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Ohio dairy farmers leaving at higher-than-usual rate

Feedstuffs | Posted on April 25, 2018 in Agriculture News

The dramatic drop in milk prices is causing Ohio’s dairy farmers to leave the business at a higher than usual rate, according to The Ohio State University’s (OSU) College of Food, Agricultural & Environmental Sciences. While some farmers retire and give up their dairy licenses every year, there has been an uptick recently. In March 2018, there were 2,253 licensed dairy farms in Ohio – a drop of 59 farms in five months.

Trade Concerns Batter Business Confidence

Creighton University Economic Outlook | Posted on April 25, 2018 in Agriculture News

April Rural Mainstreet Index Positive:April Survey Results at a Glance:  For a third straight month the overall index remained above growth neutral.
* Farmland price growth and agriculture-equipment sales continue to decline.  Trade concerns slam the business confidence index.  More than three-fourths of bank CEOs reported that export markets were very important to their local economy.  Almost one-third of bankers support the abolition of NAFTA and undertaking a new agreement.  More than one-fifth of bankers support the elimination of oil refinery waivers to RFS obligations.

‘Plant-based’ plays way better than ‘vegan’ with most consumers

Food Navigator | Posted on April 25, 2018 in Agriculture News

On the face of it vegan and plant based might appear to be interchangeable but consumers do not view them in the same way.  in a nationawide survey, respondents felt plant based was more flexible, offered them more and tasted better than vegan.

SARL Members and Alumni News

Colorado and three states accuse Arizona of manipulating Colorado River supply and demand

The Denver Post | Posted on April 25, 2018

Tension over the drought-stressed Colorado River escalated into a public feud when four U.S. states accused Arizona’s largest water provider of manipulating supply and demand, potentially threatening millions of people in the United States and Mexico who rely on the river.

Tennessee Lawmakers Strip $250,000 From Memphis As Payback For Removing Confederate Statues

Nashville Public Radio | Posted on April 25, 2018

The city of Memphis could lose a quarter-million dollars as punishment for removing statues of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Confederate President Jefferson Davis last year. The Tennessee House of Representatives voted to strip the money from next year's state budget. The sum had been earmarked to go toward planning for Memphis' bicentennial celebrations next year. The surprise move came just before legislators were to give final approval to Gov. Bill Haslam's $37 billion spending plan.

VSU ag center director named Virginia's new agriculture commissioner

The News & Advance | Posted on April 19, 2018

The executive director of Virginia State University’s Center for Agricultural Research, Engagement and Outreach has been appointed the state’s agriculture commissioner. Jewel Bronaugh was named to the post by Gov. Ralph Northam.

Nebraska Craft Brewery Board seeks grant proposals by April 30

high Plains Journal  | Posted on April 19, 2018

By encouraging Nebraskans to “Grow local. Brew local, and Buy local,” the Nebraska Craft Brewery Board hopes to enhance the state’s hop and craft brewery industry. Every year the Craft Brewery Board awards grants to fund research, development and marketing projects related to the industry. This year, the Board has approximately $90,000 available for innovative projects from growers, industry organizations, state and local agencies, educational groups and other eligible stakeholders. 

Indiana Trial Court Applies Right-toFarm Act

Indiana Ag Law | Posted on April 19, 2018

The Hendricks County Superior Court ruled in favor of a group of hog farmers and their cooperative when it dismissed a lawsuit against them. The Lawsuit was filed by neighbors who argued that the hog farm was a nuisance, that the farm's location was rhe result of negligent siting and that the farm would release odors which would trespass on neighbor's property.  The plaintiffs argued the farm itself had been negligently sited, so the RTFA should not apply.

