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USDA to spend $50 million on milk for food aid

Capital Press | Posted on August 16, 2018 in Federal News

USDA will spend up to $50 million on fluid milk in half-gallon containers for distribution to the Emergency Food Assistance Program.

Tariffs could cost fruit, nut industries over $3 billion

 | Posted on August 16, 2018 in Agriculture, Federal News

The ongoing international trade turmoil between the U.S. and other countries has prompted import tariffs on many U.S. agricultural commodities in important export markets, which could hurt U.S. farmers.A new report released by the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources' Agricultural Issues Center estimates the higher tariffs could cost major U.S. fruit and nut industries $2.64 billion per year in exports to countries imposing the higher tariffs, and as much as $3.34 billion by reducing prices in alternative markets.

FDA’s new resource guide to support responsible opioid prescribing for pain management in animals

FDA | Posted on August 16, 2018 in Federal News

As FDA Commissioner, addressing the opioid epidemic and the misuse and abuse of these drugs remains one of my highest priorities. As we look at tackling the opioid crisis, it’s important that we take a close look at all the access points where these powerful medications can be obtained. We must also ensure that all health care professionals understand their role and responsibility in prescribing these products, and lend our support in appropriately managing them.

SARL Members and Alumni News

Pennsylvania plan seeks ways to bolster dairy farms, including stabilizing prices

Pittsburgh Post Gazette | Posted on August 16, 2018

The Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board, an independent state agency tasked with setting milk prices and helping farmers find markets, should review whether it needs greater authority to stabilize prices.That was one of several proposals unveiled Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, which studied ways to help the state’s dairy industry survive a years-long economic crisis.

Massachusetts governor wants public health oversight for raw milk

Food Safety News | Posted on August 16, 2018

Massachusetts Gov. Charles D. Baker has vetoed permissive raw milk language in a bill to help coastal areas pay for recent storm damage and instead proposed lawmakers consider stronger regulation of milk that does not undergo pasteurization.

Midwest's legislators adopt resolution calling for greater mental-health supports for people living in rural areas

CSG Midwest | Posted on August 16, 2018

Myriad signs point to the need for better connecting farmers to services that help them deal with stress, depression and other mental health challenges. First, there is the history of the problem: In a study examining various industries between 1992 and 2010, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that farm operators and workers had the highest suicide rate. Second, many rural U.S.

Illinois attorney general sues Trump Tower Chicago over water discharge into river

NBC News | Posted on August 16, 2018

The Illinois attorney general has filed a lawsuit against Trump Tower in Chicago, alleging that it is taking in and releasing millions of gallons of water into the Chicago River without having conducted required studies on pollution or the impact on fish. The building takes in almost 20 million gallons of water per day from the river to cool the property's heating and ventilation systems, and that heated water is later discarded into the river.

Too cute? Colleges, courts grapple with the role of companion animals

CNN | Posted on August 16, 2018

 15-year-old girl took the witness stand to testify against the accused, detailing extensive sexual abuse. David Crenshaw, the clinical supervisor of the girl's therapist at the time of the June 2011 trial, said he and the therapist did not think she would be able to go through with it."She can't even talk to me about the trauma, it's so hard for her, so how in the world is she going to get up on the stand in front of a room full of people and testify?" Crenshaw said the therapist asked.But the girl was not in the witness box by herself.

Agriculture News

Tariffs could cost fruit, nut industries over $3 billion

 | Posted on August 16, 2018

The ongoing international trade turmoil between the U.S. and other countries has prompted import tariffs on many U.S. agricultural commodities in important export markets, which could hurt U.S. farmers.A new report released by the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources' Agricultural Issues Center estimates the higher tariffs could cost major U.S. fruit and nut industries $2.64 billion per year in exports to countries imposing the higher tariffs, and as much as $3.34 billion by reducing prices in alternative markets.

How vegans got it wrong on cattle & climate change

BEEF | Posted on August 16, 2018

Consumer perceptions could be changing as a shift in reporting about beef favors cattle grazing as an important part of land management

Research proves beef production nets positive use of natural resources

Beef | Posted on August 16, 2018

New research shows the net benefits of cattle production when considering natural resources used and the resulting protein source for human consumption.

Pennsylvania plan seeks ways to bolster dairy farms, including stabilizing prices

Pittsburgh Post Gazette | Posted on August 16, 2018

The Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board, an independent state agency tasked with setting milk prices and helping farmers find markets, should review whether it needs greater authority to stabilize prices.That was one of several proposals unveiled Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, which studied ways to help the state’s dairy industry survive a years-long economic crisis.

