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Rural-urban divide missing in Idaho, survey finds

The rural-urban divide that splits many states hasn’t reached Idaho yet, a new survey shows. The University of Idaho survey found that residents of Idaho’s two main urban counties see eye-to-eye with their rural counterparts in Owyhee County on many natural resource issues, such as public lands grazing and logging. Owyhee County in southwestern Idaho is heavily dependent on agriculture, particularly raising livestock. Some 80 percent of the county’s economic output is tied to the farming industry.

College helps Okla. tribe build meat plant

The University of Arkansas Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences and School of Law are helping the Quapaw Tribe design and build a meat processing plant near Miami, Okla., to produce and maintain a sustainable local food supply, the college announced in a news release. The $1 million facility, expected to begin operations in May 2017, also will provide the school’s students opportunities for training. The plant will include a classroom, laboratory and test kitchen, and is being designed to process up to 50

New Michigan law helps protect pets from animal abusers

A package of bills intended to keep pets away from known animal abusers was signed into law Wednesday by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.  The bills passed the Legislature with strong bipartisan support in December. The bills allow Michigan animal shelters to conduct a criminal background check using the Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT) and determine whether someone has a criminal history of animal abuse before allowing adoption of an animal.

City approves expanded plans for Costco poultry plant

City council in Fremont, Nebraska, unanimously approves plans that would expand proposed size of poultry plant and hatchery. The new plans state that the plant would cover an area of 360,000 square feet, up substantially from the earlier proposed size of 250,000 square feet. The other amended plan is for an associated hatchery.

PETA: Still Wasteful An Ocean Away

As we approach the end of 2016, charities across America will be passing the hat. As usual, people should do their homework and make sure they give to a group that will use their money as intended. That means cross the Humane Society of the United States (doesn’t run a single pet shelter) and PETA (wastes money on juvenile street theater) off your list if you’re a discerning donor. It turns out things aren’t much better overseas. According to PETA Germany’s financials—viewable here if you sprechen some Deutsch—almost half the group’s donations are spent on staff salaries.

Freezing in record lows? You may doubt global warming

If you're shivering from unusually teeth-rattling cold this holiday season, global warming is probably the last thing on your mind. "The local weather conditions people experience likely play a role in what they think about the broader climate," says Utah State University researcher Peter Howe. "Climate change is causing record-breaking heat around the world, but the variability of the climate means that some places are still reaching record-breaking cold.

Researchers estimate 10,000 metric tons of plastic enter Great Lakes every year

A new study that inventories and tracks high concentrations of plastic in the Great Lakes could help inform cleanup efforts and target pollution prevention. Researchers found that nearly 10,000 metric tons -- or 22 million pounds -- of plastic debris enter the Great Lakes every year from the United States and Canada.

Using the ERS County Economic Types To Explore Demographic and Economic Trends in Rural Areas

The 2015 ERS County Typology Codes classify all U.S. counties according to six categories of economic dependence: farming, mining, manufacturing, Federal/State government, recreation, and nonspecialized counties. ERS developed this typology to help characterize the socioeconomic diversity of rural America. Counties are usually classified as dependent on a particular sector when the share of employment or earnings in that sector is markedly above the average.

Productivity Is Major Manufacturing Job Killer: Not Mexico

Politicians from both sides of the aisle are fond of blaming outsourcing and imported manufac-tured goods for U.S. manufacturing job losses. While it is correct that U.S. manufacturing has lost jobs during a period of solid U.S. job growth “the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” Between 2000 and 2015, U.S. manufacturing lost 29.6 percent of total sector employment, or 4.7 million production jobs, as the nation experienced a 9.1 percent job gain outside of manufacturing. Over the time period, agriculture lost 76,000 jobs for a 8.5 percent loss.

Census report unusually informative about rural

The Census Bureau put the spotlight on rural America today when it released the results of its latest American Community Survey, the data that gives us the closest look at changes in American demography, economics, work, and lifestyles. Meanwhile, the survey showed that the Census-defined rural population remained steady from last year.The press release that announced the new Census data focused on rural information, noting that rural Americans are more likely to own their own homes, live in the state where they were born, and to have served in the military.


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