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Agriculture

Pennsylvania announces $5M for dairy farmers

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.

Ring leader pleads guilty in egg farm worker smuggling scheme

The man who held a multimillion-dollar contract to supply workers — many of whom were underage and smuggled into the country illegally from Guatemala — for central Ohio egg farms pleaded guilty in federal court in Cleveland to a labor trafficking-related charge. Pablo Duran Ramirez, 50, faces up to 10 years in prison for one count of encouraging the illegal entry of Guatemalan nationals for financial gain.

‘CUPS’ Protects Citrus From Greening, Storms

A system designed to protect citrus trees from the deadly greening disease withstood the ravaging winds of Hurricane Irma last year, University of Florida scientists say. With reinforcements installed after the storm, they’ll likely withstand even more dangerous storms. Using Citrus Under Protective Screening, or “CUPS,” growers can keep the Asian citrus psyllid away from their trees, said Arnold Schumann, a professor of soil and water sciences at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

$2M Missing at Minnesota grain elevator

A former grain elevator manager is on the run after allegedly pocketing $2 million from the Ashby Farmers Cooperative Elevator Co. in west-central Minnesota. Jerry Hennessey used the money for hunting trips, taxidermy and paying his personal Cabela’s credit card. Initial investigations show Hennessey had been siphoning off funds while inflating grain inventories from the single-location grain co-op for at least a decade. But the issue came to head earlier this month and forced the co-op, which was established 110 years ago, to stop taking grain deliveries and close for business.

NASDA Debuts Model Preventive Controls for Animal Food Framework

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) is pleased to announce the debut of their Model Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Preventive Controls for Animal Food Implementation Framework. The document contains the fundamental and essential components for the operation of a state animal food safety program that can fully implement the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-based Preventive Control for Animal Food regulation.

Major U.S. trade groups link up in anti-tariff coalition

As the Trump administration readies major trade actions this month, including a potential $200 billion in new tariffs on imported Chinese goods, America's biggest trade associations -- representing a wide swath of industries -- have formed what they say will be a sweeping campaign against tariffs. Americans for Free Trade, a group of more than 80 associations, said it represents thousands of businesses and workers.

N.M. beef plant expands into bison meat processing

A small New Mexico beef processing operation that opened its doors a year ago is adding bison meat packing in an effort to differentiate itself from larger competitors, according to a local news report. USA Beef Packing, based in Roswell, has signed a contract with a ranch near Amarillo, Texas, that will supply the bison and has agreed to pack the meat for retailers and distributors, the Roswell Daily Record reported.

African Swine Fever discovered in Belgium

African Swine Fever (ASF) has been confirmed in two wild boars in Belgium, in an area about eight miles from the border with France and 11 miles from the border with Luxembourg.

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