A Weekly Update from the Red River Farm Network
Monday, May 25, 2020
Thank You – The Red River Farm Network has a simple message on this Memorial Day. Thank you to every veteran and every veteran’s family who has sacrificed. Take a moment today to remember those who have gone before us. RRFN is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year and kicked off that milestone in Aberdeen on Friday. Our network is proud to partner with 20 great radio stations in North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota. The power of radio was evident Friday, as Dakota Broadcasting put together a massive pork giveaway. This giveaway showcased the challenges seen in today’s hog industry. There were so many volunteers and business supporters that made this a success. A total of 13,000 pounds of pork was distributed. It was a great day, thank you!
Perdue: More COVID-19 Relief is Necessary – The USDA released more details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program direct payments on Tuesday. In an interview with the Red River Farm Network, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue acknowledged the high demand for the money and says the agency is preparing for more aid. “We don’t believe this amount of money is adequate frankly. I think Congress understands that as well. They did appropriate and replenish $14 billion in the Commodity Credit Corporation, but that won’t be available until July. We chose to use the remaining balance in the CCC and funds from the CARES Act to begin a program more quickly. Then, we’ll look at the needs we’ve missed.” Perdue recognizes the COVID-19 pandemic is economically and emotionally challenging for many people. “We hope it will not lead to more consolidation. We think the strength of American agriculture is its diversity.” Perdue addresses the payment limit adjustments, President Trump’s comments on beef imports and WHIP+ quality loss adjustments in the full interview.
CFAP Signup Set to Begin May 26, Program Details Released – Signup for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program will begin after Memorial Day on Tuesday, May 26. That is according to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who says $16 billion in direct payments will be sent to farmers as soon as one week after USDA launches the portal. The signup window will then remain open through August. USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program is also partnering with distributors to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat to deliver boxes to Americans in need. Program details were sent out in a news release that can be viewed here. The specific payments rates for eligible commodities are available for non-speciality crops, specialty crops, livestock, dairy and wool.
Payment Limits Outlined for Farmers and Ranchers – Payment limits originally proposed for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program were previously deemed unworkable by many agriculture groups. Final details of the program reveal slight changes were made to those caps. Per person or entity, the payments are limited to $250,000 and applies to the total payment amount for all eligible commodities. The payment limit per corporation with one shareholder is $250,000. For entities with two shareholders it is $500,000 and $750,000 for three shareholders per entity. Producers will receive 80 percent of the maximum total payment upon approval. The remaining portion of the payment, not to exceed the payment limit, will be paid later as funds remain available.
Ag Economists Dive Into COVID-19 Direct Payment Details – Texas A&M University Agricultural and Food Policy Center co-director Bart Fischer is fielding questions from farmers on the USDA direct payment program. The agency still needs to clarify a few details, including the definition of un-priced inventory. “Our expectation is that the USDA will provide more details on how individual market contracts will be handled. A lot of hedging instruments farmers use are still subject to price risk,” says Fischer. ‘I think the expectation is farmers would be eligible, but the USDA will have the final say.” Payment limits are capped at $250,000. Fischer says this will likely help the USDA stay within available funds, but everyone is highlighting the fact that more needs to be done. Read the Texas A&M analysis on the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.
MN Corn Matters – The Minnesota Corn Growers Association recently sent a letter to their Congressional delegation, highlighting the importance of direct assistance for corn farmers. Hear more from MCGA Past President in the latest Corn Matters.
