In celebration of National Sandwich Month and to introduce the new Foster Farms All Natural Sliced Turkey lunchmeats, Foster Farms is launching the “Don’t Call Me Basic” turkey sandwich contest to find the most inventive turkey sandwich recipe. Foster Farms is calling on the public to develop unique sandwich creations using its new premium turkey lunchmeat to prove that turkey sandwiches with Foster Farms All Natural Sliced Turkey are anything but basic. The contest grand prize is a luxury weekend getaway to the Napa Valley or $4,000 cash.
Participants can enter the contest by posting a photo of their Foster Farms turkey sandwich creation to Instagram along with the recipe and tagging@FosterFarms and #DontCallMeBasic. Instagram profiles must be public to be eligible. Email entries will also be accepted if sent with recipe and photo to email@example.com. Entries will be judged on appearance, appeal, simplicity/ease of making and originality. The contest kicks off Aug. 1, the start of National Sandwich Month, and the deadline to enter is Aug. 31 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. The contest is open to all U.S. residents over the age of 18.
“We’re hosting the ‘Don’t Call Me Basic’ sandwich contest to show that the superior taste of our new line of Foster Farms All Natural Sliced Turkey premium lunchmeat will liven up any sandwich,” said TJ Johnson, director of marketing for Foster Farms turkey. “We encourage people to get creative with their combinations to demonstrate that any sandwich with Foster Farms turkey is not your basic ‘wich.”
The grand prize winner will be announced in early September and will receive his or her choice of a two-night stay for two at a Napa Valley luxury hotel, travel to/from the Napa Valley and a gourmet picnic lunch ($4,000 value) or $4,000 cash. Contestants will also be eligible to win a weekly prize simply by entering. Four weekly drawings will be held for either a high-end panini press or gourmet picnic basket set and one winner will be chosen at random each week from all eligible entries. Drawing winners will be announced each Friday in August.
Sandwich concoctions will be judged by a panel of culinary and food industry professionals, who will select five recipe finalists. The final five will be judged by a panel of food and lifestyle bloggers.
Foster Farms All Natural Sliced Turkey lunchmeat is available now at retailers throughout California and the Pacific Northwest, including Safeway, Vons, Raley’s and select Albertsons. The product is available in two varieties, Slow Oven Roasted Turkey Breast and Honey Roasted & Smoked Turkey Breast, and is free of nitrates and nitrites and 98 percent fat free. Simply roasted, sliced and packaged, the new line of premium turkey lunchmeat is made with 100 percent turkey breast and contains no chemicals, preservatives, artificial ingredients or colors. The Slow Oven Roasted Turkey Breast has 35 percent less sodium than the average sliced turkey breast. A complete list of Contest Rules &Regulations is available at www.fosterfarms.com/dontcallmebasic.pdf.
The department has lifted the quarantines on three premises, one in each of Chippewa, Barron and Jefferson counties. A backyard flock in Juneau County was the first to be released in June. The remaining six premises are in the final stages of testing that is required for release.
When news of human fatalities first started to emerge in Asia in the late 1990s, human deaths made the headlines, but this is no longer the case. Yet the World Health Organization (WHO) warns that whenever avian influenza viruses are circulating in poultry, sporadic infections and small clusters of human cases are possible in people exposed to infected poultry or contaminated environments.
WHO reports continues that, between 2003 and May 1, 2015, there were 447 deaths and 840 cases of humans infected with the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 virus. It should be remembered that the majority of these infections and deaths have occurred in rural areas of developing countries. It could well be argued that, given a lack a resources for diagnosis and reporting, an accurate figure would be somewhat higher.
That these deaths occurred in developing countries does not take away from the tragedy for the individuals concerned, their families and communities, but perhaps it makes the human impact of bird flu easier for those in the wider world to ignore.
Poor biosecurity and the migratory flight paths of wild birds are usually the two key points in any discussion of how avian influenza spreads and how it should be controlled. But it should also be remembered that poverty and lack of resources - as well as ignorance - can also play their part.
