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Cultured lab meat may make climate change worse

BBC | Posted on February 20, 2019 in Food News

Researchers are looking for alternatives to traditional meat because farming animals is helping to drive up global temperatures. However, meat grown in the lab may make matters worse in some circumstances.

Oklahoma sets new rules for chicken farm placements, expansions

Meating Place (free registration required) | Posted on February 20, 2019 in SARL Members and Alumni News

The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture approved new rules covering the locations of chicken farms relative to schools, homes and water sources, although the provisions will not affect current farms operating before October 2018. The new setback requirements call for chicken operations with fewer than 150,000 birds to be at least 500 feet from homes. Larger chicken farms must be established at least 1,000 feet away from houses. All chicken operations also now must be 500 feet from public wells, 100 feet from private wells and 200 feet from streams, officials said.

Groundwater contamination devastates a New Mexico dairy – and threatens public health

New Mexico Politcal Report  | Posted on February 20, 2019 in Agriculture News

For months, Clovis dairy farmer Art Schaap has been watching his life go down the drain. Instead of selling milk, he is dumping 15,000 gallons a day – enough to provide a carton at lunch to 240,000 children. Instead of working 24/7 to keep his animals healthy, he’s planning to exterminate all 4,000 of his cows, one of the best herds in Curry County’s booming dairy industry.

SARL Members and Alumni News

Oklahoma sets new rules for chicken farm placements, expansions

Meating Place (free registration required) | Posted on February 20, 2019

The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture approved new rules covering the locations of chicken farms relative to schools, homes and water sources, although the provisions will not affect current farms operating before October 2018. The new setback requirements call for chicken operations with fewer than 150,000 birds to be at least 500 feet from homes. Larger chicken farms must be established at least 1,000 feet away from houses. All chicken operations also now must be 500 feet from public wells, 100 feet from private wells and 200 feet from streams, officials said.

Missouri Court Holds Crop Dusting Not Inherently Dangerous Activity

Texas A&M | Posted on February 19, 2019

A case out of Missouri, Keller Farms, Inc. v.

Gov. Tom Wolf proposes tax breaks, loans in new Pa. Farm Bill

Lehigh Valley Live | Posted on February 19, 2019

The agriculture industry is facing a workforce shortage and Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration hopes to address it with the Pennsylvania Farm Bill, a proposal that is being described as historic. This multi-faceted $24 million package includes a variety of measures aimed at cultivating future generations of farmers and providing assistance to help new and beginning farmers. Lawmakers hailed the Farm Bill proposal as the first time in generations that agriculture was given some focused attention in a governor’s budget proposal.

New Mexico Bill would provide San Juan College with $500,000 for renewable energy program

Farmington Daily Times | Posted on February 19, 2019

San Juan College is getting attention in Santa Fe for its potential in training a renewable energy industry workforce.  A bill introduced in the New Mexico House of Representatives would turn the college into a Center of Excellence for renewable energy. It would be one of four Centers of Excellence in the state. Each center would receive $500,000.Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has pushed to create the centers. Each would have its own focus. For example, New Mexico State University’s focus would be agriculture and University of New Mexico would focus on bioscience.

Land purchase paves way for Idaho Research Dairy

Feedstuffs | Posted on February 19, 2019

 A plan to create the nation’s largest research dairy advanced Feb. 14 with the Idaho State Board of Education’s vote to allow the University of Idaho to buy land for the $45 million project. The University of Idaho and Idaho dairy industry-led effort will create the Idaho Center for Agriculture Food & the Environment (CAFE). The project took a major step forward with the go-ahead to finalize purchase of land in Minidoka County near Rupert, Ida.The University of Idaho and the Idaho Dairymen’s Assn.

Agriculture News

Groundwater contamination devastates a New Mexico dairy – and threatens public health

New Mexico Politcal Report  | Posted on February 20, 2019

For months, Clovis dairy farmer Art Schaap has been watching his life go down the drain. Instead of selling milk, he is dumping 15,000 gallons a day – enough to provide a carton at lunch to 240,000 children. Instead of working 24/7 to keep his animals healthy, he’s planning to exterminate all 4,000 of his cows, one of the best herds in Curry County’s booming dairy industry.

Missouri Court Holds Crop Dusting Not Inherently Dangerous Activity

Texas A&M | Posted on February 19, 2019

A case out of Missouri, Keller Farms, Inc. v.

