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OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program

October/November 2012 | Feature | By Eric J. Conn and Lindsay Smith

In June of 2010, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) rolled-out an enforcement initiative called the Severe Violator Enforcement Program (“SVEP” or the “Program”). The stated intent of the Program is for OSHA to focus more of its enforcement resources and energy on employers whom the Agency believes are recalcitrant or indifferent to their obligations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSH Act”). Generally speaking, OSHA qualifies employers as “severe...

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NGFA Country Elevator to Focus on Election’s Impact on Industry

August/September 2012 | Feature |

The most anticipated industry event for country elevator and feed manufacturing professionals is right around the corner. The National Grain and Feed Association's 41st annual Country Elevator Conference and Trade Show will take place Dec. 9-11 at the Hilton Omaha/CenturyLink Center in Omaha, NE.

As usual, the event's agenda will provide just the right mix of politicial commentary and grain handling and merchandising tips, delivered by high profile and informative speakers. With 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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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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Feed Industry Investigates Future Challenges

April/May 2012 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

By the year 2050, the United Nations projects the world's population will swell to 9 billion. That's 2 billion more people's mouths to feed than there are today. Sustaining the population at that level will put more strain on agriculture than ever before, but it's a challenge that today's feed industry is already preparing to address.

With up to a $50,000 grant from the Institute for Feed Education & Research (IFEEDER), the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has commissioned a study...

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How to Improve Grain Quality Through Hazard Prevention

April/May 2012 | Feature | By Jackie Roembke

Depending on the context of the discussion, "grain quality" has many connotations. From moisture content to density, the variables dictating the perception of grain quality hinges on measurements the specifications outlined in a customer contract and, ultimately how the commodity will be consumed. Aside from the physical and intrinsic characteristics of the lot, the management of grain sanitation yields its own set of allowances and penalties in today's regulatory environment -...

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Tips for Purchasing Automated Palletizing Systems

April/May 2012 | Feature | By Jackie Roembke

Feed mills of all sizes have long benefitted from the efficiencies offered by automated palletizing systems, yet many whom have not adopted the technology may be unaware of how far robotic systems have evolved in the last decade.

“I think some consumers still have the mindset that robots are too complex, but now 99% of the time any issues can be resolved with a phone call,” says Phil Wright of Icon Robotics, an integrator and manufacturer of palletizing and packaging systems, a division of...

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NGFA’s 116th Annual Convention

April/May 2012 | Feature | By Jackie Roembke

The National Grain & Feed Association held the 116th edition of its Annual Convention in Charleston, SC , March 18-20. The historic downtown Charleston Place Hotel proven a formidable backdrop for the three-day event packed with the perfect balance of business, networking opportunities and leisure.

After the open-to-all-attendees committee meetings adjourned on the first day of the convention, attendees made their way through the exhibitors of the Ag Village and into one of two ballrooms...

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Trans-Pacific Partnership Progresses

February/March 2012 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

What originally started as the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement in 2005 among Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand and Chile — known as the Pacific Four (P4) Agreement — has evolved into what is now called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), potentially one of the most influential Free Trade Agreements in the last decade. While the TPP requires every country participating to eliminate all tariff lines by 2015, its main objective is to eliminate many non-tariff trade...

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Aeration Upkeep and Optimization Guide

February/March 2012 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

The practice of aeration is used in grain handling facilities to maintain the condition of stored commodities after harvest. Guidelines for aeration are based on long-established scientific principles involving static pressure, relative humidity and moisture content.

Aeration may seem like a complicated science, but it can be distilled to one simple concept: Evenly distributing air to maintain a safe storage temperature will result in the desired grain condition.

This is achieved through a...

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8 Essential Operations Management Software Features

February/March 2012 | Feature | By Jackie Roembke

In the world of agribusiness software development, three key trends have driven innovation: the rapid speed of technological advancement; the consolidation of the private elevators into multi-division, multi-location conglomerates; and the volatility of commodity markets. Agribusinesses began overhauling how they collect and use data decades ago, but today’s operations management software has been tailored to assist sites in managing their risk exposure. Instant access to real-time...

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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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