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Rural News

Farm to Fork Bicycle Event Draws 450 Cyclists to Vermont

Granfondo Guide | Posted on July 28, 2016

Over 450 cyclists set out on a farm-to-table bicycle ride through Central Vermont, stopping at nine local farms to refuel with chef-prepared food made with ingredients from the farms. The event, Farm to Fork Fondo – Vermont, is a recreational ride that draws athletes of all abilities.

How 9,000 Acre Land Purchase In Central Idaho Could Help Sage Grouse

Boise State Public Radio | Posted on July 20, 2016

Rancher Jim Cenarrusa says he sold 9,000 acres of his central Idaho ranch to the Nature Conservancy because he knows the conservation group will take care of it. The land is at the base of the Pioneer Mountains, and is home to sage grouse and pronghorn. The family will keep a small parcel for their next generation to farm, but Cenarussa says his kids aren’t interested in carrying on the family ranch.

Rural America's long road to citizenship

Daily Yonder | Posted on July 20, 2016

One hundred eighty-three miles. That’s how far Stephanie Rickels will travel one way from her rural Cascade, Iowa, home to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Des Moines, Iowa, where she is applying for U.S. citizenship. In the course of the three trips required to complete the naturalization process, she will travel more than 1,000 miles. For rural residents eligible for citizenship, Rickels’ situation is far from unusual. There is only one immigration office in Iowa, as there is in many states. If you lived in Sidney, Montana, your nearest application support center would be 300 miles away, in Rapid City, South Dakota, meaning that you might be traveling 1,800 miles for the perks of citizenship.   Rickels is French by birth. She is married to an American and has been eligible for citizenship for decades, but she never thought naturalization was worth the trouble until she felt compelled to vote as an American by the current political climate, including the anti-immigrant rhetoric of Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump. In 2014, 6,125—less than 1 percent—of newly-naturalized citizens lived in “micropolitan” or noncore counties. These are the nation’s most rural. The don’t have a city of 10,000 residents or more, and they aren’t part of the commuting zone for a county that does.

PA Breeders Seek to Restore Awards Payments

Blood Horse | Posted on July 19, 2016

The Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association Jsaid it continues to work on restoring payments for breeder and stallion awards after corrective language failed to win approval before the state General Assembly adjourned.  At issue is language in an omnibus horseracing reform bill signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf in late February. The awards percentages that have been paid for years remain in place, but a mistake made when the breeding fund provisions were included in the bill led the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, which oversees racing regulation, to suspend breeder and stallion awards.

Rural towns banking on more than just farming to survive

Harvest Public Media | Posted on July 19, 2016

Like many rural towns, Brookfield’s top moneymakers in decades past were agriculture, transportation and manufacturing. While those businesses still exist today, each of those industries has taken a hit. The town lost an auto plant. The railroad is less vibrant. And farming just isn’t bringing as much to the town as it used to. “We in rural areas have had to try to reinvent ourselves to stay viable and sustainable,” Cleveland says. Brookfield’s story is a familiar one for thousands of towns across rural America where farmers were once an economic force. It mostly comes down to technology.

Senators form new caucus to support rural broadband

Agri-Pulse | Posted on July 19, 2016

A bipartisan group of five U.S. senators has formed the Senate Broadband Caucus to focus on strengthening broadband infrastructure and deployment across the country.  The senators - Republicans Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and John Boozman of Arkansas, Democrats Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Independent Angus King of Maine - say the caucus will “promote bipartisan discussions about possible solutions to increase connectivity and close the digital divide, especially in rural America, and engage with a broad range of industries and other stakeholders.”

How one Mississippi community copes with influx of Hispanic students

Hechinger report | Posted on July 14, 2016

Like many schools across Mississippi, Morton is scrambling to adjust to an influx of Spanish-speaking students for which it was completely unprepared. In a state that ranks at or near the bottom in education spending nationwide, it can be a challenge just to maintain buildings and stock classrooms with basic supplies. It’s hard to find money to pay for teachers who specialize in helping kids who are learning English, known in academic circles as English Language Learners — ELLs for short.

For Midwest, population growth will be a greater demographic, policy challenge in years ahead

CSG Midwest | Posted on July 14, 2016

The story of outmigration from the Midwest to other parts of the country is as old as the advent and widespread use of home air conditioning. So the most recent federal data on trends in domestic migration among states is not surprising: net gains for the South and West at the expense of the nation’s two other regions.  In the U.S. Census Bureau data showing population trends between 2010 and 2015, only two states in the Midwest — South Dakota and North Dakota — had net gains in domestic migration. And five of the 10 states with the largest population losses due to movement within the United States were Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Kansas and Wisconsin.

The Dog Lover, a new film

The Dog Lover Movie | Posted on July 14, 2016

The Dog Lover is a suspenseful and provocative drama based on true events.  Sara Gold is a rising star at the United Animal Protection Agency (UAPA), a major animal rights organization that conducts animal rescues and lobbies for better animal welfare laws. Handpicked for a major assignment, Sara goes undercover as a college intern to infiltrate a suspected “puppy mill” run by the enigmatic Daniel Holloway.

Sara soon ingratiates herself with Daniel and his family, and learns all about the world of dog breeding but is hard pressed to find any sign of animal abuse. The UAPA teams up with local law enforcement and raids the farm, accusing Daniel of the inhumane treatment of animals. Sara finds herself torn between doing her job and doing what’s right, and she awakens to the moral contradictions of her work with the UAPA.

Researchers predict smaller harmful algae bloom on Lake Erie

Crains Detroit Business | Posted on July 14, 2016

Potentially toxic algae is expected to form again this summer in western Lake Erie but should be considerably less severe than the blooms that blanketed the lake and threatened drinking water supplies the previous two years, scientists said.  After three wet springs, the region's rainfall was more normal this year, said Richard Stumpf of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. That means less phosphorus from farms and sewage treatment plants has washed into the Maumee River and other tributaries that discharge into the lake, feeding harmful algae.  "With a return to average spring discharge, and much lower river flow in June than in the recent years, the western basin should look better," said Stumpf, of NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and the agency's top Lake Erie algae forecaster.  Even so, a bloom of mild to moderate size is likely to show up late this month, reach its peak size in August and possibly linger into October, he said.