Monday, October 02, 2006

National Center for Soybean Biotechnology Expands With Soybean Genome Mapping Facility

Today the Missouri Soybean Association (MSA) applauded the opening of the Soybean Genome Mapping Facility, an expansion of the National Center for Soybean Biotechnology (NCSB) at the University of Missouri (MU) in Columbia, Mo. NCSB scientists play a national leadership role in developing improved soybean varieties to keep U.S. producers competitive in the marketplace.
“This facility is instrumental in helping Missouri soybean producers develop improved soybean varieties,” said Dale R. Ludwig, MSA executive director/CEO. “Through funding supported by U.S. Senators Kit Bond and Jim Talent, Missouri remains ahead of the class in life science research.”
Renovations supported by Bond and the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources gave $2 million toward the crop genomics laboratories in the Agriculture Building. Also, a National Science Foundation grant and matching funds program provided more than $1 million for genome mapping equipment.
The University of Missouri-Columbia was recently designated by U.S. Congress as the site for the NCSB. Its foundation was the Center for Soybean Genomics and Biotechnology, previously formed at MU in support of interdisciplinary research on the genomic structure and function of soybean genes. The ultimate goal of the NCSB is to provide innovative molecular approaches that can be applied toward soybean improvement.
The NCSB is a collaborative program among scientists at MU, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service Plant Genetics Unit in Columbia and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Mo. There are currently more than 25 researchers working together from diverse fields including agronomy, microbiology and plant pathology, biochemistry, animal science, food science, molecular biology and agricultural economics.
In addition to receiving the NCSB support, scientists working in the center continue to be highly competitive for other funding from a variety of sources, including the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, federal agencies and private industry.
Strategically located in the heart of the nation, the NCSB aims to foster research partnerships with institutions in the Midwestern and Southern states, regions where soybeans are a major crop. Research within the NCSB focuses on major problems that affect soybean production and use. The Center also provides educational opportunities for students and outreach services to producers, public agencies and consumers.

Kansas Soybean Update: Kenlon Johannes

The Kansas Soybean Association has been involved in talks with Wal-Mart about the possibility of using biodiesel in their truck fleet. Kenlon Johannes, Executive Director of the Kansas Soybean Association, joins us for this week's update.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Saturday Farm Feature: Mike Hergert

It's harvest time in North Dakota, where Mike Hergert is a farm broadcaster at the Red River Farm Network. Mike gives us an update as to how this growing season has stacked up for producers. Mike tells us about the benefits they're seeing from adequate subsoil moisture and explains North Dakota's beet harvest.
On a lighter note, Mike shares his experience running and how he's preparing for the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, DC next month.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Missouri Soybean Update: JP Dunn

JP Dunn, Manager of Field Services for the Missouri Soybean Association, gives us this week's Missouri Soybean Update. JP has more information about Paseo Biofuels, a new farmer-investor group that has partnered with Cargill's Soybean Processing facility in Kansas City to build a new 40 million gallon biodiesel facility.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Iraqi Palm Dates Making a Renaissance Revival

(Baqubah, Iraq) - The date palm tree has long been the cherished symbol of Iraq. Dates are the second largest export after oil.
During the 1950s, Iraq’s palm orchards produced more than 600 varieties of dates and, by some estimates, accounted for nearly 80% of the world’s supply. During the country’s golden era there were more than 30 million fruit producing trees.

But wars, neglect, improper drainage, and the scurvy of the dreaded Dobas bug left the industry in shambles.

Particularly hard hit was southern Iraq where 16 million date palm trees were cut down, burned and transformed into battlefields during the Iran-Iraq was in the 1980s.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) stepped in last spring and distributed 4,800 date palm offshoots that will produce commercially valuable dates. The offshoots were given to 120 farmers in Muthanna, Basrah and the Basrah Marshlands, with technical assistance from USDA to ensure proper planting and cultivation.

In four years each farmer could realize a gross income boost of $7,000 per year.

The crop was facing another critical challenge - the pesky little Dobas bug which secretes a sticky liquid that interferes with the photosynthesis process.

This past May, Coalition partners and the Iraqi Department of Agriculture began an aggressive pesticide spraying campaign.

