Jonathan Knutson, Agweek Staff Writer
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Canadian Ambassador David MacNaughton was blunt: Canada is an excellent neighbor and ally, and a crucial trading partner. But the Trump administration's "disruptive" approach to trade threatens that, to both countries' risk. He urged that the United States Mexico Canada Agreement, the successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement, be approved quickly. "I can't understand why you want to say no to an improvement in the status quo," he said.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Thirteen years ago, I joined North American Agricultural Journalists, or NAAJ, the professional group for U.S. and Canadian ag journalists. It looked like a good way to improve at what I do for a living.
Alan Klempel believes in promoting U.S. wheat to foreign customers — so much so that he spent 11 days away from home during calving to participate on a trade mission to Spain, Portugal and Morocco. "I have to commend my family for really stepping up (during calving) when I was away," Klempel said. "And fortunately the weather was good when I was gone." The Bloomfield, Mont., farmer, whose crops include wheat, was part of a U.S. Wheat Associates trip in March to the three countries.
Beef cattle are not a major factor in global warming, a new U.S. Department of Agriculture-led study says. "We found that the greenhouse gas emissions in our analysis were not all that different from what other credible studies had shown and were not a significant contributor to long-term global warming," said Alab Rotz, an agricultural engineer with USDA's Agricultural Research Service.
If you've got questions about U.S. poultry and egg production, the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association has answers. The organization has created two informational videos to help consumers and others learn more about the poultry industry. It also offers statistics on the industry's economic impact — including the nearly half-million jobs that the industry provides nationwide. One video follows chickens and turkeys from the hatchery to the farm. The other examines "Poultry and the Hormone Myth." The video stresses that no hormones actually are used.
REYNOLDS, N.D. — It's a quiet mid-March morning at Valley United Co-op in the Red River Valley town of Reynolds where corn, wheat and soybeans are all grown. Though employees are plugging away diligently at their jobs, there's no special urgency or rush. But once spring planting begins, that will change. Valley United employees will be working feverishly to support co-op patrons in getting seed, fertilizer and chemical into fields. The sooner that happens, the better, said Paul Coppin, Valley United's CEO.
A new study by a team of economists, entitled "Return to Protectionism," finds that President Donald Trump's trade policies over the past year cost the American economy $7.8 billion. Protectionism refers to government actions and policies that limit international trade, usually with the goal of protecting local businesses and jobs from foreign competition.
Rhonda Larson has just spent a busy late-winter day substitute-teaching: kindergarten in the morning, second grade in the afternoon. But she's happy to spend the last part of her afternoon talking about agriculture and promoting wheat and U.S. Wheat Associates. "It's boots-on-the-ground marketing and a long-term commitment," she said of the organization.
They go by many names and descriptions: part-time farmers, weekend farmers, secondary farmers and farmers whose off-farm jobs provide most of their income Whatever you call them, their numbers make them a potent force: Fifty-two percent of U.S. farmers earn the majority of their income off their farm, according to the most recent U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics. And whatever you call them, their skill, passion and dedication strengthen their communities and U.S. agriculture in general.
You've heard of Wall Street. You've heard of Silicon Valley. And you may have heard of the Research Triangle, the area anchored by North Carolina State University, Duke University and the University of North Carolina. If Sam Ziegler and others in his group are successful, you'll soon hear about GreenSeam, too — and think of southern Minnesota and northern Iowa as a global leader in agriculture and a great place for agriculturalists to work and do business.