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Recent AgClips

Feds tell student loan companies to ignore state authority

Santa Fe New Mexican | Posted onMarch 13, 2018 in Federal News

The U.S. Education Department issued guidance Friday informing state regulators to back off the companies managing its $1.3 trillion portfolio of student loans, arguing that only the federal government has the authority to oversee its contractors.“State regulation of the servicing of direct loans impedes uniquely federal interests,” the department wrote.

Lawmakers make few tweaks to Oregon farm laws in 2018

Capital Press | Posted onMarch 13, 2018 in SARL Members and Alumni News

A “cap-and-trade” proposal to limit carbon emissions didn’t pass muster during Oregon’s 2018 legislative session, comforting critics who feared increased fuel, fertilizer and electricity costs.

Washington lands commissioner: We need Dreamers

Capital Press | Posted onMarch 13, 2018 in SARL Members and Alumni News

Washington Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz on Tuesday sought to humanize the uncertain status of residents brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Idaho House ag committee again OKs tougher trespass bill

Capital Press | Posted onMarch 13, 2018 in SARL Members and Alumni News

After hearing from dozens of people over the span of two hearings lasting a combined eight hours, Idaho House ag committee members have approved a bill that would strengthen and consolidate the state’s trespassing laws. The House Agricultural Affairs Committee on Feb. 14 voted 11-1 to approve a bill by Rep. Judy Boyle, a Republican rancher from Midvale, that amends the state’s trespassing laws.Boyle rewrote the bill to address concerns of sportsmen’s groups and others opposed to it.

Poultry farms aren’t small independent businesses, says the agency that funds them

The New Food Economy | Posted onMarch 13, 2018 in Agriculture News

The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) on Tuesday announced in a new report that most chicken growers may no longer qualify as independent, small businesses. And that means they won’t qualify for small business loans. It’s a finding that could signal a significant loss in support: Between 2012 and 2016, SBA loaned about $1.8 billion to poultry growers. In 2016, poultry companies received more than three-quarters of all the SBA loans that went to agricultural businesses.

Oil and Corn Tout Dueling Studies on Future of U.S. Biofuel Program

US News and World Report | Posted onMarch 13, 2018 in Energy News

Big oil and big corn are touting opposing studies released this week on proposed biofuels policy reforms under consideration by the Trump administration, part of an ongoing clash between the two sides over the future of the program.Valero Energy Corp , a major oil refiner, funded a study by Charles River Associates that supports placing a cap on the price of biofuel blending credits under the U.S.

U.S. senators tout compromise on manure reports

Capital Press | Posted onMarch 13, 2018 in Federal News

The legislation would exempt farms from a law spawned by careless handling of industrial waste in the 1970s. The bill, however, leaves open the possibility that producers will someday have to report the volume of gases released by livestock under a different law inspired by the 1984 chemical leak in Bopal, India, that killed up to 20,000 people. Farm groups had sought to exempt producers from both laws, commonly referred to by their acronyms, CERCLA and EPCRA.

Bayer Feed A Bee program funds 20 new projects

PR Newswire | Posted onMarch 13, 2018 in Agriculture News

Less than one year after launching the Feed a Bee 50-state forage grant program, the Bayer Bee Care Program revealed the list of 20 new organizations that have received funding for important forage initiatives around the country, bringing the total number of projects funded to more than 100. After a rigorous review and evaluation process by the Feed a Bee steering committee, 20 organizations were chosen in the latest round of review to receive awards ranging from $1,000 - $5,000. This brings the total for the program to 112 funded projects in 39 states and Washington, D.C.

These senior EPA officials can now moonlight for secret private-sector clients

Environmental Defense Fund | Posted onMarch 13, 2018 in Federal News

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued an ethics waiver to one of Pruitt’s political appointees, John Konkus, to let him work for unknown outside private clients. These clients, and their political or commercial interests, won’t be divulged, raising troubling questions about possible conflicts of interest. He is now one of two employees in senior EPA leadership positions allowed to earn $135,000+ government salaries while also drawing paychecks from outside clients that may have a direct stake in EPA’s work.

Canadian egg farmers disappointed with new TPP agreement

Canadian Poultry Magazine | Posted onMarch 13, 2018 in Agriculture News

Egg Farmers of Canada has weighed in on Tuesday’s Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) announcement.