June Kicks Off Dairy Month CelebrationsJune 04, 2012
With the turn of the calendar, the time has come again for arguably the most important month observed by dairy farmers, processors, retailers, consumers, and others throughout the industry: June Dairy Month. Since 1939, June has been celebrated as National Dairy Month, honoring the important role the dairy industry has played in the economic and nutritional well-being of Americans. On June 14, 2010, Congress unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution that officially recognized June as National Dairy Month.
As most in the industry are aware, milk is a unique, complete nutrient package and is a good or excellent source of nine essential nutrients. In fact, milk is the top contributor in the average diet for calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin D and potassium. Milk provides three of the five nutrients of concern for children and adolescents: calcium, potassium, and magnesium. All milks – whole, low-fat, fat-free, flavored and lactose-free – are naturally excellent sources of calcium.
Throughout the month, raise a glass of ice-cold milk and toast America’s dairy farmers who make it possible to enjoy an abundance of fresh, delicious products – like milk, cheese, and yogurt – every single day.
Farmers and Ranchers Group Hosting Food Discussion in Los AngelesJune 04, 2012
The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), of which NMPF is a founding member, will announce the full list of panelists prior to The Food Dialogues events in Los Angeles. Two of the four panel discussions will stream live online on both Wednesday, June 21 and Thursday, June 21 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. PDT, providing opportunities for farmers, ranchers and the general public to register to watch and participate in the discussion online. Additionally, individuals with a Twitter account can follow all of the panel discussions by following @USFRA using #FoodD. The full list of panels is as follows:
Day One – Wednesday, June 20, 2012
- Hollywood and “Vine”: The Intersection of Pop Culture and Food Production
Live streamed (www.FoodDialogues.com) on Wednesday, June 20 – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. PDT
Panel Description: Cooking shows, food competitions, online content, books and documentaries – these are only a few examples of the many ways the entertainment world is addressing the topic of food. But, as more Americans turn to entertainment to influence their food-purchasing and consumption decisions, are they getting the full story? Are these entertainment properties providing content that is fair or accurate? This event will feature entertainment decision-makers, farmers and ranchers for a conversation about the portrayal of food and agriculture in popular culture.
- Meeting of the Minds: Touring Hollywood’s Urban Farm
Wednesday, June 20 – 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. PDT. Follow this panel discussion on Twitter @USFRA using #FoodD to participate in a live-Tweeting of the event activities as they happen. This event will be taped and content from the panel will be available in late June 2012.
Panel Description: Communities across America, including major metropolitan areas, are embracing urban farms and community gardens. The role these urban farms play is important to the communities where they operate, often addressing a larger societal/community need. Equally important is the direct connection the farm/garden gives to consumers interested in learning more about how food is grown and raised. What can larger, conventional farms learn about best practices from urban farms – and vice versa? Join farmers and ranchers – large and small, urban and rural, as they tour Wattles Farm in Hollywood. This intimate discussion will take a look at best practices and shared techniques, no matter the farm size, and the role that urban farms/community gardens play in feeding the stomachs and souls of American communities.
Day Two – Thursday, June 21, 2012
- The Great Debate: Science, Technology and Food
Live streamed (www.FoodDialogues.com) on Thursday, June 21 – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. PDT
Panel Description: What technologies are farmers and ranchers using to produce food while protecting the environment? Is more research the answer to biotechnology in agriculture? Join a panel of leading scientists and academics, farmers, ranchers and thought leaders for a dynamic conversation about the role science and technology play in agriculture.
- The REAL Chef Challenge: Understanding How Food is Grown and Raised
Thursday, June 21 – 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. PDT. Follow on Twitter @USFRA using #FoodD to participate in a live-Tweeting of the event activities as they happen. This event will be taped and content from the panel will be available in late June 2012.
Panel Description: Each day, individuals across the food chain – from farmers and ranchers to grocers and chefs – play unique roles in delivering the food we eat. How have these roles changed given Americans’ appetite for more information and preferences about how their food is sourced? What unique circumstances and challenges must be addressed in order for chefs, restaurateurs and grocers to continue delivering products their customers want? Do chefs have enough access to the farmers who grow and raise our food? This intimate roundtable will bring together farmers, ranchers, chefs, and others to discuss how food sourcing impacts how they grow, raise, buy and serve healthy choices for people everywhere.
