The opioid crisis has struck farm and ranch families much harder than the rest of rural America. Farm towns will overcome this epidemic through strong farmer-to-farmer support and the resilience of our communities.The nation's two largest farm organizations have teamed up to bring attention to the opioid epidemic in farm country and provide information and resources to help those struggling with opioid abuse.
The State of Missouri’s FY18 budget signed by Gov. Eric Greitens made available $660,000 to fund a dairy risk management program created by the Missouri Dairy Revitalization Act. The Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA), housed within the Missouri Department of Agriculture, will begin accepting applications for the program in early 2018. The Margin Insurance Premium Assistance program was established to assist Missouri dairy farmers with the cost of their participation in the federal margin protection program by the Missouri General Assembly. Eligible dairy farmers may be reimbursed up to 70 percent of their federal premium, excluding the USDA Farm Service Agency administrative fees. Dairy farmers applying for reimbursement will be required to submit full proof of federal premium payment for each year that reimbursement is requested.
Recognizing the increasing threat invasive species pose to Pennsylvania’s economy and people, Gov. Tom Wolf last week announced an additional step to complement recent bipartisan legislation to help battle bad bugs and out-of-control plants. Wolf signed an executive order expanding the Governor’s Invasive Species Council to bring additional expertise and resources to bear in the battle against new invasive species, such as the spotted lanternfly, which has been found in 13 southeastern Pennsylvania counties.“When a new pest or species is introduced into an ecosystem, it disrupts the natural order, posing a threat to native species, established industries and the quality of life of our residents,” Wolf said.The council will be expanded from 10 to 14 members to pave the way for adding representatives of county and municipal governments, conservation districts and the transportation sector.
After more than a decade in the Virginia Department of Forestry, Bettina Ring will be the commonwealth’s next secretary of agriculture and forestry. She will replace Basil I. Gooden in the role that oversees the state’s largest private industry, agriculture, which combined with forestry provides more than 442,000 jobs, according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.“We have sustainable farmland and forestland across the state, and we want to make sure it stays healthy and the families stay healthy” managing it, Ring said. “We want to be developing the economy (and) protecting the environment.”
Gov. Tom Wolf's office and the Pennsylvania Game Commission announced that almost 3,000 deer harvested by hunters in 2016-17 were donated to a nonprofit that distributes the venison to food banks. The donation sets a record for the nonprofit, Hunters Sharing the Harvest, now in its 26th season. The nonprofit coordinates the hunters' deer harvests with meat processors and distribution to food banks. Hunters do not have to pay for the processing of their donated deer because the nonprofit partners with the state Department of Agriculture to secure donations and to cover the costs to process the meat. In the last two years, the Department of Agriculture increased its share of financial support to process even more deer donations, according to a press release from the governor's office.
California’s legal marijuana market is finally, fitfully, taking shape. The state on Thursday issued the first batch of business licenses to sell and transport recreational-use pot, just 18 days before legal sales will begin on Jan. 1.The 20 temporary licenses — some of which were for the previously existing medical marijuana industry — represent a fraction of the thousands of licenses expected to follow as the state embraces legal weed in 2018, but their release set off jubilation.The first distributor license for recreational pot was awarded to Pure CA, which does business as Moxie brand products, a company known for its cannabis extracts.
DowDuPont has registered domains that could provide a look at what the company's Delaware-based agricultural business will be called. The recently-merged organization has registered various website domains featuring the name Corteva
The Washington State Department of Agriculture made the first formal move Wednesday to electronically follow every cow in the state from birth to slaughter. The department indicated it will propose replacing metal ID tags with radio-frequency identification, or RFID, on tens of thousands of cows. According to WSDA, electronic tags will be less prone to record-keeping errors and help track cattle as individuals, not just part of a branded herd.“Updating our rules to incorporate RFID devices is an important first step in strengthening our state’s animal disease traceability system,” State Veterinarian Brian Joseph said in a written statement.
California’s legal marijuana market is finally, fitfully, taking shape. The state on Thursday issued the first batch of business licenses to sell and transport recreational-use pot, just 18 days before legal sales will begin on Jan. 1.The 20 temporary licenses — some of which were for the previously existing medical marijuana industry — represent a fraction of the thousands of licenses expected to follow as the state embraces legal weed in 2018, but their release set off jubilation.In general, California will treat cannabis like alcohol, allowing people 21 and older to legally possess up to an ounce and grow six marijuana plants at home.
There's a new law in New York that looks to help reunite lost pets with their owners. A New York law that went into effect this week requires that all animal shelters, rescue groups and other organizations that take in found pets check to see if the animal has a microchip in them. They then must try to contact the owner within 24 hours."We've been in compliance with this legislation for many years and microchipping is one of the most reliable ways to ensure that you reunite a pet with their owner in the shortest amount of time," Executive Director of the Chemung County SPCA Tom Geroy said.According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, about 52 percent of lost dogs who have been implanted with a microchip are reunited with their owners, and 39 percent of microchipped cats are returned home. But Geroy said the information associated with the device is just as important as the chip itself.