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Colleges Discover the Rural Student

The New York Times | Posted onJanuary 31, 2017 in News

To college administrators, rural students, many of them the first in their families to attend college, have become the new underrepresented minority. In their aim to shape leaders and provide access to the disadvantaged, higher education experts have been recognizing that these students bring valuable experiences and viewpoints to campuses that don’t typically attract agriculture majors.


Meat processing feasibility study shows insufficient volumes for new facility

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted onJanuary 31, 2017 in Agriculture News

A study initiated to assess the feasibility of a new multi-species processing facility in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula determined demand was insufficient to support a new facility, but did find a clear need for increased slaughter and processing capacity in the region.  The research team concluded that targeted initiatives could increase the region’s capacity and throughput by nurturing incremental growth in production, processing and demand.  As a result of input received from producers and buyers, a group of stakeholders applied for and received a Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rura


UConn students push back on new burgers, ask to go back to beef

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted onJanuary 31, 2017 in Food News

The University of Connecticut Dining Service’s decision to replace beef burgers with blended mushroom burgers is not going over so well with some students on campus, according to the school newspaper. One student, Cameron Tracy, was so turned off by the half-beef/half-mushroom burger that he started a Change.org petition to bring the all-beef patties back, at least to have as an option. The petition is at 250 signatures and counting.


Community Banks On The Decline Since 1980s

Ag Web | Posted onJanuary 31, 2017 in Rural News

Community banks across America are disappearing at astonishing rates due to pressure from the rising costs of doing business. In an AgDay exclusive, stockholder-owned lending company Farmer Mac is releasing the results of its study on the health of the farm economy. The lender says more than 10,000 community banks have ceased to exist since 1984, largely due to failure, mergers and acquisitions. Farmer Mac economists are quick to point out that many of these banks were smaller with a limited number of employees and were gobbled up by larger banks.


Spread of diseases in farmed animals shown using social network analysis

Phys.org | Posted onJanuary 31, 2017 in Agriculture News

Researchers have shown that looking at movements of operators and vehicles between farms in the same way we look at contacts in social networks can help explain the spread of dangerous infectious diseases of livestock, such as foot-and-mouth disease and avian influenza.


Federal judge considers ranchers' discrimination case

Las Cruces Sun News | Posted onJanuary 31, 2017 in Federal News

An attorney representing Hispanic ranchers told a federal judge that the U.S. Forest Service violated the law when deciding to limit grazing on historic land grants despite recognition decades ago by the government that the descendants of Spanish colonists have a unique relationship with the land that is integral to their heritage and traditional values.


KY Dept of Agriculture proposes legislation to help feed the hungry

KY Department of Agriculture | Posted onJanuary 31, 2017 in Agriculture News

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) has come forward with legislation to help businesses and individuals who wish to donate food to organizations that serve hungry Kentuckians. “These measures would provide incentives and protections for those who want to join the fight against hunger in Kentucky,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “This is due to the work of the Hunger Task Force, which met for the first time last spring.


Federal Court Orders Wisconsin Legislature To Redraw District Lines

Wisconsin Public Radio | Posted onJanuary 31, 2017 in Rural News

A federal court has ordered Wisconsin lawmakers to redraw the state’s legislative district lines by Nov. 1, saying the current lines are unconstitutional and should be replaced in time for the November 2018 election. "Under the prevailing view in this court, the people of Wisconsin already have endured several elections under an unconstitutional reapportionment scheme," wrote Judges Kenneth Ripple, Barbara Crabb and William Griesbach in an eight-page court order.


Court Rules Against Monsanto, Allows California To Put Cancer Warning On Roundup

CBS Sacramento | Posted onJanuary 31, 2017 in Agriculture News

California can require Monsanto to label its popular weed-killer Roundup as a possible cancer threat despite an insistence from the chemical giant that it poses no risk to people, a judge tentatively ruled. California would be the first state to order such labeling if it carries out the proposal.


The 35 Best College Farms

College Rank | Posted onJanuary 31, 2017 in Agriculture News

Today’s college farms are not simply research facilities as they have been in the past. College farms provide students with hands-on experience in the growth of crops and animals. Students are able to learn more about how plants thrive, what can damage their growth and how best to maximize yield in a crop. The life-cycle of animals is demonstrated first-hand, providing information for all types of career paths, including veterinary medicine and pharmaceutical development. Campus farms also provide benefits to the community.


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