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AgClips for November 22, 2018


Agclips for the week ending February 20, 2019

This Week's AgClips

Does clean energy include nuclear? Pennsylvania is latest state to debate

Energy News Network | Posted on February 19, 2019 in Energy News

Clean energy advocates in Pennsylvania are weighing whether to throw their support behind a proposed bailout for the state’s nuclear power plants.

Missouri Court Holds Crop Dusting Not Inherently Dangerous Activity

Texas A&M | Posted on February 19, 2019 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

A case out of Missouri, Keller Farms, Inc. v.

Bacteria in raw milk endangers people in 19 states

Smart Brief | Posted on February 19, 2019 in Food News

Brucella bacteria in raw milk from Miller's Biodiversity Farm in Quarryville, Pa., has affected an "unknown number" of people in 19 states, according to the CDC. RB51, the strain of brucella found in the milk, is resistant to the antibiotic rifampin.

New Farm Bill Makes Way for Plant Biostimulants

Growing Produce | Posted on February 19, 2019 in Federal News

The recently signed Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka, the farm bill)broke new ground on several fronts for growers and industry stakeholders.

New Mexico Bill would provide San Juan College with $500,000 for renewable energy program

Farmington Daily Times | Posted on February 19, 2019 in Energy, SARL Members and Alumni News

San Juan College is getting attention in Santa Fe for its potential in training a renewable energy industry workforce.  A bill introduced in the New Mexico House of Representatives would turn the college into a Center of Excellence for renewable energy. It would be one of four Centers of Excellence in the state. Each center would receive $500,000.Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has pushed to create the centers. Each would have its own focus. For example, New Mexico State University’s focus would be agriculture and University of New Mexico would focus on bioscience.

Hospital Wastes A Third Less Food After This One Change

Forbes | Posted on February 19, 2019 in Food News

When it comes to wasting food, hospitals are one of the most egregious culprits, with two to three times more waste than other food service sectors. UC San Francisco Medical Center, however, has found that one change cut the amount of food it wastes by 30%. It now serves food on-demand.Most hospitals produce food in bulk and serve it at predetermined meal times, which may or may not be in sync with a patient’s appetite or the timing of health care services being performed.

Authorities develop new DNA tool to detect food fraud and expose misleading labelling

Farm Ireland | Posted on February 19, 2019 in Food News

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has a new DNA scanning tool to identify the entire DNA content of a food.The new analytical tool can proactively identify all the ingredients and their biological sources in a food, which will aid regulators in protecting consumers in relation to potential food fraud and/or misleading labelling.The FSAI worked with a commercial laboratory (Identigen) over the past two years in adapting a relatively new DNA sequencing technology known as “next generation sequencing”, so that it could be used as a DNA scanning tool in food.The idea is to compare the

Conservation group buys ranch, sells it back to Montana landowners

Billings Gazette | Posted on February 19, 2019 in Agriculture News

North-central Montana ranchers and an international conservation group have collaborated to acquire a neighbor’s 5,000 acres in a unique partnership.“There was a ranch next to us we wanted to buy and didn’t have the funding to do so … without becoming a financial casualty,” said Dale Veseth, a Malta-area rancher.

USDA and HHS partner to create recovery housing in rural communities

Lake County News | Posted on February 19, 2019 in Rural News

USDA and HHS will partner to create addiction recovery transitional housing in rural  communities. USDA Rural Development and HHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, will coordinate efforts to sell USDA’s Real Estate Owned single-family housing properties at a discount to non-profit organizations that provide housing, treatment, job training and other key services for people in substance misuse treatment and recovery. 

Land purchase paves way for Idaho Research Dairy

Feedstuffs | Posted on February 19, 2019 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

 A plan to create the nation’s largest research dairy advanced Feb. 14 with the Idaho State Board of Education’s vote to allow the University of Idaho to buy land for the $45 million project. The University of Idaho and Idaho dairy industry-led effort will create the Idaho Center for Agriculture Food & the Environment (CAFE). The project took a major step forward with the go-ahead to finalize purchase of land in Minidoka County near Rupert, Ida.The University of Idaho and the Idaho Dairymen’s Assn.

