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Poultry farms aren’t small independent businesses, says the agency that funds them

The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) on Tuesday announced in a new report that most chicken growers may no longer qualify as independent, small businesses. And that means they won’t qualify for small business loans. It’s a finding that could signal a significant loss in support: Between 2012 and 2016, SBA loaned about $1.8 billion to poultry growers. In 2016, poultry companies received more than three-quarters of all the SBA loans that went to agricultural businesses.

Bayer Feed A Bee program funds 20 new projects

Less than one year after launching the Feed a Bee 50-state forage grant program, the Bayer Bee Care Program revealed the list of 20 new organizations that have received funding for important forage initiatives around the country, bringing the total number of projects funded to more than 100. After a rigorous review and evaluation process by the Feed a Bee steering committee, 20 organizations were chosen in the latest round of review to receive awards ranging from $1,000 - $5,000. This brings the total for the program to 112 funded projects in 39 states and Washington, D.C.

Qatar Is Shipping In 3,000 Cows From California, Arizona and Wisconsin

The nine-month Saudi-led embargo of Qatar has an undisputed mascot for Doha’s defiance: the cud-chewing American cow. Thousands of airlifted dairy cows landed in Qatar in the first months of the boycott that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt established against the country in June. The airborne bovines created a spectacle that highlighted the gas-rich sheikdom’s ability to overcome sanctions and provide fresh milk to its 2.7 million residents.The herd settled at Baladna Farms, 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Doha.

States consider blocking pesticides after EPA flips

A month after Scott Pruitt began leading the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the former Oklahoma attorney general rejected an Obama-era recommendation from agency scientists to ban a widely used pesticide from use on food crops. That means farmers can continue to spray chlorpyrifos on crops ranging from corn to cranberries. The change was welcomed by farm groups and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which said farmers need access to the chemical to stop infestations.

Immigrants say working at Kansas ranch was 'like slavery'

Immigrants working on a remote Kansas ranch toil long days in a type of servitude to work off loans from the company for the cost of smuggling them into the country, according to five people who worked there. There are no holidays, health insurance benefits or overtime pay at Fullmer Cattle Co., which raises calves for dairies in four states. The immigrants must buy their own safety gear such as goggles.One worker spent eight months cleaning out calf pens, laying down cement and doing other construction work. Esteban Cornejo, a Mexican citizen who is in the U.S.

Robotics companies look to fill gaps for struggling dairy farmers

“Right now, some of the toughest we’ve had in my 35 years,” says Daniel Pearson, an organic dairy farmer in River Falls. “It’s definitely a time to more than tighten your belt, but really look at expenses and really look at doing as much as you can to market everything that you have.” Now, robotics companies are hoping to fill gaps in the industry. Pearson says the labor shortage and low milk prices are factors in the tough market. So how is the problem being addressed? Enter: farm robots.

AVMA working group helps navigate opioid abuse epidemic

An AVMA working group has taken up the task of providing needed information to help veterinary professionals contribute productively to the national response to human opioid addiction. Veterinarians prescribe or dispense opioids for very limited uses, and do so relatively infrequently; however, it is critical for certain animals to receive these medications.

USDA looking for veterinarians to practice in shortage areas

This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced 2018 veterinary shortage areas for the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP). In total, NIFA has designated 187 areas across the country as having inadequate access to livestock and public health veterinarians. Now, NIFA is accepting applications for veterinarians who want to apply for a VMLRP award to serve in one of these areas.

Alaska state veterinarian warns of emerging disease

Diseases that afflict livestock and wildlife are increasingly emerging in Alaska, said Bob Gerlach, DVM, state veterinarian.  Other diseases are increasing in northern-tier states and Canada due to climate change, increase in human population, and worldwide movement of agricultural products. Alaska’s cool climate and isolation has for millennia helped protect wildlife and the people who subsist on it from many of the diseases that thrive in warmer, lower latitudes, according to Dr. Gerlach. But that’s changing, as Alaska is no longer isolated from what’s happening globally, he said.


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