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Agriculture

ICE raids Tennessee meatpacking plant

Immigration officials executed a federal criminal search warrant at the Southeastern Provision meatpacking plant in Bean Station, Tennessee, on April 5. According to a statement released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Public Affairs Officer Tammy Spicer, 97 people were arrested during a search by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Cheese-maker stepping up to help save 4 family farms as dairy crisis deepens

Not many people get to save a family farm, let alone four of them, but cheese-makers Jay and John Noble may do just that.  The Racine County brothers are reopening the Beechwood cheese plant near Adell, in Sheboygan County, that's been closed for about a year. By most standards it’s a small plant, a two-man operation where the Nobles will make high-end organic cheese.

Front-of-package labelling proposal has Canadian dairy farmers concerned

Health Canada launched a consultation period in February for its proposed new front-of-packaging labelling. The proposal is part of Health Canada's Healthy Eating Strategy and would include placing new warning labels on the front of products sold in Canada for foods that are high in saturated fats, sugars and sodium.   “Our concern is that many Canadians would actually put that product back down if they see a warning label on it. So it would impact our markets domestically,” said David Wiens, chair of Dairy Farmers of Manitoba.

Missouri Attorney General defends states’ sovereign, economic interests

In requesting the U.S. Supreme Court to accept its complaint in the California cage size case, Missouri’s Attorney General states, “Unless this Court acts, California will continue to impose new agricultural regulations on other states in violation of federal law and those States’ sovereign, quasi-sovereign, and economic interests…”.

Opinion: U.S. can’t export its way out of farm crisis

In general, I find the concept of focusing on exports problematic, particularly as a silver-bullet solution to depressed farm income. Exports are important, but they’re only 20% of the market. That leaves 80% of purchasing power among U. S. consumer. Additionally, nearly 100% of farmers are selling the things they produce in a domestic market. Farmers don’t export; agribusiness companies do the exporting. Export-oriented agriculture does not have the best track record in delivering better incomes for farmers.

USDA: Tariffs proposed by China would hit $16.5B in U.S. ag exports

Chinese officials responded quickly Wednesday to the Trump administration's proposed 25% tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports by announcing higher tariffs on 106 more U.S. commodities, including soybeans. The new reciprocal tariffs will be on products including soybeans, automobiles and chemical products, worth a total of $50 billion. Soybeans are at the top of the list. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce did not indicate when the tariffs would take effect.

Pork industry looks at the cost of losing foreign-born workers

A reduction in the foreign-born workforce due to immigration policy changes would lead to decreased agricultural output and a drop in jobs in the sector as farmers abandon labor-intensive operations, according to a study commissioned by the National Pork Producers Council. The loss of foreign-born workers would not be offset by native-born workers and permanent residents, given an already-tight labor market, particularly in rural areas, according to the study by Iowa State University economists using research from USDA’s Economic Research Service.

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