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Agriculture

Feds investigating $2.6MM in missing Okla. Checkoff funds: report

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Oklahoma City reportedly is investigating the alleged embezzlement of $2.6 million by a former employee of the Oklahoma Beef Council. The council, responsible for the state’s beef checkoff investments, has filed a civil lawsuit in state court against its former accounting and compliance manager, Melissa Morton. StateImpact Oklahoma reported that an independent audit indicated Morton had allegedly forged checks dating back to 2009. 

Swiss town denies passport to vegan anti-cowbell campaigner 'for being annoying'

A woman has been denied a second application for a Swiss passport after local residents took offence to her rejection of traditions and her “annoying” campaigning.  Nancy Holten, 42, who was born in the Netherlands, moved to Switzerland when she was eight. She is fluent in Swiss German and her children have Swiss citizenship. The animal rights activist has campaigned publicly against the local traditions of putting bells around cows’ necks and piglet racing

Bill would codify landmark water rights victory in Idaho law

Idaho lawmakers in 2017 will again attempt to introduce a bill that codifies in state law a 2007 Idaho Supreme Court decision over who owns in-stream stock watering rights on federal land.  Rep. Judy Boyle, a Republican rancher from Midvale who tried unsuccessfully to introduce the bill last year, said she will introduce a similar bill this year that addresses concerns about the proposed legislation that arose in 2016. Southern Idaho ranchers and the U.S.

Agriculture is bumper crop for Utah's economy

Utah's agricultural sector pumped more than $21 billion into the state's economy, according to an analysis of 2014 numbers, making it just slightly more than 15 percent of the state's total financial output.

Why Going Organic Just Got Easier For Farmers

[For farmers looking to switch to organic production, there has always been a catch.] You'd have to follow the organic rules, renouncing synthetic pesticides and fertilizer, for three entire years before any of your crops could be sold as organic. For those three "transition" years, you'd have the worst of all worlds: Low organic yields and low conventional prices.

Ready for Ag's Reset?

Agriculture is in the midst of an economic reset that will thin the ranks of some of the largest farm operators but offer growth opportunities for those who have patiently held on to cash. That was the counsel from Dave Kohl, a professor emeritus in ag economics from Virginia Tech who spoke to the 2017 The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers (TEPAP) class in Austin this week.  "Most lenders haven't seen their customers' financials for a year, but when they do, some will be saying 'Oh my God,'" Kohl said. Jan.

The Nutrient Stewardship (4 -R) Summit to be in Minneapolis June 12

The 2017 4R Summit will be held June 12-13, 2017, in Minneapolis, Minn. The 4R Summit will be held at the Radisson Blu in downtown Minneapolis. The Summit provides opportunities for those interested in nutrient management and stewardship to learn more about the 4R Nutrient Stewardship program and hear how stakeholders across the country are implementing the 4R principles.

AFBF optimistic despite challenging political, economic landscape

The Farm Bureau’s director of market intelligence, John Newton, flatly told delegates, “The Golden Age of ag income is over.”  Net farm income is projected to decline for the third consecutive year, and exporters’ biggest markets — China, Canada, Mexico and Japan — aren’t expanding. Newton said producers need to look at markets that are projected to grow, such as Africa. The world population is projected to hit 9 billion by 2050, and that provides opportunities for American’s farmers, Newton said.  “We are the breadbasket of the world, everybody knows that,” he said.

Minnesota farmers need property tax relief now

Minnesota farm communities are being hit by the perfect storm: low commodity prices, high land values, and aging schools. It is not fair to stick farmers with big property tax bills, or leave students with outdated classrooms. That is why we are proposing a tax credit to provide Minnesota farmers immediate relief from rising agricultural property taxes. Minnesota students need the best possible schools. However, state school funding has not kept up with the needs of our students over the last 15 years.

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