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Confusion over GMOs must stop, farmers tell a listening FDA

Southeast Farm Press | Posted on November 16, 2017 in Agriculture News

Two farmers told a public hearing sponsored by the Food and Drug Administration that biotechnology allows farmers to increase yields while using less fuel, less chemicals and with less impact on the environment. Bryant Chapman, a dairy, beef, poultry and grain farmer in Alexander County, N.C., and Don Duvall, a grain farmer from Carmi, Ill., both emphasized that biotechnology allows farmers to produce abundant and affordable food with less inputs.

Missouri Dept of Energy to award approximately $5.1 million in energy loans

St Louis News | Posted on November 16, 2017 in Energy News

The Missouri Division of Energy announced today approximately $5.1 million has been awarded for low-interest loans to assist four public schools, three city/county governments, and one fire protection district with energy-efficiency and renewable energy projects. The funded projects, which are expected to support 65 jobs and benefit more than 439,062 Missourians, are expected to result in annual energy savings of approximately $720,484. The loans will be repaid with money saved on energy costs as a result of implementing these upgrades and improvements.

Wisconsin Businessman Creates Fund To Help Nonprofits Go Solar

WUWM | Posted on November 16, 2017 in Energy News

Cal Couillard has been intrigued with solar energy since the 1970s. But, it wasn't until this year that he took the plunge, and had solar panels installed at his Edgerton-based business.  He also created a fund to help others "go solar." Solar energy used to be expensive, Coulliard explains, and therefore, only people who wanted to be green jumped aboard. Now, he says, prices have dropped dramatically and it makes sense financially.

SARL Members and Alumni News

NC:Suit seeks to stop new union limits around farm operations

Bradenton.com | Posted on November 16, 2017

North Carolina's only farmworker union is challenging a law limiting organized labor's activities in and around the state's vegetable and tobacco fields and other agricultural operations. Their lawsuit filed Wednesday called the restrictions unconstitutional and discriminatory.A last-minute House amendment inserted into the General Assembly's annual farm law last summer prohibits farming operations from collecting union dues from workers. It also blocks any future legal settlements requiring a farm to enter into a collective bargaining agreement.

Community Health Workers’ Role in Health Care Delivery

Rural Pennsylvania | Posted on November 16, 2017

With current shortages of health care professionals in rural Pennsylvania, community health workers have the potential to play a significant role in the delivery of rural health services, according to research out of Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. Currently, there is no single definition of a community health worker (CHW).

CDFA releases final Environmental Impact Report for CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Program

Yuba.net | Posted on November 16, 2017

The EIR outlines potential significant environmental impacts associated with the adoption and implementation of statewide cannabis cultivation licensing regulations and provides mitigation measures to reduce those impacts to less than significant. CDFA is developing regulations for statewide cannabis cultivation licensing, as well as a track-and-trace system. This system will record the movement of cannabis and cannabis products through the supply chain, from cultivation to sale.

Pennsylvania Reconvenes Rural Development Council

Lancaster Farming | Posted on November 15, 2017

On Monday, state Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding presided over the first meeting of the reconstituted Rural Development Council on behalf of Gov. Tom Wolf.

Ohio announces chnages to Livestock Care Standards

Ohio Department of Agriculture  | Posted on November 15, 2017

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) wants to remind producers and livestock owners about upcoming changes to Ohio’s livestock care standards. Effective January 1, 2018, veal calves must be housed in group pens by ten weeks of age. Additionally, whether housed in individual stalls or group pens the calves must be allowed to turn around and cannot be tethered. Also effective January 1, tail docking on dairy cattle can only be performed by a licensed veterinarian and if only medically necessary.

Agriculture News

Confusion over GMOs must stop, farmers tell a listening FDA

Southeast Farm Press | Posted on November 16, 2017

Two farmers told a public hearing sponsored by the Food and Drug Administration that biotechnology allows farmers to increase yields while using less fuel, less chemicals and with less impact on the environment. Bryant Chapman, a dairy, beef, poultry and grain farmer in Alexander County, N.C., and Don Duvall, a grain farmer from Carmi, Ill., both emphasized that biotechnology allows farmers to produce abundant and affordable food with less inputs.

Long-term Study Finds That the Pesticide Glyphosate Does Not Cause Cancer

The Scientist | Posted on November 16, 2017

A new study has found no conclusive link between exposure to glyphosate—the main ingredient in a popular weedkiller—and cancer. The new study, which was seen by Reuters, draws on long-term data collected through the Agricultural Health Study. This has monitored the health of nearly 90,000 people in Iowa and North Carolina from 1993 to 2010, including farmers licensed to apply pesticides to their crops, and their spouses. The researchers tell Reuters that among more than 54,000 pesticide applications taken into account in the study, 83 percent contained glyphosate.

