New NAHMS Survey to Measure Antibiotic Use, Stewardship

Starting in May, the USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) will ask pig farmers who have at least 1,000 pigs and farm in any of the top 13 pork-producing states about their on-farm antimicrobial use and their related stewardship practices. Those states include Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and South Dakota.

Specifically, the NAHMS Antimicrobial Use on U.S. Swine Operations 2017 study will:

  • Estimate the percentage of production sites using and the percentage of weaned market pigs receiving specific antimicrobials in feed and/or water by reasons for use.
  • Describe antimicrobial-use practices in feed and water on production sites.
  • Provide baseline data (historical) on antimicrobial-use practices in place before implementation of FDA policy changes (prior to 2017), which can be used for evaluating trends over time.
  • Describe antimicrobial stewardship practices on production sites with weaned market pigs or swine nursery and grower-finisher facilities.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will contact producers in the 13 states who have at least 1,000 pigs to ask for their participation in the study. Later this summer, those who agree to participate will meet with a veterinarian from the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, who will conduct the survey. Importantly, the NAHMS study will protect participants’ privacy by not revealing names or contact information associated with individual data.

For more information about the NAHMS study, contact: USDA–APHIS–VS–CEAH NRRC Building B, M.S. 2E7 2150 Centre Ave., Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117. Phone: (970) 494-7000 Email: or visit NAHMS at:

2017 Census of Agriculture


The Census of Agriculture is a complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Even small plots of land - whether rural or urban - growing fruit, vegetables or some food animals count if $1,000 or more of such products were raised and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the Census year.

The Census of Agriculture, taken only once every five years, looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures. For America’s farmers and ranchers, the Census of Agriculture is their voice, their future, and their opportunity.

2017 Update on Advancements in Cereal Grains

While seed laws and regulations have not changed, breeding has. Advancements with scab tolerance, standability, yield, and disease resistance have been great. As a result, owners of various varieties - biotech companies - have sought to safeguard their research and investment by obtaining patents and PVPA protection on new variety releases to protect their intellectual property. For instance, on wheat and triticale varieties, approximately 70% are currently patented and 28% are PVPA protected (the remaining 2% are older lines that are limited and falling out of favor). Protecting their investment in this way will allow them to continue to bring you better varieties in the future.

Pay close attention to the tag on the seed you are planting so as not to inadvertently violate patent and PVPA laws. Violations can include: 

  • Purchasing a patented variety and producing the crop for more than one use
  • Saving seed back for your own planting
  • Offering seed for sale or trade
  • Purchasing a PVPA variety and selling this grain as seed, trading, or offering this seed for sale to anyone else (you are allowed to save seed back for planting on your farm only)

The owner of the variety can seek huge damages for such actions.


How do you know if your seed is covered by patent or PVPA laws? This information can be found on the tag or your seed dealer can provide you with this information if you are unsure of what you planted. It's not too late: if you have a crop in the field that you were intending on saving for seed, alternative uses, such as grain or forage will eliminate the risk of being in violation. Don't risk being charged with the theft of intellectual property. The seed industry is very aware of the growing number of individuals selling "brown bag seed" and the number of investigations and violations are growing every year.
2017 PennAg Scholarship Program
In August, twenty-two students received scholarships from PennAg Industries Association. The PennAg Scholarship Fund, supported by members and friends of the association, is funded primarily through the annual Divots for Degrees Golf Outing. The 2016 outing was held at Four Seasons Golf Club, Landisville and raised more than $15,500 for the fund.
Since its inception in 1991, the PennAg Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships to children of our industry's employees. To be eligible for a scholarship, applicants must be enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution and work for a PennAg member or be a child of a PennAg member. Read more.
The application for the 2017 program can be viewed by clicking here. A committee of PennAg Board Members judge eligible applications for academics, activities, essay, and interest in pursuing a career in agriculture. Deadline to apply is May 26, 2017.
PennAg to Offer Ad Banner Space in Weekly Update
Looking to get business information out and in front of thousands? Look no further than the PennAg Weekly Update! Beginning in September 2016, we began offering ad banner space above the fold in the Weekly Update, providing optimal value to you and your business. Interested in learning more? Download an order form. Space is being sold on a per month basis, so act fast to secure your ad spot!
Stay Informed of the Latest Agricultural and Shale Law Developments

The Center for Agricultural and Shale Law disseminates information through a number of different platforms on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. With so many options, stakeholders can choose products that will keep them informed according to their own needs. Learn more.

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Information

Visit the PennAg Poultry Council page for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza information and updates.

Save the Date / Register Today
Cyber Security Symposium - May 24
Join PennAg for an important informational meeting regarding cyber security. Cyber security, also referred to as information technology security, focuses on protecting computers, networks, programs, and data from unintended or unauthorized access, change, or destruction. Many groups collect, process, and store a great deal of confidential information on computers and transmit that data across networks to other computers. With the growing volume and sophistication of cyber attacks, ongoing attention is required to protect sensitive business and personal information.

Join us to learn about cyber security and more! Thanks to our generous sponsors - PDM Insurance Agency and the Insurance Alliance - this program and lunch are available free of charge*. (Lunch to be catered by Hess' BBQ.) Click here to download a registration form. *Although the program and lunch are free, pre-registration is required.

PennAg Divots for Degrees Golf Outing - May 25

The 2017 PennAg Divots for Degrees golf outing will be held Thursday, May 25 at Four Seasons Golf Course, Landisville. 
The PennAg Divots for Degrees golf outing raises money for the PennAg Scholarship Fund, which offers awards for children of PennAg members. We are looking forward to another great event - you won't want to miss it! Download a registration form to register your foursome or sponsor the event!

SEPAGBA Golf Outing & Grain Meeting - June 13

The 2017 SEPAGBA Golf Outing and Grain Meeting will be held Tuesday, June 13 at Wyncote Golf Course, Oxford, PA. The event will begin with a boxed lunch at 11 a.m., shotgun start at noon. Following a round of golf, participants will enjoy dinner, SEPAGBA meeting, and a special presentation from folks who will report their findings from the annual Mid-Atlantic Wheat Tour. Download a registration form today!

PennAg Sporting Clay Classic - August 24
Join us on Thursday, August 24 for the PennAg Sporting Clay Classic. To be held at Central Penn Sporting Clays (75 Quarry Road, Wellsville), the event will feature an optional wobble trap, lunch, 100 target clays course, and will conclude with a ice cream social.

*Please note, the 2017 event is NOT a fundraiser for the PennAg PAC, simply a fundraiser for general use by the Association. 

Interested in sponsoring and/or participating in the event? Download a registration form or register online today! Questions? Please contact Amy Bradford at or 717-651-5920.


May 17

Poultry Health Committee Meeting

9:30 a.m.

(Room 309, PA Dept. of Agriculture)

May 24

Cyber Security Symposium

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

(Farm & Home Center, Lancaster)

May 25

Divots for Degrees Golf Outing

(Four Seasons Golf Course, Landisville)

May 26

PennAg Scholarship Applications Due

May 29

Memorial Day

PennAg Office Closed

Additional Calendar Items

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Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

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