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NC bills aim to establish teaching hospitals in rural areas

Winston Salem Journal | Posted onJune 12, 2018 in Rural, SARL Members and Alumni News

Bipartisan bills have been submitted in the state House and Senate that aim to address two major socioeconomic issues facing rural community hospitals.House Bill 998 would direct the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to make recommendations by Oct. 1 for establishing incentives to expand medical education in rural counties.That would include assisting rural hospitals with gaining Medicare approval to become a teaching hospital, as well as incentivize medical residents and students to serve those rural areas after graduation.


Arkansas won't lift dicamba ban for farmers

KASU | Posted onJune 12, 2018 in Agriculture News

Arkansas officials have denied a request by some farmers to lift the state's ban on in-crop dicamba use.


Lawmakers Join Forces in Bipartisan Attempt to End USDA Kitten Testing

Roll Call | Posted onJune 12, 2018 in Federal News

Kittens and cupcakes in the Rayburn building caused a buzz Thursday among staffers and interns, but the reason for their presence was anything but a cute ball of fluff. For the past 50 years, the Department of Agriculture has been forcing 100 kittens each year to eat toxoplasma-infected raw meat to test their stool, according to Michigan Republican Rep. Mike Bishop. The parasite causes toxoplasmosis and is found only in cat feces, putting the brunt of these experiments on kittens.


For a small Colorado utility, 100% renewable energy is old news

Energy News | Posted onJune 12, 2018 in Energy, Rural News

Aspen Electric, the municipal utility serving the resort town of the same name, achieved 100 percent renewables in 2015, and it didn’t break the bank to do so. Residential rates for Aspen’s customers rank among the lowest in Colorado, while meeting a 100 percent renewable energy goal set by Aspen’s city council 13 years earlier. And this month, upgrades to a Nebraska wind farm, of which Aspen Electric is a major customer, will push the utility’s costs even lower – dropping about 15 percent annually, or $475,000.


Assistant to the Secretary Anne Hazlett Statement on Stop Youth Opioid Abuse Campaign

USDA | Posted onJune 12, 2018 in Rural News

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett issued the following statement: “Leaving no community untouched, the opioid epidemic has taken a monumental toll on many of the small towns and rural places that are the heartbeat of our country. The campaign to Stop Youth Opioid Abuse shows that at the root of this crisis, addiction is a disease driving good people to make shocking and destructive decisions. Addressing the opioid epidemic is a top priority for this Administration.


The last thing America's dairy farmers need is a trade war with Mexico

The Hill | Posted onJune 12, 2018 in Federal News

esides providing healthy and affordable food, dairy farmers are the backbone of a substantial contributor to the U.S. economy. America’s dairy products industry creates an economic ripple effect that is responsible for $24.9 billion in state and local business tax revenues and $39.5 billion in federal business tax revenues. It supports nearly three million workers, generates more than $39 billion in direct wages and has an overall economic impact of more than $628 billion. But this year, June has our dairy farmers more than a little on edge.


USDA green lights California’s new federal milk marketing system

Capital Press | Posted onJune 12, 2018 in Agriculture News

California’s dairy industry will begin operating under the federal milk marketing order system on Nov. 1.


Challenge to N.C. ‘ag-gag’ law can proceed

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted onJune 12, 2018 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

A federal appeals court has ruled that a lawsuit by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and other groups challenging North Carolina’s “ag-gag” law can proceed. The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reverses a district court judgment that had dismissed the lawsuit. PETA, the Center for Food Safety, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Farm Sanctuary, Food & Water Watch, and the Government Accountability Project are suing to overturn the state law criminalizing undercover investigations at agricultural facilities.


Why not genetically engineered organic foods?

Washington Examiner | Posted onJune 12, 2018 in Agriculture News

USDA’s arbitrary rules about what is permitted for the “organic” designation prohibit important advances in agriculture and food production, and they unnecessarily restrict consumer choice. That could be remedied by expanding what is permitted under the federal National Organic Standards, and this would be an opportune time. The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990required USDA to develop national standards for the production of "organic foods" because of consumer demand for food that was supposedly more healthful and produced with more sustainable farming methods than traditional farming.


Tests show toxic heavy metals near Wisconsin sand mine spill

ABC News | Posted onJune 12, 2018 in Energy News

Wisconsin officials found elevated levels of toxic heavy metals near a frack sand mine spill that sent millions of gallons of sludge into a tributary, carrying it downstream into the Mississippi River.


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