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SARL Members and Alumni News

California imposes new pesticide restrictions near schools

Capital Press | Posted on November 8, 2017

Beginning Jan. 1, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation’s new rule will prohibit many applications within a quarter-mile of public K-12 schools and licensed day care facilities from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.This includes all applications by aircraft, sprinklers and air-blast sprayers and all fumigant applications as well as most dust and powder applications such as sulfur, according to a state news release.The rule will also require nearby growers to provide annual notifications to area schools and county agricultural commissioners of the pesticides they expect to use in the upcoming year.

Breed bans are popular, but do they make the public safer?

AVMA | Posted on November 7, 2017

Breed-specific laws ban or restrict ownership of dog breeds believed to be responsible for the most serious attacks on people. Pit bull–type dogs are the poster child of breed laws, but they can also apply to Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and other large breeds. The American Kennel Club explained in a statement to JAVMA News that "pit bull" is a term commonly used to describe a particular type of dog—many being of mixed breeding—that has some ancestry relating to breeds in the United States, such as Staffordshire Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers. The AKC said "pit bull" is also used sometimes to describe mixes or breeds not registered with the AKC with names such as American Pit Bull Terrier or American Bully. "AKC does not consider Pit Bulls to be purebred dogs, and we register no such dogs," the organization said.Breed restrictions emerged and proliferated during the 1980s as news reports increasingly portrayed pit bull–type dogs as an apex predator, one on which no other animals prey. Sports Illustrated highlighted a story on dogfighting in its July 27, 1987, issue with a cover featuring a snarling dog under the headline "Beware Of This Dog: The Pit Bull Terrier." Hollywood, Florida, enacted the nation's first breed-specific ordinance in 1980 after a pit bull–type dog scalped a 7-year-old boy and mangled his face. That law, which required owners of such dogs to prove they possessed $25,000 in personal liability insurance, was overturned two years later; the judge cited a lack of evidence that pit bull–type dogs were more dangerous than other dogs.Communities reeling after a vicious dog attack may respond by prohibiting or strictly regulating what is assumed to be the responsible breed as a quick fix to a legitimate problem, according to Rebecca Wisch, associate editor and clinical staff attorney with the Animal Legal and Historical Center at Michigan State University College of Law. "Breed-specific laws give people a sense of security," she explained, adding that owners of a banned breed sometimes email MSU's animal law center. "These people face either having to get rid of a dog they consider a family member or move out of the city. That's a pretty tall order for some people," Wisch said.

Virginia’s uneven recovery mirrors its growing political divide

The Washington Post | Posted on November 7, 2017

The averages may say that Virginia’s job growth almost tracks the nation’s recovery. But those overall numbers are driven by large urban counties, especially in the northern suburbs of the District. Across Virginia, as voters decide the nation’s most-watched election this year, most areas had fewer jobs in 2016 than in 2007.This uneven economy could impact the governor’s race between Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam. Of the 133 counties and cities in Virginia, 85 have lost jobs since 2007. Job growth was mainly concentrated in booming urban areas, like Northern Virginia and the central part of the state around Richmond. Meanwhile, to the south and west, communities are still dealing with the decline of their four key industries — coal mining, tobacco, textiles and furniture-making.Those differences matter because the divide between job winners and losers mirrors Virginia’s growing political divide. Virginia voters rank the economy as their most important election issue, along with health care. Virginia’s last gubernatorial race in 2013 was close, decided by only 2.5 percent of the more than 2.2 million votes cast. And so is the current race, according to recent polling. So a shift in the votes of any region of the state could be decisive.

Sexual misconduct allegations rock statehouses

Politico | Posted on November 7, 2017

Statehouses from Boston to Sacramento have been rocked by an onslaught of sexual misconduct allegations, creating unprecedented pressure on state legislative leaders to take immediate action. Amid a flood of recent testimonials from female legislators, staff and lobbyists, a portrait is fast emerging of male-dominated state capitol cultures rife with sexual harassment and bereft of protections for victims, where complaints from women frequently languish — or are outright ignored.

