The Business Of Agriculture Podcast ציבורי
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Sustainability has been a buzzphrase for the past decade but how do you define it? That was a major subject at the recent Vision Conference with sessions devoted to accurately measuring emissions and how to compensate Ag for Earth-friendly practices. Also discussed at the conference: Tech’s advance via autonomous machinery (there are 130 robotic or…
 
In January of 2022 the Biden administration announced that one billion dollars of government money would be deployed to make meat less expensive. This, in response to the recent (and rapid!) run-up in protein prices. Details of the plan are still a bit unclear. One major objective of the spending is to expand slaughter capacity among smaller scale …
 
The Biden administration kicked off the new year by doubling down on its spending to change the meat processing industry. Their proposal calls for $1 billion to be dedicated to expanding independent meat processing. Expanding local and regional meat processing away from the oligopolistic packers is a fine concept, especially for us who rely on smal…
 
Running south of Portland, Oregon, the Willamette Valley runs about 120 miles and the farmers there produce some 300-plus crops. One major crop is grass seed. If you’ve bought a bag of grass seed at your nursery or home improvement store, there’s a very good chance it came from Oregon. While speaking to the Oregon Seed League conference, I ran acro…
 
Like most things in production Ag, there’s a whole lot going on before the burger hits your plate. How has beef production changed, what cattle genetics are sought after, where has beef steered its ship wrong in the past, will we see vertically integrated beef the way the pork and poultry industry have gone, what’s in the future for American beef? …
 
Jon Kinzebaw and his company, Kinze Manufacturing, lay claim to being the inventor of the grain cart — in an Iowa welding shop — 51 years ago. Today, Kinze Manufacturing is a global short-line Ag implement company whose 650 employees make and sell grain carts, planters, and tillage equipment. Jon’s daughter, Susie, company president, joins me for a…
 
In general, the corn belt has had a good and prosperous last couple of years. But what lies ahead for grain farms in 2022? Of note, cost of production is spiking! Chris Barron and Shay Foulk of Ag View Solutions predict a $166 increased price of production per acre of corn and $64 increase per acre of soybeans. Chris and Shay join me to discuss iss…
 
Americans consume approximately 10 pounds of fresh apples per person per year, not to mention applesauce, apple juice, and all the other places apples go. But do you know how apples are produced, treated, and sold? Washington apple producer, Dave Robison and Wilbur Ellis horticultural specialist Nate Squires join me for an informative discussion ab…
 
We’ve been hearing about supply chain squeezes for months now, but what will be the impact at the farm level on availability and pricing? Jim Sprowl, Regional Sales Manager for Ceres Co-Op explains the Ag input market from his perspective. He also shares outlook and a few predictions. In a nutshell: Product availability issues vary by the day and b…
 
In production Agriculture, you generally play the role of price taker. As commodity production specialization has evolved with modern Agriculture, this puts farmers in a situation to be a victim. At least, that’s how Jason Mauck sees it. Jason is an entrepreneurial farmer with a lot going on. He farms with his family operation, bought and expanded …
 
Regenerative Agriculture is getting a lot of buzz these days. What is regenerative farming? What are the benefits and detriments? Do you need certified to begin regenerative practices? And what will we see in way of government and / or corporate standards around adoption of regenerative farming practices? Christie Apple — "CropScout Christie” — joi…
 
Last week the federal government unveiled a round of “green” initiatives for Agriculture. Some of the proposals were new, some were recycled old programs, and some touched more heavily on the issue of carbon. This cycle of green talk coincides with the COP26 climate summit in Scotland where countries like the U.S. are making bold pledges about clim…
 
Producing bountiful crops or earning a lot of income won’t guarantee success. In fact, big yields or big gross income won’t even guarantee a net profit. Whether you’re a farm owner or have a job in the Ag industry, your success will be accentuated with good money habits and tax management. Paul Neiffer, the Farm CPA joins me to explain tax changes …
 
Tillable — the online farm land rental site — came on the Ag scene in 2017. Since then, the company has made some waves. From farm land rental, the company moved into farm land sales, and is now morphing into farm financing. Tillable CEO and founder, Corbett Kull, joins me to discuss his company’s beginnings, movements in the Ag land marketplace, t…
 
The 2021 U.S. soybean crop is projected to yield 4.45 billion bushels on just less than 88 million acres. Not bad considering a century ago we devoted only about 100,000 American acres to soybean production. So where do all those soybeans go and what happens to them once they leave the field? Mac Marshall, VP of Market Intelligence with the United …
 
You probably don’t think much about duration of milking time for a cow or how protein content might vary from one cow’s milk to another. But if you’re a dairy farmer, these are the sort of things that can keep you profitable. Technological application along with rapid increases in data analysis is happening on modern dairy farms. Dr. Jeffrey Bewley…
 
When Tyrel Obrecht left his banking job to return to the family ranch in Turner, Montana, he knew he needed to increase the ranch’s revenue. Could selling carbon credits to improve the ranch’s infrastructure be the answer? Tyrel and his father, Sam, are about to find out. They’ve teamed up with the Western Sustainability Exchange (WSE) to make graz…
 