What the COVID-19 Direct Payments Mean for Dairy – According to University of Minnesota Assistant Professor in Applied Economics Marin Bozic, the USDA provided generous Coronavirus Food Assistance Program direct payments to dairy farmers. The payment rate is $6.20 per hundredweight applied to first quarter milk production. “You take the pounds produced in the first quarter of 2020, multiply it by the payment rate and that’s as much as you could potentially get from the program,” says Bozic. “Then, are several caveats. If you’re a relatively large producer and this product of pounds produced gets you more than $250,000, you’ll likely be subject to payment caps.” The direct payment cap in the program is $250,000 per individual or per legal entity. Eighty percent of the payment will be received shortly after applying at the Farm Service Agency, but Bozic explains it’s unknown how many funds will be dispersed in this first round or if the remaining 20 percent will be paid out. There is also some confusion about to what kind of risk management activities will make dairy farmers inactive for the payments. “It would be quite alarming if people who did the right thing wouldn’t get as much as those who essentially gambled on 2020 prices.” Bozic says these direct payments will likely be a bigger help than the Dairy Margin Coverage payments, but this is a one-time payment program. “These are one-time payments that one should never expect to be reoccurring.” Read more about the CFAP.
IDFA Stresses the Need for Assistance for Dairy Industry – The federal government is working on an assistance plan for dairy farmers. Yet, International Dairy Foods Association President Michael Dykes wants to see that help expedited.”So much of the government side of this thing has been announcements so far. There hasn’t been a check go out the door yet.” Dykes praised Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson for including a recourse loan program for dairy processors in the HEROES Act. “We want to make sure we kept the supply chain intact when we get on the other side of this COVID-19 crisis.” The funds are designed to help processors who are dealing with cash flow or working capital. That Senate has not yet taken up that proposal.
Trauma in MN Hog Industry Impacts Rural Economy – According to a new report from University of Minnesota Extension, the loss of hog farms due to COVID-19 would have a significant impact on Main Street. Extension Educator Megan Roberts says a 15 percent reduction in Minnesota hog production was used for sampling purposes. “It could result in a loss of $660 million of economic output in the state of Minnesota.” Packing plants are back online, but there still is not a home for approximately 25 percent of the state hog supply. “These are real families facing this crisis and we know that not all farms will survive this crisis as hog farmers and this has repercussions well beyond their individual farms.” The University of Minnesota Extension will soon release similar economic analysis for the poultry and dairy industries.
Control the Controllables – While most U.S. pork packing plants are operating, they are not running at full capacity and hogs will to continue to back up in the system through the end of the year. Nate Franzen, who is the president of the ag banking division of the First Dakota National Bank, is advising farmers to control what is controllable during this tenuous financial time. “Whenever we’re in a black swan event like this one, I look to equity preservation and maintain that working capital.” In this uncertain marketplace, answers can be hard to come by. “Some times we can be so overwhelmed with the information coming at us, we can be paralyzed and that is a really dangerous situation.” In a Pork Checkoff-sponsored webinar, Franzen emphasized the importance of communication between farmers and their lenders.
Canola Minute – Aid for canola growers is included in the latest coronavirus relief package, the CARES Act. Learn more from Northern Canola Growers Association Executive Director Barry Coleman in this edition of the Canola Minute.
COVID-19 Relief Helps, But More Potato Resources Required – National Potato Council CEO Kam Quarles thinks it’s good to have clarity on the direct payment portion of COVID-19 relief, but more help is needed to help potato growers. Quarles says its important the payments go out effectively and hopefully, as new resources come in from Congress, the benefits can expand. “It appears to cover the very front end of what producers are dealing with and it provides flexibility for what’s likely to continue to happen as the country reopens, but we really need to get more resources into the USDA to make sure it is effective.” Quarles says the USDA is trying to get this right. “If this is executed in the beginning in a very efficient manner, it increases the likelihood that this crisis isn’t going to continue in a big way into 2021. Hopefully, we’re going to get into a better place. I think there are still some questions out there. We’re going to have to investigate them as this thing rolls out.” Read a letter the NPC wrote to the USDA.
New Bill Supports Biofuel Producers in COVID-19 – Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley introduced a bill to support biofuel producers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill will require the USDA to reimburse biofuels producers for feedstock purchases from January 1 through March 31 through the Commodity Credit Corporation. The lawmakers initially pushed for the proposal as an amendment in the CARES Act, but it wasn’t included and now it’s being introduced separately.
