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Recent AgClips

Emmer bill would tackle farmer suicide, mental health

| Posted onMarch 19, 2018 in News

Farming is stressful. Folks who grow food in the U.S. don't have control over the weather or the markets, and they may be isolated, said U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer.  The District 6 Republican is drawing attention to farmers' mental health and a 2016 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found people in agriculture have the highest suicide rates compared to other professional groups.  Emmer has sponsored a bill to support local mental health services to farmers and ranchers in the U.S.

Wendy's faces farm workers strike over sexual abuse

Newsweek | Posted onMarch 19, 2018 in Food News

A coalition of farmworkers is locked in a battle with Wendy’s, claiming the fast food chain cut its long-term ties to Florida farms in favor of Mexican labor to avoid strict worker protections against sexual misconduct. Dozens of workers are staging a five-day hunger strike this week to call on the company to meet what they say are new industry standards at a time when the #MeToo movement is drawing new attention to sexual harassment and abuse.

Lack of broadband limits telemedicine in rural areas

Next Avenue | Posted onMarch 19, 2018 in News

With a computer tablet from the Center for Telehealth at the University of Mississippi, health care providers regularly monitored a rural diabetes patient’s condition. But when the patient needed to transmit data to the doctors at the center, things got complicated. “He had to get in his car and drive to the top of the hill so he could make sure he had clear communication,” said Michael Adcock, the center’s executive director. “That’s not something he should have to do. He was passionate about the program and wanted to improve his health.

Food stamps cuts could hit rural America hardest

Union of Concerned Scientists | Posted onMarch 19, 2018 in Federal News

Much attention has been devoted to rural America since the presidential election. The press, the pundits, and the public have examined it from nearly every angle, deliberating the demographic, economic, and cultural factors that may have helped the Trump campaign capitalize on the dormant discontent of a great many. But we still don’t understand some basic facts about the people and the places that make up rural America. This is partially attributable to the destructive cultural and political narratives that tell us programs like SNAP are not a rural issue.

Cattle industry fighting to bar "meat" and "beef" from plant-based protein packaging

CBS | Posted onMarch 16, 2018 in Food News

The nation's largest cattle industry lobby group is fighting to defend the traditional meaning of the word "meat." The U.S. Cattlemen's Association filed a petition last month with the Department of Agriculture arguing that "lab-grown and plant-based products should not use the terms 'meat' or 'beef'" on their labels. Kelly Fogarty, whose family has raised Black Angus cattle for five generations, represents hundreds of ranchers as the executive vice president of the U.S. Cattlemen's Association. For them, defining meat is easy. "We don't want them to think of a laboratory.

Bill looks to legalize industrial hemp in Illinois

Illinois News | Posted onMarch 15, 2018 in SARL Members and Alumni News

Hemp could be in play as a new crop option for farmers in Illinois if a bill expanding its production passes the General Assembly. Bill Bodine, associate director of state legislation for the Illinois Farm Bureau, said Senate Bill 2298 would allow farmers to begin growing industrial hemp.“It is a bill that the Illinois Farm Bureau supports, though it is not our initiative,” Bodine said. “It would authorize the state Department of Agriculture to license farmers to grow industrial hemp in the state of Illinois.”

Syngenta Agrees to Pay More Than $1.4 Billion in Corn Accord

Bloomberg | Posted onMarch 15, 2018 in Agriculture News

Syngenta AG agreed to pay more than $1.4 billion to U.S. farmers who complained that the marketing of the company’s genetically modified corn seeds shut them out of the Chinese market, according to people familiar with the deal. The settlement with more than 100,000 farmers was announced Tuesday in a Minnesota class-action trial. It resolves all farmers’ litigation in the U.S. but doesn’t include Canadian lawsuits, according to Paul Minehart, a Syngenta spokesman.

Michigan proposes partnership to help pay for new Asian carp controls

CSG Midwest | Posted onMarch 15, 2018 in SARL Members and Alumni News

Michigan has 3,000 miles of coastline and more Great Lakes water within its jurisdiction than any other state or province in the basin. But one of the big ecological threats to this freshwater system is well outside the state’s borders — in Illinois and Indiana, where invasive species of Asian carp would be most likely to enter the Great Lakes basin, via the Chicago Area Waterway System.Gov. Rick Snyder proposed that all of the Great Lakes states (along with Ontario) collectively pay for that $8 million in operations costs.

Obstacles to new NAFTA deal include process for resolving disputes, ‘rules of origin’ for autos

CSG Midwest | Posted onMarch 15, 2018 in Federal News

Negotiators from Canada, Mexico and the United States have begun their seventh round of discussions for a new, or modernized, North American Free Trade Agreement. And while the dissolution of NAFTA seemed very likely several months ago, negotiations are still alive. To this point, results of the trilateral discussions have been mixed — consensus on some changes, but continued disagreement on issues such as dispute resolution and “rules of origin” that could ultimately block a new deal from being reached.

Farm-income losses hurting Midwestern states’ budgets; no turnaround for sector in sight

CSG Midwest | Posted onMarch 15, 2018 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that real gross domestic product increased 2.3 percent nationally between 2016 and 2017, but agriculture subtracted from overall economic growth in every state in the Midwest — most notably Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. “It’s a big deal in Nebraska when our farmers are hurting,” says Tony Fulton, the state’s tax commissioner and a former state legislator.