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SARL Members and Alumni News

Ag Chairs Attendee, Missouri State Representative donates organ to complete stranger, and saves wife

KMBC | Posted on January 25, 2018

Missouri State Representative J. Eggleston was in surgery all day in order to help a complete stranger, and to secure an organ donation for his wife, Cathie. For years, Cathie Eggleston has suffered from kidney failure.Rep. Eggleston has a different blood type than his wife, so he's not able to donate his kidney directly to Cathie. Instead he agreed to a 'kidney swap.'The exchange involves three families whose relative or friend is not compatible with their recipient.Like an organ donation train, all three people donate their kidneys to one of the three other recipients who have similar blood types. The exchange allows each to give, and help save their loved one.Rep. Eggleston's kidney was flown to Michigan immediately after his donation on Wednesday where another person's kidney was being donated to another city in the United States. The third city is where Cathie's organ donation comes from.


Feds tell Maine: You can’t ban food stamp recipients from buying sugary drinks, candy

Portland Press Herald | Posted on January 25, 2018

For the second time in less than two years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has denied a request by Gov. Paul LePage to ban food stamp recipientsfrom using their benefits to buy sugary drinks and candy. His spokeswoman, Julie Rabinowitz, said Friday that the administration would “revise our waiver request and resubmit it,” but she did not offer a timeline or specifics about what those revisions might be.In a Jan. 16 letter to Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Ricker Hamilton, the USDA outlined concerns that a ban would increase administrative costs; impose burdens on small businesses and retailers; choose winners and losers in the food industry; create difficult decisions about the nutritional values of allowable or excluded foods; and “restrict what individuals could eat in their own homes without demonstrating clear evidence of meaningful health outcomes.”


Arkansas approves seasonal ban on dicamba use

Agri-Pulse | Posted on January 25, 2018

A group of Arkansas state legislators has approved a ban on dicamba use between April 16 and Oct. 31 of this year, meaning that soybean and cotton growers will not be able to use Monsanto's Xtendimax or BASF's Engenia for over-the-top applications. The action by the state's Legislative Council came without discussion this morning. The council's Administrative Rules and Regulations Subcommittee also approved the seasonal ban, which was approved as a proposed rule by the Arkansas State Plant Board in November.In December, the subcommittee sent the proposal back to the plant board, asking it to review the science and consider whether to divide the state into two growing zones for purposes of regulation. The plant board rejected any changes to its proposal, which includes exemptions for the use of dicamba in pastures, rangeland, turf, ornamental, direct injection for forestry, and in the home.


Washington Legislature passes Hirst bill on wells

Capital Press | Posted on January 23, 2018

The back-to-back votes ended a yearlong standoff created by the state Supreme Court’s Hirst ruling. Some Democrats said new wells will trample tribal treaty rights. Some Republicans complained lawmakers were turning over millions of dollars to unelected watershed-restoration panels. Still, Senate Bill 6091 received bipartisan support in both chambers. “This bill provides a path forward for the people who just want to build on their few acres,” said Moses Lake Sen. Judy Warnick, the lead Republican on the Senate Agriculture, Water and Natural Resources Committee.The court’s decision was based on the assumption that each new well draws water from streams and harms fish. The ruling left individual landowners in the position of having to prove otherwise.


Pa. road map for agriculture's future comes 'at critical intersection' for the industry

Penn Live | Posted on January 18, 2018

Pennsylvania's agricultural industry is among the most diverse and powerful in the nation. And yet that industry faces its share of changes and challenges -- in technology, consumer tastes and a rapidly changing workforce; as well as opportunities. On Wednesday at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, the state unveiled its agricultural economic analysis report -- a document that it hopes will not only capture the state of agriculture now but help provide a path forward as part of a broader strategic planning process for the state's vast agricultural industry."We are at a critical intersection as an industry," said Russell Redding, the state's secretary of agriculture at an event highlighting the report. "We must be mindful of how the landscape is changing."The board umbrella of agriculture in the state has an economic impact in excess of $135 billion annually, supporting more than a half-million jobs and $26.9 billion in earnings. It includes traditional farming and forestry as well as food and forestry processing and new emerging sectors such as hydroponics and urban farming.


Salmon escape leads Cooke into legal fight with Washington state

CBC.ca | Posted on January 18, 2018

The escape of more than 160,000 salmon from a Cooke Aquaculture pen in Washington last year has led to a legal battle between the company and the state. Cooke Aquaculture Pacific is challenging a decision by the state's Department of Natural Resources to terminate the company's ease to operate a salmon farm in Port Angeles, about 128 kilometres west of Seattle.


Illinois lawmaker proposes plan to protect pets

Illinois Home page | Posted on January 17, 2018

As temperatures once again spiral down, it's important your furry friends aren't left fending for themselves in the bitter cold. Now, some lawmakers want to give you more power to save an animal you think could be in danger. A new proposal would allow you to rescue a pet from someone else' car.It can be a matter of life and death for a pet. Illinois is one of nearly two dozen states which don't already have this good Samaritan law in place.Animal advocates say it's a disservice to countless animals abandoned in extreme cold or heat.Right now, you can be given a misdemeanor for breaking and entering someone's car to rescue a pet. You must call authorities for help. The proposal would change that.


New Mexico proposes pet food fee to help spay, neuter pets

Pet Food Industry | Posted on January 17, 2018

New Mexico lawmakers proposed a bill that would raise the registration fee pet food manufacturers pay. The bill would raise the fee from US$2 to US$100 for each product sold in New Mexico. 


Ga. Will Need To Ease Regulations, Provide Cash To Expand Rural Broadband

WABE | Posted on January 17, 2018

Georgia lawmakers said they want to expand access to the Internet. Internet service providers have said with the repeal of net neutrality, they’re more inclined to invest in rural areas, but it’s not clear companies will invest without public dollars. Georgia lawmakers have prioritized expanding internet access through the Rural Development Council, said state Rep. Ed Setzler. “There’s a recognition that a funding source of some kind needs to be identified to bring people who live in rural areas up to a baseline level of access,” Setzler said.However, he doesn’t know yet where the state will find the money to invest in broadband.


Sustainability on Michigan farms

Michigan State University | Posted on January 17, 2018

In this six part series, we are discovering what sustainability on Michigan farms means, looking at examples of how farms are demonstrating that sustainability and how exploring how MSU Extension is working with producers to become even more sustainable. This sixth article’s sustainability topic addresses the “enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole” portion. If there is anything that is as hard to get an agreement upon as the definition of sustainability, it would be the definition of quality of life. A quick internet search will show you a variety of methods that researchers and organizations have used to try to quantify and rate both individual and country quality of life. These indexes often include areas such as: financial well-being, job security, health, freedom, family, safety and community. You don’t have to look hard to find farms and farmers that improve many of these areas for the communities that they live and work in. Farmers provide food security for their communities and the state of Michigan as a whole, to the point that most of us do not have to worry about whether we will be able to go to our local grocery store and find the food that will nourish our families and us. We often do not recognize them for this and many do not make the connection between what is bought in the grocery store and the farm that produces the food or the ingredients for the food products we buy.


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