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August 28, 2014

Registration Open

Earn 12 CEU's at NIAA Antibiotics Symposium

The American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) has approved 12 Continuing Education Units for this year's NIAA Antibiotic Use and Resistance Symposium, to be held in Atlanta, GA November 12–14, 2014. The theme of the Symposium is "Moving Forward through Shared Stewardship."

The Symposium will feature Keynote Speaker Dr. Lonnie King, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University. King, DVM, MS, MPA, ACVPM, is Professor in the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine and holds the Ruth Stanton Endowed Chair in Veterinary Medicine and is a former administrator for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), U.S. Department of Agriculture, in Washington, DC. King's keynote address is titled "Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance through Integration and Stewardship: A New Call to Action."

The goal of the symposium is to educate attendees about minimizing resistance and maintaining antimicrobials important for animal and human health. Speakers representing both the animal and human health communities will identify and prioritize key resistance issues at the human and animal interface, present stewardship programs and metrics of success to minimize resistance, and conclude with real–world solution strategies to move forward.

Thank You to Our 2014 Antibiotic Use and Resistance Symposium Partners, USDA/APHIS, Merck Animal Health, National Pork Board, Elanco, Auburn University, Zoetis, Qiagen and the American Veterinarian Medical Association, for their support of this Symposium.

Partnership opportunities are available. Contact Katie Ambrose at 719.538.8843, extension 14.

Go here or to to register or for agenda and travel information.

Northern Chef First to Offer ASC Certified Tilapia in US

Seafood consumers in the United States can now enjoy responsibly farmed tilapia that has been certified to the ASC standard for responsible aquaculture.Tai Foong USA is the first company in the US to source and sell ASC certified tilapia under its Northern Chef brand. Its Northern Chef Tilapia Fillets 10 oz product have been on sale since mid–May this year across the country and expects to distribute to an additional 5,000 stores this year alone. The Fish Site, 08/25/14

Nestle Tightens Pledge on Animal Welfare

The Nestle food and beverage company has announced an animal welfare agreement with World Animal Protection, a non–governmental organization. The Swiss company says it will require its more than 7–thousand suppliers of animal products, from milk to meat to eggs, to adhere to stricter animal welfare practices. The company says an independent auditor will conduct on–farm checks and those farms that don't work to come into compliance "will no longer supply Nestle."

The agreement is part of Nestle's Responsible Sourcing program. Nestle is working with World Animal Protection to "tighten and improve the company's responsible sourcing guidelines." By Julie Harker, Brownfield Ag News, 08/21/14

Cargill Issues Corporate Responsibility Report

Cargill this week released its fiscal 2014 corporate responsibility report entitled "Delivering Responsibly in the Global Food System." In the report, Cargill said it is committed to ensuring that the supply chains it operates respect people and human rights; produce safe and wholesome food; treat animals humanely; promote responsible agricultural practices; and reduce environmental impacts. By John Maday, Drovers CattleNetwork, 08/20/14

Animal Health Issues Impacting Mexican Poultry Industry

The Mexican poultry industry continues to be affected by several minor disease issues. As a result of ongoing biosecurity measures, a modest increase in production of broiler meat and eggs are expected. Commercial broiler meat production for 2015 is forecast to rise as ongoing consolidation, along with improved biosecurity measures, has enabled the industry to overcome the challenges posed by the 2012 and 2013 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks that spread across the country. The Poultry Site, 08/25/14

USDA Announces $25 Million for Agricultural Entrepreneurs to Turn Commodities into Value–Added Products

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today highlighted the importance of rural entrepreneurs to the U.S. economy and announced investments to help rural businesses grow, diversify and create jobs. USDA is investing $25 million to help 247 businesses nationwide expand their operations and create new products to market, Secretary Vilsack said today during a visit to Miles Smith Farm in Loudon, N.H., a recipient of one of the grants.

