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Roberts, Stabenow question econ reorganization, ERS, NIFA moves

High Plains Journal | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Federal News

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-KS, and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, wrote a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue Sept. 7 raising concerns about the Trump administration’s plans to place the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s economics functions under the Office of the Secretary and to move most of the employees of the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture out of Washington. At the same time, USDA announced an extension of the deadline for communities to express an interest in housing the agencies until Oct.

SARL VP's farm wins 2018 Grower Achievement Award

Growing Produce | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

Autryville, NC-based Jackson Farming Company is the 2018 winner of American Vegetable Grower's prestigious Grower Achievement Award. First generation growers Brent and Debbie Jackson and their son Rodney Jackson demonstrate what can be accomplished when you’re willing to aim for long-term success.The Jackson Family will receive the American Vegetable Grower Grower Achievement Award in Washington, D.C., on September 24, 2018, during the United Fresh Produce Association’s Washington Conference.

SARL member Manitoba Minister Ralph Eichler signs MOU with Indiana

Cass Network | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler and members of the Indiana agricultural delegation met with officials from Canada’s Manitoba Province today to discuss opportunities to grow both regions’ agricultural sectors. Through a signed memorandum of understanding, the Indiana and Manitoba departments of agriculture agreed to facilitate cooperation in several areas including agricultural research and development, youth education and leadership, and trade investment – all for the purpose of mutual economic growth.

SARL Members and Alumni News

SARL VP's farm wins 2018 Grower Achievement Award

Growing Produce | Posted on September 20, 2018

Autryville, NC-based Jackson Farming Company is the 2018 winner of American Vegetable Grower's prestigious Grower Achievement Award. First generation growers Brent and Debbie Jackson and their son Rodney Jackson demonstrate what can be accomplished when you’re willing to aim for long-term success.The Jackson Family will receive the American Vegetable Grower Grower Achievement Award in Washington, D.C., on September 24, 2018, during the United Fresh Produce Association’s Washington Conference.

SARL member Manitoba Minister Ralph Eichler signs MOU with Indiana

Cass Network | Posted on September 20, 2018

Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler and members of the Indiana agricultural delegation met with officials from Canada’s Manitoba Province today to discuss opportunities to grow both regions’ agricultural sectors. Through a signed memorandum of understanding, the Indiana and Manitoba departments of agriculture agreed to facilitate cooperation in several areas including agricultural research and development, youth education and leadership, and trade investment – all for the purpose of mutual economic growth.

Agriculture doesn't know boundaries' says Manitoba minister of agriculture during visit to ND

AgWeek | Posted on September 20, 2018

Ralph Eichler was born and raised in Colorado, moving to Canada with his family in 1968. Though initially unenthusiastic about the change, he eventually became a proud Canadian agriculturalist and now serves as Manitoba minister of agriculture."Agriculture doesn't know boundaries,"and certainly not the one between Manitoba and North Dakota to the south, Eichler said.On Sept. 18, he meet with North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring in Grand Forks, about 140 miles south of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Pennsylvania announces $5M for dairy farmers

ABC | Posted on September 20, 2018

The funding was made available under the Pennsylvania Dairy Investment Program, which helps farmers to modernize or expand their operations. Milk sales have dropped in recent years, partly because more people are buying soy, almond, and other non-dairy substitutes.

Cybersecurity: ‘We cannot rely on Washington to keep us safe’

The Connecticut Mirror | Posted on September 20, 2018

The leader of Connecticut’s cybersecurity efforts said Tuesday that Washington, with a deeply polarized Congress and faction-riven White House, has abrogated its role in defending the nation’s electrical grid, natural gas system and public water supplies against hackers who are growing bolder, more numerous and more sophisticated. “I’m often asked in my job, ‘Are we safe from a cyber attack?’ And the answer, of course, is no,” said Arthur H. House, the state’s chief cybersecurity risk officer. “We’re not safe. No one’s safe.

Agriculture News

SARL VP's farm wins 2018 Grower Achievement Award

Growing Produce | Posted on September 20, 2018

Autryville, NC-based Jackson Farming Company is the 2018 winner of American Vegetable Grower's prestigious Grower Achievement Award. First generation growers Brent and Debbie Jackson and their son Rodney Jackson demonstrate what can be accomplished when you’re willing to aim for long-term success.The Jackson Family will receive the American Vegetable Grower Grower Achievement Award in Washington, D.C., on September 24, 2018, during the United Fresh Produce Association’s Washington Conference.

SARL member Manitoba Minister Ralph Eichler signs MOU with Indiana

Cass Network | Posted on September 20, 2018

Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler and members of the Indiana agricultural delegation met with officials from Canada’s Manitoba Province today to discuss opportunities to grow both regions’ agricultural sectors. Through a signed memorandum of understanding, the Indiana and Manitoba departments of agriculture agreed to facilitate cooperation in several areas including agricultural research and development, youth education and leadership, and trade investment – all for the purpose of mutual economic growth.

FAPRI Update: U.S. Net Farm Income Projected to Decline

Illinois Farm Policy News | Posted on September 20, 2018

FAPRI indicated that, “Large crops and trade disputes put downward pressure on U.S. farm commodity prices and farm income. Even considering the initial round of market facilitation program (MFP) payments, U.S.

