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Rural News

Scientists call on US to allow research on pot meds for pets

Leader-Telegram | Posted on December 12, 2017

A push is underway to have the U.S. government remove barriers to clinical trials of marijuana to see how effective it is in treating ailments in both pets and people, and one university in Colorado is already testing dogs with arthritis and epilepsy.People anxious to relieve suffering in their pets are increasingly turning to oils and powders that contain CBDs, a non-psychoactive component of marijuana. But there’s little data on whether they work, or if they have harmful side effects.That’s because Washington has been standing in the way of clinical trials, veterinarians and researchers say. Now, a push is underway to have barriers removed, so both pets and people can benefit.


Members of ranch family sentenced to probation, fines on gun charges

Capital Press | Posted on December 12, 2017

Ranchers Terry and Mary Hunt and their sons Russell and Derek were sentenced to five years probation and fined after pleading guilty to federal charges related to illegally buying and selling firearms.


New discovery, more bees mark Michigan's first, full bee census

Science Daily | Posted on December 12, 2017

The first complete bee census in Michigan has confirmed a new species and revealed that the actual number of bee species in Michigan exceeded earlier estimates.


Why are America's farmers killing themselves in record numbers?

The Guardian | Posted on December 12, 2017

The suicide rate for farmers is more than double that of veterans. Former farmer Debbie Weingarten gives an insider’s perspective on farm life – and how to help. “Farming has always been a stressful occupation because many of the factors that affect agricultural production are largely beyond the control of the producers,” wrote Rosmann in the journal Behavioral Healthcare. “The emotional wellbeing of family farmers and ranchers is intimately intertwined with these changes.” Last year, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that people working in agriculture – including farmers, farm laborers, ranchers, fishers, and lumber harvesters – take their lives at a rate higher than any other occupation. The data suggested that the suicide rate for agricultural workers in 17 states was nearly five times higher compared with that in the general population.


Genetically mutated rats could be released in Britain to solve rodent problem

The Telegraph | Posted on December 9, 2017

Genetically mutated rats could be released into Britain to help tackle the growing problem with rodents, Edinburgh University has said. Scientists have launched a project to find out if genetically editing animals could provide a more humane method of pest control.Figures released last week show that London councils receive 100 complaints about rats and mice each day with some local authorities reporting a 10 per cent increase in the number of rodents since last year.


Net neutrality would compound rural internet woes

Stevens Point City Times | Posted on December 7, 2017

For farmers and rural residents, a net neutrality repeal would compound an already glaring issue – rural broadband access and service provider monopolies. According to the FCC, roughly 710,000 people in rural Wisconsin lack access to higher download speeds. In areas that do have access to high speed internet, the costs of service are often escalated.I recently spoke to a friend in San Francisco who pays $70 a month for 200 mbps (megabits per second). Meanwhile, in Amherst, WI, I pay $113.40 a month for 30 mbps. Our previous internet plan was $90/month without the ability to stream content reliably, so we upgraded. Twenty miles away in Stevens Point, a friend pays $60/mo for 60 mbps… double the speed for almost half the cost.Why the discrepancy?A major factor is choice. In Amherst, and the surrounding area, Amherst Telephone Company runs a monopoly over internet service and they can charge more for less. While service providers in urban areas compete for customers, residents in rural areas often have to take what they can get. If net neutrality is repealed, rural residents may have to pay even more.


Tapeworm could jump to humans with potentially deadly consequences, veterinarian warns

The Star Phoenix | Posted on December 7, 2017

Saskatoon veterinarian says "there's a very good chance" Saskatchewan could see human cases of a potentially lethal tapeworm in the foreseeable future. About one-quarter of wild dogs in North America are infected with Echinococcus multilocularis. Pet dogs exposed to infected coyote feces can become infected and possibly infect their owners as well.Humans can inadvertently consume tapeworm eggs if they handle the excrement of infected dogs and then touch their own food, or if they eat things — such as berries, mushrooms or herbs — that are contaminated by infected dog or cat droppings.If that happens, tapeworm cysts can spread throughout the person’s liver and other organs like a tumour.Emily Jenkins, a professor of veterinary parasitology and public health at the University of Saskatchewan, said unless the disease is identified and treated quickly, the mortality rate is between 50 and 75 per cent. Treatment involves surgery to remove the cysts and years of drug therapy.


AVMA leads broad coalition supporting Public Service Loan Forgiveness

AVMA | Posted on December 7, 2017

More than 110 national and state animal health organizations have joined forces with the AVMA to urge Congress to preserve an important program that provides debt relief to veterinarians and others working in the nonprofit and public sectors. This broad animal health coalition, representing nearly all major veterinary groups, is mobilizing in response to efforts by some lawmakers to reduce or eliminate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.Led by the AVMA, and with key support from the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), the coalition sent a letter Monday to the chairpersons and ranking members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce. 


Partisan Climate Opinion Maps 2016

Yale program on climate change | Posted on December 7, 2017

Public opinion estimates by political party are produced using a statistical model based on national survey data gathered between 2008 and 2016 by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication. The model combines survey data with voter registration statistics at the state and district level. Note that party registration data is available for 32 states; party registration is imputed in the remaining states, as indicated.


Book review: This Blessed Earth

Daily Yonder | Posted on December 7, 2017

Journalist Ted Genoways is an award-winning author who has received prestigious fellowships from both the NEA and Guggenheim Foundation. Ted lives in Nebraska, where he grew up on his father’s farm. He is also author of This Blessed Earth, a real life tale of a year in the life of a Nebraska family farm.Family farms have changed with successive generations, with diversification of many raw food enterprises shrinking into less variety and more dependence on industrial grain and livestock—raw materials refined by corporate-owned factories where grains and oilseeds are processed into exports, ethanol, feed, protein, and fat.It hasn’t been long since corn and cattle were synonymous on family farms—one hand washing the other into a beefy end product. Not much of that has changed in the minds of farmers like Rick Hammond, his daughter Meghan, and her fiancé Kyle Galloway, but the processes taking place on farms today merely resemble a past when farm work truly covered the bases all the way from field to table.


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