IFEEDER Raises $1 Million

February/March 2012 | Departments |

On Jan. 25, at the International Poultry Expo /International Feed Expo in Atlanta, IFEEDER conducted a luncheon to update the media, donors and industry stakeholders about IFEEDER’s progress on its two year anniversary.  IFEEDER, The Institute for Feed Education and Research, was launched at IPE/IFE in 2010 with great interest to the U.S. feed and food industries.

The mission of IFEEDER is “To Sustain the Future of Food and Feed Production Through Education and Research.”  After two years...

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Let’s Talk About the Weather

January 2012 | Editors Note | Jackie Roembke

Occasionally, I find myself in a conversation with a stranger or an acquaintance, cringing as I catch myself mindlessly talking about the weather. Dicussion of the weather, for me, is thoughtless go-to filler for awkward silences or a transition into friendly chit chat. This being said, sitting at my desk in Fort Atkinson, WI, today, writing my column on January 31, I am compelled to talk about the weather. Outside, the sun is shining and it is 50 degrees. Clarifying, as not to make...

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NGFA’s Country Elevator Conference 2012

January 2012 | Feature | By Jackie Roembke

Known as the windy city, Chicago proved the perfect host for the National Grain and Feed Association’s (NGFA) 40th Annual Country Elevator Conference. The event’s theme, “Taming the Headwinds in 2012,” was thoroughly addressed by the program’s line up of accomplished, knowledgeable speakers, each exploring the issues critical to the grain and feed industries.

The conference, held Dec. 11-13, 2011, kicked off with the keynote address by the Honorable Sonny Perdue, former Governor of Georgia...

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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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