Feb. 6, 2015
Hello ZimmComm Fans:
We want to say a big congratulations to our Jamie Johansen who is just starting the Missouri Agricultural Leadership of Tomorrow (ALOT) program!  We know it will be a great experience and she is just the type of participant the program is designed for.

This week Chuck got his first experience with crop insurance by attending the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau annual meeting courtesy of sponsor Rural Community Insurance Agency.  He's got some great interviews that are showing up on

Chuck and Cindy are gearing up for an annual trip to Louisville, KY for the National Farm Machinery Show.  It's that time of the year!

Here is some audio from this week you might have missed:

Now for some news from the ZimmComm News Network:

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This week we're going to learn about a new publication that has been created by a partnership between The Lempert Report and The Center for Food Integrity. I spoke with Phil Lempert, founder of Food Nutrition & Science and CEO of The Lempert Report, to learn what the target of this new publication is. MORE

Proposed Crop Insurance Cuts Concern Ag Groups
A coalition of more than 30 agricultural, banking and insurance organizations are concerned about the President's proposed budget cuts to some elements of crop insurance. The group sent a letter to Congressional leaders this week to highlight the importance of crop insurance and how it can save consumers money and help farmers recover from weather disasters.


Best College Reviews has published a ranking of the 20 Best College Farms in America. Best College Reviews is an editorially independent college review website focusing on college rankings, reviews of college features, and thought leadership on helping students find their place in the higher education landscape. I am excited to see a Missouri school on the list that is right in my back yard. MORE 


DomesticFuel  Domestic Fuel 

REAP Funds Still Available 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting funds for the Rural Energy for American Program (REAP).  The funding notice releases mandatory funding for both FY2014 and FY2015, as well as discretionary funding recently made available in the "Cromnibus." The program provides grants and loan guarantees to rural small businesses, farmers and others in the ag community. However, some new changes have been implemented including a new simplified "three tiered" application process, more frequent solicitations, and priority points for specific policy priorities such as the advancement of distributed wind power. MORE 

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has released its 18th annual vehicle environmental ratings on The top rated vehicles for the year were Mercedes-Benz Smart ForTwo Electric Drive Convertible/Coupe with the highest score ever, Chevrolet Spark EV, Fiat 500E, Toyota Prius C and the Nissan Leaf. Six out of 12 places in this year's Greenest List were claimed by plug-in electric vehicles. This year's list also features a diverse array of manufacturers: nine different automakers are represented by the 12 top-scoring vehicles, including two American manufacturers (Chevrolet and Ford) and two European manufacturers. MORE 
Representatives Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Steve Womack (R-AR) and Peter Welch (D-VT), today re-introduced legislation called the RFS Reform Act "to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to help ease concerns created by the ethanol mandate and protect consumers, livestock producers, food manufacturers, retailers, and the U.S. economy." MORE
The National Corn Growers Association is the administrator for the Soil Health Partnership which was launched at the 2014 Commodity Classic and Corn Board member Kevin Ross believes it's a very worthwhile initiative for farmers and all involved. MORE

On Monday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack outlined USDA's $156 billion share of the $4 trillion Obama budget proposal, which is three percent more than last year but includes a $1.6 billion cut in the crop insurance program and some cuts to the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). MORE

Deere Kicks Off Drive Green Events for 2015

In what has become an annual tradition across the country, hundreds of local John Deere dealerships are again hosting Drive Green Demo Days events. This year's Drive Green events will focus on the tractor buying experience, not only giving guests the opportunity to check out a wide variety of equipment and implements, but also the many different attachments that are available to help them get more from and do more with their equipment.



fairlife Filtered Milk  


Coke is getting into the milk business through a new company and product called fairlife - filtered for more protein and calcium and less sugar. fairlife is being launched by a group of family-owned dairy farms, and The Coca-Cola Company's Minute Maid Division is distributing that milk. During a press conference, Mike and Sue McCloskey, co-founders of fairlife, and CEO Steve Jones talked about the product and their launch plans and new ad campaign. MORE


Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack outlined USDA's progress in implementing the 2014 farm bill during a press conference Thursday. Joining Secretary Vilsack in the 2014 Farm Bill birthday recognition Wednesday was Ben LaCross, the Michigan fruit farmer who was at the signing of the bill last year; Michael O'Gorman, Executive director of Farmer Veteran Coalition; and Edgar Pruitt, an Alabama farmer who discussed how the Farm Bill is helping producers preserve land and water resources, and support pollinator populations. MORE




Roka BioScience Salmonella Testing 

Salmonella threshold testing was the hot topic in the Roka BioScience booth at the 2015 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE). I stopped by to talk with Ted Andrew, Director of Marketing and Product Development about their new approach to bacteria detection and other new opportunities they are offering the industry. MORE



More than 7,000 cattlemen and women from across the country are registered to attend the 2015 Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen's Beef Association Trade Show, which kicked off today at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. The convention, which will run through Feb. 7, is the largest annual gathering of the beef industry. MORE 

The Novus Enzyme Portfolio 


Ajay Bhoyar is the Global Poultry Marketing Manager for Novus International and I got to chat with him during last week's International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta. Enzymes were at the forefront of the Novus experience when you walked through their booth on the expo floor. Ajay talked about the importance of their presence at the event and what we can see coming through their enzyme portfolio in the near future. MORE

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