“We contracted Moldovan helicopters, painted them with Iraqi flag colors and outfitted the Moldovan pilots with Iraqi uniforms so we could safely treat thousands of acres of trees,” said Lieutenant Colonel Chris Johnson. The results have been astounding. After only one season of spraying, the date crop yield has increased by as much as 70%.

Baqubah was the venue for a mid-September dates festival where farmers, agriculture ministers and the public gathered to celebrate 84 varieties of a bountiful harvest.

Aboud Ahdim Abbas Mohammad, 56, is continuing a family date farming tradition that began in the 1880s.

“The spraying saved 75 of my trees and I’ve seen an 85% increase in date yields over last year’s harvest,” said Mohammad through a translator.

While grateful for the harvest, Mohammad is equally grateful for his life. Gunmen attacked him while he and his sons were harvesting. Thanks to a pistol that he keeps hidden in his traditional clothing he was able to fight his way to safety but not before taking a bullet to the arm.

Attending a visible festival might intimidate some farmers. But not Mohammad.

“Please take my picture. Tell them my name. This is my country and I will not be afraid.”

Photos and story by Paul McKellips, U.S. Department of State, Public Affairs GO Team, on assignment in Baqubah, Iraq.

Missouri Corn Update: Robyn Venn

Missouri Ethanol LLC celebrated their Grand Opening on yesterday with over 3000 people in attendence for tours and the festivities. Robyn Venn is plant manager of Missouri Ethanol and gives us a background on the plant, where the plant is going and the role Missouri Ethanol is plaing in their community.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Kansas Soybean Update: Dennis Hupe

Applications are currently being accepted for the DuPont Young Leader Program. Dennis Hupe with the Kansas Soybean Association is our guest for this week's update and tells listeners more about the program and how producers can apply or nominate an individual.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Saturday Farm Feature: Michael Martin Murphy

Cowboy Music singer and poet Michael Martin Murphy is coming to Southwest Iowa for a concert this Sunday to help S.C.O.R.E. (Spinal Cord Research and Enrichment). We had the opportunity to visit with Michael about his music, his cattle and horse ranch and how he connected with Brooke Turner to put together this fundraising event.

*Tickets are still available for the concert, starting at 7:00pm on Sunday evening at the Clarinda High School Gymnasium. Go to for more information.

Friday, September 22, 2006

New Water Treatment Plant Delivering Fresh Drinking Water to Major Iraqi Cities

(Ifraz, Iraq) - Iraq is drained by the Tigris-Euphrates river system, even though less than half of the entire basin lies within the country. Both rivers rise in the Armenian highlands of Turkey and are fed by melting snow.
The Great Zab River is a tributary to the Tigris and flows down through the high Zagros Mountains before joining the Tigris south of Mosul.
The Great Zab has been used for irrigation, flood control and hydroelectricity.
But now - thanks to an almost $200 million investment by the United States - the Great Zab is the site of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water treatment plant in Ifraz. The center is pumping fresh drinking water 20-miles southeast to the city of Erbil.
"Currently, the plant is pumping 4,000 cubic meters of potable drinking water per hour," said Nousak Raouff, who is a civil engineer and the project manager. "When the electrical grid is updated in January, we’ll be able to deliver 6,000 cubic meters per hour to the one million citizens in Erbil."
Two more clarifiers can be added as Erbil grows which would bring total capacity to 10,000 cubic meters per hour.

“Currently, the plant is pumping 4,000 cubic meters of potable drinking water per hour,” said Nousak Raouff, who is a civil engineer and the project manager. “When the electrical grid is updated in January, we’ll be able to deliver 6,000 cubic meters per hour to the one million citizens in Erbil.”
Two more clarifiers can be added as Erbil grows which would bring total capacity to 10,000 cubic meters per hour.
The plant pulls water from the Great Zab River into a tank where it is pumped through one of six giant, cylindrical, concrete clarifying tanks. The clarifiers remove heavy debris from the river. The water is then pushed through a filter of fine sand and charcoal. Chemicals are added to achieve optimum levels of pH and alkaline before being pumped through 20-miles of pipeline at 1.6 million gallons per hour to Erbil.

The water is fed to a 5.2 million gallon storage tank that sits high above - and 3 miles east of - Erbil in the village of Dawajin. Gravity then carries the water down into Erbil’s 54 sectors of network piping.
The collateral benefits of the water treatment plant are numerous. In addition to fresh potable drinking water the system is increasing water pressure at the tap which in turn reduces the potential for contamination.
Residents no longer have to wash their fruits, vegetables and meats in contaminated water. And since the old, historic wells can now be capped, the natural aquifer can be rejuvenated and used exclusively for Iraqi agriculture.

