Want to keep up with the latest news for farmers? Check back every Thursday for a quick recap of recent happenings in the agriculture industry.

Humane Livestock & Poultry Farmers Can Apply for $2,500 Grants to Improve Animal Welfare
Farmers who wish to improve the welfare of their farm animals can apply for a Fund-a-Farmer grant of up to $2,500 from Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT). Since 2012, FACT has awarded 91 Fund-a-Farmer grants totaling $195,000, directly impacting more than 66,000 animals to independent family farmers across 27 states: AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NY, OH, OR, PA, TN, TX, VT, WA, WI, and WV. A 2016 survey of grant recipients found that 90 percent of the projects still are in use, 97 percent had highly improved or somewhat improved animal welfare, and 93 percent had improved the farms’ financial sustainability, by improving profits, creating recurring cost savings, and increasing customers.

Oregon Lean Group Boosts Value for Marion Ag Service and its Customers at First Event with Consortium
The Oregon Nursery Lean Consortium helped one of its new members reduce steps by 55 percent on an order fulfillment process. The improvement was made during Marion Ag’s first hosted improvement event with the Consortium, held at the company’s new fertilizer processing facility in Aurora, Ore. The team focused on the process of fulfilling a customer’s order, targeting the extra time and steps involved. Company leaders had a goal of reducing non-value-added activity by 25 percent. The improvement team exceeded these expectations, cutting steps by more than half and increasing the value-added ratio by 112 percent.

Brookside Agra Introduces All-Natural ABSORB PLUS™ Multi-Purpose Drying Agent
Brookside Agra introduces new ABSORB PLUS™, an all-natural, multi-purpose drying agent that provides sustained suppression and elimination of ammonia, moisture and odors in animal production and housing facilities. ABSORB PLUS is composed of 80% hydrated sodium calcium aluminosilicate and a 20% mineral mix of iron, zinc and copper. ABSORB PLUSalso contains no phosphorus, which eliminates concerns regarding manure management and application, and it poses no health threats to animals or humans. All of ABSORB PLUS’s separate components are on the GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and FDA lists.