Rosetta Davis said she had not planned on publicly sharing what she alleges are the most intimate and painful details of her 16 years working for the Agriculture Department. But after hearing department officials praise the work environment at USDA during a Black History Month event last week, she said she felt compelled to speak. Before an audience of USDA employees in Jefferson Auditorium at USDA headquarters, Davis said she was fed up by what she described as years of sexual harassment and retaliation by senior management in civil rights offices.
Last week, our federal government made a sobering statement: It proposed to eliminate the nation’s largest working lands conservation program, the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). This was done as part of the president’s larger budget, an annual, lengthy set of proposals to Congress; the latest was released last week. Although the decision to preserve CSP ultimately lies at the feet of Congress, it is deeply troubling that the agency tasked with administering the program has publicly proposed to eliminate it.
The Oklahoma-based Noble Research Institute announced Wednesday that the group will work to create a new environmental services trading platform for agriculture to bring together both carbon-sequestration and water trading goals. Noble has brought together a small cadre of conservationists that have been working on carbon trading or water-quality trading concepts over the last several years.
Dog owners, breeders, and farmers who testified against an animal cruelty bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) said, while its intentions are good, they fear it would open the door to abuse and intimidation by animal rights activists, unfairly discriminate against the poor, and allow extortion by the agencies providing emergency care. They point to the judgment against Christina Fay, the Wolfeboro woman convicted of animal cruelty after authorities seized 84 Great Danes that were living in squalid conditions.
nterior Secretary Ryan Zinke is pressing ahead with a massive overhaul of his department, despite growing opposition to his proposal to move hundreds of public employees out of Washington and create a new organizational map that largely ignores state boundaries. Zinke wants to divide most of the department’s 70,000 employees and their responsibilities into 13 regions based on rivers and ecosystems, instead of the current map based mostly on state lines.The proposal would relocate many of the Interior Department’s top decision-makers from Washington to still-undisclosed cities in the West.
The state House this week showed strong support for redistributing wolves in Washington, except from lawmakers whose districts could be candidates for taking in wolves. The House voted 85-13 on Tuesday to direct the Department of Fish and Wildlife to study moving wolves from Eastern Washington to Western Washington. The “no” votes, three Democrats and 10 Republicans, were cast by westside legislators whose districts include expansive tracts of wildlife habitat.
egislation introduced in the Kansas Senate defining parameters for chicken houses would help expand the state’s currently modest chicken industry and is endorsed by Kansas State University faculty and county economic development groups. State officials and university ag experts testified this week that the poultry industry represents the one area of animal agriculture that is expanding, and said the bill would not weaken state environmental standards.
A plan to create a fishing license lottery to get new people into the scallop fishery has passed a key hurdle in the Maine Legislature.The Joint Standing Committee on Marine Resources unanimously approved the proposal on Feb. 14. It now moves to the full Legislature, which is likely to vote on it in the next couple of weeks.The average age of Maine scallop fishermen is higher than 50, and the fishery has been closed to new people since 2009.
Having a no-antibiotics-ever requirement in a program that is supposed to promote better bird welfare puts a marketing claim above bird welfare. One of the core standards for all Global Animal Partnership (GAP) animal agriculture welfare programs is that no antibiotics, animal byproducts in the feed or added hormones can ever be used. This means that if birds get sick and have to be treated with antibiotics, then they are no longer part of the GAP Program. Meat from broilers or the eggs from layers that have been treated have to be marketed elsewhere.
The New Mexico agency that regulates oil and natural gas development has a plan to start plugging more of the hundreds of abandoned wells located across the state. The state Oil Conservation Division is seeking to plug 41 wells on state land and 19 on private land during the current fiscal year