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Illinois lawmaker proposes plan to protect pets

Illinois Home page | Posted on January 17, 2018 in SARL Members and Alumni News

As temperatures once again spiral down, it's important your furry friends aren't left fending for themselves in the bitter cold. Now, some lawmakers want to give you more power to save an animal you think could be in danger. A new proposal would allow you to rescue a pet from someone else' car.It can be a matter of life and death for a pet.

Pet Translator: Scientist Developing Device To Convert Dog Barks Into English Language

Tech Times | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Rural News

An AI algorithm can convert the vocalizations of prairie dogs into English. Now, animal behavior expert Con Slobodchikoff is working on a pet translator that can translate a dog's barks into human language.The idea of humans being able to talk to and understand animals may soon become a reality. A researcher is working on a device that may be used as a pet language translator in the future.

Rancher takes different tack on wolf depredation

Capital Press | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Agriculture News

Mark Coats has been working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on creating a predator awareness program he believes can successfully reduce or eliminate predation deaths. Coats, who has cattle operations in Siskiyou County in far Northern California and Klamath and Jackson counties in Oregon, said the attacks happened on a neighbor’s land.“My cows turned out fine,” he said.

SARL Members and Alumni News

Illinois lawmaker proposes plan to protect pets

Illinois Home page | Posted on January 17, 2018

As temperatures once again spiral down, it's important your furry friends aren't left fending for themselves in the bitter cold. Now, some lawmakers want to give you more power to save an animal you think could be in danger. A new proposal would allow you to rescue a pet from someone else' car.It can be a matter of life and death for a pet.

New Mexico proposes pet food fee to help spay, neuter pets

Pet Food Industry | Posted on January 17, 2018

New Mexico lawmakers proposed a bill that would raise the registration fee pet food manufacturers pay. The bill would raise the fee from US$2 to US$100 for each product sold in New Mexico. 

Ga. Will Need To Ease Regulations, Provide Cash To Expand Rural Broadband

WABE | Posted on January 17, 2018

Georgia lawmakers said they want to expand access to the Internet. Internet service providers have said with the repeal of net neutrality, they’re more inclined to invest in rural areas, but it’s not clear companies will invest without public dollars. Georgia lawmakers have prioritized expanding internet access through the Rural Development Council, said state Rep. Ed Setzler.

Sustainability on Michigan farms

Michigan State University | Posted on January 17, 2018

In this six part series, we are discovering what sustainability on Michigan farms means, looking at examples of how farms are demonstrating that sustainability and how exploring how MSU Extension is working with producers to become even more sustainable. This sixth article’s sustainability topic addresses the “enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole” portion. If there is anything that is as hard to get an agreement upon as the definition of sustainability, it would be the definition of quality of life.

New Hampshire House gives initial OK to marijuana bill

US News and World Report | Posted on January 17, 2018

New Hampshire state lawmakers took a step toward legalizing the recreational use of marijuana on Tuesday even though a commission studying the issue is months away from finishing its work.The House gave preliminary approval to a bill that would allow adults to possess up to 1 ounce (28 grams) of marijuana and to cultivate it in limited quantities. Provisions that would have created a regulatory system for selling and taxing the drug were dropped from the bill, which advanced to the House Ways and Means Committee on a vote of 207-139.

Agriculture News

Rancher takes different tack on wolf depredation

Capital Press | Posted on January 17, 2018

Mark Coats has been working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on creating a predator awareness program he believes can successfully reduce or eliminate predation deaths. Coats, who has cattle operations in Siskiyou County in far Northern California and Klamath and Jackson counties in Oregon, said the attacks happened on a neighbor’s land.“My cows turned out fine,” he said.

New Mexico proposes pet food fee to help spay, neuter pets

Pet Food Industry | Posted on January 17, 2018

New Mexico lawmakers proposed a bill that would raise the registration fee pet food manufacturers pay. The bill would raise the fee from US$2 to US$100 for each product sold in New Mexico. 

Farmers post record crop for soybeans, peanuts, canola, hops

1101 Now | Posted on January 17, 2018

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture says farmers have harvested record crops for soybeans, peanuts, canola, rapeseed and hops. The agency released its annual crop production report Friday summarizing the 2017 crop year.It shows that peanut production jumped 30 percent to 7.2 billion pounds. Production of hops, a main ingredient in beer, grew 20 percent as Idaho's production surpassed Oregon's for the first time.