Photos and story by Paul McKellips, U.S. Department of State, Public Affairs GO Team, on assignment in Ifraz, Iraq.

Missouri Beef Update: David Dick

This week's MBIC report features Chairman David Dick of Sedalia who recently returned from the Beef Promotion Operating Committee meeting in Denver where the fiscal year '07 budget for the national beef checkoff was approved. Cindy Zimmerman has this week's Missouri Beef Udpate.

Missouri Farm Bureau Board of Directors Votes to Oppose Amendment #2

Based upon the policy adopted at the annual meeting of its membership, the Missouri Farm Bureau Board of Directors at its September meeting voted to oppose Constitutional Amendment #2, the so-called stem cell research and cures initiative.

The policy adopted by the Farm Bureau members at its last annual meeting reads as follows: “We are opposed to the cloning of human beings. We support adult stem cell research. We are opposed to the creation and use of human embryos or blastocysts for research purposes in which they are destroyed, discarded or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death.”

Annually, the Missouri Farm Bureau spends almost six months in a process to determine its policy positions on a variety of issues. The process concludes with over 500 voting delegates, representing every county in the state, participating in Farm Bureau’s annual meeting in December.

Concerning the position taken by the Board of Directors on Amendment #2, Charlie Kruse, president of Missouri Farm Bureau, stated, “Stem cell research was discussed extensively by our membership during our policy development process. The 2006 policy adopted by our members clearly comes down on the side of opposing Constitutional Amendment #2.

“As discussed by our Board of Directors, Amendment #2 has important implications in the creation and protection of human life. Our members have great concern with the creation of human embryos that may then be destroyed in the name of science and research as allowed by Amendment #2. Our members are further concerned that the proposal may allow for human cloning.

“However, Missouri Farm Bureau policy supports adult stem cell research. This research has shown promise treating human illnesses and is allowed by state and federal laws. Amendment #2 is not needed to continue adult stem cell research.”

Thursday, September 21, 2006

House Agriculture Committee Passes Resolution Embracing New Energy Vision

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House Committee on Agriculture today approved H. Con. Res. 424, which embraces a new national vision of meeting 25% of the nation’s energy needs from renewable sources by 2025.

The 25x’25 resolution has the support of a broad coalition including agriculture, industry, and environmental leaders, as well as governors, four state legislatures, over 80 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, and 27 co-sponsors in the Senate.

“25x’25 is a bold energy vision for this nation,” said Read Smith, Co-Chair of the 25x’25 Steering Committee. “It has the support of Republicans, Democrats, industry, and environmental leaders – and the agriculture and forestry communities are at its heart. All of the 25x’25 partners have shown great leadership in helping to forge a new energy future.”

Lead sponsors include: Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Collin Peterson (D-Minn), Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.); and Sens. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).

Over the last two years, support has been building for the 25x’25 initiative, which would tap renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biofuels. More than 275 organizations have endorsed the vision, along with 18 governors, including: Governors Jeb Bush (R-Fla.),
Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.), Jim Douglas (R-Vt.), Jim Doyle (D-Wis.), Robert Ehrlich (R-Md.), Ernie Fletcher, (R-Ky.), Jennifer Granholm (D-Mich.), Dave Heineman (R-Neb.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), John Lynch, (D-N.H.), George Pataki (R-N.Y.), Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.), Ed Rendell (D-Pa.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Brian Schweitzer (D-Mont.), Kathleen Sebelius (D-Kan.), Bob Taft (R-Ohio), and Tom Vilsack (D-Iowa).

“Today’s vote is a powerful endorsement of renewable energy, and we commend the leaders on the House Agriculture Committee who supported this vision,” said Reid Detchon, Executive Director of the Energy Future Coalition, which works with 25x’25. “Setting the goal of 25x’25 is the critical first step in moving us toward an America that is more secure, more environmentally stable, and energy self-sufficient.”