While the virus strain was first identified in Scotland in 1959, the “Asian lineage” HPAI H5N1 strain now present in Asia is very different to what was first identified more than 55 years ago, and its ability to mutate makes its true threat difficult to measure.
According to the World Health Organization, Egypt, Vietnam and Indonesia have recorded the highest level of human infections with avian influenza over the past 12 years. Since the turn of the decade, human infections and deaths are significantly down in Indonesia and Vietnam.
Egypt has gone through political turmoil and this has had consequences for the local economy. Many rural inhabitants have turned to keeping poultry in an effort to put food on the table. These small-scale backyard farmers can have little notion of what constitutes good biosecurity and its implementation; for them it is a question of making ends meet and having enough to eat.
This has created an ideal situation for the spread of disease, and a highly difficult situation to monitor or control, even where resources are available. If Egypt’s poultry production were restricted to indoor, modern facilities, then implementing good biosecurity protocols would be much easier, and the disease less likely to spread.
USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation have approved a total of $288,664 for seven new research grants at three institutions. The research funding was approved by the boards of directors of both organizations, based on recommendations from the Foundation Research Advisory Committee. The committee evaluates research proposals to determine their value to the industry and then makes recommendations to the boards for funding. Committee members are professional specialists from different segments of the poultry and egg industry who represent a variety of disciplines.
The Association’s research program dates back to the early 1960s when funds were first approved for poultry disease research. It gradually grew into a comprehensive program incorporating all phases of poultry and egg production and processing. More than 50 universities and federal and state facilities have received grants over the years.
“Research is an important part of USPOULTRY's and the Foundation’s service to the industry,” said Sherman Miller, Cal-Maine Foods, Jackson, MS, and USPOULTRY chairman. “The Foundation Research Advisory Committee is the heart of the research program with committee members allocating numerous hours studying and evaluating research proposals before making recommendations for funding. We sincerely appreciate and value their excellent work.”
The research grants from each institution include:
Production of Variant Reovirus Hyperimmune Serum for Use as a Diagnostic Tool to Further Characterize Avian Reoviruses from Clinical Cases of Tenosynovitis. University of Georgia (research grant made possible by a gift from Mar-Jac Poultry)
Identification of the Wooden Breast Condition in Broiler Breast Fillets Using Imaging Technology. USDA Agriculture Research Service (research grant made possible by a gift from GNP Company)
Improved Methods for the Control of Variant Strains of IBV. University of Georgia (research grant made possible by a gift from Fieldale Farms)
Impact and Mitigation of Stormwater Runoff from Poultry. University of Georgia
Protection Provided by Multivalent Infectious Bronchitis Virus Vaccines Against Challenge with Current U.S. Strains and Variants. University of Delaware
Cold Plasma-based Antimicrobial Packaging System to Improve the Shelf Life and Reduce Foodborne Pathogens in Poultry Breast Meat. USDA Agriculture Research Service
Modified Live Vaccines of Infectious Laryngotracheitis Virus. University of Delaware
Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ: NEOG) has announce that net income for the fourth quarter of its 2015 fiscal year, which ended May 31, increased 25% to $9,384,000, or $0.25 per fully diluted share, from $7,537,000, $0.20 per share, in fiscal 2014.
Neogen's fourth quarter revenues were $78,611,000, a 17% increase over revenues from 2014's final quarter. Neogen's revenues for its 2015 fiscal year increased 14% to $283,074,000, up from $247,405,000 in the company's previous fiscal year. On an organic basis, growth for the company was 14% for the quarter, and 8% for the full year. Net income for the 2015 fiscal year increased 19% from the previous year to $33,526,000, or $0.90 per share, compared to the prior year's $0.76 per share. Revenues and net income for the fourth quarter, and the 2015 fiscal year, established new all-time highs for the 33-year-old company.
"We are pleased to report a strong finish to our 2015 fiscal year, and increased momentum as we begin our new fiscal year. In our fourth quarter, we exceeded our goal of producing double-digit organic growth for both our Food and Animal Safety segments," said James Herbert, Neogen's chief executive officer and chairman. "Neogen is uniquely positioned to grow and prosper by helping the world's food producers and processors meet ever-increasing challenges -- whether inside the farm gate, or anywhere along the processing and distribution chain."