EPA published rule redefining WOTUS

Meating Place (free registration required) | Posted on February 19, 2019 in Agriculture, Federal News

The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a proposed rule defining the scope of waters regulated under the federal Clean Water Act, opening a public comment period through April 15.

Research Proves African Swine Fever Can Spread to Pigs Through Feed

Ag Web | Posted on February 19, 2019 in Agriculture News

A Kansas State study confirms that African swine fever can be easily transmitted through the natural consumption of contaminated feed and liquid. This first-of-its-kind study emphasizes the critical need for feed biosecurity in the swine industry.

'Zombie' deer disease: What is it, and could it affect humans?

USA Today | Posted on February 19, 2019 in Agriculture News

CWD was first observed in the 1960s at a research facility in Colorado. It has now been confirmed in 24 states and two Canadian provinces as of January, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.CWD was first observed in the 1960s at a research facility in Colorado. It has now been confirmed in 24 states and two Canadian provinces as of January, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Farming's next generation has nowhere to grow

Talk Poverty | Posted on February 18, 2019 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

The aging of the American farmer raises some big questions: Who will grow our food when these farmers are gone? And what will happen to the farmland currently managed by elderly farmers? Unless America’s fertile fields wind up in the hands of a new generation of independent farmers, they’re likely to become housing developments, fracking sites, or simply gobbled up by big agribusiness. The primary reason young farmers can’t enter the industry is land: High land costs effectively price them out, whether or not they come from a farming background.

FDA And The Produce Safety Rule

Forbes | Posted on February 18, 2019 in Federal News

FDA enforcement of the Produce Safety Rule is coming soon via routine inspections.

Trump Tweet Fails To Save Kentucky Coal-Fired Power Plant

NPR | Posted on February 18, 2019 in News

Despite pressure from President Trump, the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors voted Thursday to close a large coal-fired power plant. Trump's involvement had drawn criticism because the Paradise Fossil Plant in western Kentucky buys coal from a company headed by a large donor to the president's campaign, Murray Energy Corp.

Farmland values stable, but risks to outlook remain

Kansas City Federal Reserve | Posted on February 18, 2019 in Agriculture News

Farmland values in the Federal Reserve’s Tenth District held steady in the fourth quarter of 2018 despite risks to ongoing stability. While demand for farmland remained relatively strong across the District, weaknesses in the crop sector continued to dampen the overall agricultural economy. Risks to the outlook for farmland values in the quarter included slightly higher interest rates and an uptick in the pace of farmland sales in states with higher concentrations of crop production.

Wolves may keep cows off Washington Fish and Wildlife land

Capital Press | Posted on February 18, 2019 in Rural, SARL Members and Alumni News

Washington Fish and Wildlife may prohibit cattle from some department grazing lands to avoid conflicts with wolves, according to an internal review of grazing policies. The review responds to a wolf population growing in numbers and territory. If the department follows through, some of the 129,459 acres of grazing land owned by Fish and Wildlife likely would be off-limits to cattle.In other places, ranchers would have to sign detailed plans to prevent attacks by wolves with non-lethal measures. In some cases, cattle could be taken off the land to stop the depredations

America’s trains are a drag. The Green New Deal wants to fix that.

VOX | Posted on February 18, 2019 in Energy News

High-speed trains already compete with planes in many parts of the world. They also have far lower carbon emissions.Specifically, the section of the FAQ on transportation calls to “build out high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.” The resolution itself doesn’t mention air travel at all but does call for the goal of “investing in ... clean, affordable, and accessible transportation; and high-speed rail” as part of a 10-year national mobilization.

Nebraska’s first dedicated entity for agriculture and rural companies launches

Silicon Prairie News | Posted on February 18, 2019 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

Roots Venture Group is Nebraska’s first ever 100 percent-focused incubator, accelerator, and venture fund dedicated to launching and growing companies within the agricultural and rural industries, including areas such as tech, non-tech, lifestyle, and tech-enabled businesses and startups. Their focus is to work with founders that are keen on transforming the agriculture sector, rural communities in a sustainable manner and make an impactful societal and systemic change.