Crop Watch – It’s been a late spring for many across the Northern Plains, but the recent warmer weather temperatures have helped. Karlstad, Minnesota farmer Justin Dagen made spring wheat and sugarbeet planting progress before Memorial Day. “The subsoil had a lot of moisture in it, but overall, it’s a good seed bed for everything that’s gone in the ground.” Dagen also said potato planting is in full swing in the Red River Valley. From Crookston to Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, most of the spring wheat seeding is complete. According to Crookston farmer Tim Dufault, many farmers are planting soybeans. “Growers are trying to take advantage of the decent conditions.” Grand Forks, North Dakota farmer Paul Sproule got some sugarbeets and corn seeded. “We’ll be cutting back on corn acres a little.” Sproule still needs to harvest corn, but says that won’t get done until June. Near Britton, South Dakota, farmer DuWayne Bosse says planting has been a struggle. “In northeast South Dakota, it’s still really tough. We can’t get much done here and there may be some corn prevent plant.” Listen to this week’s Crop Watch segement.
Working Through the Harvest Hangover – It may be spring, but the effects of a wet fall are still on the minds of North Dakota farmers. As fields dry near Grand Forks, farmers are getting fieldwork done. Farmer Tim Myron worked up some of the unharvested potato ground from last fall right before Memorial Day. That’s about 200 acres of unharvested potatoes. The soils worked up nicely. “We just harrowed it a couple of times,” said Myron. “Depending on the ground, whether its sandy or heavier, it can be tougher to work, but we worked some lighter pieces.” Decaying potatoes bring more nitrogen. “The potatoes will produce nitrogen for the crop so whatever crop someone puts in next, they may need to give the ground more credit.” On Wednesday, Myron started planting sugarbeets in the old potato ground, but 2019 was still in his mind. “We haven’t really had a spring like this where we’ve dealt with so much unharvested crop and such a high water table. There’s so many fields that didn’t get worked last fall.”
Dry Bean Scene – The late start to the spring planting season in the Northern Plains has some acres in flux. Farmers in northeastern North Dakota are considering substituting acres for warm season crops, but dry bean seed is in short supply. Hear more from Johnstown Bean Company general manager Dylan Karley the in the Dry Bean Scene, made possible by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.
Slow, But Steady Planting Progress in ND – Farmers in the northeastern corner of North Dakota are making slow, but steady planting progress. “It’s probably slower progress than we’d like to see,” says Mark Ramsey, owner, MR Consulting. “The wetter stuff being the old soybean and dry bean ground seems to be our stickler on what we can’t get across. Otherwise, most of the old sugarbeet ground going to wheat seems to be planted. Sugarbeet planting isn’t as timely, but it should be pretty much wrapped up.” Crops are just starting to emerge. “We really haven’t been in long enough to look, but just driving by the fields we seeded a few weeks ago, you can see some wheat coming through. I think emergence will be fine. If we can get the crops up and running, we’ll be in great shape.”
WestBred Wheat Report – In this week’s WestBred Wheat Report, WestBred technical product manager Grant Mehring says the crop differs greatly from east-to-west. For weed control, Mehring says “it is a different year with more moisture to germinate (weed) seeds than we’re typically used to so scout and have a good, timely plan.”
ND Farmer Planting Corn, But Fewer Acres Than 2019 – Near Jamestown, North Dakota farmer Terry Wanzek is seeding corn ahead of Memorial Day. “My father-in-law would say go by the season, don’t go by the calendar. With these warmer temperatures, it feels like spring is finally here,” says Wanzek. “Our acres will be down considerably from last year, but we’re still going to plant corn.” The farm will plant about 20 percent fewer corn acres this year. There is some local demand. “We just never know what the weather is going to do. Right now, with the heat coming, I hope the corn jumps out of the ground and eventually, if we can get enough heat in the middle of the summer, it can catch up. As a farmer, we are eternal optimists and we have faith.”
