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  • More than 100 Nobel Laureates from diverse disciplines are voicing their support for GMO precision agriculture and calling on leaders of Greenpeace, the United Nations and governments around the world to join them. The Laureates -- winners in fields including Medicine, Economics, Physics, Chemistry, Literature and Peace -- have all signed an open letter asking Greenpeace and others who have been blocking progress and access to beneficial plant biotechnology products, like Golden Rice, to abandon their campaigns against GMOs.

    The campaign was announced on Thursday June 30th at a Washington, DC press conference by representative signers Sir Richard Roberts (1993 Nobel Laureate for Physiology or Medicine), Professor Martin Chalfie (2008 Nobel Laureate for Chemistry) and Professor Randy Schekman (2013 Nobel Laureate for Physiology or Medicine).  A website http://supportprecisionagriculture.org/ offers details on the Nobel Laureates’ statement, list of signers and background on the benefits and safety of GMOs.

    At the Washington press conference, Laureate Sir Richard Roberts stated, “In our letter we call upon Greenpeace and like organizations to end their shameful campaign of propaganda and criminal destruction of crops improved by modern genetic technologies, such as GMOs.” Roberts, added, “We call on governments and world organizations to do everything in their power to oppose anti-GMO obstruction and to accelerate farmer access to the life-saving tools provided by modern biotechnology.”

    The Laureates urged policy makers, the public and others to come together and add their names to the list of signers and asked how many poor people in the world must die before we consider this a "crime against humanity."

  • On June 18th the Saint Louis Science Center will open an interactive exhibit highlighting Missouri and Illinois agriculture. With more than an acre of land featuring 40 indoor and outdoor exhibits, "GROW: Explore the Journey of Food" lets visitors get their hands dirty while following the journey food takes from the farm to the dinner plate.

    At GROW, kids can make treats for the resident chickens, race mini tractors and much more. On Saturday's the Fermentation Station will host local beer and wine tastings to teach visitors about the fermentation process. You can also enjoy pairings from their locally sourced seasonal menu. With a greenhouse, garden, and orchard GROW will change with the seasons and educate about agriculture year round.

    Want to help tell the story of agriculture? The Saint Louis Science Center is looking for volunteers to help educate visitors with hands-on programs or tend to the plants and animals at GROW. For more information visit slsc.org/volunteer-opportunities.

  • Producers and packers use three general methods to price livestock in the United States.

    The most common is referred to as formula pricing—a bilateral contract between producer and packer. The contract specifies a formula that benchmarks its transaction price to either a reported livestock price from a national or area cash market, a plant-average price, or a composite wholesale price (cutout) for the animal’s meat.

    This formula system dominates non-cash market settlements. Another method of pricing livestock, negotiated pricing, represents sales that are negotiated between buyer and seller at a cash market.

    Forward pricing is a third and less popular pricing method—transaction prices are based on the Chicago futures market contract prices for both slaughter hogs and cattle.

    Because livestock futures contracts represent expected prices at cash markets, forward prices are closely related to negotiated prices but are paid via a bilateral contract.

    The share of negotiated livestock has declined rapidly over the last decade. In 2004, over 60 percent of all cattle were sold on some type of negotiated basis; by 2014, that number had dropped to about 27 percent. (The share of hogs sold on a negotiated basis between 2007 and 2014 fell from about 8.4 percent to 2.6 percent.)

    Source: USDA’s report: Thinning Markets in U.S. Agriculture (http://mfa.ag/LrRjkCE)

  • The MFA Incorporated Charitable Foundation recently donated $15,000 to the University of Missouri Extension on behalf of the University of Missouri Fire & Rescue Training Institute. The money will be used for the institute’s Grain Engulfment Rescue Training Program to provide specialized training for Missouri emergency responders to grain entrapment and engulfment emergencies.

    Through this training, the first responder will learn about the hazards and issues associated with grain entrapment/engulfment emergencies, and the basic techniques to safely conduct initial rescue operations. Students will apply selected rescue techniques to safely retrieve patients from grain entrapments utilizing a mobile grain bin simulator that is part of the course. Local fire departments are the first on the scene to deal with these emergencies and need the appropriate training to safely deal with the incident.

    A 2010 Purdue University study revealed that the rate of grain entrapments in 2009 increased by 22.5 percent over the previous five-year average. Other data show that 61 percent of grain bin incidents occur at rural farm facilities.

    “MFA has been a significant program partner since the start by providing grain for use in the mobile simulator. This funding provided by the MFA Incorporated Charitable Foundation will further enable the program to be more accessible by reducing the course costs to deliver the programs throughout the state,” said David Hedrick, director of the institute.

  • Temple Grandin’s worldwide reputation as a leader in the field of humane animal handling and autism advocacy has propelled her into one of the nation’s most distinguished groups—the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Colorado State University professor of animal sciences is an internationally recognized leader in animal handling innovations. Her expertise has been employed by major corporations such as Wendy’s International, Burger King, Whole Foods, McDonald’s Corp. as well as the USDA, where she has trained auditors in animal care at livestock processing plants. Grandin’s approach to animal welfare is informed by her experiences with autism and through her perspective as a “visual thinker.”

    She is a tireless advocate for autism awareness, a role model for individuals across the autism spectrum, and inspiration for families who have loved ones diagnosed with autism. Despite labels that were put on her at an early age, Grandin has accomplished much throughout her career, including earning her doctoral degree, authoring a New York Times best-seller, Animals in Translation, and having the story of her life depicted in HBO’s Temple Grandin.

    “Temple Grandin is a one-in-a-billion mind, and to include her as an autistic person in this group of esteemed scholars is an honor to her and human potential,” said Colorado State University President Tony Frank. “We’re proud to include her unique and insightful mind among our faculty ranks.”

    Grandin is the third member of the CSU faculty to be elected to the American Academy. Biologist Diana Wall was inducted as a member of the Class of 2014; the late Marshall Fixman was the first inducted, in 1970. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, an alumnus of the CSU College of Liberal Arts, is also part of the American Academy Class of 2016.

    Since its founding in 1780, the American Academy has served the nation as a champion of scholarship, civil dialogue and useful knowledge. Its ranks include winners of the Nobel Prize and the Pulitzer Prize as well as Grammy, Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award winners, and other lauded intellectuals such as George Washington, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Margaret Mead. In addition to delivering a multitude of public talks and presentations, Grandin has also appeared in popular media outlets such as 20/20, 48 Hours, Larry King Live, 60 Minutes, The New York Times, Forbes and U.S. News and World Report. In 2010, Time named her one of the “100 Most Influential People” and her namesake film debuted that same year. She also delivered a TED Talk in 2010 on “The World Needs all Kinds of Minds.”

    Grandin’s visibility on the world stage has increased autism awareness and understanding in ways that are truly without precedent. “To see Temple Grandin included among such a distinguished group of scientists, writers, artists and civic leaders speaks to the power of her scholarship and the transformative nature of her autism advocacy,” said Ajay Menon, dean of the CSU College of Agricultural Sciences.

  •  

    The Missouri Cooper County Cattlemen's will hold the 5th Annual Golf Tournament Scholarship fundraiser this Friday, July 1, 2016. Starts at 1:30 pm.

    Awards include $520 for First, $400 for Second and $300 for Third Place based on a full field of 36 teams. Other contest include a $10,000 hole in one contest. Contact David Wolfe at 660-621-0850 for more information.

    The tournament will be at the Hail Ridge Golf Course, 11511 Hwy 87 Boonville, MO. (MAP LINK HERE)

    Download PDF of Flyer HERE.

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