Agriculture News

Ohio dairy farmers leaving at higher-than-usual rate

Feedstuffs | Posted on April 25, 2018

The dramatic drop in milk prices is causing Ohio’s dairy farmers to leave the business at a higher than usual rate, according to The Ohio State University’s (OSU) College of Food, Agricultural & Environmental Sciences. While some farmers retire and give up their dairy licenses every year, there has been an uptick recently. In March 2018, there were 2,253 licensed dairy farms in Ohio – a drop of 59 farms in five months.

Trade Concerns Batter Business Confidence

Creighton University Economic Outlook | Posted on April 25, 2018

April Rural Mainstreet Index Positive:April Survey Results at a Glance:  For a third straight month the overall index remained above growth neutral.
* Farmland price growth and agriculture-equipment sales continue to decline.  Trade concerns slam the business confidence index.  More than three-fourths of bank CEOs reported that export markets were very important to their local economy.  Almost one-third of bankers support the abolition of NAFTA and undertaking a new agreement.  More than one-fifth of bankers support the elimination of oil refinery waivers to RFS obligations.

‘Plant-based’ plays way better than ‘vegan’ with most consumers

Food Navigator | Posted on April 25, 2018

On the face of it vegan and plant based might appear to be interchangeable but consumers do not view them in the same way.  in a nationawide survey, respondents felt plant based was more flexible, offered them more and tasted better than vegan.

Water Quality BMPs in Midwest Ag Landscapes: What Can be Learned from the Forest Sector

Dovetail Partners Inc | Posted on April 25, 2018

Declining water quality is a pressing environmental challenge and a landscape scale issue, affecting public and private landowners and many aspects of society. The need to protect water resources has prompted both government and individual involvement in finding solutions. Agricultural crop and animal production significantly impact water quality (Table 1). Land cultivation activities can contribute to increased risks of soil erosion, and the application of fertilizers and pesticides contribute to contaminated water runoff.

Upstate NY farmer says ICE officers stormed his farm without a warrant, cuffed him

Syracuse.com | Posted on April 24, 2018

John Collins was standing outside the milk house at his dairy farm this morning when he heard yelling coming from inside. He ran in, he says, and saw his worker, Marcial de Leon Aguilar, pinned up against the window by armed men. The men did not identify themselves and were screaming at Aguilar, Collins said. "I run and say, 'What the hell is going on in here?'" Collins said.Then the men told Collins they were officers with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He asked them for a warrant or some paperwork to explain what they were doing.

Federal News

House Ag Committee advances farm bill with few farm changes, major SNAP dispute

The Progressive Farmer | Posted on April 19, 2018

After hours of criticism by Democrats on changes to food programs, the House Agriculture Committee passed a farm bill out of committee Wednesday on a strictly partisan 26-20 vote as every Republican voted for the bill and every Democrat opposed it.

The Facts About Food Stamp Fraud

Forbes | Posted on April 19, 2018

There's too much misinformation about the U.S. government's food stamp scheme. So after some investigation, here are some facts about the benefit, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).The takeaway is that food stamp fraud ballooned during the four years through 2016 but that it still represents a tiny percentage of the program. How much did fraud grow? It jumped to $592.7 million in 2016, up a staggering 61% from $367.1 million in 2012, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

First Amendment: Skim Milk Labeling Leads Maryland Dairy to Sue FDA

Dairy Herd Management | Posted on April 19, 2018

A Maryland dairy farm with its own milk bottling business is suing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over the labeling of skim milk and if it violates the First Amendment. A lawsuit was filed by the non-profit group the Institute for Justice with Randy and Karen Sowers, owners of South Mountain Creamery near Frederick, Maryland, on April 5 against the FDA. At issue is South Mountain Creamery’s labeling of skim milk. The dairy milks 550 cows and bottles milk on-farm selling to about 5,000 customers.

