Two Men in Charge of Averting the Fiscal Cliff

All fifty state presidents of Farm Bureau met in Washington last week to review state resolutions prior to the national meeting next month. Predictably, two themes were consistently, the farm bill and the fiscal cliff. NCFB president Larry Wooten had this on talks on the fiscal cliff:

Those are the only two people who are going to cut a deal to get us past the log jam that we are in right now. Both sides have good points, but I agree with the speaker of the house, that the president can’t bypass congress to raise the debt ceiling. I think that is just fundamentally wrong we shouldn’t do that and I don’t blame the speaker for standing firm on that. 

The general consensus is that there will be no farm bill legislation until a deal is reached on larger fiscal issues.

SCDA Promotes Online SC Marketplace

South Carolina food products are now available at a one-stop online shop Earlier this month, the South Carolina Specialty Food Association (SCSFA) unveiled its new shopping website featuring a variety of South Carolina specialty food companies and their products. That means South Carolinians and people all over the world can have easy access to delicious South Carolina made foods.

Young Farmer Worries about Farm Bill Delay

The lack of a new farm bill has many farmers and ranchers worried about the repercussions. Missouri rancher and Chairman of the American Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee Glen Cope says farmers and ranchers have reason to stress about no new farm bill…

When we approach the 2013 planting season I think farmers in general are worried and they need to be because if we have another repeat of 2012 it’ll bring a lot of stress for farmers because we want to make sure they is adequate crop insurance in the event we have another 2012.

Russia Ractopamine-Treated Meat Ban Just the Latest Battle

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said the U.S. will not accept Russia’s demand the U.S. certify pork and beef shipments are free of ractopamine. That restriction threatens to block U.S. exports. NPPC International Trade Counsel Nick Giordano says he expected the Secretary to respond the way he did. Giordano says ractopamine is safe and isn’t tested for in the U.S. – so it shouldn’t be tested in Russia either…

Not just FDAs word, but Codex, the international group that sets international testing standards has set limits for ractopamine, its safe, 26 other governments have accepted product, its used widely, there is not a shred of evidence to substantiate Russia’s point that using this product might pose safety issues.

Giordano says Russia has been difficult to deal with on trade issues for the past five years – and their recent actions are not all that surprising. He’s concerned about U.S. pork exports going forward.

U.S. Pork Industry On Track for Another Record Year

The latest pork export data is in. Becca Hendricks – Pork Checkoff Assistant Vice President of International Marketing – says October was a record month…

We had a record month the largest ever for pork exports sets us on pace to break our 2012 record of $6 billion and 500 billion pounds of product exported.

U.S. pork exports should match or beat the 2011 record of 6.1-billion dollars in export value. As of October – the U.S. already exported nearly 5-million pounds.

BPI Employee Sues ABC

One of the 750 employees of Beef Products Inc. who lost his job after the “pink slime” controversy is holding Diane Sawyer, Jamie Oliver and others responsible.

Bruce Smith claims ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer, chef Jamie Oliver and others who continuously used the phrase “pink slime” led viewers to believe the product made at BPI was dangerous to consumer and directly resulted in him losing his job. Smith worked for BPI for more than four years as the company’s senior counsel and director of environmental health and safety before loosing his job in May. The Los Angeles Times reports Smith is suing Sawyer, Oliver and food blogger Bettina Siegel among other defendants. Smith, a licensed attorney, is seeking $70,000 in damages. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.