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Farming plays major role in Obama's community revitalization effort

Farming, food processing and distribution are playing a major role in a community revitalization program designed to lift people out of poverty and reduce crime in special Promise Zones across the country, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said.  One of the nine new Promise Zones announced Monday is in southwest Florida. The area has developable land, an unemployment rate of over 30 percent, and plenty of potential for growth, Vilsack told reporters in a teleconference.

Baby Fish Prefer Plastic Over Natural Food

Larval perch gorge themselves on microplastics, which seems to be stunting growth and affecting natural instincts.  Earlier this year a report from the World Economic Forum claimed there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050 and president Obam signed a ban on plastic microbeads into law late last year. Now, a new study shows that the problem may be more urgent than first thought—some baby fish choose plastic microparticles over natural food, leading to stunted growth and changes in behavior.


Crowdfunding: the Future of Angel Investor Funding?

Crowdfunding could allow mom-and-pop investors to function as angel investors. Angel investors are usually the first or early-stage investors - often friends and family - who put money into start-ups and expect returns after many years when the companies go public. Crowdfunding would allow mom-and-pop investors to function as angel investors, as well.

Rural Disasters- Saving Lives and Livelihoods

Rural disasters often mobilize two self-described groups: “The red-light team” from the official ranks of fire, emergency medicine and law enforcement systems. And “the Carhartt and cowboy-hat army,” including agriculture producers and their children, friends, and relatives serving officially and unofficially as emergency responders. Both groups bring critical knowledge and skills. An inter-agency effort that includes land-grant university Extension offices is helping these groups work together to achieve better results.

How the BLM is overhauling land-use planning

The Bureau of Land Management is unveiling a new approach to planning how to manage its 245 million acres, one that invites diverse viewpoints much earlier in the multi-year process. Bringing people with different perspectives together is one of the goals of Planning 2.0, the BLM’s proposed new strategy for developing resource management plans, the big-picture blueprints that guide the agency’s on-the-ground decisions. It’s the first time in 33 years that the BLM has overhauled its planning procedures.

Elk, not bison, are spreading Brucellosis near Yellowstone

Since Wyoming first established its feedgrounds in 1912, thousands of elk have munched taxpayer-funded rations every winter. Conservationists have long warned that the crowding could spread brucellosis, which causes miscarriages. However, since state and federal agencies have long assumed that bison, not elk, transmit the disease to livestock, they’ve focused their attention on the bison, restricting their winter migration out of Yellowstone National Park and culling hundreds each year. Research by the U.S.

Many Northeast, Midwest States Face Shrinking Workforce

In many parts of the Northeast and Midwest, population growth is slowing at an unprecedented rate as people are getting older, women are having fewer children, and more people are moving out than in — and that signals big economic trouble ahead. The population of prime working-age adults, ages 25 to 54, will decline in 16 states, most of which are in the Northeast and Midwest, from 2010 to 2040, according to a Stateline analysis of projections released by the University of Virginia’s Demographics Research Group in the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.

The Graying of Rural America

As young people increasingly move to cities, what happens to the people and places they leave behind? Over the past two decades, as cities have become job centers that attract diverse young people, rural America has become older, whiter, and less populated. Between 2010 and 2014, rural areas lost an average of 33,000 people a year. Today, just 19 percent of Americans live in areas the Census department classifies as rural, down from 44 percent in 1930. But roughly one-quarter of seniors live in rural communities, and 21 of the 25 oldest counties in the United States are rural.

Firefighters, first responders welcome evacuees back to Fort McMurray

the firefighters and first responders hailed as heroes for saving most of the city and safeguarding its people as they fled a monster wildfire in May parked their rigs and hung banners to welcome the oil-town’s gritty residents as they headed back home along Highway 63.  As the first residents arrived, passing a huge Canadian flag hung between the ladders of two fire trucks parked on one bridge, the Fort Mac Evacuees saw for the first time the devastation.  They saw destroyed areas covered with a white substance sprayed to keep toxic ash from blowing about.


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