EU moves to ban sale of lower-quality branded food in eastern Europe

The Guardian | Posted on April 19, 2018

Brussels wants to make it illegal for food and drink multinationals to sell inferior versions of well-known brands to customers in eastern Europe, after studies suggested hundreds of products were involved in the practice. An EU directive banning so-called “dual food” was announced on Wednesday following longstanding complaints from member states in central and eastern Europe. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, HiPP baby food, Birds Eye, Lidl and Spar have denied accusations of selling lower quality goods in the east bearing identical branding to products sold in western Europe.

AG Jeff Sessions halts free legal assistance program for detained immigrants

Dallas News | Posted on April 19, 2018

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has suspended a free legal assistance program for detained immigrants who need  basic advice as their cases wind their way through court. "Every day this program is not in operation puts family unity at risk, harms our communities, and infringes on the right of all people to make informed decisions about their legal claims," the Vera Institute said in a statement Wednesday.

Rural News

Outdoor Recreation Driving Population Boom in Rural Areas

Pew Charitable Trust | Posted on April 25, 2018

Every year, more people are moving to small towns tucked in the Flathead Valley so they can choose from a range of outdoor activities — camping, hiking, riding their bikes, even kayaking or skiing — throughout the year. Flathead County first hit 100,000 residents last year, after growing by about 10 percent since 2010, according to U.S. census estimates. It’s the state’s second-fastest growing county, after Gallatin County, home of Montana State University, and one of the fastest-growing rural counties with populations over 25,000 in the United States.

When Your Fixer-Upper Is Your Hometown

The New York Times | Posted on April 19, 2018

Darla Moore came from humble roots. She grew up in Lake City, S.C., an agricultural community with a population of 6,675. After college, she moved to New York, where she achieved tremendous success in finance. She was the first woman on the cover of Fortune magazine. And with Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, she became one of the first two female members of Augusta National Golf Club.About 10 years ago, Ms. Moore began spending more time in Lake City, where her grandparents had farmed and her father, a school principal and coach, was a local leader.

What role do immigrants play in U.S. labor force?

Marketplace | Posted on April 19, 2018

President Donald Trump and many congressional Republicans are pursuing policies to reduce legal immigration to the United States, with proposals to prioritize admission for highly skilled and well-educated immigrants over those with family ties to residents and by deporting undocumented immigrants currently living and working in the U.S.Meanwhile, the unemployment rate has fallen toward 4 percent, and employers increasingly say they're experiencing worker shortages.Economist Aparna Mathur at the American Enterprise Institute warns that reducing immigration to the United States over the comi

Melting of Arctic mountain glaciers unprecedented in the past 400 years

Science Daily | Posted on April 19, 2018

Glaciers in Alaska's Denali National Park are melting faster than at any time in the past four centuries because of rising summer temperatures, a new study finds.

Rural population grows in counties witrha lower digital divide

Daoly Yonder | Posted on April 19, 2018

When they live in remote rural areas, millennials are more likely to reside in a county that has better digital access. The findings could indicate that the digital economy is helping decentralize the economy, not just clustering economic change in the cities that are already the largest.

Energy News

The renewable fuel standard works for rural America and our economy

The Hill | Posted on April 19, 2018

Political posturing from a small segment of the petroleum industry has the Trump administration considering damaging changes to our most successful American energy policies that we’ve seen in decades: the renewable fuel standard. The RFS was passed by a bipartisan Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush more than a decade ago, provides an avenue for domestic biofuels producers to gain access to the U.S. transportation fuels market, which has been monopolized by the petroleum industry for more than a century. The results of the program have been impressive.

Trump to put biofuel reform push on ice, for now

Reuters | Posted on April 19, 2018

The Trump administration will delay any moves to reform the nation’s biofuel policy for about three months, according to three sources briefed on the matter - a decision one of the sources said was meant to shield farmers worried about a potential trade war with China. The decision comes after President Donald Trump failed to broker a deal between Big Oil and Big Corn during meetings over months about the future of the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard - a law broadly supported in the U.S. heartland that requires oil refiners to add biofuels like ethanol to the nation’s gasoline.