Are there antibiotics in my meat? Let’s clear the confusion

Huffington Post | Posted on November 16, 2017

I was stunned to hear a mother express guilt about being “unable to afford meat that doesn’t have antibiotics in it.”I wondered how many parents who are trying to provide the best for their children have the misconception that their kids are consuming large doses of antibiotics because they can’t afford meat labeled “antibiotic free.”One look at common questions being asked on Internet search engines tells us this misconception is distressingly common: “Are there antibiotics in my meat?” “Why is it bad to eat meat with antibiotics?”There is one undeniable fact that should bring comfort to p

NC:Suit seeks to stop new union limits around farm operations

Bradenton.com | Posted on November 16, 2017

North Carolina's only farmworker union is challenging a law limiting organized labor's activities in and around the state's vegetable and tobacco fields and other agricultural operations. Their lawsuit filed Wednesday called the restrictions unconstitutional and discriminatory.A last-minute House amendment inserted into the General Assembly's annual farm law last summer prohibits farming operations from collecting union dues from workers. It also blocks any future legal settlements requiring a farm to enter into a collective bargaining agreement.

Monsanto, U.S. farm groups sue California over glyphosate warnings

Reuters | Posted on November 16, 2017

Monsanto Co and U.S. farm groups sued California on Wednesday to stop the state from requiring cancer warnings on products containing the widely used weed killer glyphosate, which the company sells to farmers to apply to its genetically engineered crops.

Federal News

Dwindling immigration stresses tree-fruit industry

Yakima Herald | Posted on November 16, 2017

Over the past several years, farmers have complained that a dwindling labor force continues to stress production of the state’s multi-billion dollar tree fruit industry.Employment and market experts in the past have questioned whether such a shortage really exists. But recent studies are indicating that our once robust low-wage labor force primarily from Mexico is in fact dwindling, or not keeping pace with industry growth.

US to allow imports of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe, Zambia

CNN | Posted on November 16, 2017

US authorities will remove restrictions on importing African elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia.That means Americans will soon be able to hunt the endangered big game, an activity that garnered worldwide attention when a Minnesota dentist took Cecil, perhaps the world's most famous lion, near a wildlife park in Zimbabwe.A US Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman said the move will allow the two African countries to include US sport hunting as part of their management plans for the elephants and allow them to put "much-needed revenue back into conservation."Critics, however, note the r

GOP senators from NC come out against Trump EPA nominee

AP | Posted on November 16, 2017

North Carolina’s two Republican senators said Wednesday they oppose President Donald Trump’s pick to oversee chemical safety at the Environmental Protection Agency, putting his nomination at serious risk. Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis issued statements saying they will vote against Michael L. Dourson to serve as head of EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.Environmentalists and Senate Democrats have vehemently opposed Dourson, a toxicologist with close ties to the chemical industry.

Top 1 percent of Texas commodity farmers get quarter of $1.6 billion in subsidies

Texas Observer | Posted on November 16, 2017

Last year in Nueces County, sorghum farmers raked in $10.9 million in taxpayer-funded subsidies. Corn farmers in Castro County took $12.6 million. In Deaf Smith County, the kingpins of cotton were paid $32.5 million, according to new farm subsidy data released last week. But as the state’s biggest farms drew lucrative paydays, the pocketbooks of small family farmers got thinner. Now, critics of federal farm subsidy programs are calling for reform of a system they say overwhelmingly favors big agribusiness.   The U.S.

Stop pretending the estate tax has anything to do with us family farmers

The Washington Post | Posted on November 16, 2017

As Republicans push ahead with their tax reform plan, the small farmer is again invoked. This time it’s about the estate tax. During a speech in North Dakota, President Trump declared, “We’ll also protect small businesses and family farmers here in North Dakota and across the country by ending the death tax.” He added: “Tremendous burden for the family farmer, tremendous burden. We are not going to allow the death tax or the inheritance tax or the whatever-you-want-to-call-it to crush the American Dream.” But few farmers put the elimination of this tax on the top of their wish lists.

Rural News

MI Soybean Farmers Partner with Midland County to Promote Better Rural Bridge Evaluation and Management

Thumb.net | Posted on November 16, 2017

 Michigan farmers depend upon rural bridges to efficiently deliver their commodities to the local elevator or processing facility. The structural integrity of this infrastructure is essential to farmer profitability. Unfortunately, an increasing number of rural bridges in the state are load limited, requiring vehicles transporting agricultural commodities to detour - often at significant distances. This results in additional costs being inserted in the nation's food delivery system and diminished profitability for Michigan farmers.

Community Health Workers’ Role in Health Care Delivery

Rural Pennsylvania | Posted on November 16, 2017

With current shortages of health care professionals in rural Pennsylvania, community health workers have the potential to play a significant role in the delivery of rural health services, according to research out of Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. Currently, there is no single definition of a community health worker (CHW).

Pharmaceutical, personal care pollution impacts aquatic life

Science Daily | Posted on November 16, 2017

Traditional toxicity testing underestimates the risk that pharmaceutical and personal care product pollution poses to freshwater ecosystems. Criteria that account for ecological disruption -- not just organism death -- are needed to protect surface waters, which are under pressure from a growing population and escalating synthetic chemical use.

Citizen investment drives rural Kansas

Hays Post  | Posted on November 16, 2017

Without question, the most important resource in Phillipsburg, Dodge City, Pittsburg, Salina or any community in Kansas, is human resources. If you look up the definition of human resources, you will find it as: “the individuals who make up the community and their learned skills that create the ability to lead teams of people, manage systems and produce goods and services.” Rural communities thrive and prosper when farmers, ranchers and small community businesses work together for the common good.

