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Recent AgClips

Farmed fish could solve pending population crisis, food experts say

USA Today | Posted onSeptember 29, 2016 in Food News

Farmed fish has gotten a bad rap, but it’s the only way the world is going to feed the additional 2.4  billion people expected to be added to the Earth’s population in the next 34 years, experts told a sustainable food conference.  With the world's arable land maxed out and wild seafood overfished, aquaculture is the one place we can look to produce enough animal protein for all those extra mouths, said Steve Gaines, a professor of marine biology at the University of California Santa Barbara and lead investigator for the university's sustainable fisheries group.

Studies Link Biofuel Demand, Habitat Loss

Coastal review | Posted onSeptember 29, 2016 in Energy News

As the U.S. and other countries have ramped up development of bio-energy as an alternative to fossil fuels, demand is rising for trees for wood pellets, or biomass, and agricultural products for liquefied biofuels.  A recent multi-year study by researchers at North Carolina State University and the U.S. Geological Survey, detailed in two papers printed in August in the journal “Global Change Biology Bioenergy,” indicates that the increased demand could come with a cost: a loss of forested land, especially mature pinelands, and because of that, less habitat for wildlife.

How An Engineer's Desperate Experiment Created Fracking

NPR | Posted onSeptember 29, 2016 in Energy News

The fracking boom in America kicked off almost by accident. An engineer worried about losing his job kept experimenting until he hit on a technique that changed the world. Back in 1995, Nick Steinsberger was 31. He was working for an oil company called Mitchell Energy. And he had just gotten a promotion. He was put in charge of an area called the Barnett Shale. It was in central Texas. And the company had a bunch of natural gas wells there. A couple of months in, management called him in for a meeting.

Ontario court could shut down raw milk distribution, promotion

Food Safety News | Posted onSeptember 29, 2016 in Food News

The outcome of a two-day hearing set for today and tomorrow in the Ontario Court of Justice at Newmarket may send raw milk drinkers in Canada down a more political road after years of fighting court battles. The hearing will determine if the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Health were correct in January when they filed applications for injunctions against Michael Schmidt, Elisa Vander Hout, Glencolton Farms, the Agriculture Renewal Coop, and any other Canadian who provides, distributes, or recommends raw milk.

Catfish Controversy Continues: Lawmakers Push To Upend USDA Inspection Program

The National Law Review | Posted onSeptember 29, 2016 in Federal News

Earlier this year, FDA transferred jurisdiction over catfish inspection to USDA.  By way of background, FDA regulates the majority of the U.S. food supply, while USDA exercises jurisdiction over meat, poultry, and egg products.  Although FDA historically has regulated fish and fishery products, the 2008 Farm Bill required FDA to divest its authority over the inspection of Siluriformes fish (including catfish) to USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS).

6,000+ Corn Farmers Push Congress to Pass TTP Trade Deal

AgWeb | Posted onSeptember 29, 2016 in Federal News

U.S. corn farmers are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to pushing for passage of the TransPacific Trade Partership (TTP) trade deal. At least 6,325 corn farmers have written letters to urge members of Congress to pass the 12-member trade pact. 

Use of broadband linked to greater civic engagement

Daily Yonder | Posted onSeptember 29, 2016 in Rural News

Rural residents who use broadband are more likely to vote, belong to a group, trust their neighbors, and do other activities that indicate civic participation. But researchers saw this difference only when residents used broadband, not just when it was theoretically available. That may have implications for how public broadband programs should focus their efforts.

Job Growth Focused on Largest Cities

Daily Yonder | Posted onSeptember 29, 2016 in Rural News

National employment has been on the rise since 2010, but most U.S. counties still have fewer jobs today than they did when the Great Recession started in 2008.  Half of all metropolitan counties (580 out of 1,165) had fewer jobs in 2015 than they did in 2008. And a stunning 67 percent of nonmetropolitan counties (1,326 out of 1,969) had fewer jobs last year than they did before the recession. All the job growth has been in metropolitan America.

Senate Panel Unanimously Approves CFTC Nominees

The Wall Street Journal | Posted onSeptember 29, 2016 in Federal News

The Senate Agriculture Committee on Wednesday approved two long-delayed nominees to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, though it remained unclear if the full Senate would ultimately confirm the pair. The nominees— Chris Brummer, a Democrat who is a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, and Brian Quintenz, a Republican and a former House aide—were approved unanimously by voice vote, a committee spokeswoman said.

Minnesota to open new Bee, Pollinator Research Lab

The Pilot Independent | Posted onSeptember 29, 2016 in Agriculture News

To find solutions to protect bees and pollinators and also food supplies and human health, the U of M has built a new state-of-the-art Bee and Pollinator Research Lab on the St. Paul campus that opens in October. Two-thirds of the nearly $5 million cost was covered by state-funded bonding, with the balance coming from private gifts and donations. Mann Lake Ltd. is one of several major private funders of the Bee Lab.