Pioneer Agronomy Update – In the latest Pioneer Agronomy Update, the Red River Farm Network caught up with Pioneer field agronomist Clyde Tiffany. The corn and soybeans are planted in the Murdock, Minnesota area and have emerged well. For those farmers still planting corn, a shift in maturities is in the picture this week. “You don’t need to switch maturities on beans yet. Stay with the normal bean maturities until about June 10 and then you can start easing into slightly earlier maturities.” The full interview with Tiffany can be found on the Red River Farm Network Facebook and Twitter pages.
A Spring Mess Can Hang Around Until Fall – St. Thomas, North Dakota farmer Allen Tucker says planting is a few days behind schedule, but he has about two-thirds of the potato crop planted. “The potatoes are going in nicely. We’ve had some seed bed issues with excess moisture, churning up some lumps. We’ll likely have to deal with that in the fall,” says Tucker. “I would say about 90 percent of the acreage is doing well and they’ll likely harvest just fine, but there will be spots in some fields that will make a mess. For potatoes, when you make a mess in the spring, it hangs around until fall.”
The Sugarbeet Report – Where the sugarbeet crop has been planted, this year’s crop is progressing nicely. Areas further north in the Red River Valley are trying to wrap up planting. Hear more this week’s Sugarbeet Report, made possible by Provysol from BASF, Premium Ag Solutions, Corteva Agriscience, SESVanderHave, Vive Crop Protection, H&S Manufacturing and Syngenta.
An Average Kansas Wheat Crop – The Kansas Wheat Virtual Tour finished with a three-day average of 44.5 bushels per acre. That compares to USDA’s latest estimate of 47 bushels per acre. Wheat Quality Council Executive Director Dave Green says drought losses were evident in southern Kansas, but conditions improved in the central part of the state. “For the entire state of Kansas, this is not a record crop by any means; it is something close to average.” The virtual tour does not have the data points found in the annual Wheat Quality Council tour, but was organized by Kansas Wheat to provide a perspective on crop conditions.
ND Prevent Plant Potential Being Monitored by Traders – The slow planting pace in North Dakota has traders talking about prevent plant acres. “We definitely need warm, dry conditions,” said Brian Hoops, president, Midwest Market Solutions. “If we don’t see this in the next few weeks, I think we could see a rally in corn and soybeans. We’re already talking about prevent plant in areas like North Dakota if things don’t improve quickly.” Hoops expects prevent plant acres to increase in North Dakota, given the combination of the rapidly approaching final plant date and current corn prices.
Prevent Plant Expected for ND Farmers – Today is the final corn planting date for crop insurance in North Dakota. Farmers can start filing for prevent plant on Tuesday. In the McVille area, Ihry Insurance agent Reed Ihry says there’s been lots of battles trying to get crop in the ground. “We are going to have a bunch of prevent plant corn in my area; no question about it. Everyone is trying to get what they can in, but we haven’t had lots of warm weather,”explains Ihry. “There’s also corn that needs to be harvested in our area.” Prevent plant could be the story for many in the state this year. “The prevent plant acres may be higher than anyone envisioned, but it depends on how many soybeans can get in the ground if farmers decide to keep planting.” In the northern part of the state, Ihry says the next target planting date will be May 31 or June 5 for spring wheat. Soybeans have a final planting date of June 10.
China Still Not Expected Make Large Purchases of U.S. Products – With 111 countries pointing a finger at China for causing the coronavirus pandemic, there is uncertainty across all of the markets. Clayton Pope Commodities President Clayton Pope doesn’t expect China to make big purchases of U.S. commodities ahead of the U.S. elections. “We are firm believers that China, regardless of rhetoric, aren’t going to be stepping up making big buys from us anytime soon,” says Pope. “We don’t think they want to deliver a negotiating victory to President Trump like that. He’s probably the last person they want to see re-elected as president.”