Inflation is upon us, now the only question is: For how long and how much will prices keep accelerating? This is a challenge for every business, especially production Agriculture, which operates on thin margins and involves the acquisition and application of a lot of expensive inputs. To successfully navigate the pricing turmoil, you need to know w…
 
If you haven’t heard of the oilseed Camelina, join the club. It’s reportedly similar to canola and it’s pushers believe it has big potential as an ingredient in bioplastics — i.e. plastics that won’t clog up our landfills for centuries or leach out as petroleum byproducts. This, combined with the plant’s winter planting season, make it an option fo…
 
John Hansen worked for Ted Turner’s ranching venture long enough to see that buffalo breeding stock wasn’t going to match the billionaire’s TV ventures. He did see, however, the benefit for land and landowner in paying attention to the ecology of one’s land resource. Now Mr. Hansen works for LandTrust. He joins me to discuss how agri-tourism can in…
 
Jayson Menke of Acres and Shares discusses the sugar beet business and provides a North Dakota perspective on Ag. His company brokers agricultural real estate as well as shares of stock in American Crystal Sugar. Did you know the majority of sugar consumed in America is derived from beets (not cane)? Jayson and I cover everything from land prices t…
 
BDA Farms, a 6,000 acre operation in Uniontown, Alabama, quit conventional row crop farming to pursue direct to consumer Agriculture. The operation has grown into other categories. The farm produces grass fed beef and lamb, and pasture raised pork and eggs. BDA also grows organic vegetables on ten acres that continues to expand and runs three lodgi…
 
When you dig into your pork chop you probably aren’t thinking about the boar semen and breeding sow that made that pork chop so delicious. But if you want to know about the fascinating, behind the scenes work that goes on in Agriculture to produce tasty meat in a hugely efficient manner, listen to this. Meat starts with genetics from the sire and d…
 
I have long held the opinion that the United Nations is an activist organization not unlike PETA or the Environmental Working Group. The notable exception being that the U.N.’s funding comes from taxpayers of its wealthy nation members. In anticipation of this Fall’s COP26 summit on climate change, the U.N. released another of its studies, which us…
 
We’ve come a long way from yesterday’s tractors and farm equipment. Technologically, environmentally, and from the basis of what the machine can accomplish. Matt Ramage and Karl Huebner with Hutson, Inc — a chain of John Deere dealerships, join me to discuss the farm equipment business. We’re paying roughly $1,000 per one rating of horsepower — wha…
 
To grow crops, you need seed, as such seed is a big business within the business of Ag. Like all things, technology is changing how we plant and even the seed that we plant. Three seed professionals sit down with me to discuss changes they see happening in the seed biz and take a look at where genetics and seed sales may go in the future.Sponsored …
 
Sustainability has, frankly, been mostly a marketing phrase for well over a decade. But that’s changing amid increasing demands from consumers and governments to “be sustainable.” Companies are pushing their ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) standards onto their producers. Meaning, farmers will be held to certain production practices to be…
 
We waste about 35% of the food we produce. In poor countries it’s more due to lack of infrastructure, in affluent countries it’s because food is cheap and easy to discard. But there’s an environmental cost that will increasingly become an issue. Re-Nuble is an Ag startup that seeks to prevent food waste while giving an assist to indoor Agriculture.…
 
No, we're not talking about pretend meat in this episode. We’re talking lentils, peas, and beans and their potential growth opportunity as a food and crop category. Lionel Kambeitz, CEO and co-founder of Above Food, explains his company's role in providing improved plant protein products to a hungry marketplace. He discusses food tribalism, the con…
 
Bobbi Brockmann, VP of Sales for Immucell, manages 9 field sales reps as well as the behind the scenes staff who cover the entire country calling (principally) on dairy operations. She joins me to discuss how changes in scale, size, and management of farms has changed how companies go to business. What do Ag sales people do in a world adapting to o…
 
Business, in very simple terms, is the act of exploiting one’s resources to create something of value. For production Agriculture this means utilizing the sun, water, and soil, along with inputs to create a crop. But how do you know how much and which resources to apply? Turns out there’s a great deal of analysis and consultation that goes on behin…
 
At this point in 2020, Ag was receiving the first of two rounds of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and things looked a bit bleak. Today, commodity prices are roaring, farm land prices are surging, and farm income projections may enter record territory. But, is this merely the leading edge of hyper inflation for the overall economy? And what…
 
Eric Snodgrass has a title long enough to fill the front and back of his business card. Basically, he’s a weather dude, atmospheric scientist, and former professor. Eric joins me to discuss climate reality. What’s happening with the weather, what it means for Agriculture, and why blaming bovines for green house gasses is like ordering a Diet Coke t…
 
Twice in the last year we’ve faced a major disruption to our meat supply. The first due to Covid closing packing facilities, the second due to a Cyber attack last week on JBS - the world’s largest meat processing company. What does this mean for producers and consumers? More importantly, are these disruptions an expected symptom of an oligopolistic…
 