Congress approves agriculture appropriations bill - without disaster relief

AM 1100 | Posted on February 18, 2019 in Agriculture, Federal News

The appropriations "minibus," as it has been called because it covers several federal agencies, includes funding for the Agriculture Department, the Food and Drug Administration and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Activist group launches ‘surveillance’ program

Meating Place (free registration required) | Posted on February 14, 2019 in Agriculture News

I’ve written many times previously about the latest happenings of extreme activist group Direct Action Everywhere.

Farm Bill- Conservation Title, Update from USDA’s Economic Research Service

Farm Policy News | Posted on February 14, 2019 in News

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS) published an overview of the Conservation Title of the 2018 Farm Bill.  Today’s update looks at a couple key points from the ERS summary.

For 6 Cities on the Great Lakes, the Cost of Water Has Risen Sharply

Governing | Posted on February 14, 2019 in Rural News

For months, the Rev. Falicia Campbell kept a secret from her congregation, her friends and even her adult children. It was a secret she was ashamed to divulge: She was living without running water.Like a growing number of Americans, the 63-year-old Chicago resident couldn't afford to pay her rising water bills. She inherited her mother's house in Englewood, a poor neighborhood on the city's South Side, and last year received a $5,000 bill.Campbell is partially blind and lives on a fixed income from disability payments. She dedicates most of her time to helping her community.

A Beyonce endorsement of GMOs would probably help farmers a lot more than science

Financial Post | Posted on February 14, 2019 in Food News

For a world that has largely forsaken religion in favour of science to base its attitudes towards food on nothing more than belief and feeling is something that should make us uncomfortable and embarrassed. This is what seems to be happening. It’s alarming. It changes things for me as a writer. No longer is a column about food and agriculture about demonstrating truth — perhaps it never was. Instead, it’s now about staging an attractive argument, like a house that you can picture yourself living in.


NY Farmworkers Fight to End 80-Year Ban on Unionizing

COurthouse News Service | Posted on February 14, 2019 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

Contesting New York’s nearly century-long failure to protect farmworkers from wage theft and other labor abuses, an attorney urged a New York appeals court Monday to bring state law out of the Jim Crow era. “The court ruled that farmworkers do not have a constitutional right to organize, despite the very clear language in the New York Constitution giving all employees the right to organize,” said Erin Harrist, senior staff attorney at the New York City Civil Liberties Union.

Lawmakers introduce fairness for farm workers act

American Ag Radio Network | Posted on February 14, 2019 in News

Legislation introduced by lawmakers from California would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act and end the minimum wage and overtime pay exemptions for farm workers. The Fairness for Farm Workers Act was introduced by Representative Raúl Grijalva and Senator Kamala Harris, both Democrats from California, Thursday. In a statement, the lawmakers say that “it’s unacceptable” many farm workers live in poverty, adding it’s time farm workers “receive the wages they deserve.” Harris called the legislation “a major step towards economic justice” for farmworkers.

U.S. settles with Antero over water pollution from fracking

Reuters | Posted on February 14, 2019 in Energy News

The U.S. Justice Department reached a settlement with oil and natural gas company Antero Resources Corp over claims it violated the Clean Water Act at 32 different sites in West Virginia, mostly tied to fracking. Antero agreed to pay a penalty of $3.15 million and provide mitigation for affected sites, estimated to cost $8 million. The violations involved unauthorized disposal of materials into local waterways associated with hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, for natural gas extraction, the Justice Department said.

Bavarians vote to save bugs and birds—and change farming

National Geographic | Posted on February 14, 2019 in Agriculture News

A coalition of conservation groups has recently called for the world to adopt a goal of protecting 30 percent of the whole planet by 2030 in order to preserve biodiversity. Bavarian supporters of the petition see themselves as pursuing a similar purpose at home—in a state that is the bastion of German political conservatism.

What the FDA’s actions mean for dietary supplements

AP News | Posted on February 14, 2019 in News

The Food and Drug Administration announced plans Monday to step up its policing of dietary supplements, which it said has mushroomed into a $40 billion industry with more than 50,000 products. The agency warned 17 companies for illegally making claims about their products’ ability to treat diseases.  Dietary supplements, including vitamins, are regulated more like foods than drugs.