New Approach to Curb Chronic Wasting Disease

Public News Service | Posted on January 17, 2018

Montana is wrestling with the best way to manage Chronic Wasting Disease among deer, elk and moose.  One wildlife specialist maintains preserving predators is the answer. Under its current plan, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks has set up survey hunts of deer to determine where hotbeds of CWD are located. The state's second survey hunt in north central Montana began last weekend, and lasts through Feb. 15.

Sustainability on Michigan farms

Michigan State University | Posted on January 17, 2018

In this six part series, we are discovering what sustainability on Michigan farms means, looking at examples of how farms are demonstrating that sustainability and how exploring how MSU Extension is working with producers to become even more sustainable. This sixth article’s sustainability topic addresses the “enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole” portion. If there is anything that is as hard to get an agreement upon as the definition of sustainability, it would be the definition of quality of life.

Federal News

New England congressional delegations submit bill to ban offshore drilling

Maine Press Herald | Posted on January 17, 2018

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators and representatives from New England has introduced a bill to prohibit oil and gas drilling off the New England coast. The New England Coastline Protection Act would prohibit oil and gas extraction activities off New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.It’s a response to the Trump administration’s planto open nearly all U.S. coastlines to offshore oil and gas drilling.

Prairie dog endangered-species plan eases rules under Trump

The Salt Lake Tribune | Posted on January 17, 2018

Wildlife managers under the Trump administration are moving to loosen endangered-species protections for Utah prairie dogs, flipping the script in a long-running conflict over federal policies in a town where residents say they’re overrun by the creatures.The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plan would allow prairie dogs to be killed or removed from private property more often, relaxing regulations designed to protect the species.

US Supreme Court Won't Hear Prairie Dog Protections Lawsuit

US News and World Report | Posted on January 17, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from Utah property owners challenging endangered-species protections for prairie dogs, but the plaintiffs say the case has nevertheless made a mark as the Trump administration moves to loosen the rules.The lawsuit was a key driver of the new federal plan that would make it easier to remove or kill prairie dogs when they interfere with development of homes and business, lawyers for the residents of the southwestern city of Cedar City said Monday.

Nearly all members of National Park Service advisory panel resign in frustration

The Washington Post | Posted on January 17, 2018

More than three-quarters of the members of a federally chartered board advising the National Park Service have quit out of frustration that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had refused to meet with them or convene a single meeting last year. The resignation of 10 out of 12 National Park System Advisory Board members leaves the federal government without a functioning body to designate national historic or natural landmarks. It also underscores the extent to which federal advisory bodies have become marginalized under the Trump administration.

Interior plans to move thousands of workers in the biggest reorganization in its history

The Washington Post | Posted on January 16, 2018

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke launched an unprecedented effort Wednesday to undertake the largest reorganization in the department’s 168-year history, moving to shift tens of thousands of workers to new locations and change the way the federal government manages more than 500 million acres of land and water across the country. The proposal would divide the United States into 13 regions and centralize authority for different parts of Interior within those boundaries.

Rural News

Pet Translator: Scientist Developing Device To Convert Dog Barks Into English Language

Tech Times | Posted on January 17, 2018

An AI algorithm can convert the vocalizations of prairie dogs into English. Now, animal behavior expert Con Slobodchikoff is working on a pet translator that can translate a dog's barks into human language.The idea of humans being able to talk to and understand animals may soon become a reality. A researcher is working on a device that may be used as a pet language translator in the future.

Ga. Will Need To Ease Regulations, Provide Cash To Expand Rural Broadband

WABE | Posted on January 17, 2018

Georgia lawmakers said they want to expand access to the Internet. Internet service providers have said with the repeal of net neutrality, they’re more inclined to invest in rural areas, but it’s not clear companies will invest without public dollars. Georgia lawmakers have prioritized expanding internet access through the Rural Development Council, said state Rep. Ed Setzler.

New Approach to Curb Chronic Wasting Disease

Public News Service | Posted on January 17, 2018

Montana is wrestling with the best way to manage Chronic Wasting Disease among deer, elk and moose.  One wildlife specialist maintains preserving predators is the answer. Under its current plan, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks has set up survey hunts of deer to determine where hotbeds of CWD are located. The state's second survey hunt in north central Montana began last weekend, and lasts through Feb. 15.

