Skip to content Skip to navigation

AgClips

Subscribe   Subscribe to AgClips to keep up on the latest ag and rural news.

Recent AgClips

Interior plans to move thousands of workers in the biggest reorganization in its history

The Washington Post | Posted on January 16, 2018 in Federal, Rural News

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke launched an unprecedented effort Wednesday to undertake the largest reorganization in the department’s 168-year history, moving to shift tens of thousands of workers to new locations and change the way the federal government manages more than 500 million acres of land and water across the country. The proposal would divide the United States into 13 regions and centralize authority for different parts of Interior within those boundaries.

Animal research helps pets, too

JAVMA | Posted on January 14, 2018 in Rural News

This past October, the Foundation for Biomedical Research launched its "Love Animals? Support Animal Research" campaign to educate the public about how animal research has improved the health and welfare of companion animals. Similar public outreach efforts have focused on the benefits to human health derived from animal research, such as development of vaccines for polio and hepatitis A and B. "Love Animals?

New Report Summarizes Cattle Death Loss

Ag Web | Posted on January 14, 2018 in Agriculture News

A new report from the USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) summarizes incidence and causes of death loss in U.S. cattle during 2015. The report, titled Death Loss in U.S. Cattle and Calves Due to Predator and Nonpredator Causes, 2015, shows respiratory disease remains the leading cause of death loss in cattle. Death loss due to predation has increased since the last report in 2010, but remains a relatively low percentage of the total. The report lists total death loss in 2015 at about 3.9 million head, down slightly from just under 4 million in 2010.

SARL Members and Alumni News

New Jersey set to ban animals in circuses

 | Posted on January 11, 2018

New Jersey could become the first state in the nation to essentially ban old-fashioned circuses, ones with wild animals. The state Assembly, in one of its last voting sessions scheduled for tomorrow, is slated to give final legislative passage to S-2508, a bill that would prohibit the use of elephants and other exotic animals in acts traveling to or around New Jersey.

Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef new President speaks at Ag Chairs Summit

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on January 11, 2018

The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) has named OSI Group Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior Vice President Nicole Johnson-Hoffman as its new president. “GRSB brings together people from around the world, who represent all segments of the beef value chain, including individual producers, who ultimately agree there’s massive value in sharing knowledge, and who want to partner to drive exciting new levels of performance in areas impacting GRSB’s Principles and Criteria of Sustainable Beef," said Johnson-Hoffman.

Ninth Circuit Upholds Major Components of Idaho "Ag-Gag" Law

Ag Web | Posted on January 11, 2018

Last week, many news outlets ran with the “ag-gag gets gagged” headline in describing the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Wasden, which scrutinized a bevy of animal rights activists’ First Amendment claims against Idaho’s Interference with Agricultural Production law, colloquially/derisively known as an “ag gag” law.

“Raw milk Moms” are targets of NJ enforcement action against food clubs

Food Safety News | Posted on January 11, 2018

“Raw milk Moms” in New Jersey were targeted last month with “cease and desist” orders from the state’s Public Health and Food Protection Program. The targeted individuals and the broader raw milk community are resisting the enforcement action. New Jersey gave at least eight families five days to stop selling and distributing raw milk in the state. Raw milk makes its way into New Jersey from Pennsylvania. “Food clubs” set up “drop sites” in private homes to distribute the product.

Why Free College Tuition Is Spreading From Cities to States

Pew Charitable Trust | Posted on January 11, 2018

To churn out more workers with marketable skills, an increasing number of states are offering residents free tuition to community colleges and technical schools.The move also is a reaction to fast-rising tuition costs — increases that stem, in part, from states reducing their financial support of public colleges and universities. “Everybody’s got cheap dirt — but do you have skilled workers?” Winograd said.

Agriculture News

New Report Summarizes Cattle Death Loss

Ag Web | Posted on January 14, 2018

A new report from the USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) summarizes incidence and causes of death loss in U.S. cattle during 2015. The report, titled Death Loss in U.S. Cattle and Calves Due to Predator and Nonpredator Causes, 2015, shows respiratory disease remains the leading cause of death loss in cattle. Death loss due to predation has increased since the last report in 2010, but remains a relatively low percentage of the total. The report lists total death loss in 2015 at about 3.9 million head, down slightly from just under 4 million in 2010.

Lawsuit: Cal-Maine, Walmart used false claim on organic egg label

Watt Ag Net | Posted on January 14, 2018

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Walmart and Cal-Maine Foods, with the plaintiffs claiming the two companies misled consumers about the conditions in which hens that laid Walmart store brand Organic Marketside eggs were raised.

Grain glut leaves U.S. farmers facing losses from specialty corn

Reuters | Posted on January 12, 2018

U.S. farmers who sought to boost revenues by planting corn used to make tortillas may be forced to sell their crops at a loss to makers of ethanol or animal feed because of a glut of what typically is a human food-grade product. Oversupply of the most common grains such as corn and soybeans has spread to niche markets because so many farmers have switched to planting different strains of seed to diversify and bolster returns after four years of bumper crops cut farm income and pushed down prices for staple grains.White corn, which makes up roughly 1 percent of the 14.6 billion-bushel U.S.

