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  • SARL member, Cindy Hyde-Smith Gets Appointment to Mississippi Senate Seat | Roll Call

    Mississippi’s Cindy Hyde-Smith will be going to the U.S. Senate next month. Gov. Phil Bryant formally tapped the Republican agriculture and commerce commissioner to fill the unexpired term of Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran, who is poised to go out with a win on an omnibus spending bill. Currently in his seventh term, Cochran is resigning effective April 1 for health reasons. The senator-designee highlighted her work as agriculture commissioner, while praising President Donald Trump’s work on rolling back regulations, making specific reference to the Waters of the United States rule. Hyde-Smith, a former state senator, also noted her involvement in what was also one of Cochran’s many priorities: the establishment and maintenance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s catfish inspection program. The regulation of catfish and a similar species from Asia has been key to the domestic catfish industry.

    Post date: Thu, 03/22/2018 - 06:53
  • Cheese plant expansion signals South Dakota dairy poised for growth | Tri State Neighbor

    South Dakota officials have been working for decades to rebuild the state’s dairy industry, and now they’re seeing results. One of the state’s biggest cheese plants is expanding, tripling its production capacity to make it not only the largest plant in South Dakota, but one of the biggest in the U.S.Government officials and company leaders were in Lake Norden late last month for an official ground breaking celebration at the Agropur cheese and whey plant where construction is already started to make the plant capable of processing more than 9 million pounds of milk per day.

    Post date: Thu, 03/22/2018 - 06:50
  • Forecasters warn of fires, crop damage across US high plains | AP

    The amount of moisture received across the United States’ southern high plains since October has been ridiculously low, and forecasters warned Friday that the intensifying drought has resulted in critical fire danger and some winter wheat crops being reduced to stubble across several states. Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said during a national briefing that some areas in the region have received less than one-tenth of an inch of rain in the past five months and that’s perhaps the longest period of time these areas have been without rain since record-keeping began decades ago.

    Post date: Thu, 03/22/2018 - 06:48
  • Interactive map with local data rates U.S. counties on economic distress | The Rural Blog

    The Economic Innovation Group has created a interactive map that identifies the economic distress level of every zip code in the United States. Maps are also available that measure by zip code, congressional district or city. The Distressed Communities Index is comprised of seven metrics that measure economic well-being: percentage of the population with high school diplomas, housing vacancy rate, unemployment rate, poverty rate, median income (expressed as a percentage of the state's median income), percentage change in the number of jobs available from 2011 to 2015, and the percentage change in the number of business establishments from 2011 to 2015.  It's a fascinating portrait of America. At a large scale, it’s almost an Impressionist painting; at small scale a colorful mosaic. How did your county fare?

    Post date: Thu, 03/22/2018 - 06:48
  • ‘I saw more dead birds in that one pit than hunters would poach’ | High Country News

    When he drove out to inspect the half-acre pond, he found something far worse. As he expected, its banks were covered with dried oil. But it was the bottom of the abandoned pit that shocked him: It was blanketed with the bones of thousands of birds. “You see that carnage and you know there are 500 more pits with oil on them and you can’t see the bottom,” Mowad said. “It’s an ‘Oh, my God’ moment. If there are this many dead birds in this pit, can you imagine what’s in the others?” “I knew that I saw more dead birds in that one pit than hunters would poach my entire career,” Mowad, who is now retired, said of the 1996 discovery. “It was very clear to me that this is where our work priority should be.” Since the 1970s, federal officials had used the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to prosecute and fine companies that accidentally killed birds with oil pits, wind turbines, spills or other industrial hazards. But a legal decision issued in December by the Interior Department revoked that ability.

    Post date: Thu, 03/22/2018 - 06:47

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Talk to your governor about the Opportunity Zones in your state

30 January, 2018

Qualified Opportunity Zones in the Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017


Farmland Taxes Under Discussion in the Midwest Again

23 January, 2017

Senator Jean Leising knows it’s going to be another tough year for beef and hog producers, and 2016’s record national yields for corn and soybeans indicate that farm profitability will decline for the third straight year.  She is convinced that “the drop in net farm income again this year makes the changes Indiana made to the farmland taxation calculation in 2016 even more important.”  


Are corporations taking over America’s food supply?

15 March, 2016

Family farms.  The foundation of America’s food security.  According to the USDA, 97 percent of farms are family farms, and they grow 90 percent of the food produced. But national policies to keep food affordable (American’s spend less than 7 percent of their paycheck for food) and the boom and bust cycles of farming have resulted in larger, more concentrated farming practices.