King says farmers want EPA action on ethanol, not $12 billion aide package

Radio Iowa | Posted on August 16, 2018

Republican Congressman Steve King today said the best thing the Trump Administration could do to alleviate farmers’ angst about the trade war would be to allow higher percentages of ethanol to be blended into gasoline year-round. “Let the market determine what that blend could be It could go E15, E20, E30, all the way up to E85,” King said. “If the administration does that, I will tell you our producers here would be happy and they would be a lot happier than the promise of $12 billion distributed. They want to earn and they want to trade.”

Federal News

USDA to spend $50 million on milk for food aid

Capital Press | Posted on August 16, 2018

USDA will spend up to $50 million on fluid milk in half-gallon containers for distribution to the Emergency Food Assistance Program.

Tariffs could cost fruit, nut industries over $3 billion

 | Posted on August 16, 2018

The ongoing international trade turmoil between the U.S. and other countries has prompted import tariffs on many U.S. agricultural commodities in important export markets, which could hurt U.S. farmers.A new report released by the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources' Agricultural Issues Center estimates the higher tariffs could cost major U.S. fruit and nut industries $2.64 billion per year in exports to countries imposing the higher tariffs, and as much as $3.34 billion by reducing prices in alternative markets.

FDA’s new resource guide to support responsible opioid prescribing for pain management in animals

FDA | Posted on August 16, 2018

As FDA Commissioner, addressing the opioid epidemic and the misuse and abuse of these drugs remains one of my highest priorities. As we look at tackling the opioid crisis, it’s important that we take a close look at all the access points where these powerful medications can be obtained. We must also ensure that all health care professionals understand their role and responsibility in prescribing these products, and lend our support in appropriately managing them.

Head of Jefferson National Forest temporarily reassigned as pipeline controversy continues

Daily Progress | Posted on August 16, 2018

A switch is coming to the Jefferson National Forest’s top leadership, a job complicated by conflict over plans to run a natural gas pipeline up and down mountainsides and under the Appalachian Trail.Forest supervisor Joby Timm has been temporarily assigned to the U.S.

Are Russia And China Trying To Kill The Dollar?

Forbes | Posted on August 16, 2018

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov suggested Tuesday that countries facing sanctions like Iran, Turkey and Russia may start doing business in their national currencies, suggesting that the days of the U.S. dollar as the international reserve currency may be numbered.

Rural News

Midwest's legislators adopt resolution calling for greater mental-health supports for people living in rural areas

CSG Midwest | Posted on August 16, 2018

Myriad signs point to the need for better connecting farmers to services that help them deal with stress, depression and other mental health challenges. First, there is the history of the problem: In a study examining various industries between 1992 and 2010, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that farm operators and workers had the highest suicide rate. Second, many rural U.S.

Michigan OKs measures to stop chronic wasting disease in deer

Detroit News | Posted on August 16, 2018

The Department of Natural Resources will be doing heavy surveillance of deer and other animals in an attempt to stop the spread of chronic wasting disease in southwest Michigan. The Michigan Natural Resources Commission approved new deer hunting regulations Thursday aimed at halting the spread of the fatal neurological disease among deer that threatens the $2.3 billion hunting industry.Chronic wasting disease affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose.

Where even Walmart won't go: how Dollar General took over rural America

The Guardian | Posted on August 16, 2018

As the chain opens stores at the rate of three a day across the US, often in the heart of ‘food deserts’, some see Dollar General as an admission that a town is failing. When Dollar General came to Haven, Kansas, it arrived making demands. The fastest-growing retailer in America wanted the taxpayers of the small, struggling Kansas town to pick up part of the tab for building one of its squat, barebones stores that more often resemble a warehouse than a neighbourhood shop.

Rural America Faces A Crisis In 'Adequate Housing'

NPR | Posted on August 16, 2018

Economists say this phenomenon of "aging in place" is one of the main factors driving a shortage in housing nationwide. According to one analysis, people are living in their homes twice as long as they did before the Great Recession. Small towns like Ogallala are no exception to this trend. Ogallala's residents tend to skew older.

