The nation's largest cattle industry lobby group is fighting to defend the traditional meaning of the word "meat." The U.S. Cattlemen's Association filed a petition last month with the Department of Agriculture arguing that "lab-grown and plant-based products should not use the terms 'meat' or 'beef'" on their labels. Kelly Fogarty, whose family has raised Black Angus cattle for five generations, represents hundreds of ranchers as the executive vice president of the U.S. Cattlemen's Association. For them, defining meat is easy. "We don't want them to think of a laboratory.
The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that real gross domestic product increased 2.3 percent nationally between 2016 and 2017, but agriculture subtracted from overall economic growth in every state in the Midwest — most notably Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. “It’s a big deal in Nebraska when our farmers are hurting,” says Tony Fulton, the state’s tax commissioner and a former state legislator.
Former Republican State Representative Annette Sweeney of rural Alden officially announced her intention to run for a state senate seat vacated by the sudden resignation of Majority Leader Bill Dix on Wednesday morning, setting up a District 25 special election clash with Democrat Tracy Freese of Dike. Sweeney, a cattle and grain farmer by trade, had been serving as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Director of Rural Development in Iowa for the last four months after President Donald Trump appointed her in November, and she resigned from that position Tuesday afternoon.
Oklahoma rolled out the red carpet to the growing wind industry two decades ago with the promise of generous state tax incentives and a steady stream of wind sweeping down the Central Plains. But with budget shortfalls that have persisted for several years, lawmakers have already scaled back almost all of the incentives and are now looking to impose a new production tax on the industry.
At a time when farming is making spectacular economic strides in Alaska, the industry is pushing a pair of bills in the Legislature that would reduce the information that can be disclosed to the public about animal and crop diseases and imports. Farmers say they need the bills to prevent unscrupulous competitors from using public records to unfairly learn about their business practices, or to keep animal rights activists from harassing them. The two bills under discussion now, House Bill 315 and Senate Bill 164, are identical and were submitted to the Legislature in January by Gov.
A federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for causing recurring flooding that damaged farms and property in four Midwest states along the Missouri River. The ruling Tuesday in Washington says the government must compensate farmers, landowners and business owners for the flood damage in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska. The damage has been estimated to exceed $300 million.More than 300 farmers, landowners and business owners argued in the lawsuit filed in 2014 in the U.S.
Brianna Foster, 23, lives minutes away from Genesis Hospital, the main source of health care and the only hospital with maternity services in southeastern Ohio’s rural Muskingum County. Proximity proved potentially lifesaving last fall when Foster, pregnant with her second child, Holden, felt contractions at 31 weeks — about seven weeks too soon. Genesis was equipped to handle the situation — giving Foster medication and an injection to stave off delivery.
It’s obvious to anyone who visits an American supermarket in winter — past displays brimming with Chilean grapes, Mexican berries and Vietnamese dragon fruit — that foreign farms supply much of our produce.
Two major agricultural groups announced a proposal on Tuesday to roll back the Section 199A tax-break deduction that has upended grain trade.
A “cap-and-trade” proposal to limit carbon emissions didn’t pass muster during Oregon’s 2018 legislative session, comforting critics who feared increased fuel, fertilizer and electricity costs.
Washington Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz on Tuesday sought to humanize the uncertain status of residents brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
After hearing from dozens of people over the span of two hearings lasting a combined eight hours, Idaho House ag committee members have approved a bill that would strengthen and consolidate the state’s trespassing laws. The House Agricultural Affairs Committee on Feb. 14 voted 11-1 to approve a bill by Rep. Judy Boyle, a Republican rancher from Midvale, that amends the state’s trespassing laws.Boyle rewrote the bill to address concerns of sportsmen’s groups and others opposed to it.
The legislation would exempt farms from a law spawned by careless handling of industrial waste in the 1970s. The bill, however, leaves open the possibility that producers will someday have to report the volume of gases released by livestock under a different law inspired by the 1984 chemical leak in Bopal, India, that killed up to 20,000 people. Farm groups had sought to exempt producers from both laws, commonly referred to by their acronyms, CERCLA and EPCRA.
Egg Farmers of Canada has weighed in on Tuesday’s Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) announcement.
From the way of life to political views, the differences between rural and urban America are well-documented. But an economic development specialist from Madison who studies business trends said the entrepreneurial spirit is higher in rural Wisconsin than it is in the state's urban areas. "I think that's not something that people always think about when they think of rural America or rural Wisconsin," said Tessa Conroy of the University of Wisconsin-Extension who has studied the issue. "These are very entrepreneurial places.
Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced USDA is hosting a series of monthly roundtables on opioids through the summer. “The opioid epidemic in rural communities is more than a public health issue,” Hazlett said. “This is a matter of rural prosperity.
An emerging trend is focused on the origin of animals offered to the public by pet stores. Lawmakers in four states (Maryland, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island) have introduced legislation that would prohibit pet stores from offering animals that do not come from an animal shelter, humane society, or other type of rescue organization.
