Friday, November 28, 2014

New Jersey gestation crate bill could impact presidential race

  • Tim Larsen/State of New Jersey
    Gov. Chris Christie is getting pressure from both opponents and proponents of a bill to ban gestation crates in New Jersey.
    From WATTAgNet:
    A bill to outlaw the use of gestation crates in New Jersey could have national implications if Gov. Chris Christie chooses to sign it into law.
    Christie has until early December to decide whether to sign a bill that would ban hog farmers in the state from using gestation crates. The bill has the overwhelming support of Republican and Democrat state lawmakers in New Jersey, which only has about 300 hog operations that don’t regularly use crates.
    If the bill is signed into law, it would not greatly impact the U.S. pork industry, it could have a national impact on the political scene. Christie is a potential Republican presidential candidate for the 2016 elections, and his decision is being watched closely by voters in Iowa, the largest pork producing state in the nation and the home of 2016’s first-in-the nation presidential caucuses.
    Christie has received pressure from Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, whose relationship he has carefully cultivated and who could prove a crucial ally in the early-voting state if Christie decides to run. Branstad, a Republican who won easy re-election November 4, is ardently opposed to the restrictions and has called Christie to urge him to reject the bill when an earlier version landed on his desk last year.
    “I called him to tell him how bad I thought it would be and how the people that are involved in pork production, that really understand this, feel this would be very bad,” said Branstad, who added that the crates provide protection to baby pigs that could be crushed by older pigs.

EPA delays final 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard

PED virus spreads into Hawaii

Farm bill subsidies could hit $10 billion

  • freeimages.com/eduardtrag
    Economists have estimated that new subsidies from the U.S. government’s five-year farm bill could be as high as $10 billion.
    From WATTAgNet:
    Some economists have estimated that new subsidies from the U.S. government’s five-year farm bill could be as high as $10 billion. That would be more than 10 times the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) working estimate and more than double the forecast by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
    If farmers’ revenues fail to meet benchmarks tied to long-term price and production averages, they could receive payouts. The USDA and CBO made their estimates before crop prices fell on record harvest expectations.
    The farm bill’s new programs were meant to cost taxpayers less by replacing a nearly two-decade-old scheme of direct cash payments to farmers, which were about $5 billion per year and were made regardless of need.
    Due to ample supplies, corn prices have fallen well below the long-term average price used as a benchmark for one of the farm bill’s programs. This year’s bumper harvest may not be large enough to compensate for the price falls, and revenues for some farmers could be low enough to trigger payments.
    Beginning November 17, farmers were able to start signing up for the programs. Most participants will be the farm families who own and operate about 98 percent of all U.S. farms.

JBS agrees to acquire Big Frango, Primo Group

John Soules Foods acquires chicken processor Pro View Foods

  • Mike Johnson
    Meat and poultry processor John Soules Foods has acquired poultry processor Pro View Foods.
    From WATTAgNet:
    John Soules Foods (JSF), a processor of ready-to-cook and fully-cooked beef and chicken products, has acquired Pro View Foods, a processor of ready-to cook and fully-cooked chicken products based in Gainesville, Georgia. Pro View Foods will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of JSF and will continue to operate out of Gainesville under the Pro View Foods name.
    Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
    “This is an important and exciting transaction for John Soules Foods and Pro View Foods. The combination of our strong product development and manufacturing capabilities will enable the acceleration of our leading market positions in core categories, expansion into new, high-growth retail categories and the broadening of our geographic reach across the retail and foodservice markets,” said Mark Soules, co-CEO of JSF.
    “We are pleased to welcome the addition of Pro View Foods' talented team to our own. Together, we will comprise one of the most sophisticated and efficient workforces in the industry, providing exceptional customer service and innovative new product development capabilities, while continuing to deliver the highest levels of quality and food safety,” added John Soules, Jr., co-CEO of JSF.
    The new organization offers a highly complementary range of further processed beef and chicken products for multiple channels, including grocery retail, foodservice and school/institutional. Pro View’s products include a broad range of whole muscle and formed, ready-to-cook and fully-cooked chicken products in a wide variety of flavor and breading profiles. John Soules Foods, headquartered in Tyler, Texas, is the nation's leading provider of ready-to-cook and fully-cooked beef and chicken fajitas as well as a variety of other high quality, fully-cooked protein products.
    “We are very excited about the meaningful growth opportunities that this combination will afford to the talented employees at Pro View Foods and to the broader Gainesville community,” said Jan Cooley, CEO of Pro View Foods. “Over the past decade we have built a distinct leadership position in the value-added, fully-cooked chicken segment, and believe that John Soules Foods is the perfect partner to help drive the Pro View Foods vision into the future – continuing to deliver tremendous quality and value for our customers along the way.”
    John Soules Jr., and Mark Soules will become the Co-CEOs of the combined companies, and Jan Cooley will move into an advisory role. The current Pro View management team, employees and facilities will be integrated into JSF operations, but will maintain the Pro View Foods name for marketing purposes. John Soules Foods now will have approximately 1,225 total employees, with about 475 employees at the JSF facility in Tyler and about 750 employees at Pro View’s three facilities in Georgia.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Koch Foods says Mercy for Animals’ video inaccurate