Gov. Tom Wolf proposes tax breaks, loans in new Pa. Farm Bill

Lehigh Valley Live | Posted on February 19, 2019

The agriculture industry is facing a workforce shortage and Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration hopes to address it with the Pennsylvania Farm Bill, a proposal that is being described as historic. This multi-faceted $24 million package includes a variety of measures aimed at cultivating future generations of farmers and providing assistance to help new and beginning farmers. Lawmakers hailed the Farm Bill proposal as the first time in generations that agriculture was given some focused attention in a governor’s budget proposal.

Conservation group buys ranch, sells it back to Montana landowners

Billings Gazette | Posted on February 19, 2019

North-central Montana ranchers and an international conservation group have collaborated to acquire a neighbor’s 5,000 acres in a unique partnership.“There was a ranch next to us we wanted to buy and didn’t have the funding to do so … without becoming a financial casualty,” said Dale Veseth, a Malta-area rancher.

Land purchase paves way for Idaho Research Dairy

Feedstuffs | Posted on February 19, 2019

 A plan to create the nation’s largest research dairy advanced Feb. 14 with the Idaho State Board of Education’s vote to allow the University of Idaho to buy land for the $45 million project. The University of Idaho and Idaho dairy industry-led effort will create the Idaho Center for Agriculture Food & the Environment (CAFE). The project took a major step forward with the go-ahead to finalize purchase of land in Minidoka County near Rupert, Ida.The University of Idaho and the Idaho Dairymen’s Assn.

Federal News

New Farm Bill Makes Way for Plant Biostimulants

Growing Produce | Posted on February 19, 2019

The recently signed Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka, the farm bill)broke new ground on several fronts for growers and industry stakeholders.

EPA published rule redefining WOTUS

Meating Place (free registration required) | Posted on February 19, 2019

The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a proposed rule defining the scope of waters regulated under the federal Clean Water Act, opening a public comment period through April 15.

Farm Bill - Rural Development: Title VI (Rural Development) and Title XII (Miscellaneous)

USDA | Posted on February 19, 2019

Gives new emphasis to rural health issues, primarily through the direction of program funds. The first section focuses on rural substance abuse, directing the Secretary to set aside 20 percent of Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program funds for projects providing treatment services for substance use disorders.

FDA And The Produce Safety Rule

Forbes | Posted on February 18, 2019

FDA enforcement of the Produce Safety Rule is coming soon via routine inspections.

Funding bill tackles cell-based meat and other food issues

Politico | Posted on February 18, 2019

The latest federal funding package from Congress weighs in on two contentious issues facing the USDA and FDA: oversight of cell-based meat and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s plan to move key research agencies outside of Washington. The legislation, H.J. Res. 31 (116), sets a timeline for the first time for ending any lingering disagreement over the regulation of cell-based meat by giving USDA and FDA three months to “enter into a formal agreement delineating“ their responsibilities.

Rural News

USDA and HHS partner to create recovery housing in rural communities

Lake County News | Posted on February 19, 2019

USDA and HHS will partner to create addiction recovery transitional housing in rural  communities. USDA Rural Development and HHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, will coordinate efforts to sell USDA’s Real Estate Owned single-family housing properties at a discount to non-profit organizations that provide housing, treatment, job training and other key services for people in substance misuse treatment and recovery. 

Wolves may keep cows off Washington Fish and Wildlife land

Capital Press | Posted on February 18, 2019

Washington Fish and Wildlife may prohibit cattle from some department grazing lands to avoid conflicts with wolves, according to an internal review of grazing policies. The review responds to a wolf population growing in numbers and territory. If the department follows through, some of the 129,459 acres of grazing land owned by Fish and Wildlife likely would be off-limits to cattle.In other places, ranchers would have to sign detailed plans to prevent attacks by wolves with non-lethal measures. In some cases, cattle could be taken off the land to stop the depredations

For 6 Cities on the Great Lakes, the Cost of Water Has Risen Sharply

Governing | Posted on February 14, 2019

For months, the Rev. Falicia Campbell kept a secret from her congregation, her friends and even her adult children. It was a secret she was ashamed to divulge: She was living without running water.Like a growing number of Americans, the 63-year-old Chicago resident couldn't afford to pay her rising water bills. She inherited her mother's house in Englewood, a poor neighborhood on the city's South Side, and last year received a $5,000 bill.Campbell is partially blind and lives on a fixed income from disability payments. She dedicates most of her time to helping her community.

We have a new global tally of the insect apocalypse. It’s alarming.

