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Rural News

Breaking ground on the future of rural healthcare

Hutchinson News | Posted on December 13, 2017

Officials were scheduled to gather in a large open field in rural Harper County at 2 p.m. Sunday to break ground on a new $41 million medical complex that its developers say will introduce an entirely new model for rural health care. Funded in large part by the late Neal Patterson, a Harper County native who was co-founder and former CEO of medical technology giant Cerner Corp., and his family, the 62,500 square foot complex will consolidate the current clinic, hospital and rehabilitation services offered in both Harper and Anthony into one place, under one roof.The Patterson Health Center won’t just offer traditional health care, however, said Kimberly Temple Schrant, vice president of the recently formed Hospital District #6, but a path to wellness.The health center will include a 15-bed critical access hospital, neighboring health clinic, physical therapy and rehab center, and a wellness center.


To Build a Progressive Populism, Look to Farm Country

Civil eats | Posted on December 13, 2017

Political strategists could learn much from the work of farm communities who have fought racism and corporate control.Scapegoating leaves us at a standstill. It also ignores a rich history: In the 1980s, when rural life was rapidly becoming as bleak as it is today, a perfect storm of politics and economics hit middle America, in the form of the farm crisis. In response, white Midwestern farmers emerged at the forefront of resistance to the prevailing government agenda of privatization and deregulation, fighting white supremacist groups, and partnering with labor unions and Black politicians.Instead of demonizing the descendants of that rural-populist uprising, we need to ask: How did that happen and how can it happen again?Over 500 farms a week were lost through the ‘80s; the properties were sold to larger operations and families were forced to move from land they had farmed for generations. Without the engine of farm sales, Main Street businesses, farm-implement factories, schools, churches, and eventually whole towns dried up. Promised economic efficiency became on-the-ground desolation. Mental health advocates at the time suggested that farm loss was so emotionally and financially significant that it traumatized not only individual families, but entire rural communities, leaving swathes of the country with chronic long-term stress and depression.


USDA nearing end of feral hog removal

Albuquerque Journal | Posted on December 13, 2017

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is nearing the end of an eradication program targeting feral hogs that have been rooting up New Mexico and other parts of the country. The program is set to end in September 2018 and more funding will be needed to continue fighting the pests, USDA District Supervisor for Wildlife Services Brian Archuleta said.


Scientists call on US to allow research on pot meds for pets

Leader-Telegram | Posted on December 12, 2017

A push is underway to have the U.S. government remove barriers to clinical trials of marijuana to see how effective it is in treating ailments in both pets and people, and one university in Colorado is already testing dogs with arthritis and epilepsy.People anxious to relieve suffering in their pets are increasingly turning to oils and powders that contain CBDs, a non-psychoactive component of marijuana. But there’s little data on whether they work, or if they have harmful side effects.That’s because Washington has been standing in the way of clinical trials, veterinarians and researchers say. Now, a push is underway to have barriers removed, so both pets and people can benefit.


Members of ranch family sentenced to probation, fines on gun charges

Capital Press | Posted on December 12, 2017

Ranchers Terry and Mary Hunt and their sons Russell and Derek were sentenced to five years probation and fined after pleading guilty to federal charges related to illegally buying and selling firearms.


New discovery, more bees mark Michigan's first, full bee census

Science Daily | Posted on December 12, 2017

The first complete bee census in Michigan has confirmed a new species and revealed that the actual number of bee species in Michigan exceeded earlier estimates.


Why are America's farmers killing themselves in record numbers?

The Guardian | Posted on December 12, 2017

The suicide rate for farmers is more than double that of veterans. Former farmer Debbie Weingarten gives an insider’s perspective on farm life – and how to help. “Farming has always been a stressful occupation because many of the factors that affect agricultural production are largely beyond the control of the producers,” wrote Rosmann in the journal Behavioral Healthcare. “The emotional wellbeing of family farmers and ranchers is intimately intertwined with these changes.” Last year, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that people working in agriculture – including farmers, farm laborers, ranchers, fishers, and lumber harvesters – take their lives at a rate higher than any other occupation. The data suggested that the suicide rate for agricultural workers in 17 states was nearly five times higher compared with that in the general population.


Genetically mutated rats could be released in Britain to solve rodent problem

The Telegraph | Posted on December 9, 2017

Genetically mutated rats could be released into Britain to help tackle the growing problem with rodents, Edinburgh University has said. Scientists have launched a project to find out if genetically editing animals could provide a more humane method of pest control.Figures released last week show that London councils receive 100 complaints about rats and mice each day with some local authorities reporting a 10 per cent increase in the number of rodents since last year.


Net neutrality would compound rural internet woes

Stevens Point City Times | Posted on December 7, 2017

For farmers and rural residents, a net neutrality repeal would compound an already glaring issue – rural broadband access and service provider monopolies. According to the FCC, roughly 710,000 people in rural Wisconsin lack access to higher download speeds. In areas that do have access to high speed internet, the costs of service are often escalated.I recently spoke to a friend in San Francisco who pays $70 a month for 200 mbps (megabits per second). Meanwhile, in Amherst, WI, I pay $113.40 a month for 30 mbps. Our previous internet plan was $90/month without the ability to stream content reliably, so we upgraded. Twenty miles away in Stevens Point, a friend pays $60/mo for 60 mbps… double the speed for almost half the cost.Why the discrepancy?A major factor is choice. In Amherst, and the surrounding area, Amherst Telephone Company runs a monopoly over internet service and they can charge more for less. While service providers in urban areas compete for customers, residents in rural areas often have to take what they can get. If net neutrality is repealed, rural residents may have to pay even more.


Tapeworm could jump to humans with potentially deadly consequences, veterinarian warns

The Star Phoenix | Posted on December 7, 2017

Saskatoon veterinarian says "there's a very good chance" Saskatchewan could see human cases of a potentially lethal tapeworm in the foreseeable future. About one-quarter of wild dogs in North America are infected with Echinococcus multilocularis. Pet dogs exposed to infected coyote feces can become infected and possibly infect their owners as well.Humans can inadvertently consume tapeworm eggs if they handle the excrement of infected dogs and then touch their own food, or if they eat things — such as berries, mushrooms or herbs — that are contaminated by infected dog or cat droppings.If that happens, tapeworm cysts can spread throughout the person’s liver and other organs like a tumour.Emily Jenkins, a professor of veterinary parasitology and public health at the University of Saskatchewan, said unless the disease is identified and treated quickly, the mortality rate is between 50 and 75 per cent. Treatment involves surgery to remove the cysts and years of drug therapy.


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