House legislation to tighten borders proposes new expanded ag guest-worker program

The Progressive Farmer | Posted on January 12, 2018

An overhaul of agricultural guest-worker programs is a major component of a House plan to fix the immigration status of young people involved in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) that is entangled in the latest immigration battle on Capitol Hill.

More dairy heifers leaving U.S.

Progressive Dairy | Posted on January 11, 2018

With the U.S. dairy herd stubbornly near a two-decade high, cow numbers are frequently cited as a reason for excess milk production stretching processing capacity. While latest information from the USDA shows dairy cow slaughter is outpacing year-ago levels and stabilizing cow numbers, there’s also been renewed demand for dairy replacement heifers in foreign markets. November 2017 exports of U.S. dairy replacement heifers totaled 2,596 head, valued at $4.8 million, according to latest USDA Foreign Agricultural Service data. It marked the fifth month sales topped 2,500 head in 2017.

Federal News

Interior plans to move thousands of workers in the biggest reorganization in its history

The Washington Post | Posted on January 16, 2018

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke launched an unprecedented effort Wednesday to undertake the largest reorganization in the department’s 168-year history, moving to shift tens of thousands of workers to new locations and change the way the federal government manages more than 500 million acres of land and water across the country. The proposal would divide the United States into 13 regions and centralize authority for different parts of Interior within those boundaries.

FCC uses bogus data to show big increases in broadband access

Daily Yonder | Posted on January 11, 2018

Across the country, the Federal Communications Commission wants millions of rural Americans to think they have broadband at home and the workplace – when they don’t. The self-reported claims of service are very convenient for large telecommunications companies, which might face more competition otherwise. At the end of the year, the Federal Communications Commission released data that it knows to be inaccurate, which will damage the lives and livelihoods of millions of our fellow citizens who live and work in rural America.

USDA Asks What Regulations to Cut

DTN | Posted on January 11, 2018

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue served as a warm-up act Monday at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting, telling a crowd of roughly 4,500 people that USDA will soon outline the Trump administration's principles for the farm bill. Keeping with a theme of the Trump administration knocking down regulatory burdens, Perdue also called on farmers to tell USDA which regulations should be eliminated.

Report from Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity

USDA | Posted on January 11, 2018

The task force identified over 100 recommendations for the federal government to consider in order to help improve life in rural America. The recommendations centered around these five areas:Economic Development, Innovation and Technology, Workforce, Quality of Life and 5 Calls to Action: Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America, Improving Quality of Life, Supporting a Rural Workforce,  Harnessing Technological Innovation and Developing the Rural Economy

NAFTA- Recent Developments as President Trump Addresses AFBF Members on Monday

Farm Policy News | Posted on January 11, 2018

President Donald Trump spoke at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) 99th Annual Convention.  The AFBF noted recently that, “After three consecutive years of decline in farm sector profits, President Trump will speak to Farm Bureau members during a period of prolonged economic challenge across farm country.”  In fiscal year 2017, the U.S. exported $140.5 billion worth of agricultural products; and, the U.S. Department of Agricultureexplained recently that, “Exports are responsible for 20 percent of U.S.

Rural News

Interior plans to move thousands of workers in the biggest reorganization in its history

The Washington Post | Posted on January 16, 2018

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke launched an unprecedented effort Wednesday to undertake the largest reorganization in the department’s 168-year history, moving to shift tens of thousands of workers to new locations and change the way the federal government manages more than 500 million acres of land and water across the country. The proposal would divide the United States into 13 regions and centralize authority for different parts of Interior within those boundaries.

Animal research helps pets, too

JAVMA | Posted on January 14, 2018

This past October, the Foundation for Biomedical Research launched its "Love Animals? Support Animal Research" campaign to educate the public about how animal research has improved the health and welfare of companion animals. Similar public outreach efforts have focused on the benefits to human health derived from animal research, such as development of vaccines for polio and hepatitis A and B. "Love Animals?

Trump declared an opioids emergency. Then nothing changed.

Politico | Posted on January 12, 2018

President Donald Trump in October promised to "liberate" Americans from the "scourge of addiction," officially declaring a 90-day public health emergency that would urgently mobilize the federal government to tackle the opioid epidemic. That declaration runs out on Jan. 23, and beyond drawing more attention to the crisis, virtually nothing of consequence has been done.Trump has not formally proposed any new resources or spending, typically the starting point for any emergency response.

Single payer could solve the rural hospital crisis

Jacobin | Posted on January 12, 2018

America’s rural hospitals are closing down at an alarming rate. According to the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program, there were seventy-two rural hospital closures between 2010 and 2016, close to double the number that shut down between 2005 and 2009. Hundreds more are teetering on the brink of closure. Consequently, rural America faces a serious health care delivery challenge, which is made all the more urgent by the fact that rural residents tend to be much sicker to begin with. They have higher rates of chronic conditions and greater psychological distress.

