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Agriculture

Animal rights activists attempting “outreach” to truck drivers

As soon as stopping trucks to hold “vigils” at meat processing plants became the latest activist trend, I knew it was only a matter of time before an activist claimed to get injured. It’s pretty clear why a few people gathering around a semi full of livestock (usually at dawn) isn’t really the safest course of action.

Dairy Troubles in Indiana: What Affects Where Your Milk Comes From

Tariffs, oversupply and European policies may all be to blame for some Hoosier dairy farm troubles.  The dairy industry is dealing with some tough times and that trickles down to Hoosier dairy farmers. You may have heard the story of one Indiana farm where milk will no longer be produced. Joe Kelsay said his troubles don't just come from the tariffs on exports, but from a long downward trend in the market. Deb Osza, CEO of the American Dairy Assoc.

Farmers reeling from record year of wildfires

In the era of climate change, record-setting fires are the new norm — something farmers are learning to adapt to. Delbar says it will be weeks if not months before the USDA compiles a comprehensive list of fire damage on Mendocino and Lake County farms, an area known for its vineyards, orchards and organic vegetable farms, in addition to a handful of large ranches.

African swine fever outbreak in China major threat to US pork

News that China broke with African swine fever (ASF) generated great concern for many in the US swine industry, including Scott Dee, DVM, Pipestone Veterinary Services. “This is a very challenging situation,” Dee told attendees at a recent swine-health conference in Macomb, Illinois. “ASFV is a very tough virus…and difficult to clean up should it get into a premise.”No treatment or vaccines are available for ASF, which can cause up to 100% mortality. Surviving swine continue to shed the virus. The virus only affects swine and generally spreads through oronasal contact and not aerosol.

U.S. Agricultural Exports Set July Record as China Trade Row Persists

U.S. agriculture exports set a record in July.  “It’s the best July that the U.S. has seen as far as agricultural exports go, the value total,” said Bryce Cooke, an economist with USDA’s Economic Research Service.  The total value of U.S. agricultural exports in July totaled just over $11 billion. In the radio update, Gary Crawford pointed out that the USDA trade data showed U.S. agricultural exports at $122 billion for first ten months of the fiscal year (October – July), which is two percent ahead of last year.

Idaho’s economy depends on ‘foreign-born’ workers

It’s August in southern Idaho, and all is calm for the region’s dairy workers. But after four workers were picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, better known as ICE, in July, Latino families have mostly stayed inside, missing church and otherwise lying low. In dairy country, the anxiety is constant.

Organic trade group creating a voluntary checkoff

The Organic Trade Association announced it will develop a voluntary, industry-invested checkoff program to fund research, promotion and education efforts. Organic stakeholders across the supply chain will collaborate to design and implement the program, the group said. The group has formed a steering committee to coordinate the process and address governance questions to maximize participation and good decision making, it said. It also aims to bring together multiple private efforts to foster coordinated organic research and promotion.

How a poultry processor, pork producer and feedyard approach labor: CoBank

In a report titled “Help Wanted,” CoBank — a cooperative bank serving rural America — explores some of the factors influencing today’s agricultural labor climate. The report also takes a closer look at how poultry processor Case Farms, cattle feedyard operator Friona Industries and pork producer Schwartz Farms are addressing the issue.  

AVMA State Legislative Update August 2018

In Massachusetts, a new law pertaining to abuse/cruelty reporting (HB 2419/S 2646) allows government employees to report known or suspected animal cruelty, abuse, or neglect to local authorities. If an employee makes such a report in good faith, he or she has immunity from civil or criminal liability.  The Maryland Department of Agriculture proposed a regulation, Dept of Agriculture/18-196, that would allow a person to administer medically important antimicrobial drugs to livestock if a licensed veterinarian finds that the drug is medically necessary.

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