This Week's AgClips
Hemp could be in play as a new crop option for farmers in Illinois if a bill expanding its production passes the General Assembly. Bill Bodine, associate director of state legislation for the Illinois Farm Bureau, said Senate Bill 2298 would allow farmers to begin growing industrial hemp.“It is a bill that the Illinois Farm Bureau supports, though it is not our initiative,” Bodine said. “It would authorize the state Department of Agriculture to license farmers to grow industrial hemp in the state of Illinois.”
Syngenta AG agreed to pay more than $1.4 billion to U.S. farmers who complained that the marketing of the company’s genetically modified corn seeds shut them out of the Chinese market, according to people familiar with the deal. The settlement with more than 100,000 farmers was announced Tuesday in a Minnesota class-action trial. It resolves all farmers’ litigation in the U.S. but doesn’t include Canadian lawsuits, according to Paul Minehart, a Syngenta spokesman.
Michigan has 3,000 miles of coastline and more Great Lakes water within its jurisdiction than any other state or province in the basin. But one of the big ecological threats to this freshwater system is well outside the state’s borders — in Illinois and Indiana, where invasive species of Asian carp would be most likely to enter the Great Lakes basin, via the Chicago Area Waterway System.Gov. Rick Snyder proposed that all of the Great Lakes states (along with Ontario) collectively pay for that $8 million in operations costs.
Negotiators from Canada, Mexico and the United States have begun their seventh round of discussions for a new, or modernized, North American Free Trade Agreement. And while the dissolution of NAFTA seemed very likely several months ago, negotiations are still alive. To this point, results of the trilateral discussions have been mixed — consensus on some changes, but continued disagreement on issues such as dispute resolution and “rules of origin” that could ultimately block a new deal from being reached.
On the night before his weekly trip into the slaughterhouse, Fraser Taylor stepped into the back of the truck to make sure everything was in place. The hold still smelled faintly of cow — a subtle whiff of something grassy — but the equipment inside seemed better suited to a day of spelunking through the sewers. There were hard hats and hoses and straps. There were huge conical tanks, and a valve-laden contraption that might come in handy for siphoning off the contents of pipes. The truck itself was white.
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke recently falsely claimed that wind turbines kill 750,000 birds each year. In actuality, wind turbines kill a little more than 350,000 birds annually — which is far fewer than cars, house cats, or plate-glass windows put to death. What’s the biggest threat to our flying friends? According to the Audubon Society, it’s climate change. The Acoustic Lighthouse generates a high-pitched sound that prompts birds to slow down.
Sixty-three aging 850-kilowatt turbines will be replaced by twenty-nine 2.6-megawatt turbines at wind site in Illinois| Posted on March 15, 2018 in Energy News
This might be the future of wind repowering in the United States. In a first-of-its-kind project, the owner of a pioneering Illinois wind farm will bring down an aging fleet of 15-year-old turbines in a process akin to trees being logged in a forest. The Mendota Hills site, in operation since 2003, was the first utility-scale wind farm in Illinois. The project owner, Dallas-based Leeward Renewable Energy, is replacing sixty-three 850-kilowatt Gamesa turbines with twenty-nine 2.6-megawatt turbines from Siemens Gamesa.
Recent farm sector trends, including rising debt and declining income, have led to comparisons between agriculture’s current economic environment and the period leading up to the farm financial crisis. Between 1970 and 1980, inflation-adjusted farm sector debt grew rapidly, expanding by 5.6% annually. Over the most recent decade, inflation-adjusted farm sector debt was still climbing an average of 4% per year, and the USDA currently projects inflation-adjusted debt to be at its highest level since the early 1980s.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the decision to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule published on January 19, 2017. The rule would have increased federal regulation of livestock and poultry for certified organic producers and handlers. The withdrawal becomes effective May 13, 2018. Significant policy and legal issues were identified after the rule published in January 2017.
The Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America provides statistics by broad categories of socioeconomic factors: People: Demographic data from the American Community Survey (ACS), including age, race and ethnicity, migration and immigration, education, household size, and family composition.Jobs: Economic data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other sources, including information on employment trends, unemployment, and industrial composition of employment from the ACS.County classifications: The rural-urban continuum, economic dependence, persistent poverty, persistent child poverty, popul
Central New York dairy farmers are facing such difficult times that they’re considering leaving the business altogether. A combination of persistently low prices of milk and rising labor costs are forcing long-time farmers to make some tough decisions. John F.
In a major setback for Republicans, the House rejected “right-to-try” legislation that would have allowed seriously ill patients to bypass the Food and Drug Administration to get access to experimental treatments. The vote came after a spirited debate in which GOP lawmakers portrayed the measure, which was strongly backed by President Trump and Vice President Pence, as a last chance at survival for desperately ill patients. Democrats said the bill would weaken critical FDA protections without addressing the fundamental obstacles to experimental drugs.
Not too long ago a press release from a big CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) called Natural Prairie Dairy crossed the desk of the Daily Yonder, proclaiming a new era for organic dairy production. It offered “a 21st century farm (with) 21st century careers.” A 21st century farm with more than over 4,000 cows, that is. The dairy is proposing to build an operation in northwest Indiana with 4,350 cows. The farm will produce 26 million gallons of urine, manure, and dirty water, according to the Newtown County Enterprise. But don’t worry. The milk will be organic.