Several members of the Agriculture Committee expressed support for the passage of H. Con. Res. 424:

* Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Chair of the Agriculture Committee, said, "I am pleased that the Committee today passed the 25x'25 initiative. Increased development of renewable fuels opens new markets for our nation's producers, provides consumers with a safe, sustainable, environmentally friendly, and renewable source of energy, and decreases our nation's dependency on foreign oil thereby likely lessening the negative effects of severe spikes in oil prices on consumers. The Committee will continue to work to ensure that a number of opportunities are explored to ensure that we can turn the 25x'25 goal into a reality."

* Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Ranking Member of the Agriculture Committee, said, "Today the Agriculture Committee recognized the importance of expanding the production and use of renewable energy sources by passing the 25 by 25 resolution. This is an important priority, not just for agriculture, but for the entire country as we pursue energy independence."

* Rep. Stephanie Herseth (D-S.D.), member of the Agriculture Committee and Co-chair of the House Rural Working Group, said, "Renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel are the key to reducing our dependence on foreign oil, strengthening our national security and revitalizing rural American economies. With the 25x‘25 initiative we are setting an ambitious, achievable and necessary goal that will be critical to our national energy needs in the future. I'm particularly supportive of investment in research to continue to develop groundbreaking technologies that increase the efficiency of the process."

Beef and Forage Reports Set for MU Field Day in Columbia

Beef and forage producers will hear and see researchresults in 17 demonstrations throughout a beef field day, Oct. 7, at theUniversity of Missouri South Farm.
"These are ideas that farmers can take home and use," said Monty Kerley,MU professor of beef nutrition. Major discussion areas are beefreproduction and nutrition, and agronomy.
The field day features present research and extension programs, Kerleysaid. There also will be a look ahead to new research at the beef farm,officially known as the MU Beef Research and Teaching Farm.
"Farm buildings, feedlots and grazing paddocks are being upgraded toallow us to do new things," Kerley said.
MU students and their professors will begin demonstrations at 9:00 a.m.,running through 4:30 p.m. Registration opens at 8 a.m.; coffee anddoughnuts will be served.
Ten demonstrations on beef feeding include forage management forefficient cows, feed-bunk management, use of ethanol byproduct feedssuch as dried distillers grains (DDGS), and optimal levels of DDGS forcalves on tall fescue pastures.
In the forage agronomy section, Rob Kallenbach, MU Extension specialist,will lead pasture walks on the new grazing paddock system. Researchersare working to provide year-round grazing for the beef herd. They alsowill tell about pasture weed management, forage systems for stockercalves and Roundup Ready alfalfa.
In beef management, producers can see "inside" a calf's body withultrasound devices used to study carcass composition.
MU geneticists will talk about the role of cattle disposition and on theimportance EPDs (expected progeny differences) in sire selection.
New methods of synchronized breeding in herds will be discussed anddemonstrated by David Patterson, MU Extension beef reproductionspecialist. His team developed methods to breed all cows in a herd onone day.
Patterson's group will tell how to join the Show-Me Select Heiferprogram that develops replacement heifers with improved genetics. Theywill share new methods of synchronized breeding of heifers developed aspart of the Show-Me Select project.
Guest speakers at noon will include Mike John, Huntsville, Mo., rancherand president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. He willbring industry updates.
Fred Ferrell, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, willtell of the importance of the beef industry to the state's economy. Healso will discuss the state's programs for quality systems assessment(QSA) and for Missouri-branded beef.
MDA officials will have a booth to register premise identifications forthe federal disease tracking program.
Ron Plain, MU livestock economist, will give a beef price outlook.
There will be drawings for door prizes during the free luncheon. Peopleplanning to attend the lunch are asked to make reservations by callingJudy Burton at 573-882-7327.
"The MU beef farm is easy to see, but somewhat difficult to reach," saidPhillip Brooks, MU farm manager. The farm is just north of the KOMU-TVtower, near U. S. Highway 63 south of Columbia. Turn east on Old MillersRoad, just south of the TV station. "The landmark for the turn is theweather radar dome," Brooks said.
"Come see us, but be careful crossing the busy four-lane highway."

