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Once nearly buried by medical bills, a farmer braces for insurance drought

Darvin Bentlage’s health insurance plan used to be the same as all the other cattle farmers in Barton County, Mo., he said: to stay healthy until he turned 65, then get on Medicare. But when he turned 50, things did not go according to plan.  “Well, I had a couple of issues,” he said.That’s putting it mildly.Over two years, he dealt with hepatitis C and diverticulitis. That was on top of his persistent kidney stones, diabetes and other health problems.“I had to go back and refinance the farm,” he said.

Researchers Call Trump’s Proposed NIH Cuts ‘Shocking’

An estimated $5.8 billion in cuts to the National Institutes of Health in President Donald Trump’s proposed budget has universities and medical institutions sounding the alarm. Trump’s spending plan — running into opposition from Republicans and Democrats alike — would cut about 20 percent of the roughly $30 billion budget of the nation’s medical research agency that supports research on cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Zika and other conditions.

USDA announces $6 million to aid fire-affected farmers and ranchers in Kansas

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that more than $6 million in funding is now available for those affected by the wildfires in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. The funding, delivered through USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program, will assist farmers and ranchers as they attempt to restore grazing lands, rehabilitate devastated landscapes, rebuild fencing and protect damaged watersheds, according to a news release.“The availability of USDA conservation funds targeted toward restoring land impacted by the fires is appreciated," said Sen.

China, EU cut imports of Brazil meat amid scandal

China and the European Union curtailed meat imports from Brazil on Monday after police, in an anti-corruption probe criticized by the government as alarmist, accused inspectors in the world's biggest exporter of beef and poultry of taking bribes to allow sales of rotten and salmonella-tainted meats.

First U.S. bumble bee added to endangered species list

The rusty patched bumble bee became the first wild bee in the continental United States to gain federal protection on Tuesday when it was added to the government's list of endangered and threatened species. The bee, once widely found in the upper Midwest and Northeastern United States, was listed after U.S. President Donald Trump's administration lifted a hold it had placed on a plan for federal protections proposed last fall by the administration of former President Barack Obama.

Trump Applauds Farmers in Ag Day Proclamation

“America's farmers and ranchers help feed the world, fuel our Nation's economy, and lead global markets in output and productivity.  The efficiency of American agriculture has provided this country with abundance our ancestors could not have imagined.”  So begins President Donald Trump’s announcement today that proclaims March 21, 2017 as National Agriculture Day.The proclamation applauds our nation’s farmers as “endlessly innovative,” as well as being determined, self-reliant and a critical component to the nation’s future.

ICE DETAINS TWO MORE MIGRANT JUSTICE ACTIVISTS

Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested Enrique “Kike” Balcazar, 24, from Mexico, and and Zully Palacios, 23, from Peru, late Friday afternoon, according to an activist with the group Migrant Justice. They are the third and fourth members of the group to be detained by ICE agents this week. Caesar Alex Carillo-Sanchez, who goes by Alex Carillo, was arrested outside the Chittenden County courthouse in Burlington Wednesday morning.

Texans Receive First Notices of Land Condemnation for Trump’s Border Wall

The week before Donald Trump’s inauguration, Yvette Salinas received a letter she had been dreading for years: legal notice that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wants to build a border wall on her family’s land in Los Ebanos. The 21-page document, entitled a “Declaration of Taking,” is addressed to her ailing mother, Maria Flores, who owns the property with her siblings. The letter offers Flores $2,900 for 1.2 acres near the Rio Grande. If she chooses not to accept the offer, the land could be seized through eminent domain. “It’s scary when you read it,” Salinas says.

President's budget shuns rural America

President Donald J. Trump issued his fiscal year 2018 federal budget blueprint today, calling for a drastic reduction in spending on agriculture and rural related agencies and programs. Lamenting further cuts being proposed for agriculture, National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson issued the following statement: “Family farmers and ranchers are currently enduring the worst farm economy in well over a decade and an inadequate safety net that is hamstrung by $23 billion in budget cuts.

Veterans send letter Trump urging rule for ethanol and RFS in his energy plan

more than 120 military veterans working and investing in the ethanol industry sent a letter to President Trump last week, urging him to include a prominent role for ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in his “America First Energy Plan.”  According to the letter, “many of us have witnessed firsthand the dangers of our reliance on oil imports from hostile and unstable parts of the world. We share your belief that the United States can and must do more to insulate itself from the negative impacts associated with oil import dependence and OPEC manipulation.

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