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Technology used to track premium Wyoming beef on blockchain

Medium | Posted onJune 8, 2018 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

The goal of the pilot made by Wyoming Certified Beef, LLC and Germany-based traceability solution provider TE-FOOD International is to showcase the premium living conditions of the cattle (grass-fed on an open range throughout their entire lives) thereby producing much higher quality cuts of beef to lucrative foreign markets. The verified ranch-to-table traceability of the cattle through RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) ear tags and anchored by blockchain technology has never been done before.


It’s Wildfire Season in California, and Utilities Want to Tamp Down Their Liability

Pew Charitable Trust | Posted onJune 8, 2018 in Rural News

California utilities might have to pay billions of dollars in damage if state investigators find their power lines sparked last year’s devastating wildfires. And they’ll face similar bills in the future, whenever a tree falls across a power line and sparks a fire that reduces homes, hotels and schools to ashes.


Three big wins for solar energy in Illinois

Environmental Law & Poliocy Center | Posted onJune 8, 2018 in Energy, SARL Members and Alumni News

All three bills passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly and now await the Governor’s signature.  Each bill, in its own unique way, is important to successful solar energy development in Illinois.  SB 3214 (Solar Pollinators) – ELPC drafted this legislation after reviewing similar efforts in Minnesota and Maryland.  SB 3214 will lead to increased pollinator-friendly habitat on solar energy project sites in Illinois.


Des Moines DREAMer dies within weeks after being sent back to Mexico’s violence

Des Moines Register | Posted onJune 8, 2018 in Rural, SARL Members and Alumni News

Manuel Antonio Cano Pacheco should have graduated from high school in Des Moines last month. The oldest of four siblings should have walked across a stage in a cap and gown to become a proud symbol to his sister and brothers of the rewards of hard work and education. Instead, Manuel died a brutal death alone in a foreign land, a symbol of gang supremacy in a country plagued by violent drug cartels. It happened three weeks after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement returned him to Mexico, a country he had left at age 3 when his parents brought him here without a visa.


Senate Ag Leaders Announce No-Drama Farm Bill

Agriculture.com | Posted onJune 8, 2018 in Federal News

The Senate Agriculture Committee will vote next week on a bipartisan farm bill that makes few changes to food stamps, farm supports, and crop insurance, a marked contrast to the decision by House Republicans to pursue welfare reform in their farm bill. The biggest argument at the Senate “mark up” was expected to be over tougher limits on subsidies.


Washington Ecology defends dairy rules as hearing ends

Capital Press | Posted onJune 8, 2018 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

An eight-day hearing on the Washington Department of Ecology’s new manure-management rules ended Thursday with the agency defending itself against varied attacks by the dairy industry and environmental groups. Ecology’s attorney, Phyllis Barney, asked the Pollution Control Hearings Board to uphold rules that will require dairies with more than 200 cows to obtain pollution-control permits from Ecology. The Washington State Dairy Federation and Washington Farm Bureau, and a coalition of environmental groups are appealing aspects of Ecology’s rules.


China warns US trade deals off if tariffs go ahead

Washington Examiner | Posted onJune 5, 2018 in Federal News

China warned Sunday after another round of talks on a sprawling trade dispute with Washington that any deals they produce "will not take effect" if President Donald Trump's threatened tariff hike on Chinese goods goes ahead. Tuesday's announcement revived fears the conflict between the two biggest economies might dampen global growth or encourage other governments to raise their own barriers to imports.


In Colorado, a Fracking Boom and a Population Explosion Collide

The New York Times | Posted onJune 5, 2018 in Energy News

A new oil rig will rise behind a middle school in this sprawling county in the coming months, its slender tower bearing an announcement: fracking is back. After a downturn that began in 2015, oil and gas production is booming again, and new projects are sprouting along American freeways and padding government budgets, cheered by state legislatures, the fossil fuel industry and the Trump administration.


Ruling provides new rationale for blocking Oregon solar project

Capital Press | Posted onJune 5, 2018 in Energy News

The Oregon Court of Appeals has provided a new legal rationale for why an 80-acre solar power project on farmland in Jackson County was improperly approved. Last year, the county government granted Origis Energy, the project’s developer, an exception to Oregon’s land use goal of preserving farmland, but the decision was reversed by the state’s Land Use Board of Appeals. According to LUBA, the solar project didn’t qualify for the exception because it’s not dependent on a “unique resource” that would require converting farmland for industrial development.


Dairy farmers are struggling as they are squeezed out of a changing milk market

CNBC | Posted onJune 5, 2018 in Agriculture News

Dean Foods canceled contracts with about 100 dairy farmers in eight states. It's part of a larger trend as the dairy market is getting hurt by competition among retailers, low milk prices and shrinking milk consumption. At a national average of $3.23 a gallon, retail milk prices are lower now than ten years ago.


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