US-UK Trade Talks Underway – The United States and United Kingdom will return to the bargaining table in mid-June. Agriculture was part of the trade negotiations in early May and will be part of the ongoing discussions.
Growing Through the Challenges – Nearly 10,000 FFA members and 35,000 students and guests were invited to gather for the 91st Minnesota FFA Convention this week. Convention wrapped up on Thursday. Former Minnesota State Reporter Britton Fuglseth reflects on the year serving FFA members. “I think the best part of my year has been, overall, growing through the challenges of the year. We’ve come together in mysterious and wonderful ways to make things happen.” Fuglseth is majoring in agricultural education and communications at the University of Minnesota-Crookston.
MN FFA Association Names New Officer Team – The Minnesota FFA Association named a new state officer team on Thursday. The 2020-2021 President is Ben Olander from the Staples-Motley FFA Chapter and the Vice-President is Emilee Xayanourom from the Mountain Lake FFA Chapter. Mackenzie Craig from the Alexandria FFA Chapter is the new Minnesota FFA Secretary. The Minnesota State Treasurer is Elaina Knott from the Thief River Falls FFA Chapter, Reporter is Anna Eurele from the Litchfield FFA Chapter and Sentinel is Laney Swiers from the Mahnomen FFA Chapter.
Meet the New MN FFA President – The new Minnesota FFA President is Ben Olander from the Staples-Motley FFA Chapter. Olander has waited a long time for the opportunity to lead. “It was a dream back in the ninth grade when I started the FFA. I never believed it would become reality, but it has and that’s an incredible thing,” says Olander. “I grew up on a 300 acre crop farm and got involved with FFA through a beef project. I have a love of agriculture.” In the FFA, Olander has a goal to overcome some challenges. “One of the biggest things we’ll have to overcome is the communication to do certain camps and conferences. Typically, students come and mingle at a camp and learn leadership skills. That’s where I found my passion for agriculture and it will be something that will be challenging to do this year in providing the same experience. Whatever innovative ways we overcome that challenge will allow us to have an impact.” Hear the interview.
NW MN Well Represented in State Officer Team – Two of the newly elected Minnesota State FFA officers are from northwest Minnesota. The 2020-2021 State Treasurer is Elaina Knott from the Thief River Falls FFA Chapter. “I’m super excited to make connections with FFA members throughout the state and to see the growth and progress they’ll experience throughout this organization. It’s all about making those personal connections,” said Knott. “It will be different this year. We won’t get in-person time as much this year. This will be a learning experience for me as well to learn how to communicate online.” The 2020-2021 State Sentinel is Laney Swiers from the Mahnomen FFA Chapter. “It’s been my dream since I’ve been a greenhand to serve. This will be a great experience and I cannot wait to get started.” Knott, Swiers and State President Ben Olander will be attending the University of Minnesota Crookston in the fall.
MN FFA Reveals Four Star Award Winners – Four FFA star award winners were named during the final session of the Minnesota FFA Convention. These are the highest awards given in the FFA. The Minnesota Star in Agriscience is Darrin Williamson from the Atwater Cosmos Grove City FFA. The Minnesota Star in Agribusiness is Emily Matejka from the Martin County West FFA. Rebeckah Schroeder from the Caledonia FFA is the Minnesota Star in Production Placement. The 2020 Minnesota Star Farmer is Katie Fitzgerald of the Triton FFA.
MN FFA Hall of Fame Recognizes 2020 Inductees – The 2020 hall of fame inductees are retired Watertown-Mayer FFA Advisor Jim Burns, Hormel Foods account manager Mark Conner, University of Minnesota associate professor Dr. Brad Greiman, KDHL farm broadcaster Jerry Groskreutz, Montevideo FFA Advisor Kevin Hansen, farm business management instructor Bill Januszewski, Murdock farmer Kyle Petersen and long-time ag teachers Jere Rambow and Paul Skoglund.