Rising US-China trade tensions 'couldn't come at a worse time': Iowa agriculture secretary

CNBC | Posted on September 20, 2018

The ratcheting of the U.S.-China trade war is unfortunate and comes at a lousy time for farmers, according to Iowa Agriculture Commissioner Mike Naig. The state official said farmers in Iowa are in the harvest season for key crops such as soybeans and corn, which are among the farm commodities already hit by China's tit-for-tat tariffs.Beijing struck back against the Trump administration's new round of trade tariffs by imposing duties on $60 billion of American products, including cocoa powder and frozen vegetables.

Bankers Expect 7.8 Percent Decline in Farm Equipment Sales Next 12 Months

Creighton University Economic Outlook | Posted on September 20, 2018

 For a seventh straight month the overall index rose above growth neutral. Bankers reported a decline in the sale of agriculture equipment and expect sales to decline by another 7.8 percent over the next 12 months.   More than one-half of bankers supported cutting recently enacted tariffs.  In reaction to weak farm commodity prices and income, almost one-third of bank CEOs reported rejecting a higher percentage of farm loans. 

Federal News

Roberts, Stabenow question econ reorganization, ERS, NIFA moves

High Plains Journal | Posted on September 20, 2018

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-KS, and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, wrote a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue Sept. 7 raising concerns about the Trump administration’s plans to place the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s economics functions under the Office of the Secretary and to move most of the employees of the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture out of Washington. At the same time, USDA announced an extension of the deadline for communities to express an interest in housing the agencies until Oct.

After 'major escalation' in US-China trade war, what happens next?

CNN | Posted on September 20, 2018

The trade war between the United States and China just got a lot bigger after both sides announced their broadest waves of tariffs yet.The latest exchange of fire means the two economic superpowers will soon have imposed tariffs on more than $360 billion of goods.

No federal aid coming for livestock producers: Canadian agriculture minister

ipolitics | Posted on September 20, 2018

No financial aid package is in the works for Canada’s livestock sector, Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay says — despite pleas from producer groups who warn plummeting prices are forcing producers out of business.

Memo Contradicts Ross’s Rationale for Adding Citizenship Question to Census

Daily Intelligencer | Posted on September 20, 2018

The U.S. government’s decennial attempt to count every human being within its borders might seem like one of Uncle Sam’s most anodyne activities. But when those overseeing the count belong to a political movement that explicitly regards demographic change as its enemy — and disenfranchising Democratic constituencies as fair game — the Census can begin to resemble an ominous enterprise. Census data shapes the contours of political districts, and determines each state’s clout in the Electoral College.

Farm bill hurts ability of communities to protect health, environment of citizens

The Hill | Posted on September 20, 2018

As city mayors, we are deeply troubled that Congress is considering taking away our right to home rule. In House and Senate negotiations last week, legislators considered Section 9101 of the federal Farm Bill that would rescind the right of our communities and their elected officials to restrict hazardous pesticides. During the past two years, our neighboring cities passed landmark legislation to restrict pesticides, require organic land care and protect public health. We believe federal preemption of our authority is undemocratic and contrary to our country’s founding principles.

Rural News

Florence’s Floods Reveal Exposure of Rural Areas to Climate Change

Scientific American | Posted on September 20, 2018

The severity of Hurricane Florence’s destruction caught some residents here by surprise, and they said local officials are overwhelmed, too. The storm’s devastating flooding is a sign that coastal states should prepare for future hurricanes to hit harder—and differently—than they have in the past, according to experts who study climate change.

Bureaucracy could be death of famous porker

Toronto Sun | Posted on September 13, 2018

Esther the Wonder Pig’s two dads have a new crusade to make all companion animals equal in the eyes to the government.

She Grew Up Poor on a Kansas Farm. Her Memoir Is an Attempt to Understand Why.

The New York Times | Posted on September 13, 2018

Sarah Smarsh’s memoir, “Heartland,” opens with a perplexing ode to an imaginary baby. “I’m glad you never ended up as a physical reality in my life. But we talked for so many years that I don’t guess I’ll ever stop talking to you.” Throughout the book an apparition of the author’s unborn child pops into the prose like Ally McBeal’s Baby Cha-Cha, inducing the otherwise sage Smarsh to write in the inexorably sentimental second person.Smarsh escaped poverty, she believes, because, unlike her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she didn’t become a teenage mom.

Nebraska checking elk carcasses for chronic wasting disease

News Press Now | Posted on September 13, 2018

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is asking for elk hunters' cooperation in testing for chronic wasting disease.The commission's Todd Nordeen says staffers at check stations will be asking hunters to allow removal of lymph nodes from elk carcasses to test for the disease.The tests have about a two-week turn-around, and staffers will notify hunters if their animals tested positive. All test results will be posted to links at the bottom of the commission's website page on the disease.