The name is changing, the values aren't - Farm Credit Services of Missouri is now FCS Financial

Farm Credit Services of Missouri, an organization that counts 90 years of proven expertise in rural financing, has changed its name to FCS Financial. This change will provide additional service offerings, but will not change the strong, enduring values of the organization.
"We've realigned our brand to better serve the needs of our customers on the basis of three areas: the changing rural marketplace…the competition…and the future of the industry, " says Daryl Oldvader, Chief Executive Officer of FCS Financial. "We're not moving away from ag lending, in fact, we remain fully committed to this area upon which our organization was built. We've recognized the marketplace changes and are expanding our services to reach a quickly growing new segment, while remaining focused on rural Missouri."
According to Oldvader, the name change was initiated in response to rural Missouri dynamics:
The 2002 Census of Agriculture showed a decrease in the number of traditional/full-time farmers. Unlike that group, non-traditional/part-time farmers or "rural lifestylers" are on the rise. Given this shift in the rural landscape and the corresponding change in customer needs, FCS Financial realized the need for additional financial service offerings.
Through research, FCS Financial learned that the "Farm" in their name was seen as excluding individuals who sought land in rural Missouri. By repositioning the brand identity, there is more concentration on the service offerings FCS Financial provides.
To increase brand strength and viability in the marketplace, FCS Financial has expanded its services and created two sub-brands: Ag & Business and Land & Home. The Ag & Business sub-brand will continue to focus on customers whose needs involve agriculture and agribusiness. This includes farm real estate purchases; operating expenses; equipment, machinery, and livestock loans; and risk management tools such as crop insurance, livestock risk protection insurance and life insurance. The Land & Home sub-brand will reach out to customers seeking loans for rural homes, investment properties or lots and acreages; insurance products; and equity lines of credit. Additional financial products round out the offerings along with an acute knowledge of the rural marketplace held by FCS Financial employees.
"Both customer segments represented through the sub-brands are extremely relevant and viable to Missouri Agriculture," noted Oldvader.
As for current FCS Financial customers, there will be no changes to interest rates, contract agreements or terms of service.
Oldvader concludes, "Through professionalism, integrity and expertise, we at FCS Financial offer our customers the best possible service and expertise available in the financial arena. And we will continue to fully serve all those living in rural Missouri."
FCS Financial was built on serving Missouri agriculture and is committed to delivering meaningful ideas and solutions that provide value to its customers. With the changing landscape, FCS Financial is now positioned to serve all those who want to enjoy the lifestyle that rural Missouri offers.

Ag News: Southeast Kansas Drought

While much of the KFEQ listening area has had a decent weather pattern this season, some areas of the Midwest have been affected by dry conditions. Gary Kilgore with Kansas State University Extension told me the wheat crop did well, but corn and soybean yields and pasture conditions have suffered.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Farm Futures Survey Shows Corn Plantings Could Reach Highest Level in More Than 50 Years

U.S. corn growers have yet to harvest their 2006 crop, but they are already thinking about a huge increase in plantings next spring, according to an exclusive survey by Farm Futures magazine. In fact, if early intentions for 2007 hold, farmers could devote the most acres to corn since before 1950.Lured by high prices already posted for 2007 corn, farmers say they’d like to plant 85 million or more acres of the crop. USDA says farmers planted 79.4 million acres of corn this year.Farm Futures surveyed more than 550 growers by email from August 24 to September 14, in the first nationwide attempt to gauge farmer plans for 2007. Farm Futures survey of corn intentions for 2006 proved the most accurate of those released prior to USDA’s March 31 prospective plantings report.According to the magazine’s latest survey, farmers said they would like to increase corn acreage by 7% to as much as 9% next spring. That means plantings could reach from 85 million to as high as 86.6 million acres, says Senior Editor Bryce Knorr, who directed the survey.“Obviously, producers have a long time to change their minds, but this is an indication that farmers are hearing bullish talk for 2007 loud and clear,” says Knorr.Farm Futures Market Analyst Arlan Suderman isn’t surprised by the big jump in farmer planting intentions.“While that may seem like a lot of corn, exploding demand for ethanol during the 2007 crop year could require that much additional production to keep stocks from falling dramatically,” Suderman said.Strong wheat prices for 2007 are also like to encourage farmers to plant more of that crop, according to the Farm Futures survey. Seeding of 2007 winter wheat is already underway in some areas.The survey indicates total wheat acreage could increase at least 4% for the 2007 crop, rising from 57.9 million to 60 million acres or more.By contrast, low prices may cause farmers to rethink their traditional rotations and devote fewer acres to soybeans next spring. The survey showed farmers are thinking about planting 4% less ground to soybeans in 2007, cutting around 3 million acres off this year’s 74.9 million acres.Published nine times annually by Farm Progress Cos., Farm Futures provides business and management information to 205,000 large-scale, high-income U.S. farm operators.

