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SARL Members and Alumni News

Pennsylvania halts permits for natural gas pipelines

Penn Live | Posted on February 12, 2019

Pennsylvania is halting construction permits for natural gas pipelines operated by Texas-based Energy Transfer LP, as the governor on Friday said the company has failed to respect the state’s laws and communities.The state Department of Environmental Protection said Energy Transfer is not fixing problems related to an explosion last year, and piled yet another penalty onto a company project in the state.State agencies already have imposed millions of dollars in fines and several temporary shutdown orders on Energy Transfer projects, while a county prosecutor is demanding documents from the company.

Michigan House votes to reject Whitmer's environmental executive order

Detroit Free Press | Posted on February 10, 2019

The state House voted 58-51 on Wednesday to reject a sweeping environmental executive order signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, in a move Whitmer denounced as an irresponsible vote against clean drinking water. The party-line vote in the House followed an earlier 3-2 vote in the Government Operations Committee.The resolution now moves to the Senate, if the Senate also votes to reject the order, that would kill it. The action by the House is a sign that talk about a bipartisan working relationship between Michigan's new Democratic governor and the Republican Legislature is quickly evaporating. The executive order the House rejected was the first nonemergency order Whitmer issued. Her first executive order declared a state of emergency as a result of dangerously cold temperatures last week.

Oklahoma board to consider new poultry house location rules

San Francisco Chronicle | Posted on February 10, 2019

The Oklahoma Board of Agriculture is set to consider measures Tuesday that would establish regulations for the location of poultry operations. Most important among the new proposals is one that requires poultry houses with more than 30,000 birds to be at least a quarter-mile (0.4-kilometers) from any home, The Tulsa World reported. Operations with 30,000 or fewer birds would have a 1,000-foot (300-meter) setback.

Montana pitches COOL bill

Meating Place (free registration required) | Posted on February 10, 2019

A new bill seeking country-of-origin-labeling on meat products has been introduced in the Montana legislature.  Senate Bill 206 generally would require COOL placarding on beef and pork at Montana supermarkets.Specifically, the bill would require retailers to differentiate between 1) meat that is born, raised and processed in the United States, 2) meat that is processed outside of the U.S., and 3) meat that is only processed in the U.S.

Company sues Louisiana agriculture agency over pot testing

WAFB | Posted on February 7, 2019

A New Orleans-based company is suing the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry over the agency's testing of medical marijuana.The Advocate reports Reactwell LLC's lawsuit filed in Baton Rouge claims its bid to test the crop as an independent laboratory was improperly rejected last year.Marijuana grown by Louisiana's two approved producers is supposed to be tested by an independent laboratory to ensure the crop's safety, but the agency says no laboratories were qualified. The lawsuit argues the company was qualified.

New York:Fewer farms using revised mega-farm manure permits

The Times Union | Posted on February 7, 2019

After a judge last year ordered the state to tighten up permits aimed at keeping manure at dairy and livestock mega-farms across the state from fouling streams, rivers and lakes, hundreds of farmers switched over to a less-strict state permit instead. Nearly 230 farms that had federal  CWA permits prior to the court ruling have since changed over to less-stringent state Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) permits that cover manure systems specifically design to avoid manure discharge into nearby bodies of water.

Oregon bill aims to prevent Trump environmental "rollbacks"

Capital Press | Posted on February 7, 2019

A bill requiring Oregon government agencies to protect against “rollbacks” of federal environmental regulations has been dismissed as “political theater” by farm, ranch and timber organizations. Under House Bill 2250, state natural resource agencies would have to monitor whether changes to federal air and water regulations have fallen short of standards enacted under the Obama administration.The Department of Environmental Quality and other agencies would then recommend or take actions to ensure that Oregon’s environmental rules maintain or exceed the federal protections before the Trump administration took office.


Maine lobster orders tank as Chinese turn to tariff-free Canada

Portland Press Herald | Posted on February 6, 2019

Lunar New Year is supposed to be the busiest time of the year for Tom Adams, whose company, Maine Coast, used to sell millions of pounds of lobster to China. But the U.S.-China trade war has shut Maine Coast out of that market.His former customers in China now buy their lobster from Canada, where dealers can sell a hard-shell version without the 25 percent import tariff. On a snowy Wednesday morning, on what should have been his busiest shipping day of the year, Adams waved at stacks of boxed lobsters waiting to be loaded on cargo trucks at his newly expanded York facility and sighed.“Last year, all of this and more would’ve been headed to China,” he said. “But now, we’re lucky if any of them are.”Maine lobster dealers are struggling to manage the fallout from the U.S.-China trade war. Before the tariff, China was the second biggest importer of U.S. lobster, buying $128.5 million worth of it in 2017. The U.S. was on track to double its lobster sales to China before the tariff initiated by President Trump hit in July, according to trade data. Since then, U.S. lobster exports have all but dried up.

A new era in ag as record number of women hold top state jobs

Politco | Posted on February 6, 2019

A record number of women now lead state agriculture departments across the country, a leadership wave that reflects the industry's growing gender diversity. A total of 13 women have either been elected or appointed to head state agriculture departments, surpassing the prior record of ten women holding top ag offices, according to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. And that number could increase, as the top state agriculture position remains open in five states, NASDA officials said.“As we broaden the diversity of our members, we broaden our perspectives and our ability to lead on ag policy,” said Barbara Glenn, chief executive officer of NASDA.Having more women in leadership positions in state agriculture could mean governments will be more likely to consider emerging issues such as programs to expand opportunities for the next generation of farmers in rural communities, she said.


Canada’s Agriculture Day Feb. 12

Journal Pioneer | Posted on February 6, 2019

 Canadians are invited to celebrate the food they love in celebration of the annual Canada’s Agricultural Day.This year, Feb. 12 marks the third annual celebration of the agriculture industry and all other industries that play a role in bringing food to tables across the country.It's the industry's biggest celebration of the year, said Debbie Bailey, manager of Agriculture More Than Ever, one of the driving forces behind Canada’s Agriculture Day.“Canada’s Agriculture Day showcases all the amazing things happening in agriculture and the entire food industry. The day is also about helping consumers see the connection between the food they eat and the people who produce it.”Conversations about food production will take place at hundreds of events across the country.