USTR Lighthizer Updates On Trade Progress With UK & China

IARN — There has been much speculation on the trade sector in the past few weeks and months. A lot of it has been centered on whether or not China can live up to its commitments to buy additional U.S. Ag products under the Phase-One trade deal. Also, there are negotiations being held with the United Kingdom (UK). Those are not going as positively as we would like them to. Read more

Master Pork Award Nominations Due August 1st

IARN — Nominations for the 2020 Master Pork Producers, Master Pork Partners, and Environmental Steward Award are now being accepted by the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA). The submission deadline is Aug. 1, 2020.

The Master Pork Awards Program is a joint effort between IPPA and Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach. The program began in 1942 to help stimulate pork and lard production in support of World War II efforts. While program standards have shifted over the years, the awards still serve to promote diversity, efficiency, and excellence in pork production in Iowa.

The Master Pork Producer award recognizes outstanding Iowa pork producers. Awardees will be evaluated based on their pork production statistics, and their commitment to We CareSM principles, which outline values in food safety, animal well-being, employee safety, and health, community outreach, and protection of both the environment and public health.

There are three categories for Master Pork Partner awards, which were first established in 2014 to recognize individuals who are not involved in the day-to-day on-farm duties and management, but demonstrate positive impacts on Iowa pork production through important partnerships with pig farmers. The additional categories are Veterinarian of the Year and Driver of the Year.

The IPPA Environmental Steward Award looks to recognize an individual who demonstrates the positive contributions the pork industry makes to the natural environment. Applications are evaluated on the following criteria: manure/nutrient management, soil and water conservation, air quality, public relations, wildlife habitat, and environmental management innovations. The Environmental Steward Award was established in 2007.

The Master Pork Awards Program selection committee is made up of IPPA staff, along with staff from ISU Extension and the Iowa Pork Industry Center at ISU. The IPPA Environmental Committee selection panel will review Environmental Steward Award applications.

All award winners will be honored at the 2021 Iowa Pork Congress in Des Moines in January. The Master Pork Awards Program has honored more than 1,500 Iowa pig farmers over the years, and 13 farm families have received the Environmental Steward Award.

For more information, award nomination forms and instructions, and past award recipients, go to and click on the information on the left side of the page. You can also contact the IPPA office at 800-372-7675 or email

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

Prairie Strips, Prescribed Burning Benefits Outlined In Virtual Field Day

IARN — An educational field day outlining the benefits of prairie strip management and prescribed burning was held via Zoom on Thursday by the Practical Farmers of Iowa.

Prairie Strips are a practice that more farmers and landowners are using to reintegrate prairie into Iowa’s agricultural landscape, providing numerous water quality and wildlife benefits in the process. Sprit Lake farmer Eric Hoien described the use of prairie strips on his 129-acre farm during the virtual event. His operation currently features 23 acres of prairie strips. Read more

“Beef Up Iowa” Connects Iowa Beef To Food Banks

IARN — On Thursday, the “Beef Up Iowa” program was launched to connect Iowa beef producers with food banks that feed those in need. The program is in partnership between the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University, and Iowa beef producers. It is part of Governor Kim Reynolds’ Feeding Iowans Task Force. Read more