Sen. Talent Calls for Senate Hearing & Department of Justice Review Over Merger

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) U.S. Senator Jim Talent announced that he is requesting a Senate hearing and full review of the proposed merger of Smithfield Foods, Inc. and Premium Standard Farms, Inc. Sen. Talent sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales calling for review of the impact the merger will have on the agriculture economy, as well assurance of fair treatment for contract growers in Missouri. Additionally, Sen. Talent sent a letter to U.S. Senator Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, requesting a hearing to review the proposed merger.
Smithfield Foods, Inc., the largest company in the pork processing and pork production industry, and Kansas City based Premium Standard Farms, Inc., one of its larger competitors, formally announced the merger plans this morning.
"I have serious concerns that this merger may significantly impact the competitive environment in the pork production and pork processing industries," said Sen. Talent, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Marketing Inspection and Promotion on the Senate Agriculture Committee. "The plan deserves a thorough review by the Department of Justice in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture and a Congressional hearing. I will review the terms of the merger to ensure that Missouri pork producers who contract with Premium Standard Farms are not harmed and that competition in the marketplace is maintained."
In the letter, Sen. Talent also raised concerns over how the merger will affect competition in the pork industry. He asked that the Department of Justice (DOJ) conduct a thorough investigation through the Antitrust Division to ensure that it complies with the law and that it will do no harm to the competitive environment.
Sen. Talent sent a similar letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Mike Johanns requesting the Department’s review of the proposed merger. Smithfield Foods, Inc. has agreed to cooperate with any forthcoming reviews or investigations from the DOJ, USDA and Congress.

Missouri Soybean Update: Karen Funkenbush

Karen Funkenbush is a Rural Health and Safety Specialist with University Extension at the University of Missouri. For Farm Safety Week, she joins us with reminders of being safe--not only during harvest season--but throughout the year.

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Celebrates 25 Years of Business

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (September 19, 2006) –Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., (BIVI) is celebrating 25 years of business in the United States animal health market. A leading animal health company, BIVI has had many successes in the past and remains committed to the future in providing innovative animal health products to customers.
Ranked in the top ten animal health product manufacturers in the United States and part of the Boehringer Ingelheim global animal health business, BIVI manufactures and markets an extensive line of high quality biological and pharmaceutical products for cattle, swine, horses and pets for a worldwide network and plans to invest more in research and development over the next five years. According to George Heidgerken, BIVI president and chief operating officer, commitment is much more than just selling a product.
“This silver anniversary milestone presents the opportunity to celebrate our great contributions to the animal health industry, and to honor the dedicated people who are the backbone of our company,” he said. “Our quality, in addition to maintaining the ability to change and grow with the demands of the industry, has been very important in facilitating value through innovation.”
The BIVI St. Joseph campus hosted a week full of anniversary celebration events during the week of September 11. Monday included an employee meeting with presentations, Tuesday BIVI employees learned about the local Missouri FFA chapters and the FFA students learned about potential career paths within the animal health industry. On Wednesday, September 13, 25 local dignitaries and media representatives toured the St. Joseph campus with an in-depth look at the state-of-the-art packaging facility. And the event finale on Saturday, September 16, includes a sky diving team, local 4-H demonstrations, National Disaster Search Dog foundation, local entertainers of magic, juggling, stilt walking and a huge fireworks display to end the events.
The St. Joseph research facilities have a long tradition in animal health products. In 1981, Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation purchased the Anchor Serum Company, which was later renamed Philips Roxane, Inc., and then became the foundation of what is today Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. BIVI has become the world’s largest provider of swine biological products during that time, and the animal health business has been the fastest growing of any pharmaceutical company in the world the last two years.
The St. Joseph campus added a state-of-the-art biological manufacturing facility, a research and development complex and new centralized warehousing facilities. BIVI employs about 700 people across the country.
Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (St. Joseph, Mo.), is a subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation based in Ridgefield, Conn., and a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies.
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 143 affiliates in 47 countries and approximately 37,500 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.
In 2005, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of US $11.8 billion (9.5 billion euro) while spending approximately one fifth of net sales in its largest business segment, Prescription Medicines, on research and development.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

John Block Commentary: Farm Bill

This week's John Block Commentary with former Agriculture Secretary Block examines agriculture policies of the past and where the next farm bill may take agriculture in the future.

