Beef Checkoff Winter Meeting
An update on the Veal Promotions activities by the North American Meat Institute, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, was provided to the various Checkoff committees with oversight authority. The update was conducted at the CBB winter meeting held in conjunction with the Cattle Industry Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana on January 31 – February 1. After a committee presentation, the Veal Valentine’s Day Promotions received a positive “shout out” from Joan Ruskamp, Chairman of the CBB, for its innovative marketing to consumers.
Calf Care and Handling Training Videos
A new series of resources is available through Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to provide training in calf management including; newborn calf care, colostrum management, animal handling, automatic calf feeder management and hygiene and sanitation. Each of the videos are less than 3 minutes in length, utilizing video demonstration of on farm practices to emphasize key calf management practices. Funding for this project was provided by the North Central Risk Management Education Center, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The videos are available in English and Spanish and can be accessed through this link from the University of Nebraska.
USDA Appoints Mindy Brashears as Deputy Under Secretary of Food Safety. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue last week named Dr. Mindy Brashears as Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, a position that does not require Senate confirmation. The move allows Dr. Brashears to begin work at the agency while she awaits confirmation to be Under Secretary for Food Safety. In addition, Naomi Earp was named Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights and Dr. Scott Hutchins takes over as Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics. All three previously had been nominated by President Trump for Senate-confirmed positions at USDA. While the Senate Agriculture Committee favorably reported all three nominees, their nominations expired without receiving confirmation votes by the end of the 115th Congress in early January. The President has resubmitted their nominations to the Senate in the 116th Congress.
FSIS Updates Label Backlog and Tips for the Label Approvals. FSIS reports that it is currently experiencing a delay of 26-29 business days in evaluations for labels that require review prior to use. The agency will provide frequent backlog updates and suggestions via the Constituent Update to assist industry in streamlining label submissions.
FSIS Delays Plans to Switch Characterization Tool for E. coli. FSIS has announced that it will delay its plans to discontinue pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and move to whole genome sequencing (WGS) as the primary molecular characterization tool for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). The agency has been performing both PFGE and WGS in parallel for all bacterial pathogens isolated from FSIS testing programs since fiscal year 2017.
Meetings and Events
International Livestock Congress Coming Up February 27-28. The International Livestock Congress will take place February 27-28, 2019, in Houston, Texas. The Congress will address a variety of proactive strategies to deal with the changing beef industry. Keynote speakers include Michael Uetz, Midan Marketing, whose session is titled, “Tomorrow’s Consumer and the Meat Industry: Disrupting Trends and the Future,” and Keith Belk, Ph.D., Ken and Myra Monfort Chair, Colorado State University, whose presentation is titled, “China’s Growing Demand for Meat: Preparing the Producer and Purveyor for Exporting to China,” among others. To register to attend the Congress, click here.
Meat Industry Summit Housing and Registration Now Open. Join fellow Meat Institute members and industry professionals, April 8-11 at the Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad, CA. The Summit will provide high-caliber educational programming and excellent networking opportunities. For more information or to register, click here
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