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AgClips

  • Here’s How to Sort Through the Milk Aisle’s Plant Explosion | Fortune

    The popularity of soy milk, long the creamer of choice for those unwilling to consume an animal product, has soured in recent years. That’s led to the rise of refrigerator full of plant-based alternatives. But not all non-milk is created equal. If you’re steering clear of heifers, here’s the breakdown on what you should be drinking instead.

    Post date: Thu, 08/25/2016 - 13:18
  • The newest challenge to family farms: low milk prices | Houston Chronicle

    According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the price of milk in June was about $15 per 100 pounds - more than a 40 percent drop from 2014. Meanwhile, the USDA estimated milk production costs were about $22 per 100 pounds.  Darrel Aubertine, a former commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, said many small family farms now faced a difficult decision: Sell their operations to larger dairy farms, borrow money to cover costs or diversify into other types of agriculture.

    Post date: Thu, 08/25/2016 - 13:18
  • Is it time to change the guidelines recommending low fat milk? | news.com.au

    WHEN it comes to dairy, you have the choice of skim or full fat and a plethora of options in the middle. But the question still lingers — which is best for your health and your waistline? For more than a decade health authorities have insisted adults go lean and ditch the cream. Even the latest dietary guidelines for Australians still make this message clear. But recent research, based on a large population study shows that full-fat dairy isn’t so bad for you after all — that is, full fat drinkers tend to weigh less and have a reduced risk of diabetes.  Before we criticise national dietary recommendations it’s important to understand why low fat dairy is still advised. Full cream dairy foods are a significant source of saturated fat and over the last few decades the focus has been on reducing this type of fat in our diets to stave off heart attacks — this meant all sources of saturated fat were evil, including full cream milk. However, it is now well known that not all fats are equal, and certain types of saturated fats don’t raise LDL cholesterol (as previously thought) — and if it comes from dairy, studies are now showing it may have a protective role.

    Post date: Thu, 08/25/2016 - 13:16
  • Potholes in the plans to rebuild America | The Hill

    In recent weeks, both presidential candidates have unveiled plans to repair and improve the country’s bridges, roads, internet and water systems. Democratic nominee Clinton says she will allocate $275 billion to the cause, including the creation of a national infrastructure bank designed to spur private investment, in what she has called the “biggest job creation program since World War II.”  Meanwhile, presidential hopeful Trump boasts that he would “at least double” Clinton’s pledged investment. Taken at face value, that means Trump would allocate more than half a trillion dollars to reviving America’s infrastructure. There certainly needs to be a major investment in modernizing and repairing America’s infrastructure. Far too many of us worry if the water our children drink is safe, how we will get to work despite crumbling roads and broken public transit systems or how we will get vital information without access to reliable communications technologies. An investment in the systems we rely on could resolve these issues, but it could also do so much more.  While there has been much discussion of how improvements and repairs to our infrastructure will be financed, there has been little talk of how it will be pursued. If paired with an equity agenda, such an investment could provide a bold vision for tackling the most pressing problems of our time. The decisions embedded in how we pursue a massive modernization project could provide an opportunity to address climate change and racial and economic inequity.

    Post date: Thu, 08/25/2016 - 12:12
  • John Block: Farm Problems | OFW Law

    We are looking at record crops of corn, soybeans, and wheat this year.  Dairy farmers are suffering with the lowest prices since 2009.  We have too much milk – not just here in the U.S. but in Europe also.  Members of Congress from farm districts and states want the government to help prop up a sinking farm economy.  The Farm Bureau, Farmers Union, and National Milk Producers Federation are asking for help.  Senator Moran from Kansas wants the government to buy wheat and ship it to countries that need food.  Agriculture Secretary Vilsack suggests that USDA purchase $150 million worth of cheese and give the cheese to food banks and school nutrition programs.  Taking these products off the market would raise prices.  On the plus side, our exports of soybeans are surging, thanks to China.  New crop export commitments are ahead of last year.  Corn exports are impressive.  Wheat exports are expected to surge 22%.  U.S. food production is something to brag about.  However, too much of anything will drive down prices.  You know the story – the cure for low prices is low prices.  It seems like yesterday we had $7 corn.  I am sure that the government will be able to offer some support to farmers, but I would not expect very much.

    Post date: Thu, 08/25/2016 - 12:11

Ag and Rural Leaders

STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS is dedicated to promoting and fostering cooperation, leadership and educational opportunities among and for state and provincial legislators that are passionate about agriculture and rural communities.

STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS is organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, to provide and promote educational opportunities for state officials and others on technology, policy, processes and issues that are of concern to agrculture and rural communities.

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STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS is where state leaders find the answers they need on agriculture and rural policy issues.

Gleanings

Farm

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. 

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