Annual wind energy report shows record energy production

North American Wind Power | Posted on April 19, 2018

fter strong growth in 2017, wind power now supplies more than 30% of electricity in four states and more than 10% in 14 states, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s newly released U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report 2017, which shows that the industry now employs a record 105,500 men and women across all 50 states. Notably, New Mexico added wind capacity at a faster rate than any other state in 2017.  According to AWEA, wind power generated a record 6.3% of U.S.

The economic impacts of the regional greenhouse gas intiative on nine Northeast and Mid Atlantic States

Analysis Group | Posted on April 18, 2018

In 2009, ten Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states launched the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (“RGGI”), the country’s first market-based program to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (“CO2”) from existing and new power plants.1 The scope of RGGI is significant: the current set of RGGI states account for more than one-eighth of the population in the U.S. and more than one-seventh of the nation’s gross domestic product. It is thus important to evaluate and understand the program’s performance and outcomes.

Parents Didn’t Want Fracking Near Their School. So the Oil Company Chose a Poorer School, Instead.

Mother Jones | Posted on April 18, 2018

Back in 2013, the company Mineral Resources was granted a permit to drill a few hundred feet from Frontier Academy, a majority white charter school in Greeley, Colorado. But after parents and neighborhood residents strongly resisted, the project was delayed. The following year, the Denver-based energy company Extraction Oil and Gas acquired Mineral Resources and abandoned the plans to frack near Frontier Academy. The site, Extraction explained in an internal analysis, was “not preferable” for oil and gas development because of its proximity to the school and its playground.

Food News

EU moves to ban sale of lower-quality branded food in eastern Europe

The Guardian | Posted on April 19, 2018

Brussels wants to make it illegal for food and drink multinationals to sell inferior versions of well-known brands to customers in eastern Europe, after studies suggested hundreds of products were involved in the practice. An EU directive banning so-called “dual food” was announced on Wednesday following longstanding complaints from member states in central and eastern Europe. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, HiPP baby food, Birds Eye, Lidl and Spar have denied accusations of selling lower quality goods in the east bearing identical branding to products sold in western Europe.

GAO to USDA: Take further action to reduce pathogens in meat

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on April 19, 2018

The GAO said USDA has developed standards limiting the amount of salmonella and campylobacter permitted in certain meat and poultry, such as ground beef, pork carcasses and chicken breasts. But it has not developed standards for other products that are widely available, such as turkey breasts and pork chops. Further, USDA's process for deciding which products to consider for new standards is unclear because it is not fully documented, which is not consistent with federal standards for internal control, GAO said.

2018 a year for lots of meat

Brownfield Ag News | Posted on April 18, 2018

Lower prices for producers on nearly every type of meat are forecast by USDA for this year which means lower prices for consumers. The reason is bigger supplies of almost every type of meat. “We’ve got beef, pork, broilers increasing production year over year,” says Seth Meyer, USDA Outlook Board Chairman. Meyers says turkey production is the only exception, down just a little. Meyers says overall meat production this year should be higher by more than 3%. And that translates to lower prices for most livestock producers.

Montana residents fight proposed multi-species plant

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on April 18, 2018

Hundreds of residents in Great Falls, Mont., gathered on Saturday night to voice concerns about a proposal to build a large multi-species slaughter facility in the area. Canadian company Friesen Foods, having purchased 3,000 acres of undeveloped farmland in the area, has proposed to build the “Madison Food Park.” The facility, as the company has described, would be a state-of-the-art, robotically controlled, environmentally friendly, multi-species food processing plant for cattle, pigs and chickens and related further processing facilities for beef, pork and poultry.

After research, flavored milk returns to some schools

Hoard's Dairyman | Posted on April 13, 2018

While local school boards, Parent Teacher Associations, and most recently the Trump administration weigh in on food served in schools, the dialogue around flavored milk is more multifaceted than in years past. There is opportunity for both plain and flavored milk in schools.