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Farming programs helps veterans learn to farm

Damon Helton had one problem when he bought a 160-acre farm in Lonsdale four years ago - he didn’t know the first thing about farming. Three years out of the military, the retired Army Ranger was still transitioning back to civilian life. He had a well-paying sales job, but it took him away from his wife and children too often. So he bought the Farm at Barefoot Bend in Garland County. “Then, it was like ‘Holy crap, what did we just do?’” he said. Fortunately for Helton, he discovered resources that catered to someone like him - a veteran looking to start a farm.

College helps Okla. tribe build meat plant

The University of Arkansas Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences and School of Law are helping the Quapaw Tribe design and build a meat processing plant near Miami, Okla., to produce and maintain a sustainable local food supply, the college announced in a news release. The $1 million facility, expected to begin operations in May 2017, also will provide the school’s students opportunities for training. The plant will include a classroom, laboratory and test kitchen, and is being designed to process up to 50

Move over vegans, there’s a new flexitarian in town

Whole Foods Market’s global buyers and experts announced the trends to watch in 2017. Among them, a trend toward “flexitarians” who embrace individualized forms of healthy eating.  “In 2017, consumers will embrace a new, personalized version of healthy eating that’s less rigid than typical vegan, paleo, gluten-free and other special diets that have gone mainstream,” the Whole Foods team explained in a news release.

Canada seeking common ground, not confrontation as NAFTA talks open

The Canadian government is signalling the approach it intends to take should Donald Trump make good on his promise to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.  Canada's ambassador to the U.S. is laying out some starting principles such as co-operation instead of confrontation.

Spread by trade and climate, bugs butcher America's forests

In a towering forest of centuries-old eastern hemlocks, it's easy to miss one of the tree's nemeses. No larger than a speck of pepper, the Hemlock woolly adelgid spends its life on the underside of needles sucking sap, eventually killing the tree. The bug is one in an expanding army of insects draining the life out of forests from New England to the West Coast. Aided by global trade, a warming climate and drought-weakened trees, the invaders have become one of the greatest threats to biodiversity in the United States.

New Wood Technology May Offer Hope for Struggling Timber

John Redfield watches with pride as his son moves a laser-guided precision saw the size of a semi-truck wheel into place over a massive panel of wood.  Redfield's fingers are scarred from a lifetime of cutting wood and now, after decades of decline in the logging business, he has new hope that his son, too, can make a career shaping the timber felled in southern Oregon's forests. That's because Redfield and his son work at D.R. Johnson Lumber Co., one of two U.S. timber mills making a new wood product that's the buzz of the construction industry.

New York's 'zero-emission' nuclear power credits upheld by utility regulators

Utility regulators in New York this week signaled their continued support for a clean energy plan that would subsidize three nuclear power plants for twelve years as a "bridge to renewables." The New York Public Service Commission rejected or delayed 17 petitions to reconsider aspects of its Clean Energy Standard, which contains the nuke-friendly zero emission credits, reports RTO Insider. The energy standard requires New York to acquire 50 percent of its energy from low-carbon resources by 2030.

Net metering rules in Pennsylvania are challenged

An Allegheny County solar developer is challenging the state Public Utility Commission’s authority to adopt new alternative energy regulations in a complaint filed this week in Commonwealth Court.  David Hommrich of Green Tree, who is representing himself in the case, wants the court to declare that the agency has no authority to put limits on a clean energy incentive granted by the Legislature in 2007. The PUC’s regulations, which took effect on Nov.

U.S. scrambles to clear egg exports to bird flu-hit Korea

U.S. officials are urgently seeking an agreement with South Korea that would allow imports of American eggs so farmers can cash in on a shortage caused by the Asian country's worst-ever outbreak of bird flu. The two sides are negotiating over terms of potential shipments after South Korea lifted a ban on imports of U.S. table eggs that it imposed when the United States grappled with its own bout of bird flu last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If an agreement is reached, U.S.

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