As the worst drought in more than a generation continues, the National Turkey Federation and other poultry and livestock producers have begun taking action to soften the blow on feed costs. In late July, National Turkey Federation and its coalition partners petitioned the federal government to grant a waiver to the Renewable Fuel Standard. The extreme weather conditions are causing significant damage to the nation’s corn crop, driving up corn prices and causing some analysts to predict a corn shortage later in the year. The coalition’s petition clarifies that relief from the Renewable Fuel Standard is urgent as ethanol now consumes more corn than animal agriculture, and the mandate gives ethanol producers a leg up in securing corn when supplies are tight.
Collectively, all of animal agriculture must effectively communicate to legislators, its customers and ultimately the consumer that antibiotics and other animal drugs have been safely used on farms for more than half a century to treat and control disease in animals and to improve the animal’s overall health. The use of antibiotics helps maintain a food supply that is affordable to Americans of all income levels and can be an important tool in making animal products more healthful and safer for human consumption. Antibiotics also can prevent and alleviate animal suffering.
More than 150 turkey industry representatives gathered in Washington in July for the National Turkey Federation’s Leadership Conference, where they met with legislators and key regulatory officials to raise concerns about the federal government’s renewable fuels policy, USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards proposed poultry and livestock marketing rule, the pending Free Trade Agreements and the debt ceiling negotiations, which were at a critical juncture during the conference.
The release by U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service of the long-awaited proposed poultry slaughter inspection rule was extremely gratifying to the National Turkey Federation and its members. The turkey industry has been a strong advocate of a science-based, modern inspection system, and the proposed rule is the next logical step in shifting federal inspectors to prevention-oriented duties, allowing USDA to redeploy its resources in a manner that best protects the public from foodborne diseases.
The U.S. turkey industry has always placed the highest priority on food safety, but after two ground turkey recalls in five months, the National Turkey Federation and its members convened a summit in Washington to share information about food safety practices; develop an aggressive, comprehensive plan to ensure the incidence of Salmonella in turkey products remains low; and to help keep federal inspection programs focused on those activities that best protect public health.The resulting action plan contains a mix of initiatives and activities that should help members implement programs that further enhance public health and keep the industry on the cutting edge of food safety.
A policy forum at the US Capitol provided insight into the impact of corn ethanol on energy independence, food security and stability in developing nations, fiscal responsibility and environmental stewardship.
The mainstream media may have been focused in April on the budget battles in Washington, D.C., and a potential government shutdown, but those who looked beyond the front page could see that the battle over the future of corn-based ethanol was heating up. On April 14, National Turkey Federation, along with 15 other groups, hosted a policy forum at the U.S. Capitol to provide insight into the impact of corn ethanol on energy independence, food security and stability in developing nations, fiscal responsibility and environmental stewardship.
Poultry industry braces for political gridlock. What can the turkey industry expect from Congress in the year ahead in ethanol, trade and the Farm Bill? Now that Republicans have officially assumed leadership of the House of Representatives and the Democrats have begun running the Senate with a reduced majority, the focus changes to what the 112th Congress can actually accomplish.
The turkey industry, along with all of animal agriculture, is gearing up for changes in Washington as a result of the November elections. At the beginning of October, lawmakers headed home to their respective districts to face an extremely volatile electorate.