Category: Dairy Farm

At Yeast We Can Mold the Future

The food industry surely sees its share of yeast and mold concerns.   Both are relentless aggressors in food deterioration and spoilage that: “can invade and grow on virtually any type of food at any time; they invade crops such as grains, nuts, beans, and fruits in fields before harvesting and during storage. They also grow on processed foods and food mixturespetrifilm.”

Not only can the presence of yeast and mold compromise your product but they sometimes also make people sick.

So, how do we control unwanted yeast and mold when it comes to our food supply?   Obviously, industry innovations targeted at inhibiting yeast and mold growth have done a great deal for quality assurance and producers’ bottom lines.

Yet, peace of mind might be much more difficult to come by than a piece of moldy food in your operation.   Even with such preventative measures in place, yeast and mold still cause issues and are wont to show up anywhere at any time.  This provides a great deal of frustration to food producers, as their equipment, the facility, and the foods produced are all susceptible.  Consumers, naturally, can grow weary when yeast and mold compromise their latest purchase at the supermarket.

Thankfully, the industry continues to research methods to minimize the waste and possible ill health effects generated by yeast and mold issues.   For example, 3M recently introduced a new line of defense in this battle against yeast and mold: 3M™ Petrifilm™ Rapid Yeast and Mold Count Plates.

Instead of waiting on traditional agar methods, which may take up to five days to incubate, the new Rapid Yeast and Mold Count Plates provide results in 48-hours, allowing for more oversight of incoming ingredients and finished products leaving food facilities.  You can check out 3M’s Petrifilm™ Rapid Yeast and Mold Count Plates in 50-count boxes here or 500-count cases here.

Nelson-Jameson is continuously searching out new methods and products, like the 3M Petrifilm™ Rapid Yeast and Mold Count Plates, to ensure food safety and integrity.  Keep checking back here for more updates on food safety and quality issues, including a host of innovative solutions that target food quality and safety concerns.

Product Focus: UDY Protein Analyzer

calfOn the blog, we have dealt with the topic of protein numerous times. Why? Well, protein is on our customers’ minds. This nutritional focal point is not only about our diets; it is also about the food production processes that bring these products to our plates.

For example, farmers want to make sure that their livestock is getting the best nutrition available. The proper nutrition of animals not only assists in their well-being, but also helps to create quality food end-products. Protein, as it is for humans, is an essential in animal diets and in the growth and maintenance of livestock, including in the feeding/raising of calves.

That is one of the reasons that our Lab area features the UDY Protein Analyzer, a tool used by many feed operations and farms. The UDY measures protein using Acid Orange Dye.   It also differentiates between non-protein nitrogen, vestigial pieces of intact protein molecules, and functional proteins. Instead of measuring via digestion methods based on nitrogen, the technology is based on functional binding sites of amino acids lysine, histidine, and arginine, considered essential amino acids in the diet of the non-ruminant calf.

An exclusive to Nelson-Jameson, the UDY is aimed at farmers and small businesses where on-site testing is ideal. Are you interested in getting your hands on this “hands-on approach”? You can check out the UDY Protein Analyzer on our website.  For further information, contact our Laboratory Products Department at 800-826-8302.

Fluid Milk: Market and Generational Differences Are Influencing Consumption

Milk GlassThe publication of the USDA’s “Why Are Americans Consuming Less Fluid Milk?   A Look at Generational Differences in Intake Frequency” this May has lead to frank discussion in the dairy industry. Citing a ‘“slow continuous shift downward’ in milk drinking since the 1940s,” the report analyzes the causes and potential effects of this downward trend. The trend has been especially felt significantly in the last several decades: “Since 1970 alone, per capita fluid milk consumption has fallen from 0.96 cup-equivalents to about 0.61 cup-equivalents per day”.

So, what is going on here?  The authors point to several issues that have energized this trend including the following: frequency of consumption, a diversified marketplace, and generational differences. In regards to frequency, Americans “have become less apt to drink fluid milk at mealtimes, especially with midday and nighttime meals, reducing the total number of consumption occasions.” Part of the reason the frequency has decreased is due to an expanding array of beverage options that are out there for the average consumer.

Milk has been displaced by the consumption of energy drinks, sodas, juices, tea, coffee, etc. The current market offers a wide selection of beverages, choices, and purported claims. For younger consumers this variety and choice is something they have always known, unlike older consumers who remember fewer choices and a lack of access to Taurine-infused energy drinks, iced teas, iced coffee drinks, chocolate soy milk, etc. Continue reading

A Labor of Love


Source: ABC News

One of my favorite parts of my job is when I get to either talk to customers face to face or on the phone. I like to find out who they are and what they do. Farmers, for example, are just a rare bunch of people that amaze me.

Do you all remember one of the most memorable commercials of the 2013 Super Bowl? The Dodge Ram Truck commercial with the voice of Paul Harvey, a speech that was delivered to the National Future Farmers of America Convention in 1978, he says:

“And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, ‘I need a caretaker.’ So God made a Farmer. God said, ‘I need somebody will to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight to a meeting of the school board.’ So God made a farmer.”

Farmers and traditions, they go hand in hand. Many farms are handed down from generation to generation. I’m sure Nelson-Jameson, Inc. has seen that throughout the years. Farmers…..dairy, nut, sheep, goat farmers, take your pick. It’s possible that we here at Nelson-Jameson, Inc. have done business with just about all the different types of farmers you can think of. We’d probably starve without our beloved farmers.

Farming is seven days a week with little time to rest. They work hard, harder than most people in the world. In fact, they feed the world. They work harder to make our lives easier. Farmers help to create jobs for our world. Without farmers, there wouldn’t be processing plants to take what the farmers have produced and to package them. There wouldn’t be truck drivers to deliver the food to the supermarkets. No checkers or bag boys to sell or help carry your food to your car. So why do they do it? Why work so hard for people they don’t know? I think Paul Harvey said it best:

“Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life ‘doing what dad does.’” So God made a farmer. “To the Farmer in all of us.”

Small Farmers: Proposed Rules on Produce Bring Many Questions

MH900406529What does the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) mean for small farmers? How and when will these standards and practices be implemented? Most pressing to many small farmers is the big question of, “What is this going to cost me?”

In terms of produce, the answers to this last question come in the details.

A piece from the AP cites: “The FDA estimates the cost of implementing the rules will be about $4,700 a year for very small farms, $13,000 for small farms and $30,500 for large farms. Size is determined by a farm’s annual business.”  Yet, before panic gets a chance to set in for readers out there that are small farmers, factor in that: “Farms selling less than $25,000 of produce annually and those selling directly to the public without going through a third party would be exempt. FDA estimates about 79 percent of all U.S. produce farms won’t have to comply.”

Details about economic parameters, along with details in countless other areas, are plentiful when it comes to the FSMA. For small farmers it will be necessary to figure out where they fit in and what changes will be needed in their operation to comply with new standards of food safety in the United States.

Thankfully, the FDA provides various resources to help small farmers determine their applicable roles and responsibilities. One very basic resource to consult can be found here on a “What You Need to Know” page. For further information and to sign up for FSMA email updates click here.

Knowing a bit about the details can go a long way in keeping your operation working smoothly. It can also provide a place to begin taking on major change in the food industry, with a bit more confidence in tow.