If you'd like to reach John, his e-mail is

Missouri Corn Update: David Vogt

Missouri Ethanol LLC celebrate their Grand Opening on Monday, the fourth ethanol plant on-line in the Show-Me State. David Vogt, chairman of Missouri Ethanol joins broadcaster Ken Kujawa for this week's Missouri Corn Update from the Missouri Corn Growers Association.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Iraqi Farm Tractors Repaired After 30 Years of Neglect

(Erbil, Iraq) - A joint effort between USAID and the Agriculture Reconstruction and Development Program for Iraq (ARDI) is nearing completion on a $28.9 million tractor repair and renovation program. Thirty years of wars, sanctions and a tyrannical regime silenced thousands of farm tractors.
After inspecting 10,000 tractors across the country, 5,000 were deemed repairable.
Tractor owners are not charged for the repairs.
USAID has partnered with Case New Holland and Massey Ferguson - whose brands make up the largest share of agricultural machinery in Iraq - to establish 14 workshops across the country.
Staffed by 180 trained Iraqi mechanics and using American international distribution and supply channels, these repair centers are serving the wheat and barley producing regions of Baghdad, Dohuk, Ninewa, Erbil, Wassit and the Sulaymaniyah regional governorates.
U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad and President Massoud Barzani of the Kurdistan regional government toured the repair shop in Erbil.
"This is tremendous. We need to get these tractors back out in the fields so that Iraq’s agriculture can flourish once again," said Khalilzad.
Sangir Suad Nafie is the manager of the Modern Iraq Company for Trading Agencies in Erbil. His shop has repaired more than 430 Model 780 Fiats which is under the Case New Holland brand.
"We’ve trained several Iraqi mechanics at the New Holland factory in Turkey under this program," said Nafie. "Now they have the skills to work in this industry for a lifetime."
Tractor owners have been bringing their machines into these shops for the last 9-months. Repairs range from engine and transmission overhauls to the replacement of brakes and starters.
The program delivers multiple benefits for tractor owners and dealerships alike.
Greater production in the field is leading to increased revenue for the farmer. Many farmers are earning additional service revenue by renting out their refurbished tractors to adjacent farms.
Increased farm revenue bodes well for dealers who hope to see a rise in sales of other farm equipment, implements and repair services. This program will directly expand cultivated lands by more than 111,000 acres. Agriculture officials estimate that 5,000 working tractors will help produce more than 67,500 metric tons of additional wheat, generating $4.7 million in annual grain sales.
Photos and story by Paul McKellips, US Department of State, Public Affairs GO Team, on assignment in Erbil, Iraq.

Kansas Soybean Update: Gary Kilgore

The Kansas Soybean Association's annual soybean yield contest is underway. Gary Kilgore with Kansas State University Extension says producers can enter the yield or quality contest again this year.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Saturday Farm Feature: Classic & Antique Tractor Auction

The 2nd Annual Antique and Classic Tractor Consignment Auction will be held on Saturday, September 23 at the Joe Lyle Auction pavilion outside of Savannah, Missouri. Joe Lyle and Greg Clement were my guests for this Saturday Morning Get Together for a talk about the auction, antique tractors and what's on the auction listing.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Senator Jim Talent

US Senator Jim Talent visited with KFEQ Farm Director Tom Brand about 2 different issues in the forefront of Missouri agriculture this afternoon...Federal Assistance for producers affected by the drought in this year and in 2005 and his proposal to prohibit the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) from being mandatory, as has been suggested by the US Department of Agriculture.

Drought Assistance

National Animal ID

Missouri Soybean Update: Brooks Hurst

Meetings continue across the Show-Me State for Paseo Biofuels, a biodiesel facility in Kansas City. Paseo Biofuels will operate under a joint agreement with the Missouri Soybean Association and Cargill. Brooks Hurst, a farmer from Tarkio and past President of the Missouri Soybean Association is our guest for this week's Missouri Soybean Update. Brooks tells about the background of Paseo Biofuels, the state of the renewable energies marketplace and how farmers can get involved.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

John Block Commentary: Hurricane Katrina

This week's John Block Commentary with former Agriculture Secretary Block looks back at where we were a year ago with the impact of Hurrican Katrina.