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SARL Members and Alumni News

Idaho wolf control board seeks $200,000 to kill wolves

Capital Press | Posted on January 20, 2019

A $200,000 budget request by Gov. Brad Little for an Idaho board that manages money to pay a federal and state agency to kill wolves that attack livestock and big game is sufficient for fiscal year 2020, a board member told lawmakers. "We're fine with the $200,000 this year," Wolf Depredation Control Board member Carl Rey told the budget-setting Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, noting the board has a surplus this year."I will tell you that I don't think that is sustainable beyond fiscal year 2020," he said.The board contracts with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services and Idaho Department of Fish and Game to kill wolves that attack cattle, sheep, deer and elk. Besides money from the state's general fund, it also gets money from the livestock and sheep industry and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Several Florida Imperiled Species No Longer Warrant Listing, Including Suwannee Alligator Snapping Turtle

Space Coast Daily | Posted on January 17, 2019

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission completed the final step in reevaluating five Species of Special Concern, one of six key objectives outlined in Florida’s Imperiled Species Management Plan.  s a result, several fish and wildlife species no longer warrant listing.Based on a thorough scientific review, the FWC determined the harlequin darter, Homosassa shrew, southern fox squirrel and the Monroe County osprey population no longer warrant listing as Species of Special Concern.Through the process, FWC biologists and partners agreed that Florida has three distinct species of alligator snapping turtles. Two of these species do not warrant listing. However, the Suwannee alligator snapping turtle will now be listed as State Threatened.

Industry wary of alternatives tries to protect a word: meat

WREG | Posted on January 17, 2019

More than four months after Missouri became the first U.S. state to regulate the term “meat” on product labels, Nebraska’s powerful farm groups are pushing for similar protection from veggie burgers, tofu dogs and other items that look and taste like real meat. Nebraska lawmakers will consider a bill this year defining meat as “any edible portion of any livestock or poultry, carcass, or part thereof” and excluding “lab-grown or insect or plant-based food products.” It would make it a crime to advertise or sell something “as meat that is not derived from poultry or livestock.”Similar measures aimed at meat alternatives are pending in Tennessee, Virginia and Wyoming. They come amid a debate over what to call products that are being developed using the emerging science of meat grown by culturing cells in a lab. Supporters of the science are embracing the term “clean meat” — language the conventional meat industry strongly opposes.

Maryland Public Service Commission authorizes utilities to install 5,000 electric vehicle charging stations statewide

The Baltimore Sun | Posted on January 17, 2019

Maryland’s utility companies on Monday won state approval to install a network of more than 5,000 electric vehicle charging stations — fewer than they had hoped for, but a step toward the state’s ambitious goal of 300,000 electric vehicles on the streets by 2025. The Maryland Public Service Commission authorized BGE, Potomac Electric Power Co., Delmarva Power and Potomac Edison Co. to move forward with a modified, five-year pilot program of residential, workplace and public charging stations, paid for mostly by ratepayers.

Oregon Legislature to consider laws protecting wine industry

Capital Press | Posted on January 17, 2019

Oregon lawmakers will consider several proposals during the 2019 Legislature to protect the state's $5.6 billion wine industry, including a measure aimed at preventing out-of-state winemakers from hijacking the names and reputations of certain growing areas. The issue stems from a dispute last year between several Willamette Valley wineries and Copper Cane LLC, a California wine producer that purchases grapes from about 50 Oregon vineyards to make Pinot noir and rosé. Two brands in particular — Elouan and Willametter Journal — were accused of having deceptive labels and packaging that suggested the wines came from one or more of Oregon's federally designated American Viticultural Areas, or AVAs. State and federal laws tightly regulate how and when AVAs can be used to market wine. Copper Cane ultimately surrendered seven previously approved labels to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission has moved to revoke the company's license to do business in the state.

Minnesota:Grants available to support start-up, expansion and update farm projects

Message Media | Posted on January 17, 2019

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is now accepting applications for the competitive AGRI Value-Added Grant Program. The MDA anticipates awarding up to $2.5 million in this round of proposals. The aim of the Value-Added Grant is to increase sales of Minnesota agricultural products by diversifying markets, increasing market access and increasing food safety of value-added products through equipment purchases and facility improvements. New or established for-profit businesses can apply for funding to support start-up, expansion and updates; develop the processing and aggregating capacity of farmers selling to institutions; and increase food safety.Grant funds reimburse up to 25 percent of the overall project cost. Funding under this round will come at two levels. Level 1 projects will have a maximum award of $200,000 and a minimum of $1,000. Level 2 projects will have a maximum award of $1,000,000 and a minimum of $200,001. Level 2 projects will be subject to Minnesota’s Prevailing Wage Requirements.

Americans more likely to die of opioid overdose than in car crash

Fox News | Posted on January 15, 2019

For the first time in American history, one of the leading causes of deaths - vehicle crash - has been supplanted by opioid overdoses. Data, collected in 2017, shows Americans have a 1 in 96 chance of dying from an opioid overdose. The probability of dying in a motor vehicle crash is 1 in 103. Opioid pain relievers are the most fatally abused drugs and they're entirely legal. Roughly 60 people die every day as a result of overdoses from opioids - that's 22,630 Americans. To put that in perspective, that's roughly the size of the entire population of Auburn Hills.Heart disease is still the most likely cause of death (1 in 6) with cancer second most likely (1 in 7), followed by chronic lower respiratory disease (1 in 27) and suicide (1 in 88) before you get to opioid overdose and car crash.


Suburbs fuel Nebraska's job growth

Kansas City Federal Reserve | Posted on January 14, 2019

Employment in Nebraska remained solid through 2018, benefiting from strong gains in recent years by residents of the state’s suburban areas. Employment in Nebraska in recent years has increased most notably among residents of west Omaha and Sarpy County with rural parts of the state still struggling to add jobs. Overall, Nebraska’s unemployment rate has remained one of the lowest in the country and job prospects throughout the state are strong heading into 2019.

Ron DeSantis unveils sweeping environmental plan to fix Florida’s water woes

Tampa Bay Times | Posted on January 14, 2019

Two days after he took office, Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled sweeping measures to clean up Florida's troubled waters Thursday, including spending $2.5 billion and launching more aggressive policies to address algae choking Lake Okeechobee and polluting the state's coasts. The newly minted governor, who angered environmentalists on the campaign trail by dismissing climate change as a significant threat, also promised to establish a resiliency office to address looming dangers.

N.H. Agriculture Proposes 'New Hampshire's Own' Dairy Label

New Hampshire Public Radio | Posted on January 14, 2019

The New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food wants to create a new label for New Hampshire milk to help keep local dairies afloat. Agriculture Commissioner Shawn Jasper is working with Gov. Chris Sununu and lawmakers on a House bill to create the program, called the Dairy Premium Fund.Gallons with the “New Hampshire’s Own” sticker would carry milk from New Hampshire farms, and would cost an extra 50 cents for customers. Some of this would go to advertising the new brand, but most of it would go back to farmers voluntarily participating in the fund.Jasper says the bill is in response to the nationwide decline in dairy revenue and dairy farms.“We’re down to under a hundred that are shipping milk in New Hampshire, and I’m aware of another three or four that will be gone by April,” he says.