The funding is being provided through USDA Rural Development's Value–Added Producer Grant program. The program helps agricultural producers grow their businesses by turning raw commodities into value–added products, expanding marketing opportunities and developing new uses for existing products. USDA News Release, 08/19/14

New Effort Seeks to Strengthen Voice for Science for GMOs

The Cornell Alliance for Science seeks to add a stronger voice for science and depolarize the charged debate around agricultural biotechnology and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Supported by a $5.6 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Cornell Alliance for Science will help inform decision–makers and consumers through an online information portal and training programs to help researchers and stakeholders effectively communicate the potential impacts of agricultural technology and how such technology works.

"Proponents and opponents alike speculate whether biotech crops are of benefit to farmers, but rarely are those farmers engaged in the biotech discourse or their voices heard," said Sarah Evanega, senior associate director of International Programs in Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), who will lead the project.

"Our goal is to depolarize the GMO debate and engage with potential partners who may share common values around poverty reduction and sustainable agriculture, but may not be well informed about the potential biotechnology has for solving major agricultural challenges," Evanega said. Cornell University, 08/21/14

Newest U.S. Vet School Welcomes Inaugural Class

Lincoln Memorial University–College of Veterinary Medicine (LMU–CVM) welcomes the members of the Inaugural Class of 2018 when orientation began last week. LMU–CVM is one of only 30 veterinary colleges in the United States, and Tennessee is one of only three states to have two veterinary colleges.

"This is another landmark achievement for our institution." President B. James Dawson said. "The LMU–College of Veterinary Medicine extends LMU'S mission of service to humanity through the training of ethical doctors who will attend to the health and wellness needs of animals within rural communities." Lincoln Memorial University, 08/18/14

Five–Year Study Compares Organic and Conventional Dairies

Cows raised on organic and conventional dairy farms in three regions of the United States show no significant differences in health or in the nutritional content of their milk, according to a new study by Oregon State University researchers and their collaborators.

Nearly 300 small dairy farms—192 organic and 100 conventional—in New York, Oregon and Wisconsin participated in the study, which was funded by a $1 million grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). By Daniel Robison, Bovine Veterinarian, 08/21/14

FAO Urges Support for Animal Disease Monitoring

Calling animal disease a "weak link" in global efforts to combat disease, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) called for sustained monitoring of animal diseases, particularly those that can cross species barriers to infect humans.

The authors note that an earlier FAO report estimates 70 percent of new infectious human diseases detected in recent decades are of animal origin. They also cite the recent Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, which is believed to have crossed over from wildlife to human populations. By John Maday, Bovine Veterinarian, 08/21/14

USDA Publishes Final Amended Rule For Poultry Inspection

The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today published its final amended rule for the "Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection," adding a fifth program for young chicken and all turkey processing plants after what it calls a successful 15–year trial.

Under the New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS), government inspectors who previously helped sort poultry carcasses will be moved to the end of the slaughter process to conduct carcass–by–carcass inspections for food safety problems after company employees have already checked carcasses for sores and bruises. Each inspection line will also have one off–line inspector taking samples for microbial testing, examining plant and equipment sanitation, observing company employees, and conducting other food safety activities. Agri–Pulse, 08/21/14

Bringing the Best to School Lunches

Top grocery stores and restaurants in the United States guarantee their customers consistently get high quality products through rigorous standards and robust testing and oversight programs. USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is doing essentially the same thing – working to ensure that recipients of federal nutrition assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program get meat, poultry, egg products, and seafood that match the quality and specifications used by the best commercial firms.

AMS purchases products through a competitive process among approved vendors. Some of these purchases support American agriculture by providing an outlet for surplus products. The products are delivered to schools, food banks, and households in communities across the country and are a vital component of our nation's food safety net. By Craig A. Morris, USDA Blog. 08/26/14

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The National Institute for Animal Agriculture provides a forum for building consensus and advancing proactive solutions for animal agriculture-the beef, dairy, swine, sheep, goats, equine and poultry industries-and provides continuing education and communication linkages for animal agriculture professionals. NIAA is dedicated to programs that work towards the eradication of disease that pose risk to the health of animals, wildlife and humans; promote a safe and wholesome food supply for our nation and abroad; and promote best practices in environmental stewardship, animal health and well-being. NIAA members represent all facets of animal agriculture.