Animal rights activist groups have and will continue to go to extremes, doing almost anything in their power to end animal agriculture. In spite of the industry’s commitment to animal welfare, these extremist groups view the agriculture industry as “speciest” if they do not share their same views that animals…
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross doled out $11 million Wednesday aimed at jumpstarting the U.S. aquaculture industry, or fish farming, and limiting dependence on foreign seafood imports. “With such vast coastlines, there is no reason the United States should be importing billions of pounds of seafood each year,” Ross said. Growing a domestic aquaculture industry would create jobs while making the nation more food secure, he said.The U.S. imported more than 6 billion pounds of seafood, more than $21.5 billion worth, in 2017, according to the agency.
The number of licensed dairy farms in Wisconsin dropped to a new, all-time low of 8,372 as of September 2018, according to the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The new NAFTA – now known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or MCA – agreed to this month should help, but dairy-farm organizations expect the downward trend to continue. Wisconsin dairy farmers' profit margins are being squeezed by several factors, said Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative's Director of Government Relations John Holevoet.
The 2018 farm bill has stalled weeks after its predecessor lapsed—and so, it seems, have negotiations. Congress, now in recess, has yet to mend the gulf between two competing versions: a Senate version with bipartisan support, and the House bill, which proposes serious cuts to federal conservation programs as well as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.Republican representatives have framed these cuts as a financial necessity.
His farm is buried under lava, but he can’t find relief from payments on his state agricultural loan| Posted on October 17, 2018 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News
A Big Island farmer whose fields are buried under lava says the state is still requiring him pay off a $22,000 loan on the land — even though he’s not allowed to step foot on the property.“The state of Hawaii sanctioned me to farm in lava zone 1. They knew I was in lava zone 1. They financed me," said farmer Gregg Adams, who owns Dragon Fruit Farms — about a mile beyond the checkpoint on Highway 132.“They had a vested interest in me.
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter said Tuesday that former Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner Blake Fischer’s hunting photos “tainted” Idaho’s reputation as they drew criticism from around the world. Fischer resigned Monday at Otter’s request — three days after the Idaho Statesman first reported that several former Fish and Game commissioners disapproved of Fischer’s photos.“We’d like to get this behind us,” Otter said, “because this is not us.”Fischer emailed more than 100 friends and colleagues last month with pictures and descriptions from the hunting kills he and his wife made on a trip to Namibia.
The majority of women reported progress toward gender equality, but 72% said it would take decades to achieve full equality.Women in agriculture say widespread gender discrimination persists and poses obstacles to their ability to help feed the world, according to a new study from Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont.
The sharp partisanship that’s typified North Carolina’s government was buried temporarily on Monday as legislators approved spending $400 million to quickly help people and communities reeling from flooding left by Hurricane Florence and setting aside another $450 million for upcoming needs.
t is the fall harvest here in this fertile stretch of oaks and hills that produces some of the country’s best wine. This season, though, workers also are plucking the sticky, fragrant flowers of a new crop. Marijuana is emerging among the vineyards, not as a rival to the valley’s grapes but as a high-value commodity that could help reinvigorate a fading agricultural tradition along the state’s Central Coast.
Humanity’s ongoing annihilation of wildlife is cutting down the tree of life, including the branch we are sitting on, according to a stark new analysis. More than 300 different mammal species have been eradicated by human activities.
What can be harder to decipher is how Americans use their land to create wealth. The 48 contiguous states alone are a 1.9 billion-acre jigsaw puzzle of cities, farms, forests and pastures that Americans use to feed themselves, power their economy and extract value for business and pleasure.Using surveys, satellite images and categorizations from various government agencies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture divides the U.S. into six major types of land. The data can’t be pinpointed to a city block—each square on the map represents 250,000 acres of land.
Former USDA officials and farm groups are sounding the alarm over the USDA’s plans to move the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture out of Washington, D.C. The new locations have not yet been chosen. The move is slated to be complete by the end of 2019.The American Statistical Association has sent a letter to Congress, signed by 56 former USDA and federal statistical agency officials to warn of damage the move would cause, including: The loss of staff expertise due to employees not willing to move.
Rural Americans are profoundly worried about the opioid crisis and their local economies and many are hoping government can help, according to a new poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.One-quarter of rural Americans say opioid and other drug abuse is the biggest problem that faces their local communities. A similar share, 21 percent, say economic concerns are the biggest problems in their areas. No other topic even comes close after that.