Rural areas at risk as water levels drop in massive aquifer

ABC News | Posted on November 16, 2017

The draining of a massive aquifer that underlies portions of eight states in the central U.S. is drying up streams, causing fish to disappear and threatening the livelihood of farmers who rely on it for their crops.

Energy News

Missouri Dept of Energy to award approximately $5.1 million in energy loans

St Louis News | Posted on November 16, 2017

The Missouri Division of Energy announced today approximately $5.1 million has been awarded for low-interest loans to assist four public schools, three city/county governments, and one fire protection district with energy-efficiency and renewable energy projects. The funded projects, which are expected to support 65 jobs and benefit more than 439,062 Missourians, are expected to result in annual energy savings of approximately $720,484. The loans will be repaid with money saved on energy costs as a result of implementing these upgrades and improvements.

Wisconsin Businessman Creates Fund To Help Nonprofits Go Solar

WUWM | Posted on November 16, 2017

Cal Couillard has been intrigued with solar energy since the 1970s. But, it wasn't until this year that he took the plunge, and had solar panels installed at his Edgerton-based business.  He also created a fund to help others "go solar." Solar energy used to be expensive, Coulliard explains, and therefore, only people who wanted to be green jumped aboard. Now, he says, prices have dropped dramatically and it makes sense financially.

Oil Industry Group Tells Barrasso E15 Storage not Compatible, RFA Says not so Fast

DTN | Posted on November 16, 2017

Though the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering the legalities of allowing year-round E15 sales, the Renewable Fuels Association said in a news release on Wednesday a petroleum group is spreading misinformation about E15 underground storage tanks and the Renewable Fuel Standard. In a letter to Sen.

Iowa company will convert cow manure into natural gas. But is it an environmental asset or hazard?

Des Moines Register | Posted on November 16, 2017

Walz Energy plans to custom-feed 1,680 cattle in each of six partially enclosed open feedlots. "We'll be the hotel, the inn-keeper, the caregiver," Haman said.

Biofuels Fight Is Brewing Between U.S. and Brazil Over Ethanol

Bloomberg | Posted on November 15, 2017

The U.S. biofuels industry, fresh off a win against Big Oil, is lining up for a fight with Brazil. American ethanol producers said Thursday in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that they’re seeking Brazil’s suspension from a trade program allowing duty-free imports into the U.S. The move follows Brazil’s decision in August to slap a 20 percent tariff on ethanol shipments from the U.S. that exceed a 600 million-liter (158 million-gallon) annual quota.The U.S.

Food News

Are there antibiotics in my meat? Let’s clear the confusion

Huffington Post | Posted on November 16, 2017

I was stunned to hear a mother express guilt about being “unable to afford meat that doesn’t have antibiotics in it.”I wondered how many parents who are trying to provide the best for their children have the misconception that their kids are consuming large doses of antibiotics because they can’t afford meat labeled “antibiotic free.”One look at common questions being asked on Internet search engines tells us this misconception is distressingly common: “Are there antibiotics in my meat?” “Why is it bad to eat meat with antibiotics?”There is one undeniable fact that should bring comfort to p

Be especially thankful for organic turkey

Watt Ag Net | Posted on November 16, 2017

Butterball, the largest turkey producer in the United States, has quietly entered the organic turkey market in time for the Thanksgiving holiday next week. It did so with so little fanfare that unless you are a reader of USA Today, you probably didn’t know the company even got involved with organic turkey production.Why didn’t Butterball shout it out loud and proud to all of the consumers who are preparing to put a turkey on the table on November 23?

McCartney’s Meatless Monday movie

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on November 16, 2017

Sir Paul McCartney is a gifted musical artist.  In his former Beatles life as well as in his solo career, he has always been at the top of the popular musical scene even now at the tender age of 75.  After meeting his future wife Linda, a vegan, he joined her in that gastronomic choice.  Now, however, he is proselyting for others to join him in this vegan lifestyle by promoting a new movie that extolls the virtues of a non-meat eating day per week. Ok, my concern isn’t the movie.  After having viewed it a few times, I can say that it is professionally produced, but factually disingenuous.

Just in time for Thanksgiving dinner: traceable turkeys

Abilene Reporter News | Posted on November 16, 2017

Turkey buyers in select Texas markets will be able to either text or enter on the Honeysuckle White website the code found on the tag on the packaged bird to find out where it was raised and get information about the farm's location, view farm photos and read the farmer's message. "What traceability does is just allow us to connect with the consumer," Glaser said. "And I think over time there has been a disconnect. People have kind of lost where their food comes from and this is a way to re-establish that line of communication."

Our Meatless Future: How The $90B Global Meat Market Gets Disrupted

CB Insights | Posted on November 16, 2017

Will a meatless food industry featuring lab-grown meat, seafood substitutes, and insect protein be the future of food? Food giants from Tyson to Cargill are working to navigate a future where protein isn't dominated by traditional animal sources.