Walz Issues Executive Orders – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has signed two executive orders. One order provides emergency regulatory relief for truckers who transport euthanized animals. The other order provides temporary relief to farmers by exempting truckers from certain regs when moving wood and wood byproducts for use in composting material. It is estimated 10,000 hogs are being put down each day due to the bottleneck at packing plants.
ND Seeks Disaster Declaration – Due to spring flooding, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum has requested a presidential major disaster declaration. In the letter to President Trump, Burgum said river and overland flooding caused significant damage to roads, bridges and culverts across North Dakota. A presidential disaster declaration would unlock federal resources to help in the recovery process. Meanwhile, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to work with state and local officials in Stutsman County to permanently fix roads damaged by too much water.
Class III Milk Prices Move Upward – Commodity Risk Management Group President Mike North says the volatility in the Class III milk prices caused the CME to adjust its expanded limit before Memorial Day. Dairy farmers can take advantage of these prices. “We are telling producers that this could be a great opportunity, because we are back at pre-COVID levels. In some cases, near contract highs,” says North. “It’s not the kind of markets we expected given the shakeup of the economies. Be wise with the opportunity if you’re in the dairy business.”
DMC Payments Triggered – Payments under the Dairy Margin Coverage program have been triggered for the first time this year. The March income over feed cost margin was at a level to kick in the risk management program. With current projections, the DMC payment is expected to be triggered each month for the rest of this year.
Hundreds Benefit From ‘Hog Wild’ Pork Giveaway – A total of 13,000 pounds of pork was given away Friday in the Aberdeen area. Aberdeen farmer and businessman Mitch Truebebach was behind this effort to showcase the issues going on in the swine industry and help the local community. “It started when the packers started getting backed up with workers getting sick and the CDC shut them down. We realized we wouldn’t be able to get all of our pigs through the packer and we decided to find a way to give this pork away to our local community.” Over 700 cars went through the Dakota Broadcasting parking lot Friday afternoon, which each vehicle receiving a 15-pound box of pork. Former National Pork Board President Steve Rommereim, who is now the director of membership, outreach and engagement for the South Dakota Pork Council, is pleased to see some good coming out of a very difficult time. “We have to have a lot of compassion for these guys out on the farm right now; they are making some very, very hard choices.” Dakota Broadcasting‘s Maverick 105.5 is an affiliate of the Red River Farm Network and was a partner in the Hog Wild Pork Giveaway in Aberdeen. Photos can be found on Facebook.
Rural Mainstreet Index Remains Near Record Lows – The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index increased slightly from April to May, but it is still near record lows. Economist Ernie Goss reports 73 percent of bankers restructured farm loans and the number of loan defaults increased. The farmland price index declined slightly in North Dakota and increased in Minnesota and South Dakota.
Hormel Issues 2Q Financials – Hormel Foods reports profits of $227.7 million in the second quarter. That’s down from $282.4 million one year ago. In the second quarter, Hormel took in $20 million in supply chain costs connected to lower production volumes, employee bonuses and enhanced safety measures at its plants. The Minnesota-based company expects those costs to go up in the second half of the year, but most of these costs are expected to be temporary.
FMC Announces Arc Farm Intelligence – FMC has launched a new precision agriculture platform called Arc Farm Intelligence. This system helps farmers accurately predict pest pressure before it becomes an issue. The mobile platform uses predictive modeling based on real-time data.
Coronavirus Blamed for WI Cheese Plant Closure – Foremost Farms USA plans to close its Chilton, Wisconsin in July. The sudden drop in foodservice demand due to the coronavirus pandemic is cited as the reason for the closure. This plant produces Italian cheeses.
MN Beef Update – The weather is warm and sunny, which means it’s time to grill! Get tips on steak cuts from Minnesota Beef Council Director of Industry Relations Royalee Rhoads in the Minnesota Beef Update.