Study Shows How Recovery From The Great Recession Transformed The Geography of U.S. Economic Well-Being| Posted on October 17, 2018 in Rural News
Study finds it took under five years for prosperous communities to replace lost jobs while distressed ones are unlikely to ever recover on current trendlines. The Economic Innovation Group (EIG) released a new report, From Great Recession to Great Reshuffling: Charting a Decade of Change Across American Communities, tracking changes in the well-being of U.S. communities during a tumultuous decade that included the Great Recession and the subsequent economic recovery.
Agricultural damage from Hurricane Michael's rampage last week is expected to top $1.3 billion in the Southeast, with $1.2 billion of the total in Georgia alone, according to officials. Cotton and pecan farmers suffered the worst damage in Alabama and Georgia.Roughly 100 chicken houses were destroyed in Georgia, including more than 2 million chickens.Florida suffered damage to at least 3 million acres of timber as well as peanuts, cotton and other agricultural commodities.
Hurricane Michael was responsible for the loss of at least 84 poultry houses and 2 million birds in Georgia, according to the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
Oregon regulators have fined Lost Valley Farm, the state’s second-largest dairy, $187,320 for 224 violations of its wastewater permit. The penalty comes as the dairy’s owner, Greg te Velde, faces bankruptcy proceedings, a pending permit revocation, criminal contempt of court sanctions and felony drug charges in two states.The Oregon Department of Agriculture announced the fine exclusively in a tweet Friday afternoon. It’s the largest fine the agency has ever imposed on a dairy or other confined animal operation.
The Trump administration’s plan to allow year-round sales of higher-grade corn ethanol would have limited impact on the depressed U.S. ethanol market, with record supplies and prices for the fuel hovering near the lowest in a decade, analysts said.
A quarter of rural Americans say that drug addiction is the biggest problem their communities face, according to a new poll of rural residents. A lot of that assessment is based on first-hand information. About half of rural residents say they personally know someone, like a friend or family member, who has struggled with opioid addiction.
Bayer AG is considering a sale of its animal-health business as it scrutinizes its portfolio in the aftermath of the $63 billion Monsanto Co. acquisition, people familiar with the company’s plans said.Bayer is evaluating animal health as part of a broader review, though a sale isn’t imminent, said the people, who asked not to be named because the appraisal hasn’t been made public. No final decisions have been made, and it’s still possible the German company could decide to keep the business.
The orders came down to mobile home residents as the menace of Hurricane Michael approached in the Gulf of Mexico: Get out. Get out now. The evacuation mandate reached Gene Bearden, 76, in this blink-and-you-miss-it town with an aspirational name south of Tallahassee and in an area where a storm surge of up to 13 feet had been forecast.Mr. Bearden wanted to leave.
Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris has been named as a federal judge in West Tennessee, leaving his position open in the state senate. The U.S. Senate voted Thursday evening to confirm Norris in a close vote 51-44 vote.“I recommended Senator Norris to the president, and I strongly supported Mark’s nomination,” U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander said in a statement. “He is respected by his peers around the country, having been elected chairman of the Council of State Governments, and has been an advocate and a champion for federalism and for the separation of powers.”
The Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development today announced a public comment period on the state’s 2019 Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practices (GAAMPs). The public comment period begins now and ends at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 29, 2018. Public comment will be accepted on the following GAAMPs, which have proposed changes for 2019: Manure Management and Utilization; Care of Farm Animals; Site Selection and Odor Control for New and Expanding Livestock Facilities; and Irrigation Water Use.
The National Pork Producers Council submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), supporting revisions to existing federal trucking regulations that would allow livestock haulers to comply with the rules while maintaining standards for animal welfare. Meanwhile, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and other representing bee and fish haulers submitted a petition to the DOT also requesting additional flexibility on Hours of Service requirements.
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has partnered with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to extend its program to buy out swine operations within the state’s 100-year floodplain, the state agency said in a news release. Using funding grants from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, the state will be able to institute permanent conservation easements to the farms.The program began in 2000 after Hurricane Floyd.
This Week's AgClips
President Trump’s decision last week to allow the year-round sale of E15 is a promise made and kept to farmers throughout rural America. E15 is shorthand for gasoline blended with 15% ethanol, instead of the more common E10, and was prohibited for sale in the summer by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2011.Biofuels are a part of everyday life in Iowa, the top corn-and ethanol-producing state in the U.S. Ethanol supports more than 43,000 Iowa-based jobs and 350,000 jobs throughout the country, directly and indirectly.
