Share |

Content about Policy

August 3, 2015

How does the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation view animal rights activists and extremism in the context of protecting America's food supply?

Editor's Note: This presentation has been removed at the request of the presenter.

James Keesling, U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), presents information on the approach law enforcement is taking to understand activism an extremism in the context of animal rights and animal welfare. Mr. Keesling shares the FBI's view on pathways and precursors to violence and focus on trends and emerging threats.

July 2, 2015

This year there was less focus on porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv, though it is still a concern). More sessions highlighted trade, economics, and sow live time productivity. And of course there was lots of BBQ and tenderloin sandwiches to be had.

Antibiotics, Trade, and Pork Quality The 2015 World Pork Expo (June 3 - 5, 2015, Des Moines, IA, USA) offered other interests beyond the past several years of PEDv: International Trade and Pork Quality sessions offered inside on how consumer are driving business. Also on the conversation channels: Antibiotics and new changes shared by the U.S. FDA.

Of note:

  • The U.S. FDA released new information on the use of antibiotics and agriculture. Dr. Jennifer Koeman, National Pork Board, and Dr. Harry Snelson, American Association Swine Veterinarians, break down the new changes and their implications. Dr. Koeman and Dr. Snelson also provide producers guidance points on what to do to prepare farms and staff [video].
  • Dr. Chris Hostetler, National Pork Board, points out the definition of Sow Lifetime Productivity and provides data that challenges some of the traditional views of improving Sow Lifetime Productivity. Dr. Hostetler offers research that can help improve productivity. Key take away: Improvement in sow lifetime productivity will substantially impact profitability of all phases of production [video].

June 30, 2015

Creating an open barn policy for everyone takes training and commitment.

Gary Cooper, COO, Cooper Farms, tells about the journey his family farm is taking to have an open barn for people including consumers and media. Mr. Cooper shares the story of how they brought in Temple Grandin to help improve turkey flow to meet consumer expectations of animal care.

Mr. Cooper's take aways: Bring animal care to top of mind and provide visual standard work instructions for all employees.

June 8, 2015

How are consumers seeing agriculture? What are people in agriculture doing to make connections?

This Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit event brought together a great mix of people to help connect, educate, and protect agriculture, farming, and food.

May 23, 2015

How did the reality TV show Under Cover Boss help chang perceptions about agriculture?

Brad Scott, Partner, Scott Brothers Dairy Farms, shares the story of how the reality TV show Under Cover Boss helped changed perceptions about agriculture. Mr. Scott highlights the background on how the Scott Brothers Dairy Farms were part of the reality TV show, what they had to do to pull off telling the real story, and what the future looks like after the show aired.

May 22, 2015

What are the sustainability trends driving the conversations within Nestlé?

Brian Jones, Responsible Sourcing Manager, Nestlé North America Procurement, talks about sustainability and the trends that are driving the conversations within Nestlé.

Mr. Jones closes with several key points: Nestlé has recognized the need to sharpen it’s focus on sustainability and Nestlé is committed to measuring and reporting its progress.

May 22, 2015

Is Agriculture an appeaser feeding the activist crocodile, hoping it will eat him last?

Brian Klippenstein, Executive Director, Protect the Harvest, works for an organization that is willing to wade into politics and conversations about agriculture and food affordability. Mr. Klippenstein shares some of the tactics and approaches being taken by activists against agriculture.

Mr. Klippenstein closes with a quote from Winston Churchill that sums up some of the activity against agriculture: "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."; Mr. Klippenstein suggests that sometimes we need to directly take on activists.

May 22, 2015

Why is food so important now?

Back to the Future of FoodBack to the Future of Food Dennis Dimick, Executive Editor, National Geographic Magazine, shares a media person's view of food and agriculture. Why is food now important?

Mr. Dimick shares what has happened over the last few years on how food came to the forefront of media. Mr. Dimick challenges the audience with the idea that consumers need to know more about the issues and what is being done to continue the education and informing of the greater public about food ecosystems.

May 22, 2015

What are the global policies and regulations affecting the US meat businesses?

What are the global policies and regulations affecting US meat businesses? Dr. Travis Arp, Manager of Technical Services, U.S. Meat Export Federation, shares a summary for all the major animal agriculture markets. Dr. Arp points out several issues gaining attention and the assessment of how to address them.

May 22, 2015

What is sustainability and what is it not?

Roger Cady, Global Sustainability Lead, Elanco, shares an opening view of what sustainability is and is not. He believes the idea of sustainability will not go away and must be meet head on. Mr. Cady provides information on what consumers believe and care about.

The challenges? Sustainable practices must be a continuous process whose management must take in the ideas of tradition and change to be effective. Mr. Cady closes with the idea that raising the standard of living for farmers must be measured, whose data is incorporated into the sustainability continuous process.

April 24, 2015

FoodTank is a mix of media, event, and personality that is driving food conversations for consumers and providers.

Danielle Nierenberg - The Role of Food in Social JusticeChanging The Food System This short conversation between Danielle Nierenberg, FoodTank, and Frank Sesno, the Ag Issues Forum host and master of ceremonies, highlights some of the thoughts that many people outside of agriculture have about the business of growing and producing food.

Danielle shares how she arrived at co-founding FoodTank as a way to raise the level of awareness about food, nutrition, and the environment within communities of people interested in food. She also talks about how she developed FoodTank as a digital and event based platform to carry the food messages further.

