Food Defense: Is Your Company Secure?

June/July 2012 | Editors Note | Jackie Roembke

In January, during my visit to Two Rivers Cooperative, general manager Tracy Gatham described the cooperative's partnership with local law enforcement to combat methamphetamine production in rural Iowa. In addition to securing the perimeter with basic security measures, the cooperative, in conjunction with Iowa's "Stop Meth" program, began the practice of adding calcium nitrate to its anhydrous ammonia tanks. The method, developed by researchers at Iowa State University (ISU), creates a...

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AGP’s Chris Schaffer Discusses Export Strategies

August/September 2012 | Cover Story | Jackie Roembke

With its sights set on positioning the cooperative as the fastest, most efficient by-products shipper in the Pacific Northwest, Ag Processing Inc (AGP) began loading ocean-bound vessels filled with soy meal and DDGS from its new port terminal elevator at the Port of Grays Harbor (PGH) in January 2012. 

According to AGP's senior director of exports Chris Schaffer, who oversees the co-op's export trading operations in the United States, the heightened demand for agricultural products out...

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Food Defense and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

August/September 2012 | Online Exclusive | By Jackie Roembke

Enforcement of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has placed the spotlight on food defense, a collective term used to encompass activities associated with protecting the nation's food supply from deliberate or intentional acts of contamination or tampering (Source: FDA). Given the nature of the feed manufacturing and grain handling industries — industries where the products often make their way through a number of touch points and encounter numerous counterparties (farmer,...

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Three Secrets to Lowering Insurance Premiums

June/July 2012 | Online Exclusive | By Elise Schafer

Most insurance agencies offer credits to lower insurance premiums based on a variety of factors, such as driving records, workers’ compensation history and recorded training programs. Three agribusiness insurance experts revealed to Feed & Grain their top tips for saving money on insurance costs every month.  

  1. Raise your deductible

One way to control premiums is to take the highest deductible that the insured is comfortable handling because the higher the deductible, the lower the...

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Are You Covered?

June/July 2012 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

In today's competitive environment, with increasing pressure on production, efficiency, and margins, the role of insurance can easily be overlooked by agribusinesses. Afterall, isn't the goal to never have to use it?

Leadership and management may be content to assume they have enough coverage with their existing policies, and unfortunately short-comings don't become apparant until it's too late. Feed & Grain sat down with risk management and property/casualty experts from some of the top...

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Food Defense: Secure Your Company’s Assets_

June/July 2012 | Feature | By Jackie Roembke

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has prompted grain handlers and feed manufacturers to adopt a proactive approach in preventing food borne contamination. Pathogens and sanitation concerns aside, one fundamental consideration to any food safety or HACCP plan must take biosecurity into consideration, i.e. the intentional or unintentional contamination foodstuffs by internal or external entities.

"Anyone who has access to the food supply is anyone who has access to it along the supply...

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Lessons Learned

June/July 2012 | Departments | By Diana Klemme

I’m never going fishing again — costs me too much money.” Mike tosses his fishing cap onto the file cabinet and turns to Jason, his youngest son and newest employee. “Now tell me again, what happened the past two weeks? How did the U.S. corn yield drop from 166 to 146? I go where there’s no Internet and no cell phone service and 12% of the corn crop vanishes before they even do field surveys? And you say it’s getting worse?”

Jason runs his hand through his hair and hands Mike a printout:...

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Feed Industry Demands Ethanol Policy Flexibility

June/July 2012 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

Phil Greene of Foster Farms gave his testimony on behalf of AFIA in September 2011. Since then with ethanol they've removed the tariff and the subsidies but they maintained the mandates and the situations we were concerned with last year as far as feed shortages, it occurred last year making it a very difficult year for the livestock industry, but this year looks like it'll be a total disaster for the livestock industry.

It's this dependency we have, the drought is a naturally occurring...

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Limiting Recall Risk with Tracking Technology

June/July 2012 | Online Exclusive | By Meetesh Shah, president, iRely

Everyone in the agricultural business is well aware of the significant damage a product recall can have on all the companies involved. It is bad for the customers, bad for the partners, bad for publicity and certainly bad for the bottom line. Experts follow best practice rules to help lower the risk of recalls but for many, one slip up can be devastating to the business.

Yet despite this risk, many feed and grain operators are still running basic, outdated technology. It’s no secret that...

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Building a Safety Culture

June/July 2012 | Departments | By Julie Waltz

In general, feed and grain companies conduct operations in a way that promotes “production first and safety second”. Even the notion of putting “safety first” does not by itself promote a safe workplace. Safety is an attitude and should not be thought of as “first" or "second,” but should be integrated into all thought processes throughout a business.

Undoubtedly, the most influential source of a company’s safety culture is the front line supervisor or location manager due to their daily...

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Leading Change in Your Feed and Grain Business

June/July 2012 | Departments | By Drs. Christine Wilson and John Foltz

John F. Kennedy said, Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. Think about that. How does this outlook fit with your feed and grain business? What changes might you need to make to keep your business competitive or on-track for the future? It is an understatement to say that in the past 100 years (even in the last 20!), we have experienced dramatic changes in production, technology, world trade, economics, and government...

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Ships O’ Soy!

June/July 2012 | Special Report | By Jackie Roembke

On the shore of the estuarine bay of Grays Harbor in Aberdeen, WA, Ag Processing Inc's (AGP) new port terminal elevator sits only 12 miles away from the Pacific Ocean-

When OSHA Comes Knockin

June/July 2012 | Departments | By Eric J. Conn and Lindsay A. Smith

As Alexander Graham Bell famously said, “before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” No truer words could be said to employers in the grain industry today about OSHA inspections. Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, summed up OSHA’s enforcement philosophy during her swearing in, when she stated: “There is a new sheriff in town. Make no mistake about it, the Department of Labor is back in the enforcement business. We’re serious. We’re very serious.” OSHA has certainly lived up to...

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How to Get Involved With Social Media

April/May 2012 | Online Exclusive | By Donna Moenning

President Abraham Lincoln once said, “Public sentiment is everything.  With public sentiment nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.”

I have spent three decades of my life communicating for farmers and the agricultural industry.  Never has the need to tell agriculture’s story been so great. But with less than 2% of the nation involved in production agriculture, reaching the other 98% seems like a daunting task. Until now …

We have a powerful tool. It’s called social media!

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Kerr Feed and Grain Embraces Innovation

April/May 2012 | Online Exclusive | By Jackie Roembke

Wade Bryant, general manager at Kerr Feed & Grain, represents the fourth generation of the Kerr family to provide feed and nutrition products to producers surrounding Henrietta, TX. In 1930, the company started to plant its roots with small retail location where Bryant's great grandpa started selling feed and other farm supplies. By 1948, Kerr Feed & Grain was born and had established itself as a retailer for other lines of feed; by the mid-50s, it had established the mill and began...

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