In the Mediterranean region, there are numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites in low-lying coastal areas. In the course of the 21st century, these sites will increasingly be at risk by storm surges and increasing coastal erosion due to sea-level rise.
Researchers have found that the swell of infestations of winter ticks -- which attach themselves to moose during the fall and feed throughout the winter -- is the primary cause of an unprecedented 70 percent death rate of calves over a three-year period.
Many organic advocates claim that genetically engineered crops are harmful to human health, the environment, and the farmers who work with them.
The FDA is amending its food additive regulations in response to two food additive petitions, to no longer allow for the use of a total of 7 synthetic flavoring substances and flavor enhancers (adjuvants). The FDA determined that the data presented in one of the petitions submitted to the FDA by Breast Cancer Fund, Center for Environmental Health, Center for Food Safety, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumers Union, Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Working Group, Improving Kids’ Environment, Natural Resources Defense Council, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, and Mr.
Dairy farmers are under siege thanks to low prices and changing tastes. Even a one-week holiday shutdown by yogurt giant Chobani inflicted pain.New York dairy farmers who jumped at the chance to expand their herds five years ago are now wondering whether it was the right move. “We were told we needed to expand,” said Deb Windecker, a dairy and beef farmer in the Mohawk Valley, and a former Chobani supplier. “ ‘Yogurt capital, grow, grow, grow.’ And now everybody’s turned their back on us.”
Beyond Meat has hired J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse for an initial public offering, people familiar with the matter tell CNBC. The IPO will be the first public stock offering for one of the slew of new companies that make vegetarian meat products that also appeal to carnivores.It's current investors include Bill Gates, Leonardo DiCaprio Jack & Suzy Welch, Kleiner Perkins and Tyson Foods.
Donald Trump announces his plan to negotiate a free trade deal with the UK after Brexit.
Farmers suing over crop damage allegedly caused by Bayer AG unit Monsanto Co and BASF Corp’s dicamba-based seeds and weedkillers urged a federal judge on Monday to reject the companies’ motions to dismiss the cases. In filings opposing the requests for dismissal, lawyers representing the roughly 20 farms told U.S. District Judge Stephen Limbaugh in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, that the companies had ignored facts in an attempt to avoid responsibility for the alleged “ecological disaster” they created.
Three-quarters of large U.S. meat processing plants that discharge their wastewater directly into streams and rivers violated their pollution control permits over the last two years, with some dumping as much nitrogen pollution as small cities — and facing little or no enforcement. Texas is home to the third-worst polluter in the country — the Pilgrims Pride poultry processing plant in Mount Pleasant.
An audit of state agency responses to two recent wildfires in Kansas showed that the state’s wildfire suppression training and mitigation programs do not sufficiently prepare the state for wildfire response, according to Kansas State Forester, Larry Biles and Fire Management Officer, Mark Neely. They spoke before the state’s legislative budget committee on Oct. 3 in Topeka. “We are encouraged to see the legislature focus on what is the state’s most rapidly growing hazards – wildfires,” said Biles.
A passenger traveling from Ecuador was relieved of leftovers when an intrepid beagle found a roasted pig's head in baggage at the world's busiest airport. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the Agriculture Detector dog named Hardy alerted to the baggage at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Oct. 11. CBP agriculture specialists then discovered a 2-pound cooked pig's head, which was seized and destroyed.
Right now, many burger chains are putting burger lovers in a bind. If they want to eat meat raised with responsible antibiotic use practices, chicken is the best choice at many mainstream chains. But if we are to make headway on antibiotic resistance crisis, the beef (and pork) industry must be part of the solution.
Cottonseed could become a high-protein food option, providing a boon to cotton growers, if FDA signs off on a new genetically engineered variety. Traditional cottonseed is toxic for humans and most animals because it contains a poisonous substance called gossypol. But a team of ag scientists at Texas A&M developed a type of cottonseed that contains very low levels of gossypol, making it edible for humans — and creating the possibility that the tree nut could help address global malnutrition. USDA green-lighted the biotechnology on Tuesday.
Florida Governor issues ultimatum to Verizon: Give me a plan to restore service, and treat customers fairly| Posted on October 17, 2018 in Rural News
Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued another rebuke of Verizon today, telling the cell provider in a terse press release that he expects the company to give him a plan today to restore service to the areas hit by Hurricane Michael, and that all cell providers should waive bills for October. The press release was addressed to all cell phone providers, but it singled out Verizon, which has struggled to restore service in Bay County, where Michael made landfall.