A fight over how tough to make work requirements in the food stamp program is already threatening to derail the House farm bill, which some see as one of the only shots for bipartisan legislation this year. Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee publicly revolted last week after learning that Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) was eyeing stricter work requirements for some 8 million recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, widely known as food stamps.
Trent Thiele loves feeding and caring for the 3,400 pigs that live less than a half mile from his home. "I truly enjoy coming to work every morning.
Chinese pig prices hit their lowest in nearly four years this week, plunging farmers in the world’s top pork market into the red and underscoring concerns that a rapid expansion of large pig farms in China has outpaced slowing demand growth.
The UK government has told Scottish and Welsh ministers they are likely to be barred from controlling policy in areas such as genetically modified crops, fishing quotas and farm payments after Brexit.
The U.S. Education Department issued guidance Friday informing state regulators to back off the companies managing its $1.3 trillion portfolio of student loans, arguing that only the federal government has the authority to oversee its contractors.“State regulation of the servicing of direct loans impedes uniquely federal interests,” the department wrote.
The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) on Tuesday announced in a new report that most chicken growers may no longer qualify as independent, small businesses. And that means they won’t qualify for small business loans. It’s a finding that could signal a significant loss in support: Between 2012 and 2016, SBA loaned about $1.8 billion to poultry growers. In 2016, poultry companies received more than three-quarters of all the SBA loans that went to agricultural businesses.
Big oil and big corn are touting opposing studies released this week on proposed biofuels policy reforms under consideration by the Trump administration, part of an ongoing clash between the two sides over the future of the program.Valero Energy Corp , a major oil refiner, funded a study by Charles River Associates that supports placing a cap on the price of biofuel blending credits under the U.S.
Less than one year after launching the Feed a Bee 50-state forage grant program, the Bayer Bee Care Program revealed the list of 20 new organizations that have received funding for important forage initiatives around the country, bringing the total number of projects funded to more than 100. After a rigorous review and evaluation process by the Feed a Bee steering committee, 20 organizations were chosen in the latest round of review to receive awards ranging from $1,000 - $5,000. This brings the total for the program to 112 funded projects in 39 states and Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued an ethics waiver to one of Pruitt’s political appointees, John Konkus, to let him work for unknown outside private clients. These clients, and their political or commercial interests, won’t be divulged, raising troubling questions about possible conflicts of interest. He is now one of two employees in senior EPA leadership positions allowed to earn $135,000+ government salaries while also drawing paychecks from outside clients that may have a direct stake in EPA’s work.
The nine-month Saudi-led embargo of Qatar has an undisputed mascot for Doha’s defiance: the cud-chewing American cow. Thousands of airlifted dairy cows landed in Qatar in the first months of the boycott that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt established against the country in June. The airborne bovines created a spectacle that highlighted the gas-rich sheikdom’s ability to overcome sanctions and provide fresh milk to its 2.7 million residents.The herd settled at Baladna Farms, 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Doha.
The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approved a plan Thursday to build a $22.8 million veterinary education, research and workforce facility on the West Texas A&M University campus. While the Veterinary Education, Research & Outreach Center will be located on the campus in Canyon, it will be operated by the flagship Texas A&M University.
A month after Scott Pruitt began leading the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the former Oklahoma attorney general rejected an Obama-era recommendation from agency scientists to ban a widely used pesticide from use on food crops. That means farmers can continue to spray chlorpyrifos on crops ranging from corn to cranberries. The change was welcomed by farm groups and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which said farmers need access to the chemical to stop infestations.
AtlantaFresh closes its doors after Whole Foods terminates 7-year contract, 14 months in: 'we were naive.."| Posted on March 13, 2018 in Food News
Georgia-based grass-fed dairy brand AtlantaFresh hasclosed its doors after nine years in business following the abrupt termination of a contract withWhole Foods that accounted for the vast majority of its revenues.
Immigrants working on a remote Kansas ranch toil long days in a type of servitude to work off loans from the company for the cost of smuggling them into the country, according to five people who worked there. There are no holidays, health insurance benefits or overtime pay at Fullmer Cattle Co., which raises calves for dairies in four states. The immigrants must buy their own safety gear such as goggles.One worker spent eight months cleaning out calf pens, laying down cement and doing other construction work. Esteban Cornejo, a Mexican citizen who is in the U.S.
“Right now, some of the toughest we’ve had in my 35 years,” says Daniel Pearson, an organic dairy farmer in River Falls. “It’s definitely a time to more than tighten your belt, but really look at expenses and really look at doing as much as you can to market everything that you have.” Now, robotics companies are hoping to fill gaps in the industry. Pearson says the labor shortage and low milk prices are factors in the tough market. So how is the problem being addressed? Enter: farm robots.
Minnesota lawmakers are considering bipartisan legislation that would criminalize taking an untrained service animal out in public. Separate measures in the state House and Senate would make it a petty misdemeanor, punishable with a $100 fine, to pass off a pet as a trained assistance animal. Subsequent infractions would be considered misdemeanors under the bills. A growing number of states are cracking down on passing off pets as trained service animals. And high-profile incidents have brought public attention to the issue.