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SARL Members and Alumni News

How saving this adorable mutt could put your own best friend at risk of illness

National Post | Posted on July 26, 2017

Visit any dog park in urban Canada these days and you’re bound to encounter at least one or two: rescue dogs adopted from an exotic foreign or domestic locale.It’s estimated, in fact, that tens of thousands of winsome canine refugees enter the country every year — while many others are shipped vast distances inside Canada.But the growing, humanitarian-motivated trend is inadvertently creating a major public-health headache, fuelling a rebound in the deadly rabies problem and importing other nasty diseases, public health officials warn.A federal-government journal has just documented three recent cases of stray puppies being taken from Nunavut or northern Quebec — where the deadly disease is endemic among Arctic foxes — to new homes in southern Canada, only for the owners to discover they had acquired rabid animals. Meanwhile, as dogs stream in from the Caribbean, Latin America, east Asia and the Middle East, Canada’s pet-import rules are among the loosest in the world, vets say. “There are thousands upon thousands of dogs that come into Canada every year, and it’s a completely unregulated process,” said Scott Weese, Canada research chair in zoonotic (animal-to-human) diseases at the Ontario Veterinary College. “Animals aren’t supposed make it into the country if they’re sick, but we see it all the time.”

Missouri Dicamba Ban Released

DTN | Posted on July 20, 2017

Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn on Thursday issued a notice of release from the statewide stop sale, use or removal order for Engenia, XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology and FeXapan Herbicide Plus VaporGrip Technology. New rules put additional rules and regulations on who can spray the products and the hours of day they can be sprayed. The move follows similar rules announced for use of dicamba products in Tennessee. Arkansas has instituted a ban on in-crop agricultural uses of dicamba products for the remainder of the growing season.The new rules come on the heels of reports of injury in sensitive crops and plants and formal complaints that have been filed with state pesticide regulatory agencies.

NC:Agriculture Bill With Anti-Union Language Signed by Cooper

US News and World Report | Posted on July 20, 2017

Unions in sparsely organized North Carolina are unhappy with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper for signing a wide-ranging farm bill because it contained a last-minute provision that seeks to ensure growers don't have to collect dues for organized workers.Cooper announced Thursday the legislature's annual agriculture measure was among six bills on his desk that he's signed into law.The legislation, approved on the second-to-last full day of this year's General Assembly chief work session, includes a provision designed to prevent farms from being forced into future agreements to collect workers' dues and transfer them to unions. Farmers also could not be required to enter into union contracts as part of settling worker lawsuits.The Farm Labor Organizing Committee, the only agricultural worker union in the state, said the provision was aimed to block it from helping laborers improve their own working conditions through union agreements and litigation. A group leader blasted Cooper for "choosing to be on the wrong side of history" by expanding an anti-labor law first passed in the state in 1947 and vowed to challenge the new law in court."It is a shame that this Democrat and others refuse to stand on the side of the most marginalized working poor and the immigrant workers that keep this state's economy afloat," said FLOC President Baldemar Velasquez in a release. He said worker and immigrant rights groups had been hopeful for a veto after meetings with Cooper last month, before the union provision got debated.

"Working people in North Carolina deserve better fr

Trump nominates SARL, CSG, Senate Leader Mark Norris to federal judgeship in Tennessee

The Tennessean | Posted on July 19, 2017

President Donald Trump nominated state Sen. Mark Norris and three other attorneys Thursday to serve as federal judges in Tennessee. Norris and Thomas L. Parker were nominated for judgeships in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, which includes Memphis.

With second ‘ag gag’ law struck down, eyes turn to appeals courts

Capital Press | Posted on July 14, 2017

With so-called “ag gag” laws getting struck down in Idaho and Utah, the fate of such statutes is expected to be decided by federal appellate courts with jurisdiction over 15 Western states. Two neighboring states, Idaho and Utah, enacted laws barring people from gaining entry to farms under false pretenses to film agricultural operations.The statutes were prompted by broadly publicized undercover videos that depicted animal abuse at livestock facilities.A federal judge recently found Utah’s statute to unconstitutionally violate free speech rights, largely on the same grounds that Idaho’s law was earlier invalidated.The ruling in Idaho is already being reviewed by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, while the Utah opinion is expected to be challenged before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Together, the federal appellate courts have jurisdiction over 15 Western states.However, the 9th Circuit is widely viewed as more liberal than the 10th Circuit, potentially setting up a “circuit split” on the laws that would invite U.S. Supreme Court review, experts say.Despite its conservative reputation, the 10th Circuit is likely to uphold U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby’s recent ruling against Utah’s statute, said Stewart Gollan, attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, which sued to oppose the laws.False statements, such as those used to obtain farm jobs, would likely be protected under a Supreme Court precedent that threw out a law criminalizing lies about military service, he said.

Iowa agriculture in the global economy, explained in 7 charts

The Gazette | Posted on July 14, 2017

The impacts of agriculture in Iowa reach around the world. $1,176 million in corn alone was exported in 2016.  Explore 7 charts below that help put Iowa's agriculture economy into the global context - from top exports, to where Iowa products go, to how production has changed over time. 

America’s Aging Infrastructure: Waterways Face Critical Juncture

The Wall Street Journal | Posted on July 13, 2017

A network of dams and locks that make commercial river traffic possible is at risk of failure after decades of underinvestment, potentially causing significant economic damage

Idaho leads nation in personal income growth due to strong farm earnings

Capital Press | Posted on July 13, 2017

Idaho led the nation in personal income growth during the first three months of 2017, economists say, and the gain was driven largely by strong farm earnings.

Fish or farms? A new battle rages over California water

The Sacramento Bee | Posted on July 13, 2017

Fish or farms?  The House this week will tackle the question, which for years has triggered a tug-of-war between growers and environmentalists. It plans to vote on a Republican-authored plan aimed at sending more of northern California’s water to the Central Valley farmers who say they badly need it.But California’s two U.S. senators, both Democrats, vow to block the bill in that chamber, saying it would bypass environmental safeguards and override state law. Gov. Jerry Brown also opposes the bill.The bill, said Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., in an interview, “does not strike the right balance because there’s no reason that we have to accept a false choice and somehow weaken the Endangered Species Act in order to be smarter with water policy.”

License-fee dispute ousts staff at Ohio Division of Wildlife

Columbus Dispatch | Posted on July 13, 2017

There has been a bloodletting at the top of the Ohio Division of Wildlife.  Eight senior officials, including the chief, have been removed from their posts after a bid to increase the cost of in-state hunting and fishing licenses divided the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.On one side was former chief Ray Petering and a coalition of 41 sporting organizations that support higher fees to help meet the division’s needs. On the other, advocates say, was Jim Zehringer, head of the agency, who opposed the increase.The cause of the divide was a $220 million budget shortfall projected over the next decade by the Sportsmen’s Alliance, and a grassroots-initiated proposal for a license fee increase to help address that problem. “Ohio sportsmen and women have never had to fight so hard to convince the government to pay our own way,” said Robert Sexton, a consultant with the Sportsmen’s Alliance.