Climate and Weather Disasters Cost U.S. a Record $306 Billion in 2017

Inside Climate News | Posted on January 11, 2018

Hurricane Harvey's extreme rainfall and the most devastating wildfire season on record contributed to $306 billion in damages from climate and weather disasters in the United States in 2017, shattering the previous record by more than $90 billion, according to a federal report released Monday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's recap of the nation's climate over the past year found that 2017 was the third-warmest on record. What's more, it was warmer than average in every state across the lower 48 and Alaska for the third consecutive year.

Energy News

The Tax Overhaul and Your Farm

Ag Web | Posted on January 11, 2018

Farms can fully deduct all farm assets purchased between Sept. 28, 2017, and Dec.

2 more lawsuits filed against Big Ox, South Sioux City

Sioux City Journal | Posted on January 11, 2018

Two more homeowners have sued Big Ox Energy and South Sioux City over odors and gases from the renewable energy plant, bringing the total number of lawsuits filed to 14.Tyler and Saira Muff and Kathryn Hunt both filed suit Monday in Dakota County District Court. They claim, as have homeowners in the other lawsuits, that odors and gases from the Big Ox plant damaged their homes and "much of their personal property is useless and has been reduced to waste." They also say the odors and gases have caused health problems that began soon after the plant began operations in September 2016.

How a Coal Baron’s Wish List Became President Trump’s To-Do List

New York Times | Posted on January 11, 2018

President Trump’s first year in office has been a boon for the coal industry, with the Trump administration rolling back regulations on coal-fired power plants and withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate change agreement. Environmentalists have expressed alarm at the new direction, and have complained that Mr. Trump was following a blueprint from the coal industry. A confidential memo written by the head of the country’s largest coal mining company suggests they might not be wrong.The memo was written by Robert E.

The ‘bomb cyclone’ is contradicting Rick Perry’s argument for coal

The Washington Post | Posted on January 11, 2018

The cold weather and swirling winds gripping the northeastern United States have created the sort of winter scenario that Energy Secretary Rick Perry has cited as a reason to bolster the reliability of the grid by boosting coal and nuclear power plants. Perry said that only those power plants could assure reliability because only they could keep 90 days’ fuel supply on site.

Billions From VW Settlement Boost Push to Clean Vehicles

Pew Charitable Trust | Posted on January 8, 2018

South Carolina wants to replace aging school buses. Colorado plans to electrify Denver’s bus system. And Washington wants electric ferryboats for Puget Sound. As part of a 2016 federal court settlement after Volkswagen admitted programming its diesel vehicles to cheat on emissions tests, the automaker agreed to pay $2.8 billion to states to be used to reduce diesel pollution.

Food News

“Milk” Comes from Breasts/Udders

OFW Law | Posted on January 11, 2018

The point is that each of these “milk” food names is legally established/recognized and refers to a lacteal secretion derived from mammals—not from plants. In contrast, “almond milk” (and “cashew milk” and “rice milk”) has no such legal/regulatory basis.  So, contrary to being consistent with federal law, a “[plant-derived] milk” food name violates it.

More education about GMOs needed among public

Indiana Prairie Farmer | Posted on January 8, 2018

It’s hard to escape the amount of GMO products out on today’s market, but being informed about what they are may help your buying habits. Almost one in five people in the U.S. haven’t read or heard anything about GMOs, according to Pew. Also, at a leading agricultural school, Purdue University, over one-third of participants in an informal campus survey said they had no opinion on GMOs. 

NMPF Tells State, Federal Regulators: Enforcement Action Needed Against Doubly Deceptive Kite Hill “Almond Milk Yogurt”

NMPF | Posted on January 8, 2018

The National Milk Producers Federation urged state and federal regulators today to take enforcement action against a plant-based food company whose imitation “yogurt” violates the federal definition for dairy foods and fails to provide the same nutrition as real yogurt.  NMPF called out Hayward, California-based Kite Hill for illegally labeling its line of products and implying the nut-based foods are suitable substitutes for the real dairy foods it attempts to mimic.

Dairies Are Awash in Organic Milk as Consumers Jump to Alternatives

Wall Street Journal | Posted on January 2, 2018

Organic milk sales have cooled as the very shoppers who drove demand for the specialty product not long ago move on to newer alternatives, leaving dairy sellers and producers grappling with oversupply. A yearslong surge in demand prompted food companies and dairy farmers to invest in organic production, which requires eschewing pesticides and antibiotics and allowing cows to graze freely. Now, organic-milk supplies have ballooned just as demand has stalled.

Food Swamps Are the New Food Deserts

The Atlantic | Posted on January 2, 2018

The term “food desert” conjures the image of a forlorn citizen, wandering through a barren landscape for miles and miles (or, by definition, for more than a mile) to reach the nearest fresh-food market. Populating food deserts with grocery stores is a favored cause among nutrition advocates, but the concept became controversial after some recent studies found the distance to the nearest grocery store doesn’t correlate with a region’s obesity rate.(Because it’s nutrition, other studies have shown the opposite.