Vox | Posted on February 14, 2019

Insects are the most abundant animals on planet Earth. If you were to put them all together into one creepy-crawly mass, they’d outweigh all humanity by a factor of 17.Insects outweigh all the fish in the oceans and all the livestock munching grass on land.

Groups to sue US agency over loss of caribou herd

San Francisco Gate | Posted on February 14, 2019

Environmental groups plan to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to prevent the recent loss of the last herd of mountain caribou in the Lower 48 states. The handful of remaining animals were relocated into Canada last November, ending decades of efforts to save the southern Selkirk Mountains herd, which were located in a remote part of northern Idaho and Washington state.

Energy News

Does clean energy include nuclear? Pennsylvania is latest state to debate

Energy News Network | Posted on February 19, 2019

Clean energy advocates in Pennsylvania are weighing whether to throw their support behind a proposed bailout for the state’s nuclear power plants.

New Mexico Bill would provide San Juan College with $500,000 for renewable energy program

Farmington Daily Times | Posted on February 19, 2019

San Juan College is getting attention in Santa Fe for its potential in training a renewable energy industry workforce.  A bill introduced in the New Mexico House of Representatives would turn the college into a Center of Excellence for renewable energy. It would be one of four Centers of Excellence in the state. Each center would receive $500,000.Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has pushed to create the centers. Each would have its own focus. For example, New Mexico State University’s focus would be agriculture and University of New Mexico would focus on bioscience.

America’s trains are a drag. The Green New Deal wants to fix that.

VOX | Posted on February 18, 2019

High-speed trains already compete with planes in many parts of the world. They also have far lower carbon emissions.Specifically, the section of the FAQ on transportation calls to “build out high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.” The resolution itself doesn’t mention air travel at all but does call for the goal of “investing in ... clean, affordable, and accessible transportation; and high-speed rail” as part of a 10-year national mobilization.

U.S. settles with Antero over water pollution from fracking

Reuters | Posted on February 14, 2019

The U.S. Justice Department reached a settlement with oil and natural gas company Antero Resources Corp over claims it violated the Clean Water Act at 32 different sites in West Virginia, mostly tied to fracking. Antero agreed to pay a penalty of $3.15 million and provide mitigation for affected sites, estimated to cost $8 million. The violations involved unauthorized disposal of materials into local waterways associated with hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, for natural gas extraction, the Justice Department said.

Florida’s about-face on solar power

Christian Sciene Monitor | Posted on February 14, 2019

Despite being the Sunshine State, Florida has long lagged when it comes to tapping into the abundant rays overhead.

Food News

Cultured lab meat may make climate change worse

BBC | Posted on February 20, 2019

Researchers are looking for alternatives to traditional meat because farming animals is helping to drive up global temperatures. However, meat grown in the lab may make matters worse in some circumstances.

Bacteria in raw milk endangers people in 19 states

Smart Brief | Posted on February 19, 2019

Brucella bacteria in raw milk from Miller's Biodiversity Farm in Quarryville, Pa., has affected an "unknown number" of people in 19 states, according to the CDC. RB51, the strain of brucella found in the milk, is resistant to the antibiotic rifampin.

Hospital Wastes A Third Less Food After This One Change

Forbes | Posted on February 19, 2019

When it comes to wasting food, hospitals are one of the most egregious culprits, with two to three times more waste than other food service sectors. UC San Francisco Medical Center, however, has found that one change cut the amount of food it wastes by 30%. It now serves food on-demand.Most hospitals produce food in bulk and serve it at predetermined meal times, which may or may not be in sync with a patient’s appetite or the timing of health care services being performed.

Authorities develop new DNA tool to detect food fraud and expose misleading labelling

Farm Ireland | Posted on February 19, 2019

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has a new DNA scanning tool to identify the entire DNA content of a food.The new analytical tool can proactively identify all the ingredients and their biological sources in a food, which will aid regulators in protecting consumers in relation to potential food fraud and/or misleading labelling.The FSAI worked with a commercial laboratory (Identigen) over the past two years in adapting a relatively new DNA sequencing technology known as “next generation sequencing”, so that it could be used as a DNA scanning tool in food.The idea is to compare the

Lawmakers hope to create farm-to-school produce pipeline

West Central Tribune | Posted on February 18, 2019

Minnesota House File 811 would put aside $2 million each year to reimburse schools or childcare providers that feed kids local fruits and vegetables through farm-to-school initiatives and would help farmers sell their produce to schools.