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Gov. Hickenlooper debuts “aggressive” new efforts to battle homelessness with marijuana tax dollars

Gov. John Hickenlooper is proposing “aggressive” new efforts to address homelessness in Colorado, returning to an issue that helped launch his political career. The governor’s budget request for fiscal year 2017-2018 asks lawmakers to put $12.3 million in annual marijuana tax revenues toward building new housing units for people who experience chronic and episodic homelessness. His plan also includes another $6 million a year for housing for low-income residents and others with behavioral health needs.

Chicken producers asked for affidavits confirming price data

U.S. chicken producers including Tyson Foods Inc. and Sanderson Farms Inc. are being asked by the Georgia Department of Agriculture to meet new requirements for a price index as the agency makes changes amid concerns about the reliability of the benchmark.  The department is asking the companies and their representatives to submit affidavits and attestations declaring the price data they supply for the weekly so-called Georgia Dock index is accurate. The documents are due Tuesday, agency spokeswoman Julie McPeake said Monday.

Horse Industry Takes The Reins In Georgia’s Economy

Georgia’s equine industry is anything but a pony show — it has a $2.5 billion annual impact on the state’s economy, according to the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Equine.  Further, horses are the No. 9 commodity in the state with a value of more than $333 million, or about $279.8 million more than those famous Georgia peaches. That’s according to the 2014 Farm Gate Value Reports from the University of Georgia.

Study says Maryland horse industry is rebounding, 'still healing'

Maryland's horse industry hasn't recovered fully from years of decline but has regained its footing and is generating more than $1 billion a year — 23 percent more than in 2010, a study released Monday found.  The study, conducted by the Sage Policy Group, said the industry's nascent rebound appears to be accelerating.  "The last five years have represented a stark contrast from the prior three decades when Maryland's horse industry was in decline," said the study, paid for by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association and a dozen other industry partners.  The study, released at Goucher Colleg

Canada bovine TB investigation expands: More than 35 Canadian livestock premises under quarantine

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has announced more than 35 premises in Alberta and Saskatchewan are under investigation and movement controls in connection to a bovine tuberculosis case from late September.  CFIA stated that, as of Nov. 23, there have been six confirmed cases of bovine TB, including the original cow from Alberta that was confirmed with the disease by USDA when the cow was slaughtered in the U.S.

Salting roads harms frog numbers by changing their sex

Salting roads and pavements during winter damages frog populations by turning would-be females into males, a major new study warns.  Naturally occurring chemicals used in de-icing substances find their way into ponds, where the amphibians breed, and change the sex of young frogs during early development. Experts at Yale University found that gritting can reduce the number of female frogs by 10 per cent in a given area, as well as harming the quality of their eggs and size of their offspring.

Appeals court rejects six states' lawsuit against California egg law

Six states lacked the legal right to challenge a California law that prohibits the sale off eggs from chickens that are not raised in accordance with strict space requirements, a federal appeals court said Thursday.  The states – Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Alabama, Kentucky and Iowa – failed to show how the law would affect them and not just individual egg farmers, a unanimous three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. The court upheld a lower court decision that dismissed the lawsuit.

Animal rights advocates wrong on the use of antibiotics by agriculture community

Animal agriculture – farmers, ranchers, veterinarians, feed mills and animal health companies – is dedicated to providing a safe and healthful food supply for everyone. That dedication starts on the farm with ensuring livestock and poultry are also healthy.  As part of that commitment, the animal agriculture community is currently working to implement significant changes in the way antibiotics are used.

Negative Cash Flows for One of Five Grain Farmers

Survey Results at a Glance: • For a 14th straight month, the Rural Mainstreet Index fell below growth neutral. • Overall index slumps to lowest level since April 2009. • Bank CEOs project more than one in five farmers with negative 2016 cash flows. • More than one in four bank CEOs expect rising regulatory costs to be the biggest challenge to their bank operations over the next 5 years. • Gains reported for Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota while losses were recorded for Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota and Wyoming.

Ohio Dept. of Ag announces 2017 funding for Agricultural Easement Program

The Ohio Department of Agriculture announced that nine land trusts, four counties, one township and 11 Soil and Water Conservation Districts will receive funding to help preserve farmland across the state. These organizations will receive allocations from the Clean Ohio Fund to select, close and monitor easements under the Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program


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