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Recent AgClips

Commodity groups seek freedom of information exemption for checkoff boards

Capital Press | Posted onApril 30, 2016 in News

Several agricultural organizations have gotten language included in the pending fiscal year 2017 House Agricultural Appropriations Bill asking USDA to exempt research and promotion boards funded by grower checkoff fees from federal public records law.

USDA currently fills records requests, subject to certain exemptions, on behalf of the boards under the federal Freedom of Information Act. USDA bills the boards to cover its oversight, including time spent on records requests.

Alberta announces funding for conservation

The Wester Producer | Posted onApril 30, 2016 in Rural News

The Alberta government recognized Earth Day April 22 by announcing $15 million to be available annually, over the next five years, for public and private land conservation projects.

The funds were allocated in the recent budget and will support the Land Trust Grant Program and the Land Purchase Program, according to an Alberta Environment news release.

The two programs are used to promote voluntary conservation of private land and to buy land the province considers to be of high conservation value.

Whole Foods prevails in ‘humane’ lawsuit | Posted onApril 30, 2016 in Food News

A federal judge in California has dismissed, with prejudice, a lawsuit filed against Whole Foods by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, alleging that the high-end “natural” and organic food retailer is deceiving consumers with its claims of “humane” treatment of the animals from which Whole Foods derives its meat products.

Thousands of fish die in Colorado, concrete from flood recovery blamed

High Country News | Posted onApril 30, 2016 in Rural News

In early March, a resident of the small Colorado towns of Drake and Glen Haven — situated within northern Colorado’s Big Thompson River Canyon — reported noticing funky gray water in a side creek of the river and a murder of crows picking at a few dead fish. A few days later, March 7, a large plume of more cloudy water ran down the Big Thompson, leaving behind a massive fish kill.

New renewable energy projects may find opportunity in old transmission lines

High Country News | Posted onApril 30, 2016 in Energy News

A Montana wind energy project plans to make use of existing infrastructure built for coal.

In large part, the existing electrical grid was built around hydropower, nuclear and coal and natural gas power plants. Those existing long-distance power lines are either filled to capacity with conventionally-generated electrons, or they just aren’t there, leaving vast swaths of the West — often the best places to build a wind or solar plant — without a way to get that power to the people who need it.

Coal downturn hits railroads hard

High Country News | Posted onApril 30, 2016 in Energy News

Federal transportation board rejected a proposed Montana railroad due to coal bankruptcies.

Mandatory GMO Labeling Is Completely Unnecessary

Inside Sources | Posted onApril 29, 2016 in Food News

Advocates of mandatory GMO labeling claim they are simply fighting for consumers’ right to decide for themselves. This is misleading. Consumers who really care can already “decide for themselves.” Simple instructions on avoiding GMOs are available from many sources, such as Whole Food’s website. And there are at least 10 apps designed to inform consumers on which foods contain GMOs and which do not.

Saving the planet, one cow burp at a time

Newsworks | Posted onApril 29, 2016 in Agriculture News

Hristov and his team study ways to reduce those emissions, so they have gotten very good at quantifying the amount their cows exhale. Prompted by some extra snacks, cow number 2050 ducks her head into a hooded machine that records the amount of methane, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide in her burps. During experiments, the scientists take eight measurements from each cow over several days. In a few months, this gives a snapshot of just how much methane the animals churn out -- and whether particular interventions work to slash that pollution.

USDA Seeks Applications for Nearly $12 Million in Broadband Grants for Rural Communities

USDA | Posted onApril 29, 2016 in Rural News

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA is soliciting applications for grants to establish broadband in unserved rural communities through its Community Connect program. Community Connect is administered by USDA's Rural Utilities Service and helps to fund broadband deployment into rural communities where it is not economically viable for private sector providers to provide service.

Chef Ann Foundation Accepting Applications for School Fresh Produce Program

Philanthropy News Digest | Posted onApril 29, 2016 in Food News

The Chef Ann Foundation provides tools that help schools serve children healthy and delicious scratch-cooked meals made with fresh, whole food. To that end, the foundation, in partnership with Skoop, is accepting applications for Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools, a program that aims to expand students’ palates and encourage increased consumption of and exposure to fresh produce.