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Agriculture

Scientists genetically engineer pigs immune to costly disease

Scientists have genetically engineered pigs to be immune to one of the world’s most costly animal diseases, in an advance that could propel gene-editing technology into commercial farms within five years. The trial, led by the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute, showed that the pigs were completely immune to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), a disease that is endemic across the globe and costs the European pig industry nearly £1.5bn in pig deaths and decreased productivity each year.

The immigrants contributing to rural towns and economies

Their future success depends on many factors, including comprehensive immigration reform, which will better enable people to get the education, resources and jobs they need to become full members of U.S. society. But that also depends on the nation’s willingness to reframe the way it talks about immigrants: not as social problems to be kept out by a border wall, but rather as opportunities to contribute to the communities they live in, while helping to build a more inclusive America.

Ag Research Gets Boost in Pennsylvania State Budget

Agricultural research will benefit from the expansiveness in Pennsylvania’s new budget. Gov. Tom Wolf signed a spending package June 22 that provides a 3 percent raise for Penn State research and Extension, and for the University of Pennsylvania’s veterinary school. Their research helps Pennsylvania farmers remain competitive, reduce pollution and stay ahead of livestock diseases, said Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre, minority chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.

 

Dairy Farm Vs. FDA: Maryland Dairy Farmer Stands Up for Milk Labeling

Maryland dairy farmer Randy Sowers has butted heads with the government before—and won. The first time it was for pipe he placed in a pasture to help control erosion. Government officials claimed the pipe had replaced a natural stream, but it was actually a runoff ditch. Sowers eventually was able to keep the pipe in the ground.A bigger run-in with the government happened when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seized $60,000 in February 2012 for a violation of structuring laws. With the help of the Institute for Justice, Sowers’ money was returned, a rare win against the IRS.

Drones, Joysticks, and Data-Driven Farming

Brian Luck grew up on an 800-acre corn and soybean farm in western Kentucky, so he knows well the look of a planted field from the exact height of a tractor seat.But these days, Luck is more familiar with a much loftier view of farm fields.

Smithfield loses second N.C. hog farm nuisance trial

A jury in eastern North Carolina found on Friday that a Smithfield Foods hog farm posed a nuisance to neighboring residents and awarded them $25 million in damages, according to federal court documents.Plaintiffs Elvis and Vonnie Williams claimed victory in the second of what is expected to be a dozen similar cases alleging that the company’s hog farms’ waste, noise and odors are diminishing neighbors’ quality of life.A group of residents also won in the first case of the series held in April, with the jury in that case awarding $50 million.

Can more candor win back support for animal research?

As soon as the big yellow school bus pulls into the parking lot of the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) here, it’s clear that many of the high school students on board don’t know what they’ve signed up for. They know that science happens somewhere on this wooded, 70-hectare campus west of Portland—and that they may get to see monkeys—but everything else is a mystery.

A tale of two ICE raids

What to make of the nearly back-to-back raids at meat plants in Tennessee and Ohio by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)? Let's set aside, for a moment, the discussion of the role of undocumented workers in an industry desperate for warm bodies to keep up with demand. They are here illegally, the law says they go back home. These raids set off a firestorm of debate over immigration and employment within the industry. From the perspective of those outside the industry — which is almost everybody — all meat processors look shady.

North Carolina hog farmers win new protections as lawmakers override Roy Cooper's veto

North Carolina will place new limits on how and when neighbors of hog farms can sue the agriculture businesses next door. The state legislature gave final approval on to a bill that restricts nuisance lawsuits against farms and other livestock and forestry operations. The state House voted 74 to 45 in the morning to override a veto that Gov. Roy Cooper issued. The Senate voted to reverse the governor's action. “Overriding this veto and correcting Gov.

California to vote on new farm animal confinement laws

Petitioners gain enough signatures to place law that would require all eggs. pork and beefr produced and sold in California to be from cage-free systems. Californians will vote this fall on whether to strengthen the state’s laws governing how farm animals are confined and raised.The proposed measure that qualified for the November ballot late Friday builds on a previous voter-approved initiative and a separate state law.In 2008, Californians passed Proposition 2.

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