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Recent AgClips

Florida: Homeowners demand state pay for felled citrus trees

The Gainesville Sun | Posted onFebruary 2, 2017 in Rural News

Attorneys representing Broward County homeowners are demanding the state pay a $20 million judgment for tearing down healthy citrus trees in a failed attempt to eradicate citrus canker. The legal battle could set a precedent that might spread to four other counties and increase the final bill to $200 million.

Hawkes wins wetland case on remand from the U.S. Supreme Court

Pacific Legal Blog | Posted onFebruary 2, 2017 in Federal News

Hawkes Company is a family-owned business in Minnesota that sought to harvest peat moss, for landscaping, in nearby bogs. The Corps claimed jurisdiction over the property as regulated wetlands, even though a Corps reviewing officer found the Jurisdictional Determination invalid. This put Hawkes in an untenable position: Hawkes could (1) abandon all use of the land at great loss; (2) seek an unnecessary federal permit for a few hundred thousand dollars; or (3), proceed to use the land without federal approval subjecting Hawkes to fines of $37,500 a day and criminal prosecution.

Specialty crop success relies on labor

Illinois Farmer Today | Posted onFebruary 2, 2017 in Agriculture News

Without a stable, legal workforce to pick their fruit, the future of Sirles’ Rendleman Orchards in Alto Pass — and many other orchards — is in danger. “We need help to harvest our crops. It is a huge issue for specialty growers,” Sirles said at the recent Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism and Organic Conference in Springfield. Rendleman Orchards has been in business for almost a 150 years, but it may have to reduce the size of its operation to keep going if family members can’t find workers. “Our biggest limitation is labor. It’s expensive and restrictive,” Sirles explained.

Radical farmers are expanding agriculture’s political and economic philosophy

WTKR | Posted onFebruary 2, 2017 in Agriculture News

In recent years, a global network of alternative farms have pushed the edges of Western society’s “natural food” obsession by incorporating elements of environmental justice, climate activism, and urban planning.  They include the creation of seedbanks to help hedge against the spread of habitat destruction and impoverished sharecropping communities reclaiming land from corporate control to provide living-wage jobs in farm cooperatives and a more diverse, healthier vegetable selection than the dominant monocultures crowding the cereal aisle.

Hormel, Maschhoffs launch probes after hog farm video release

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted onFebruary 2, 2017 in Agriculture News

“The Maschhoffs has a zero-tolerance policy for any abuse or mistreatment of its pigs,” the company said in a statement. The company added that it is reinforcing the animal care policy with its employees and production partners, in addition to making sure that “every farm manager” reviews the video and “fully understands the responsibility that comes with proper animal care.” For its part, Hormel released a statement suspending all of the Oklahoma sow operations of the Maschhoffs until “a thorough investigation” is completed.

Raw milk measure buried in Massachusetts legislation

Food Safety News | Posted onFebruary 2, 2017 in Food News

Tucked into a rambling bill “promoting agriculture in the Commonwealth” of Massachusetts that includes provisions on joy-riding all-terrain vehicle operators, rain sensors on residential landscape sprinkler systems, and sundry sections on land assessments, re-valuation and taxation, is language to legalize the sale of unpasteurized raw milk.

Vegetarian diets are not going to save the planet from climate change | Posted onFebruary 2, 2017 in Food News

“The world should just switch to a vegetarian/vegan diet.” — says seemingly everyone, regarding the food-sustainability problem. If someone offers a solution to the Gordian Knot of food sustainability, run it through the following gauntlet:Does it allow you to do most of your food shopping at the grocery store? Does it require just eliminating one or two things from your diet or, alternatively, eliminating all but a few things? Does it excuse you from making substantial shifts in your diet as the seasons progress? A ‘yes’ to any of those questions is the clarion call of bulls .

8 Rural and Small Town Trends for 2017

Small Biz Trends | Posted onFebruary 2, 2017 in Rural News

Rural OmniLocal. Instead of waiting for customers to walk in the front door, smart rural businesses are using the same omni channel tactics as big businesses. In order to reach more than just the local customers in their small towns, rural businesses are selling via their own websites, platforms like Amazon or Etsy, custom apps, automated deliveries and monthly subscription boxes. Independent Workforce.

The Importance of the Non-Farm Rural Economy to Farm Household Income

Illinois Farm Policy News | Posted onFebruary 2, 2017 in Rural News

A recent study (Income Trends for Iowa Farms and Farm Families 2003-2015) by David Peters, associate professor and extension rural sociologist with Iowa State University, summarized current trends in farm income by type of farm operation and pointed to more specific issues regarding the importance of non-farm income to the financial picture of farm households. The study pointed out that net farm income has dropped the past three years for commercial farms.

Nebraska:Senators working to help veterinarians monitor, report Rx narcotics

Lincoln Journal Star | Posted onFebruary 2, 2017 in Rural News

One of the last hurdles in Nebraska's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program is helping veterinarians find a way to participate to help prevent people from abusing narcotics prescribed for animals.The program was set up to prevent abuse of prescription painkillers and sedatives that can cause addiction, misuse and death from overdose. Nebraska was one of the last states to implement a functional prescription drug monitoring program, with the Legislature getting it done last year. On Jan.