Each panel will be moderated by a respected voice from within the food industry and panelists will include leaders throughout the California and national agriculture communities, including some of USFRA’s Conversation Leaders, celebrity chefs, entertainment decision-makers and academic professionals.
For more information, including a full schedule and updates on details, please visit www.FoodDialogues.com.
NMPF Board of Directors to Meet Next WeekJune 04, 2012
The NMPF Board of Directors (BOD) will convene for its summer meeting next Tuesday and Wednesday, June 12 and 13, at the Westin Alexandria in Alexandria, VA.
The board will receive updates on current Farm Bill negotiations, including the status of dairy policy reforms known as the Dairy Security Act (originally developed by NMPF as the “Foundation for the Future” package). Aside from the board meeting, other important events will include a CWT Committee Meeting, the NMPF Officers Meeting, and the NMPF Scholarship Committee Meeting.
NMPF’s Young Cooperators (YCs) will also be in town to attend meetings of their own and visit their representatives on Capitol Hill. NMPF’s annual Capitol Hill Reception will take place the evening of June 12 and will give NMPF members the opportunity to meet prominent figures in Congress and other governmental areas.
Watch for BOD meeting highlights in NMPF’s next newsletter. For more information about the YCs, please visit NMPF’s Young Cooperator Program webpage.
USDA Celebrates 150th AnniversaryJune 04, 2012
This past month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) turned 150 years old. When the country was in the throes of civil war, President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation on May 15, 1862, that created the department that would grow and touch the lives of every American every day. Over the next two months after the initial formation of the USDA, President Lincoln signed additional legislation that expanded and transformed American farming, including the Homestead Act, and the establishment of the Land Grant agricultural university system.
Ice Cream Mix Trade Association Develops Online PresenceJune 04, 2012
As part of efforts to gain more visibility and aid in membership recruitment, the National Ice Cream Mix Association (NICMA) is expanding its presence and accessibility with the creation of a new website available at www.icecreammix.org. The website, successfully launched this spring, contains helpful information about the organization, its membership, and the annual meeting that takes place in Fort Lauderdale, FL in January each year.
NICMA, which has been in existence since 1945, is a nonprofit trade association that represents the manufacturing industry of ice cream mix, soft serve frozen dessert mix and shake mix. The organization is located in Arlington, VA, and managed by NMPF.
CWT-Assisted Export Sales Total 13.9 Million Pounds in MayJune 04, 2012
Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) received 110 requests for export assistance from member cooperatives in May: 71 for cheese, and 39 for butter and anhydrous milk fat (AMF). Of those, 75 were accepted: 48 for cheese, and 27 for butter and AMF, totaling 8.821 million pounds of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, and 5.110 million pounds of butter and AMF.
These products represented 193 million pounds, milk equivalent on a butterfat basis. That was equal to the production of 9,200 cows.
The May activity brings the year-to-date totals to 507 requests received and 359 accepted, with 234 cheese bids and 123 butter and AMF bids accepted. Total product pounds include 55.7 million pounds of cheese, and 44.7 million pounds of butter and AMF. The milk equivalent of those sales is 1.5 billion pounds, representing the annual production of 70,900 cows.
Senators Take Up Fight against Mislabeled Dairy ProductsJune 04, 2012
On May 25, 2012, a letter led by Senator Coats (IN) and cosigned by Senator Lugar (IN) and Senator Gillibrand (NY) was sent to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), urging the agency to enforce labeling regulations on standardized dairy products.
The Senators asked FDA to take immediate action against misbranded and mislabeled non-dairy products that do not meet the federal Standards of Identity for standardized products such as "milk,” "cheese,” "ice cream" and "yogurt.” This was the most recent letter sent in a continued effort by NMPF to have the FDA enforce regulations already in place. NMPF appreciated the leadership demonstrated by Senator Coats, and the support of both Senator Lugar and Senator Gillibrand, on this issue.