Illinois’ first fracking permit withdrawn

The State Journal Register | Posted on November 7, 2017

Woolsey Companies Inc., the Kansas firm awarded the first permit under the state’s 2013 “fracking” law, released a statement Friday citing regulatory compliance costs in the decision to drop drilling plans near the southeast Illinois community of Enfield. The practice relies on high pressure chemical and water injections to release oil and gas from deep-rock formation. “The process we have gone through to receive a permit was burdensome, time consuming and costly due to the current rules and regulations of Illinois,” the company stated, “and it appears that this process would continue for future permit applications.”The company said the area of southeast Illinois known as New Albany Shale had significant energy production potential, but that stringent Illinois rules combined with low oil and gas prices made the project too costly compared with other states.

Notes from the Senate: Rural Georgia’s economy

Savannah Now | Posted on November 7, 2017

The Georgia House and the Senate have appointed study committees to examine issues in rural development. Attendance at the meetings has been strong. Rural hospitals top the list. Communities with no healthcare facilities are pretty much dead in the water for economic development.There’s the fear that an existing hospital will close its doors and a community will be perceived as without a future.This has caused local governments to support their hospitals with local tax dollars. Problems of payer mix and low Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement is made worse by the amount of uncompensated care for those with no ability to pay. Often, the local tax base includes homes, farmland and forestland with little industrial base. Rural communities’ retail infrastructure has shrunk through the years for many reasons: lack of jobs, population shifts and the influence of regional shopping areas. A shrinking or stagnant tax base leads to other problems, such as stress on school and hospital funding.

Despite estimate of no savings, Ohio House cracks down on food stamps

Columbus Dispatch | Posted on November 7, 2017

A pair of bills that Republicans say will reduce fraud in food stamp, Medicaid and welfare programs, but Democrats say are misguided, easily passed the House on Wednesday. The goal is “to protect the integrity of the entire SNAP program,” and “get the benefits to people who need them,” Rep. Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster, said of House Bill 50, which requires adults to have a photo ID on cards issued under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the former food stamp program.“SNAP cards used fraudulently are being used to feed the drug crisis in Ohio,” he said.Analysis of the bills by the nonpartisan Legislative Service Commission estimate that neither one will produce savings from reducing fraud — an estimate Schaffer disputes. It also estimates the photo ID bill will cost up to $2 million for new photo cards, and up to $3 million to operate the photo ID program. But critics say food-stamp cards are issued for an entire household, so a photo would not represent all authorized users of a card. They also note that with self-serve checkouts, cashiers often won’t see the pictures — and aren’t required to report abuses even if they do. “Not only does it lack evidence of its effectiveness, it also lacks transparency in relation to the actual cost our state agencies will have to shoulder with its implementation,” Lisa Hamler Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, told a House committee.

John Deere to celebrate 100 years of tractors in 2018

Imperial Valley News | Posted on November 2, 2017

A Gold Key Tour for a Florida family and delivery of their new 8245R John Deere tractor – the first 2018 tractor made in Waterloo, Iowa – has kicked off a series of events to celebrate the 100th anniversary of John Deere entering the tractor business. Deere hosted the Wade Purvis family of Naples, Florida, for the Gold Key event, during which customers can watch the final assembly of their newly purchased machine. The new tractor includes a commemorative badge that will be appear on several models of 2018 John Deere tractors including the 6 Series, 7 Series, 8 Series and 9 Series machines. Deere entered the farm tractor business in March 1918 through the acquisition of the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company

Cargill aims to develop ‘birth to burger’ beef audit

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on November 2, 2017

Cargill said it will launch an initiative this month in Canada to test new technologies for tracking cattle with the goal of developing a verified sustainability standard to give consumers more information about the beef they eat. Called the Cargill Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration pilot, the effort should move the company’s customers -- by the end of 2018 -- a step closer to providing consumers with beef from operations that have been audited from ‘birth to burger’ using an industry developed sustainability standard, Cargill said.

Ron Seeber named president and CEO of KGFA

Kansas Feed and Grain | Posted on November 2, 2017

Kansas Grain and Feed Association’s (KGFA) board of directors announced senior vice president of government affairs, Ron Seeber, as the association’s president and CEO Monday morning. On Nov. 15, 2017, Seeber is set to become just the sixth person to hold KGFA’s top executive position since its inception in 1896. Seeber also will be the president and CEO of KGFA’s longstanding management contractors, Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association and Renew Kansas.