About 1,300 dogs, roosters seized in western Wisconsin

tmj4 | Posted on September 13, 2018

About 1,300 dogs and roosters have been seized from a property in western Wisconsin after authorities say they uncovered evidence they were used in organized fighting.The Pierce County Sheriff's Office says the animals were living in deplorable conditions. They say the dogs were tied to heavy chains and had injuries and scars associated with fights. The roosters also showed evidence of fighting. Authorities say paraphernalia used in dog and cockfighting was found on the property in the Town of Gilman.

Energy News

Resiliency in the face of hurricanes makes the case for renewables even stronger

Quartz | Posted on September 20, 2018

People of the Carolinas are picking up the pieces after Hurricane Florence, the wettest tropical cyclone on record.  Solar-power installations were largely able to escape without harm.Before the storm hit, Duke Energy’s 40 solar-power sites were “de-energized” and set up horizontally to minimize wind damage. Although it’s too soon say what, if any, damage occurred, the signs are good. Soon after the storm passed, all the installations had begun producing power. Rooftop solar installations fared well too.

Omaha company idles Iowa ethanol plant, points to trade war, lack of year-round E15

Des Moines Register | Posted on September 20, 2018

Omaha-based Green Plains says it's idling production at a northwest Iowa ethanol plant, but the facility remains open and its nearly 50 employees continue to work. Jim Stark, Green Plains spokesman, said the company plans to resume production at Superior, but he's unsure exactly when that will occur. The facility employs 46 workers.

Trump administration weakens methane pollution standards for drilling on public lands

The Hill | Posted on September 20, 2018

The Trump administration on Tuesday finalized its plans to weaken regulations on methane gas releases from drilling on public land.The action from the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rolls back key provisions of an Obama-era rule that limited releases of the greenhouse gas during oil and gas production on publicly owned lands leased to fossil fuel companies.The new rule is expected to allow for more leaks of the gas through a practice known as venting or flaring, adding to air pollution.

Indiana NIPSCO plan would eliminate coal-fired electricity generation within 10 years

NorthWest Indiana Times | Posted on September 20, 2018

IPSCO has a tentative plan to retire its entire coal-fired electricity generation fleet in the next decade, with the majority of its coal-fired generators to be retired in the next five years.The company made the announcement at the fourth of five public meetings detailing the development of a new Integrated Resource Plan for the utility.“This creates a vision for the future that is better for our customers, and it’s consistent with our goal to transition to the best cost, cleanest electric supply mix available while maintaining reliability, diversity and flexibility for technology and mark

Solar Going Big (And Small) In Illinois

Northern Public Radio | Posted on September 20, 2018

Solar power has been used here and there in Illinois for a long time. But now the state is going for it in a big way. With the Future Energy Jobs Act of 2016, Illinois charted a course to boost renewable energy, particularly solar, in a big way.It's all being managed by the Illinois Power Agency (IPA), led by Anthony Star. It was established to manage electricity markets, including renewables, and still does.

Food News

Why antibiotic-use foes should be wary of lab-grown meat

Watt Ag Net | Posted on September 20, 2018

If consumers have the perception that too many antibiotics are used to raise chickens, turkeys, hogs and cattle, they would certainly be turned off by the cell-cultured meat movement, said Dr. Frank Mitloehner, professor and air quality specialist in the department of animal science at University of California-Davis (UC-Davis). Mitloehner’s colleague told him that when working with cells, an extremely sterile environment is necessary. Mitloehner said he then asked him if antibiotics were used to create that sterile environment.

Eating cheese and butter ever day linked to living longer

Newsweek | Posted on September 20, 2018

Eating three servings of dairy products a day could lower the risk of heart disease, a study suggests.  After analyzing the diets of more than 130,000 people in almost two dozen countries, scientists found that eating the equivalent of one serving (244 grams, or 8.6 ounces) of full-fat milk or yogurt, a 15 gram (0.6 ounce) slice of cheese or a teaspoon of butter could benefit health.

New approach reduces antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter in poultry: study

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on September 20, 2018

New research from a multi-institute scientific team in Canada showcases a synergistic antimicrobial mechanism using nanoparticles to reduce Campylobacter in poultry. Alternative antimicrobial strategies like this, say the authors, have the potential to reduce the prevalence of this microbe in agri-foods and avoid the emergence of antibiotic resistance.

How free-from foods are changing manufacturing

Food Dive | Posted on September 19, 2018

U.S. consumers are increasingly scanning labels to check that products do not contain certain ingredients, such as gluten, GMOs, antibiotics, pesticides and allergens, according to Bloomberg. The trend is having a huge impact on how manufacturers source, prepare and package foods and beverages. Sales of these "free-from" foods are expected to grow 15%, or $1.4 billion, between 2017 and 2022 — with the U.S. as the largest global growth market, according to Euromonitor data.

An Arkansas hospital is working to make sure tens of thousands of kids have enough to eat.

US News and World Report | Posted on September 19, 2018

ABOUT 1 IN 6 PEOPLE – and 1 in 4 children – in Arkansas struggled with food insecurity in 2016, helping to make it one of America's hungriest states.Count Sandra Reed and her two teenage children among them."It's hard to live day by day," Reed says. "You have to make sure you can pay bills, and you have to have transportation to get back and forth (to work).