Growing Lasting Wealth in Cobb County

Strone Towns | Posted on August 16, 2018

Marietta should aspire to grow its own downtown instead of pretending that Atlanta is its downtown. Assuming that the pattern found in Johns Creek and Gwinnett County extends throughout the rest of the first ring of suburbs, it’s extremely likely that Cobb County imports as many commuters as it exports on any given workday. There’s no reason that they should not be able to retain their wealth and create more complete neighborhoods in the process.

Energy News

Cheap Natural Gas and Renewables Could Close Half of US Coal Fleet by 2030

Green Tech Media | Posted on August 16, 2018

he U.S. coal power plant fleet has been shrinking for years, with the official tally of coal plants closed exceeding those still open as of late last year. Another 43 gigawatts, or about 18 percent of the remaining 249 gigawatts of capacity, is expected to close by 2030.  Absent “market interventions at a grand scale” — such as the Trump administration’s plan to force utilities to buy uncompetitive coal-fired power under the mandate of national security — the same trends are accelerating beyond current estimates, and could lead to the country’s coal fleet being nearly halved again by 2030.

A coal company and Interior teamed up to save a power plant

E & E News | Posted on August 16, 2018

A major coal company had plans to save one of the West's largest coal plants from closing. It just needed help from the Trump administration. So in September 2017, Peabody Energy Corp. sent the Interior Department a game plan for keeping the 2,100-megawatt coal-burning behemoth in Arizona rumbling. The company's mine supplies coal to the plant.Included on the coal company's wish list was eliminating environmental requirements for reducing haze. Peabody also asked the government to push the plant's largest customer to continue buying its electricity instead of renewable energy.

In setback for TransCanada, judge orders Keystone XL pipeline review

Reuters | Posted on August 16, 2018

A federal judge in Montana on Wednesday ordered the U.S. State Department to do a full environmental review of a revised route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, possibly delaying the project’s construction and dealing the latest setback for Canada’s TransCanada Corp 

Water Use in Fracking Soars — Exceeding Rise in Fossil Fuels Produced, Study Says

Inside Climate News | Posted on August 16, 2018

As the fracking boom matures, the drilling industry's use of water and other fluids to produce oil and natural gas has grown dramatically in the past several years, outstripping the growth of the fossil fuels it produces. A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances says the trend—a greater environmental toll than previously described—results from recent changes in drilling practices as drillers compete to make new wells more productive.

Looking for breakthrough energy policies? Much of the action is in the states, former governor tells region's legislators

CSG Midwest | Posted on August 16, 2018

For policymakers interested in getting innovative energy bills signed into law, the nation’s capital is the last place to be, a former U.S. governor told the Midwest’s legislators in July. Instead, he said, go to Springfield, Lansing or the many other state capitals where policy breakthroughs have occurred.“We haven’t had comprehensive federal legislation since 2007, so what do we do?

Food News

Petition aims to change labeling laws for U.S. beef

Tri State Livestock News | Posted on August 16, 2018

When consumers shop the meat case, they have a variety of labels to choose from such as natural, organic, antibiotic-free, grassfed, Certified Angus Beef and Certified Hereford Beef, just to name a few.

Massachusetts governor wants public health oversight for raw milk

Food Safety News | Posted on August 16, 2018

Massachusetts Gov. Charles D. Baker has vetoed permissive raw milk language in a bill to help coastal areas pay for recent storm damage and instead proposed lawmakers consider stronger regulation of milk that does not undergo pasteurization.

FDA and FTC need to end anti-GMO deception in organic food advertising

The Hill | Posted on August 16, 2018

For a long time, American consumers had it pretty good. They could read a food label or product advertisement and trust that the information it contained was reasonably truthful. That’s because ever since their formation over 100 years ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) were there actively to enforce laws against false and misleading marketing schemes.Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.

Ben & Jerry's 'Milk With Dignity' Pact With Farmworkers Seems To Be Paying Off

NPR | Posted on August 16, 2018

Some Vermont dairy workers say their wages and living conditions have improved, thanks to an agreement reached last year between the workers and Ben & Jerry's, a division of global consumer products company Unilever. Times are tough on dairy farms around the country, with milk prices declining for the fourth year in a row. But 72 farms that supply Ben & Jerry's earn a little more by agreeing to follow labor and housing standards.

Kroger sets timeline for gestation stall-free pork

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on August 16, 2018

he Kroger Co. has announced plans to source pork only from producers who do not use sow gestation stalls. The nation’s largest supermarket chain specified in its recent sustainability report that it aims to buy 100 percent of its pork from producers using group housing or free-range methods by 2025.