NAME CHANGE SOUGHT FOR CORN GLUTEN MEAL (FarmWeekNow) - Contrary to the name, the product contains no gluten, confusing consumers. Corn gluten meal represents one coproduct from wet milling corn that provides a high-protein ingredient used in many pet foods and livestock feed. By the name of the coproduct, one would think corn gluten meal contains gluten. In fact, it contains 60 to 70 percent protein and is 100 percent gluten-free. It’s a misnomer.

University of Illinois food engineer, Kent Rausch, said, “Wheat contains gluten. Corn does not. There has never been any reason why corn gluten meal and another wet milling coproduct, corn gluten feed, should contain the word gluten. Gluten is found in wheat, barley and rye – not in corn or corn coproducts.” So, how did the word creep in? Rausch said the story goes that one of the early corn processors hired someone from a wheat gluten processing facility. “He just called everything that had protein in it ‘gluten.’ But I’ve never seen anything in writing to verify the story.”

Some animal food processors would like to see the name officially changed to something more accurate and to avoid any confusion on the part of consumers.

GROWMARK ANNOUNCES 2018 ESSAY CONTEST THEME (FarmWeekNow) - GROWMARK’s 2018 Essay Contest, open to all high school FFA members, will focus on this theme: How can cooperatives demonstrate their value to the next generation of agriculturists? Aimed at helping young people develop writing skills, the 2018 contest marks the 25th year for the program. Essays must be submitted online by Nov. 10. Information has also been sent to agriculture teachers. The state’s winner earns a $500 award and the winner’s FFA chapter receives a $300 award. Four runners-up will each win $125. http://www.growmark.com/company/youth-young-farmers/pages/essay-contest.aspx

ANIMAL AGRICULTURE ALLIANCE…THEN AND NOW - The Animal Agriculture Alliance is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Over that 30 years, the organization has seen changes and innovation in technology on the farm and in communications. Today, the Alliance has 300 members and donors (Including Cook County Farm Bureau). The organization has grown from one part-time employee to five full-time staff members, plus interns and contractors who provide critical services.

The coalition was brought together by American Feed Manufacturers Association (AFMA), American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) because they identified animal rights activism as a threat to American agriculture. In the early 1980’s the Humane Society of the United States had lobbied for legislation to investigate and regulate on-farm animal welfare. Europe had already made moves to regulate on-farm practices that in many cases negatively impacted farmers or had a negative impact on animal welfare. There was valid concern that these changes could happen in the U.S. At the same time, more animal rights groups were being formed, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Animal Rights International.

The Alliance has remained focused on providing a unified voice for animal agriculture and working to bridge the communication between farm and fork. The Alliance continues to connect stakeholders in food and agriculture, engage relevant influencers and protect the industry from the damaging blows of misinformation spread by groups who are opposed to the mere existence of animal agriculture and meat consumption. The farmers and ranchers remain committed to continuous improvement in areas such as animal welfare, sustainability, responsible antibiotic use and food safety.

For more information about the resources available from the Alliance or how to join the Alliance, visit www.animalagalliance.org or find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Snapchat.

ILLINOIS RECEIVES $3.16 MILLION FOR PARK, CONVERVATION PROJECTS - U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, recently announced Illinois will receive $3.162 million for outdoor recreation and conservation projects from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is funded through offshore oil and gas leasing. The funds were part of $94.3 million distributed nationwide and awarded through federal matching grants that leverage public and private investment in state and local public parks. The money enables state and local governments to improve existing parks and other recreation areas through rehabilitation and upgrade projects.