MN State Fair Canceled Due to COVID-19 – Due to COVID-19 and the need for social distancing, the Great Minnesota Get-Together will not be held this year. The Minnesota State Agricultural Society Board of Managers made the decision to cancel this year’s state fair. This is the fifth time in history the Minnesota State Fair was canceled. The other cancelations included the polio epidemic in 1946, travel restrictions associated with World War II in 1945 and the Civil War and U.S.-Dakota War in the 1800s.
WMSTR Will Return in ’21 – The Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion has been canceled for this year. The board of directors said the restrictions in place because of coronavirus makes it impossible to go forward with the Rollag, Minnesota event. This living museum annual attracts 80,000 people during Labor Day weekend.
SD Corn Comments – As countries around the begin to reopen after the coronavirus pandemic, that is positive news for U.S. export markets. Hear more in the latest Corn Comments, a production of the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council.
Hollinrake to Oversee Syngenta’s Global Seeds Strategy – Syngenta has appointed David Hollinrake as the head of its global seeds strategy. Since 2017, Hollinrake has been the regional director for North America Seeds. Previously, Hollinrake had business development and sales/marketing roles at Bayer and Monsanto. Justin Wolfe, who is now the director for Europe, Africa and Middle East Seeds for Syngenta, will fill Hollinrake’s job as regional director for North America Seeds. Before joining Syngenta in 2018, Wolfe worked for Monsanto.
Gunderson Promoted to Farmers National Company Executive Team – Matt Gunderson has been promoted to senior vice president of sales and marketing for Farmers National Company. Gunderson has been with Farmers National Company since 2014.
A New President/CEO for BIO – The Biotechnology Innovation Organization has appointed Michelle McMurray-Heath as its next president and chief executive officer. McMurray-Heath has been in a senior leadership role at Johnson & Johnson since 2014. During a portion of the Obama Administration, McMurray-Heath was at the FDA.
Aasmundstad Joins Land O’Lakes Government Relations Team – Britt Aasmundstad is the new manager of government and industry relations for Land O’Lakes. Aasmundstad has been in a similar role with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.
Animal Agriculture Alliance Adds Solis to Staff – Emily Solis has joined the Animal Agriculture Alliance as its communications specialist. Most recently, Solis was the communications manager for the Maryland Farm Bureau.
Beck Names VP of Commercial Execution – Beck Ag has appointed Jeff Taber as its new vice president of commercial execution. Previously, Taber has had leadership roles within Syngenta.
Donald Succeeds DeStefano at AMVAC – American Vanguard Corporation and AMVAC welcome Glen Donald as the director of portfolio management and business development. Donald succeeds Neil DeStefano, who is retiring.
Howell Takes Trader PhD Job – Delaney Howell has joined Trader PhD as the director of marketing and media engagement. Howell has been the host for the PBS ‘Market to Market’ program. Trader PhD is an agricultural marketing company offering analysis and advisory services.
Last Week’s Trivia- Andre the Giant is the 7-foot-four-inch professional wrestler known as ‘Eighth Wonder of the World.’ Brian Rydlund of CHS Hedging takes the victory in our trivia challenge. Dennis Sabel of Minnesota Farm Bureau, retired controller Evonne Wold, Jim Altringer of Dakota Plains Ag and David Kee of Minnesota Soybean earn runner-up honors. The ‘first 20’ rounds out with Gary Sloan of BMO Harris Bank, Brian Brandt of AgriFinancial, retired Minnesota FFA Executive Secretary Jim Ertl, Ron Claussen of Ag Media Research, Bob Lebacken of RML Trading, Mike Trosen Meadowland Farmers Co-op, Kent Braathen of Braathen Harvesting, Keith Bjornby of Lone Wolf Farms, Jon Farris of BankWest, Ron Dvergsten of Northland Farm Business Management, Nick Sinner of Northern Crops Institute, Mickey Peterson of Peterson Partners, Phyllis Nystrom of CHS Hedging and Kevin Praska of Stone’s Mobile Radio.
This Week’s Trivia- How many sides does an octagon have? Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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