huge positive impact on farmers, allowing the industry to move the dial toward a workable guest-worker program that is functional and not bogged down with inefficiencies and bureaucratic red tape. Continue reading “Bills could impact dairy industry’s future”

Kosher milk opens new markets for dairies

By Nikki Kallio
MAA

With just a little extra effort, milk producers can reach into wider consumer markets by offering high kosher products to people who follow Jewish dietary laws.

First, the milk must come from animals considered “kosher,” a term which essentially means “proper” or “acceptable” according to biblical law. Kosher animals include those that both chew their cud and have split hooves. So, yes, dairy cows are generally kosher animals, but there are instances in which they would not be. Continue reading “Kosher milk opens new markets for dairies”

Wisconsin-grown Christmas tree wins national contest

The official White House Christmas Tree, which is from Wisconsin, goes up in the Blue Room. Photo courtesy of the White House

By MAA

A balsam fir Christmas tree grown by David and Jim Chapman of Silent Night Evergreens in Endeavor, Wis., was named the 2017 Grand Champion at the National Christmas Tree Association’s (NCTA) 2017 National Christmas Tree Contest.

As growers of the Grand Champion tree, the Chapmans will present the official 2017 White House Christmas tree this season. Since 1966, NCTA members provided the official Christmas Tree for display in the White House Blue Room.

Ed Hedlund of Hedlund Christmas Trees, in Elma, Wash., was named reserve champion of the contest. Continue reading “Wisconsin-grown Christmas tree wins national contest”

Event helps farmers brush up on communication skills

By MAA

When a planned event or unexpected incident occurs on farm – good or bad – our consumers and community expect to hear from the dairy owner and managers.  This request often comes on short notice with a tight interview deadline.  Join the Professional Dairy Producers (PDPW) Dairy’s Visible Voice – leadership development through effective communication, for media training to properly prepare, practice and position a dairy farm for success when working with the media.

The media training workshop will be presented on-farm from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., repeating in two locations:

Exclusive to dairy farmers and held on farm, the media training will focus on providing skills and techniques needed to handle the media with confidence and composure.

Led by seasoned corporate brand and communication expert, Linda Wenck, principal at Morgan Myers, dairy farmers will receive a 360-degree perspective to increase one’s understanding of the media, develop effective farm-specific key messages, and improve confidence when interacting with print, broadcast and digital media.

Dairy farmers will walk away with the ability to:

  • Enhance the public’s knowledge and understanding of the dairy industry
  • Build credibility for their dairy
  • Reach their target audience with proven and tested key industry and personalized messages
  • Provide credibility for third-party endorsements.

Upon completion of this certified training and following invaluable on-camera practice time, farmers will be trained to lead as a source of authentic information and a trusted resource to reporters and editors.

To learn more about the PDPW Dairy’s Visible Voice series and to register, visit www.pdpw.org or contact PDPW at 1-800-947-7379.

Study: Quarter of all U.S. jobs tied to agriculture

By MAA

More than a fifth of the U.S. economy and a quarter of American jobs are either directly or indirectly tied to the food and agriculture sectors, according to a new study commissioned by industry groups.

The study estimates that more than 43 million jobs and $1.9 trillion in total wages are linked to the two sectors, which contribute some $894 billion in taxes. The food and agriculture sectors together account for $146 billion in exports, the study found.

In all, the study, which was released today, pegs the two sectors’ total economic impact at $6.7 trillion.

“As policymakers consider tax reform and other means to expand economic activity, I hope they will have a better understanding of how the food and agriculture sector not only feeds Americans, but also feeds the U.S. economy,” said Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute.

The study was commissioned by 22 food and agriculture groups, including the Corn Refiners Association, the American Bakers Association and the United Fresh Produce Association. The groups posted the results on a site that allows individuals to search industry impact by state and congressional district.

Study: Land near CAFOs worth more

By MAA

A study of Wisconsin land sales found farmland in some counties is worth more if it’s closer to a concentrated animal feeding operation, also known as CAFOs.

The analysis came out of a larger project to combine statewide data on land use, land sales and soil survey data, said Simon Jette-Nantel, farm management specialist for the University of Wisconsin-Extension.

Because CAFOs need large areas of land to grow crops and minimize the carbon footprint by spreading natural nutrients, Jette-Nantel predicted there would be a relation between farmland value and its proximity to a CAFO. Which is exactly what an analysis of farmland sales from the first six months of 2017 in Barron and Marathon counties found.

“If it is close to a CAFO, it would tend to command a premium. That premium so far from what we’ve estimated could vary somewhere between $400 to $800 per acre,” Jette-Nantel said.

Top dairy cooperative rebrands to give farmers an Edge

By MAA
GREEN BAY, Wis.   — Milk is getting a new voice in America’s Heartland. Meet Edge, the dairy farmer cooperative taking a fresh approach to representing its members.

Edge, formerly known as the Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative, has been a game-changer for dairy farmers since its inception in 2010.

“Edge is now representative of the growth and evolution our cooperative has undergone over the past seven years. It’s also a promise of the future,” said John Pagel, a Wisconsin dairy farmer and president of Edge. “We put our members at the forefront of the discussions, giving dairy farmers a voice in matters critical to their businesses and their communities.”

Continue reading “Top dairy cooperative rebrands to give farmers an Edge”