Prairie dog endangered-species plan eases rules under Trump

The Salt Lake Tribune | Posted on January 17, 2018

Wildlife managers under the Trump administration are moving to loosen endangered-species protections for Utah prairie dogs, flipping the script in a long-running conflict over federal policies in a town where residents say they’re overrun by the creatures.The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plan would allow prairie dogs to be killed or removed from private property more often, relaxing regulations designed to protect the species.

US Supreme Court Won't Hear Prairie Dog Protections Lawsuit

US News and World Report | Posted on January 17, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from Utah property owners challenging endangered-species protections for prairie dogs, but the plaintiffs say the case has nevertheless made a mark as the Trump administration moves to loosen the rules.The lawsuit was a key driver of the new federal plan that would make it easier to remove or kill prairie dogs when they interfere with development of homes and business, lawyers for the residents of the southwestern city of Cedar City said Monday.

Energy News

Michigan landowners’ long-shot lawsuit has high stakes for wind industry

Midwest Energy News | Posted on January 17, 2018

An unlikely legal win by neighbors of a Michigan wind farm would have the potential to chill wind energy development in the state, legal experts say. A group of landowners filed suit in state court in August alleging a wind project near Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula is causing adverse health effects.

Low gas prices set to drive decline in coal generation

Utility Dive | Posted on January 17, 2018

U.S. natural gas production is expected to reach the highest year-over-year increase in 2018, according to the Energy Information Administration’s new Short-term Energy Outlook (STEO).

The Tax Overhaul and Your Farm

Ag Web | Posted on January 11, 2018

Farms can fully deduct all farm assets purchased between Sept. 28, 2017, and Dec.

2 more lawsuits filed against Big Ox, South Sioux City

Sioux City Journal | Posted on January 11, 2018

Two more homeowners have sued Big Ox Energy and South Sioux City over odors and gases from the renewable energy plant, bringing the total number of lawsuits filed to 14.Tyler and Saira Muff and Kathryn Hunt both filed suit Monday in Dakota County District Court. They claim, as have homeowners in the other lawsuits, that odors and gases from the Big Ox plant damaged their homes and "much of their personal property is useless and has been reduced to waste." They also say the odors and gases have caused health problems that began soon after the plant began operations in September 2016.

How a Coal Baron’s Wish List Became President Trump’s To-Do List

New York Times | Posted on January 11, 2018

President Trump’s first year in office has been a boon for the coal industry, with the Trump administration rolling back regulations on coal-fired power plants and withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate change agreement. Environmentalists have expressed alarm at the new direction, and have complained that Mr. Trump was following a blueprint from the coal industry. A confidential memo written by the head of the country’s largest coal mining company suggests they might not be wrong.The memo was written by Robert E.

Food News

Owner of Virginia seafood company charged with conspiracy

WBJ7 | Posted on January 17, 2018

The owner of a Virginia seafood company has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the federal government by mixing foreign crab meat with Atlantic blue crab, then labeling the blended seafood and selling it to customers as a U.S. product.

World Food Prize protesters get $50,000 payout after being shunted out of sight

Des Moines Register | Posted on January 17, 2018

Iowa taxpayers will pay a $50,000 settlement to end a lawsuit filed by anti-GMO activists who claim state officials violated their First Amendment rights.

Raw pet food trend risks E.coli and Salmonella in owners - new study

The Telegraph | Posted on January 17, 2018

he rising popularity of trendy raw meat diets for pets is putting owners at risk of serious diseases such as E.coli, experts have warned. A new investigation revealed 86 per cent of sampled products carried the potentially deadly pathogen, while Salmonella was detected on 20 per cent, as well as various parasites. Scientists say dogs and cats fed on raw meat-based diets (RMBD) can pass on the bugs by licking their human companions or simply by brushing up against them.

“Milk” Comes from Breasts/Udders

OFW Law | Posted on January 11, 2018

The point is that each of these “milk” food names is legally established/recognized and refers to a lacteal secretion derived from mammals—not from plants. In contrast, “almond milk” (and “cashew milk” and “rice milk”) has no such legal/regulatory basis.  So, contrary to being consistent with federal law, a “[plant-derived] milk” food name violates it.

More education about GMOs needed among public

Indiana Prairie Farmer | Posted on January 8, 2018

It’s hard to escape the amount of GMO products out on today’s market, but being informed about what they are may help your buying habits. Almost one in five people in the U.S. haven’t read or heard anything about GMOs, according to Pew. Also, at a leading agricultural school, Purdue University, over one-third of participants in an informal campus survey said they had no opinion on GMOs.