April 24, 2015

Today food conversations are too fragmented and many times contentious. Danielle Nierenberg and FoodTank aim to bring the conversations of food to the forefront through digital channels, live events with large media channels (like the New York Times), and conversations with groups while eating a meal.

Today food conversations are too fragmented and many times contentious. Danielle Nierenberg and FoodTank aim to bring the conversations of food to the forefront through digital channels, live events with large media channels (like the New York Times), and conversations with groups while eating a meal.

April 7, 2015

Pork producers are looking to gain insights on the Checkoff funded programs and the policy activities being pursued.

The Pork Industry Forum, held March 5-7, 2015 in San Antonio, TX, gathered pork producers looking to gain insights on the Checkoff funded programs and the policy activities being pursued.
Of note:

April 7, 2015

Are you sure about the state of preparedness of pork operations for animal diseases?

Dr. Paul Sundberg, Science & Technology, National Pork Board, shares thoughts on the state of preparedness of pork operations for animal diseases, like porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv). While the mystery of how PEDv came into the USA is still unknown, discovery of PEDV has created the opportunity to implement and improve communication, coordination, and collaboration. Dr. Sundberg outlines the value of the Swine Health Information Center and the Center's next steps.

March 1, 2015

How California handles its water issues will set the tone for the rest of the United States. Where will water flow, who is in charge, what life style changes are needed?

Water in California is past a crisis yet action seem limited. The Public Policy Institute of California brought together several panels to talk about the issues, concerns, possible solutions, and actions that all involved need to consider. Presentations & discussion held April 10, 2014, Sacramento, CA, USA.

More info at

Presentation links are below.

Additional shareable links

Introduction by Ellen Hanak with an Overview of the PPIC Water Finance Study

February 4, 2015

Is the race to commit to sustainability outpacing the processes and tools in place?

Dawn Robinson, Regional Director, Latin America, Proforest, talks about the context, drivers, and trends of sustainability. Ms. Robinson highlights some of the standards and tools that are available to help support sustainability efforts.

She closes with some of the challenges, including audit fatigue / duplication, exclusion of smallholders, and the race to commit maybe outpacing the processes and tools in place.

February 4, 2015

The "S" word is over used and, from a farmer perspective, the word is lost in the conversations.

Karl Williams, Director, FAI Farms with Benchmark Holdings, talks about farmers can measure sustainability. He suggests the "S" word is over used and, from a farmer perspective, the word is lost in the conversations.

Mr. Williams uses the model of the three Es (Economics, Ethics, and Environment) throughout the presentation, highlighting how real farmers are accomplishing sustainability. He suggests there only needs to be a set of simple measures in order for there to be a meaningful conversation.

February 4, 2015

How is the farming of global beef coming together with the discussions around sustainability?

Sustainability is something agriculture is working to understand, measure, and take action on. This is being done from a variety of angles and groups. The 2014 Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB), November 2 -5, 2014, São Paulo, Brazil, provides information on the types of sustainability efforts occurring in and around beef.

February 4, 2015

We can not separate ourselves from the land; We are the land, and the land is us.

Tre’ Cates, Chief Operating Officer/CFO, Savory Institute, points out how holistic management provides the management tools to understand nature and work with it. Mr. Cates says that the opportunity is to recognize that what is happening on farms is something that can increase the livelihoods of people, through holistic management of the world’s grasslands.

February 3, 2015

How does the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform work?

Brian Lindsay, Project Leader, Beef Working Group, explains what the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform is about and how it developed. The collaboration group was created in 2002 by the food industry to promote sustainable agriculture worldwide. Mr. Lindsay shares how the definition of sustainability was developed and what members do to help support the initiative. Mr. Lindsay concludes with an outline of the SAI timeline and goals.

February 3, 2015

What does beef sustainability looks like in Canada?

Cheryl Copithorne-Barnes, Chair, Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, presents what beef sustainability looks like in Canada. Ms. Copithorne-Barnes details the governance and execution of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and how it must operate in its mission.
February 3, 2015

Dos & don'ts on doing beef lifecycle assessments.

Dr. Kim Stackhouse, Director of Sustainability Research, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, shares the dos & don'ts discovered in the USA on doing lifecycle assessments. Dr. Stackhouse says it is important to remember that "Zero impact is not possible": there are tradeoffs and food production will result in an impact and the the goal is improvement over time.

Dr. Stackhouse concludes with the importance of having good science as a baseline for sharing beef sustainability stories over time.

February 3, 2015

Can science help consumers with respect to food and agriculture? Maybe not.

Kim Essex, Senior Vice President, Director, North American Food Practice, Ketchum, shares the stories that science does not always resonate well for consumers with respect to food and agriculture. Using the lead around the idea of "if only everyone recognized farmers' need to feed the world", Ms. Essex looks at what Food 2020 looks like and the messages that consumers hear.

Her take aways: 1) Be a listener, 2) Acknowledge concerns, and 3) Take actions that demonstrate authenticity and accountability.

February 3, 2015

How can one develop sustainability indicators?

This panel discussion with Dr. Marty Matlock (University of Arkansas), Dr. Kim Stackhouse (National Cattlemen's Beef Association), Brian Lindsay (SAI Platform), and Karin Kreider (Executive Director, ISEAL Alliance) addresses challenges in sustainable beef. Two of them: 1) how to develop sustainability indicators and, 2) what is the role of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.