Skip to content Skip to navigation

These senior EPA officials can now moonlight for secret private-sector clients

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.

Qatar Is Shipping In 3,000 Cows From California, Arizona and Wisconsin

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.

Texas A&M to build veterinary complex at West Texas A&M University

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.

Rural Areas Create More Businesses With Greater Staying Power

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.

USDA to Host Roundtables on Rural Opioid Misuse

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.

States consider blocking pesticides after EPA flips

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.

Immigrants say working at Kansas ranch was 'like slavery'

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.

Robotics companies look to fill gaps for struggling dairy farmers

“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.


Subscribe to State Ag and Rural Leaders RSS