A lot has changed rapidly when it comes to farm level finances. Commodity prices in grains have doubled in less than a year, while beef producers are getting hammered and pork producers are getting ahead (for now). I sit down with two Ag lenders with American State Bank, a Northwest Iowa community bank with approximately a $400 million balance of A…
 
Brice McIntosh is the Vocational Ag instructor and FFA leader in Wheatland, Wyoming. The farm kid turned teacher has plenty of opinions about the Business of Agriculture, the future, and what we’re doing right and wrong with instructing our youth. We discuss technology, curriculum, and the skillsets he’s instructing (as well as the traits he sees l…
 
Agriculture is increasingly under environmental scrutiny and the pressure will only get worse. The pressure comes from activist groups teaming with trial lawyers, politicians out to control food choice, and wealthy individuals such as Bill Gates whose motives may not be as philanthropic as he portrays. I see calls to tax meat — especially beef — an…
 
More than 2 years ago I had the author of Empty Planet on the podcast to discuss the reality: humans aren’t going to overpopulate Earth and that we weren’t going to run out of food. In this episode, Todd Thurman and I discuss what slowing population growth — and even decline — means for Ag. Hint: Less “feed the world” talk, catering to a wealthier …
 
What’s an adjuvant, you ask? They’re inert ingredients used in crop protection products to make the chemistry more efficient and effective. Joe Gednalske with the Council of Producer & Distributors of Agrotechnology joins me to discuss technology in crop production. Joe holds 38 patents and has been in the Ag industry for half a century. Which is w…
 
“Cheese is who we are.” That’s the statement from Wisconsin Cheese’s Chief Marketing Officer, Suzanne Fanning. I invited her on The Business of Ag podcast after reading about the organization’s award winning Cheeselandia marketing campaign. We discuss all things Ag promotion, what things Ag gets wrong (way too much preaching to ourselves about ours…
 
Aquabounty is a company that came on my radar a couple years ago when they purchased and redeveloped an indoor fish farm in Indiana. The company produces genetically engineered salmon — the first animal protein to be GMO (which, as you can imagine, invites a lot of scrutiny). Sylvia Wulf, Aquabounty’s CEO joins me to explain aquaculture, discuss sa…
 
Bill and Melinda Gates own almost 250,000 acres of productive farm land, and it’s my hunch that it’s not simply because he loves the smell of dirt. Bill, along with a cooperative media, bills himself a philanthropist. But the world’s 4th wealthiest man occasionally passes off as altruism what is in reality control. Two months ago he stated wealthy …
 
Farmland is an asset that appears to be garnering more attention, even from the non-farming world. But what’s an aspiring farm ground investor to do if he or she can’t muster the huge price of entry for a tract of land? Enter AcreTrader, the company designed to bring together capital and farmers who need farm land to rent. Carter Malloy joins me to…
 
Brice and Blaine Hitzfield are two of the seven sons who make up Seven Sons Farms — a pasture-based operation in growth mode. The family operation produces beef, pork, and eggs, and has grown into a processor and direct marketer of their products. The brothers also operate Graze Cart — an online platform for direct-to-consumer sales, and Hen Gear —…
 
Two main arguments used against animal Agriculture are environmental issues and animal care. We’ve faced increased regulations on both and endure lawsuits on the environmental front — particularly as related to nuisance lawsuits over odor. Facing a future of greater scrutiny on odor and antibiotics, Ag needs to look ahead. Mike Rincker and TJ Gaydo…
 
Agriculture is increasingly impacted by regulation from the local, state, and federal level. But it appears to be getting worse. Activists and conflict groups used to lobby and protest against our industry. Now they hold positions of power. Eric Bream, a California citrus producer and politically active Agriculturalist joins me to discuss the metho…
 
About 900 million acres are devoted to Agriculture in the United States. In addition to those acres are wooded property and other non-farmed land owned by American farm owners. Nic DeCastro saw those acres and — as an outdoorsman — saw an opportunity to help landowners profit by allowing short term usage for hunting and fishing. His company, LandTr…
 
We talk a lot about Ag’s need to educate the consumer. There are, however, multiple problems with effectively doing this. First off, the consumer is far removed from the farm. Secondly, the consumer might bristle at being told they need educated. And lastly, the consumer may not even really care — they’re eating pretty well without being educated s…
 
Following up on the previous episode with Iowa farmer, Kelly Garrett, where we discussed carbon farming, I sit down with Rob West of Thunder Said Energy. He’s an energy consultant turned carbon expert, and he believes Agriculture is the answer to carbon sequestration both from an economic and practicality standpoint. This is a hot topic that is in …
 
Most farmers are from a farm, not Cason Anderson. Sure, his parents had a few cows on an acreage but they weren’t really farmers. Cason is. He got into pecan farming by purchasing used harvesting machinery when he was 18 and picking up some small, un-maintained pecan orchards. Nine years later he and his crew of three farm 840 acres of pecans. He e…
 
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