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Proposed RFS Changes Spark Food vs. Fuel Debate

January 2012 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

Ethanol proponents and commodity grower groups nationwide urged Congress to extend the ethanol and biodiesel incentives and tax credits throughout the months leading up to their Dec. 31, 2011 expiration, citing their end would threaten thousands of existing jobs, prevent the creation of new jobs and prohibit the United States from meeting the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and acheive energy independence.

In spite of their efforts, both the 54 cents/gallon tax on imported ethanol and the...

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2012 IFE/IPE Draws Nearly 21,000

January 2012 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

The American Feed Industry Association's 2012 International Feed Expo, organized in conjunction with the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association’s International Poultry Expo, concluded on Jan. 26 in Atlanta. More than 20,500 visitors from 100-plus different countries attended this year’s event supporting the feed, pet food and poultry industries. 

The annual trade show and expo, the world's largest event of its kind, housed 895 exhibitors who displayed the latest in products and technologies, while...

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How to Proactively Address Fall Hazards

February/March 2012 | Feature | By Jackie Roembke

Protecting workers from fall hazards has always been high on Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) priority list; however, the organization has recently honed in on agriculture’s enforcement — or lack of enforcement — of fall protection-related standards and regulations. Though OSHA’s “four-foot rule,” or general industry standard 29 CFR 1910, requires employees be tied-off or restrained from falling anytime they are four feet off the ground. Agriculture had been exempt...

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Lessons Learned from MF Global

January 2012 | Departments | By Arleen Nand, Breia Schleuss and Korey Kallstrom

On October 31, 2011, MF Global Holdings, Ltd. and certain affiliates (“MF Global”) declared the eighth largest bankruptcy in U.S. history, claiming assets of approximately $41 billion and debt of approximately $39.7 billion. Immediately thereafter, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation initiated a Securities Investor Protection Act (“SIPA”) liquidation proceeding against MF Global, Inc. The SIPA liquidation proceeding directly impacted over 150,000 customers of MF Global and sent...

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Expansion Tests Co-op’s Determination

January 2012 | Cover Story | By Jackie Roembke

Two Rivers Cooperative’s general manager, Tracy Gathman is quick to reference the wisdom passed on from agribusinessmen who came before him, specifically his father who spent more than 40 years working [at or for?] a cooperative, and, in this instance, dairyman and long-time cooperative supporter, Nelson Gardner: “Cooperatives have to remember what they started out for: the purpose of a farmer cooperative is to enhance members’ income—and they should keep that at the top of their...

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How to Manage Multiple Locations

January 2012 | Departments | By Dr. John Foltz, Jim Miller & Dr. Christine Wilson

The “new norm” in the feed and grain industry is for managers to have multiple locations. Fifty years ago, it was not uncommon for each country elevator to be a separate business with a manager, grain buyer, accounting staff, warehousemen, etc. But just as the farmers being served have consolidated, so have the elevators and feed mills. Through mergers and acquisitions, many managers now oversee the daily operations of multiple locations at once. This has made businesses more efficient...

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Post MF Global

January 2012 | Departments | By Diana Klemme

Nobody likes to lose money — least of all when it occurs in a system long considered safe. Regulators, exchanges, futures firms, and individual brokers have all taken pride and advertised that futures customer funds are segregated from any monies or positions of the clearing member holding customer funds. As CME Clearing’s Financial Safeguards document states: “The (segregation) regulations are designed to protect customers in the event of insolvency or financial instability of the...

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Uncharted Territory

October/November 2011 | Editors Note | Jackie Roembke

After MF Global's bankruptcy and the subsequent revelation it had misused customers funds, the grain industry was left reeling from frozen accounts and the lost confidence of its customers during the last quarter of 2011. With Senate hearings underway at the moment and the near-certain uncovering of additional information on the case, who knows what will transpire in the near future, much less in the months to come.

 I'm writing this column a day after the National Grain & Feed...

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Opportunities Overseas

October/November 2011 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

They say when trade works, the world wins. In that case, the president’s signing of Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea on Oct. 21 was a long-awaited victory for all parties.

Global access is imperative to maintaining a competitive edge, as foreign markets hold the most potential. According to Floyd Gaibler, U.S. Grains Council director of trade policy, the overseas market represents 73% of the world’s purchasing power, 87% of the economic growth and 95% of the...

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How to Manage Combustible Dust

October/November 2011 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

The October 2011 explosion of a Kansas grain elevator that killed six people tragically highlights one of the most serious hazards feed and grain processing companies manage every day — combustible dust. The loss of an employee and community-member is certainly the ultimate price paid for ineffective dust control, but loss of equipment and product, as well as nonfatal injuries, can also occur.

Nearly 280 dust fires and explosions occurred in U.S. industrial facilities from 1980 to 2005,...

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Using Surveys to Enhance Your Business

October/November 2011 | Departments | Dr. Joan Fulton, Dr. John Foltz and Barbara Foltz

Today’s world is an information world. No matter how much information you have, it never seems to be enough! In fact, the truth is — to be competitive you do need more and more information. Some of the information that you need you can get from secondary data sources also known as public information sources (e.g. government data for national and aggregate trends such as unemployment levels and rising fuel prices). However, there are many times you have a need for data that is specific to...

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How to Test Combustible Dust

October/November 2011 | Feature | By Vahid Ebadat

Solids size reduction equipment — mills — by their very nature are designed to impart energy to a solid and reduce its particle size. Mills typically have moving parts that rotate at high speeds and have small tolerances between them and the body or screens inside. Additionally, an ignitable dust cloud atmosphere may be present within the mill and/or the downstream receiving equipment when processing combustible solids. 

These factors make mills a highly likely candidate for creating...

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Full-Service Food Safety Navigation

October/November 2011 | Departments | By Dr. David Acheson, Vince Ventimiglia, J.D., and Kim Walker, J.D.

The ever-changing face of food safety and regulation has has prompted Leavitt Partners, Faegre & Benson and B&D Consulting to join forces in providing companies involved in the global food supply chain with a collaborative solution to food safety management. This joint effort offers guidance to companies seeking to navigate the shifting food safety challenges of today’s systems, and the new regulations resulting from the passage of the 2011 Food and Drug Administration Food Safety...

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Poultry Week 411

October/November 2011 | Feature |

The 2012 International Poultry Expo/International Feed Expo, the world's largest display of technology, equipment, supplies, and services for the production and processing of poultry, is expected to smash attendance records and welcome more international attendees than ever before. 

In addition to updated expo hours, new this year is the official designation of “IPE/IFE Week,” with an emphasis on educational programs in the days prior to and following the expo. Governor Nathan Deal even...

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