More than a decade into the opioid epidemic, illicit fentanyl and related synthetic drugs are now driving the nation’s spiraling overdose death toll. Involved in nearly half of the roughly 200 U.S. drug overdose deaths every day, fentanyl appears to be here to stay. “Even if we do a really good job at the border and start making a serious dent in shipments from China and Mexico, we need to anticipate that people will simply start cooking it here. It’s already happening,” U.S.
The Minnesota Board of Animal Health has confirmed the first cases of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in Minnesota deer. Six of seven animals in a small herd of captive white-tailed deer in Goodhue County died of the disease earlier this month. The remaining buck appears healthy at this time and is showing no clinical signs associated with this disease.This is the first detection of this disease in a Minnesota deer, yet it is widespread across North America.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announces today the deregulation of Texas A&M’s cotton variety genetically engineered to have ultra-low levels of gossypol in its seed.
Which came first, the chicken or the trade war? Well before President Donald Trump began slapping tariffs on steel, aluminum and other imported goods, there was a deal with South Africa that gave U.S.
The Trump administration is now allowing more chicken-processing plants to operate at faster speeds, a controversial move that some fear will hurt workers and chicken consumers by lowering safety standards. Plants that receive a waiver from the Trump administration will be able to process up to 175 birds per minute, up from the old limit of 140 birds per minute.
Only a month after it announced that it was joining the RE100 initiative and committing to sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2040, entertainment and electronics giant Sony Corporation has announced this week it is bringing forward its US goal by a decade.
Adopting benchmarks similar to the fuel-efficiency standards used by the auto industry in the production of fertilizer could yield $5-8 billion in economic benefits for the U.S. corn sector alone, researchers have concluded.
American farmers and low-income families are understandably uneasy with the recent expiration of the farm bill, although the eventual passage of another iteration is all but assured. Regardless, we should take a moment to ask what would happen if we repealed farm bill agricultural subsidies instead. The idea may sound fanciful. We’ve had farm subsidies for over 80 years; it’s hard to conceive of an agriculture industry without extensive government intervention.
Basic assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program) and Medicaid ensure families have access to food and medical care when they are low-income. Some policymakers at the federal and state levels intend to add new work requirements to SNAP and Medicaid. In this paper, we analyze those who would be impacted by an expansion of work requirements in SNAP and an introduction of work requirements into Medicaid.
Silo collapse kills one cow and traps 13 calves. A silo containing large amounts of grain collapsed onto one of the main barns at Cherry Hill Farm in Lunenburg, Mass., Sunday morning, trapping 13 calves and killing one cow. The owner and his daughter were inside the barn as the silo began to collapse, however, the two were able to move some of the animals out before the silo crashed.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday that the Senate wasn't going to be able to vote on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade before the end of the year. Postponing the vote until next year means that President Trump may have to get it through a divided Congress, should Democrats regain majorities after the fall election.
USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) published in the Federal Register a notice of intent to grant animal health company Zoetis LLC an exclusive license to two patents related to the company’s development of a vaccine to combat African Swine Fever (ASF). The move comes as ASF riddles China’s massive hog population and continues to move in Europe, threatening to hamper large pork exporting nations there, and as U.S. government, industry and health officials work to prevent its introduction in the United States.
Broadly speaking, though, those practical things are limited. According to the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association, or SPUR, a city can undertake one of several strategies: Build a barrier, armor the coast with levees and seawalls, elevate land, create “living shorelines” to absorb flooding and slow erosion, or retreat. This last strategy, “managed retreat,” SPUR warns, “is a political quagmire. It involves tremendous legal and equity issues, because not all property owners are willing sellers.
Getting a nationwide group of notoriously independent and private people to voluntarily turn over information to the government can be a difficult obstacle to overcome. The U.S. Department of Agriculture made a major push to identify and track livestock in 2007, back when South Dakota native Bruce Knight was undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs. The “primary emphasis is about supporting animal health,” and supporting producers, Knight said at the time. Some livestock producers jumped on board, but many did not.
Pacific Ocean temperatures are rising along the equator, a signal that winter likely will be warmer than normal in the Northwest.Federal climatologists peg the odds that an El Nino will form in the next couple of months at 70 to 75 percent, a 5 percent increase since mid-September. The warm ocean should influence late winter weather, but El Ninos historically have had little effect on snow accumulation in Washington before Jan.