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Rhode Island lawmakers hatch a plan to give caged chickens more room

A Rhode Island bill about chickens that has ruffled lawmakers’ feathers in recent years is headed to the governor. The General Assembly is transmitting hundreds of bills passed late in the legislative session in batches. The bill to give caged chickens more freedom to spread their wings is on its way.

California to vote on new farm animal confinement laws

Petitioners gain enough signatures to place law that would require all eggs. pork and beefr produced and sold in California to be from cage-free systems. Californians will vote this fall on whether to strengthen the state’s laws governing how farm animals are confined and raised.The proposed measure that qualified for the November ballot late Friday builds on a previous voter-approved initiative and a separate state law.In 2008, Californians passed Proposition 2.

Gov. Walker announces $700,000 in grants to support entrepreneurship in dairy industry

Governor Scott Walker today visited the Center for Dairy Research (CDR) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Great Lake Cheese to award $700,000 state grants to support and promote entrepreneurship within the state’s $43 billion dairy industry. The grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will enable CDR to continue to provide companies with grants of up to $20,000 to support the commercialization of unique dairy technologies and products.

Our Growing Economy Should Not Leave Rural America Behind

At a basic level, our rural communities — just like cities and suburbs — need job opportunities that retain residents and attract new ones, quality schools, up-to-date infrastructure, accessible and affordable health care, broadband internet, financial institutions that are close by, and affordable housing. How we achieve these goals will require new approaches. We need to level the playing field to help smaller communities compete with larger cities.

A rural city's aggressive push for more housing

In rural Oregon, a lack of new and good quality housing hampers economic development in communities that are desperate for investment.   The lack of new housing means rural communities miss out on valuable property taxes that could be used to provide many of the amenities enjoyed by urban residents.   In the small eastern Oregon city of John Day, government officials have a plan to reverse this trend by offering generous financial incentives for new home construction and remodels. John Day, pop. 1,674, currently has 170 acres of underdeveloped land that has almost no tax value.

Canada, Japan Move Closer to CPTPP Ratification

Legislation to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is making its way through both the Canadian and Japanese legislatures, officials say, bringing the deal closer to entering into force.  Earlier this month, Canadian international trade minister François-Philippe Champagne pledged that his government would work “expeditiously” to advance the ratification process, though the final passage of the legislation may not take place before autumn, according to comments reported in Canadian newspaper iPolitics.  The 11 signatories of the CPTPP include Australia,

Why consolidating food safety efforts won't work

The Trump administration on June 21 unveiled an ambitious plan to consolidate federal food safety efforts within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Currently, 15 agencies throughout the federal government administer 35 different laws related to food safety under the oversight of nine congressional committees. The administration calls this system “illogical” and “fragmented.” Concern about this state of affairs has been fueling similar consolidation proposals for decades. But my research for a forthcoming book on the U.S.

Why care about undocumented immigrants?

While the nation’s attention is currently focused on the southern border, what’s being forgotten is that millions of undocumented immigrants continue to live in the U.S. – and most of them work. And in fact, these workers play vital roles in the U.S. economy, erecting American buildings, picking American apples and grapes, and taking care of American babies. Oh, and paying American taxes. Pew Research Center estimates that about 11.3 million people are currently living in the U.S. without authorization, down from a peak of 12.2 million in 2007.

USDA surveys small, very small establishments

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is conducting a survey to “help enhance the creation and delivery of information and resources” for small and very small meat and poultry processing and slaughter establishments, the agency said in a news release. FSIS is emailing a survey link to small and very small establishments that slaughter or process livestock or poultry. Owners will have about 30 days to complete the survey.

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