The fourth quarter was the 93rd of the past 98 quarters that Neogen reported revenue increases as compared with the previous year -- including all consecutive quarters in the last 10 years.
"Neogen's increasing momentum has been the result of creating and expanding opportunities in our diverse global markets through the introduction of new products and services, and improving our operational capabilities," said Richard Calk, Neogen's president and chief operating officer. "For example, with the recent development of our improved ATP hygiene monitor, AccuPoint® Advanced, we significantly upgraded our manufacturing technology and now also have a better product."
Neogen's gross margin was 49.4% in its 2015 fiscal year, compared to 49.6% for fiscal 2014. Operating expenses grew by 9% in 2015, less than revenue growth of 14%. Operating income as a percentage of revenues was 18.8% in the current year, as compared to 17.5% in the company's 2014 fiscal year.
"We were adversely impacted by currency fluctuations in the fiscal year, particularly the second half of the year, as the strength of the U.S. dollar resulted in comparatively lower values for the euro, the British pound, the Brazilian real, and the Mexican peso," said Steve Quinlan, Neogen's chief financial officer. "These currency fluctuations negatively impacted both our top and bottom lines in the 2015 fiscal year, making our financial results even more impressive. Neogen experienced a strong year of cash generation, and our inventory control efforts showed progress, as we held inventory levels essentially flat for the year as our revenues increased 14%."
Revenues for the company's Food Safety segment increased 13% during the fiscal year compared to the prior year. Sales of Neogen's general microbiology products increased 40% in fiscal 2015 compared to the prior year, aided in large part by the Oct. 1, 2014 acquisition of BioLumix®. The company believes there is a strong synergistic relationship between the BioLumix and Soleris® test systems, as both systems allow for the accurate detection of spoilage organisms in much less time than traditional microbiology methods. Overall organic growth for the Food Safety segment was 10% for the year.
Sales of Neogen's rapid tests for food allergens, such as gluten and peanuts, continued their strong performance in the fiscal year, growing approximately 18% compared to the prior year. The growth was aided by increasing global regulatory efforts and consumer demand to ensure products represented as being free of food allergens are correctly labeled. The increase was also due to Neogen's effective response to the discovery of large-scale contamination of cumin, and other spice blends, with peanut and other known food allergens.
Neogen's Animal Safety segment reported a revenue increase of 16% in its 2015 fiscal year when compared to 2014. The segment's comparative increase was aided in part by three acquisitions made in the company's 2014 fiscal year. Sales of the company's rodenticides increased more than 20% in the current year compared to the prior year, as Neogen responded to a rodent outbreak in orchard crops throughout the northwest United States, and its products continue to make gains in the important global agricultural rodenticide market.
The Animal Safety segment also recorded a 29% increase in sales of its proprietary D3® detectable veterinary needles compared to the 2014 fiscal year, and a 40% increase in sales of its drug residue tests for the forensic market. Sales of Neogen's small animal supplements increased 23% in the current year when compared to the prior year, as the company responded to a market need for supplements used for thyroid hormone replacement therapy in dogs.
Revenues from the company's worldwide veterinary genomic products and services increased approximately 27% in fiscal year 2015 compared to fiscal 2014. This increase resulted from growing acceptance of its proprietary genomic products, especially in Europe, new poultry business, and by the increased operational capacity gained from the move into larger and upgraded facilities early in the company's 2015 fiscal year
Revenues from Neogen's Scotland-based subsidiary increased 11% for the 2015 fiscal year in local currencies, and 9% after converting to U.S. dollars, recording higher sales of mycotoxin test kits, genomics services, and several other key product lines. Neogen Latinoamerica's sales increased 151%, mainly due to the transfer of Animal Safety customers in Central America, while Neogen do Brasil's revenues decreased 3%, primarily due to currency translations. Following its Dec. 8, 2014, acquisition of its China-based distributor, Anapure, Neogen recorded a significant increase in sales into China, albeit from a small base. Anapure had been a distributor of Neogen's food safety products for more than 10 years, and had also offered Neogen's veterinary genomic services in recent years.