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SARL Members and Alumni News

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. “There’s a recognition that a funding source of some kind needs to be identified to bring people who live in rural areas up to a baseline level of access,” Setzler said.However, he doesn’t know yet where the state will find the money to invest in broadband.

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. A quick internet search will show you a variety of methods that researchers and organizations have used to try to quantify and rate both individual and country quality of life. These indexes often include areas such as: financial well-being, job security, health, freedom, family, safety and community. You don’t have to look hard to find farms and farmers that improve many of these areas for the communities that they live and work in. Farmers provide food security for their communities and the state of Michigan as a whole, to the point that most of us do not have to worry about whether we will be able to go to our local grocery store and find the food that will nourish our families and us. We often do not recognize them for this and many do not make the connection between what is bought in the grocery store and the farm that produces the food or the ingredients for the food products we buy.

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.

Wisconsin farmers hope millennials will take over for the 500 dairy farms lost in 2017

edairynews | Posted on January 17, 2018

Over the last several years, Wisconsin has seen thousands of dairy farmers leave the industry. New statistics show the state lost more than 500 farms in 2017. Remaining farmers are trying to attract college students to continue the tradition of being America’s Dairyland.“As an industry, we have to figure out how we’re going to be able to have farms of all sizes and allow those farms to be profitable and how we can get the next generation of farmers on our farms,” said Mystic Valley farmer Mitch Breunig.

Washington Senate committee advances bill on rural water wells

Capital Press | Posted on January 17, 2018

A bill to reopen rural Washington to new wells unanimously passed the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on Thursday, an unprecedented but tenuous bipartisan response to the Hirst court decision. The committee’s lead Republican, Moses Lake Sen. Judy Warnick, said she expects the full Senate to vote on the legislation in the next few days.“This is a necessary bill for the fishermen and all the people who want to live and work in rural areas,” she said.Senate Bill 6091 proposes short-term regulations for new household wells. By mid-2021, rules drawn up by watershed panels would prevail in some basins. The plans would set limits on water withdrawals and authorize projects to more than offset water diverted from streams by new wells.

New Jersey set to ban animals in circuses

| Posted on January 11, 2018

New Jersey could become the first state in the nation to essentially ban old-fashioned circuses, ones with wild animals. The state Assembly, in one of its last voting sessions scheduled for tomorrow, is slated to give final legislative passage to S-2508, a bill that would prohibit the use of elephants and other exotic animals in acts traveling to or around New Jersey. Odds for the bill’s passage in the lower house are good, given the full Senate approved the bill 32-5 with bipartisan support last October and the Assembly Appropriations Committee okayed it two weeks ago, also with the backing of both parties in a 10-0 vote.

Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef new President speaks at Ag Chairs Summit

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on January 11, 2018

The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) has named OSI Group Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior Vice President Nicole Johnson-Hoffman as its new president. “GRSB brings together people from around the world, who represent all segments of the beef value chain, including individual producers, who ultimately agree there’s massive value in sharing knowledge, and who want to partner to drive exciting new levels of performance in areas impacting GRSB’s Principles and Criteria of Sustainable Beef," said Johnson-Hoffman. Johnson-Hoffman was a featured speaker at the 2018 Ag Chairs Summit

Ninth Circuit Upholds Major Components of Idaho "Ag-Gag" Law

Ag Web | Posted on January 11, 2018

Last week, many news outlets ran with the “ag-gag gets gagged” headline in describing the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Wasden, which scrutinized a bevy of animal rights activists’ First Amendment claims against Idaho’s Interference with Agricultural Production law, colloquially/derisively known as an “ag gag” law. While it is true that the Ninth Circuit panel struck down major provisions, the decision also leaves enough of Idaho’s law intact to provide farmers and ranchers with substantial protections against those who would lie to get jobs with the intent of damaging the farm operation.  

“Raw milk Moms” are targets of NJ enforcement action against food clubs

Food Safety News | Posted on January 11, 2018

“Raw milk Moms” in New Jersey were targeted last month with “cease and desist” orders from the state’s Public Health and Food Protection Program. The targeted individuals and the broader raw milk community are resisting the enforcement action. New Jersey gave at least eight families five days to stop selling and distributing raw milk in the state. Raw milk makes its way into New Jersey from Pennsylvania. “Food clubs” set up “drop sites” in private homes to distribute the product. Several of those “drop sites” did shut down after the enforcement actions began.New Jersey is one of seven states to prohibit the sale of raw milk in any form. Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Nevada, and Rhode Island are the others. But New Jersey’s shares its entire western border with Pennslyvania, where raw milk sales are wide open.The cross-border raw milk trafficking gained a boost from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011 when the agency said transporting the product across state lines was permissible if it was for “personal consumption.”