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Rural News

MD:Counties expand needle exchange programs to protect public health

The Baltimore Sun | Posted on July 20, 2017

Needle exchange programs for drug users could be coming to six counties across the state, including Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties, as state health officials work with local leaders to stop the spread of infectious diseases in the face of the heroin epidemic. The efforts are being lead locally and are at various stages of formation, but state officials are encouraging the programs and offering technical assistance and some funding, said Onyeka Anaedozie, deputy director of the Maryland Department of Health’s Infectious Disease Prevention and Health Services Bureau.


Microsoft Courts Rural America, And Politicians, With High-Speed Internet

NPR | Posted on July 19, 2017

Microsoft is announcing a new effort to connect more people to the Internet. Not people far away, in the so-called emerging markets — where other American tech giants have built Internet balloons and drones. Instead, Microsoft is focusing right here at home, on the 23.4 million people in rural America without broadband access. The largest companies in the U.S. — by market value — are the Internet giants. But these companies have a bad reputation when it comes to American workers. Tech is known for sending jobs overseas, and now for racing to automate — that is, kill jobs still here.That said, something is changing in the zeitgeist of the tech industry. "We perhaps looked less than we should have at what was happening in rural America," Microsoft President Brad Smith says. "We went overseas, and that's a good thing. We should be around the world. But we should also be focused on our own backyards." Or farmlands.


How do we market meat to Middle America?

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on July 19, 2017

It seems the cattle-beef business has changed little in the past 200 years, or has it?  I mean every other business seems to have changed.  Look at the communications business.  It has evolved beyond Alexander Graham Bell’s wildest imagination.  The iPhone didn’t arrive until 10 years ago, and now over 2 billion people world-wide have one.  Moreover, it’s a computer in their hand that is more powerful than the one that took Neil Armstrong to the moon. In fact, you can compare the beef industry’s maturation to Henry Ford’s Model T marketing when he told his customers that they could have their Model T painted in any color they wanted as long as it was black. If I am going to “lament” the lack of beef industry innovation, I must surely offer some of my thoughts on what I think can best serve our future.First, we must rid ourselves of the defensive, knee-jerk reactions to all things animal rights.  It’s tough, I know.  But, we must get proactive to point out the obvious lies of the animal rightists, and just as importantly if not more so, point to the positive aspects of cattle-beef production.  We are good at pointing the accusing finger of blame, but tepid in offering cogent alternatives.Second, we must begin a more vigorous program of beef’s nutritional value supported by scientific evidence.  Holy cow, the American Medical Association is now recommending hospitals take processed meat off menus.  Where is our response?


America’s Aging Infrastructure: Waterways Face Critical Juncture

The Wall Street Journal | Posted on July 13, 2017

A network of dams and locks that make commercial river traffic possible is at risk of failure after decades of underinvestment, potentially causing significant economic damage


Fish or farms? A new battle rages over California water

The Sacramento Bee | Posted on July 13, 2017

Fish or farms?  The House this week will tackle the question, which for years has triggered a tug-of-war between growers and environmentalists. It plans to vote on a Republican-authored plan aimed at sending more of northern California’s water to the Central Valley farmers who say they badly need it.But California’s two U.S. senators, both Democrats, vow to block the bill in that chamber, saying it would bypass environmental safeguards and override state law. Gov. Jerry Brown also opposes the bill.The bill, said Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., in an interview, “does not strike the right balance because there’s no reason that we have to accept a false choice and somehow weaken the Endangered Species Act in order to be smarter with water policy.”


License-fee dispute ousts staff at Ohio Division of Wildlife

Columbus Dispatch | Posted on July 13, 2017

There has been a bloodletting at the top of the Ohio Division of Wildlife.  Eight senior officials, including the chief, have been removed from their posts after a bid to increase the cost of in-state hunting and fishing licenses divided the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.On one side was former chief Ray Petering and a coalition of 41 sporting organizations that support higher fees to help meet the division’s needs. On the other, advocates say, was Jim Zehringer, head of the agency, who opposed the increase.The cause of the divide was a $220 million budget shortfall projected over the next decade by the Sportsmen’s Alliance, and a grassroots-initiated proposal for a license fee increase to help address that problem. “Ohio sportsmen and women have never had to fight so hard to convince the government to pay our own way,” said Robert Sexton, a consultant with the Sportsmen’s Alliance.


Now is the time to worry about net neutrality

Daily Yonder | Posted on July 13, 2017

The new head of the FCC is interested in undoing rules that protect free speech, fairness, and privacy on the internet. Digital rights advocate Karen Fasimpaur asks for your help in stopping this rollback.


Opioid Crisis Hitting Dogs Now

Halth Line | Posted on July 13, 2017

Veterinarians are seeing the aftershocks of the opioid epidemic as pets and police dogs have to be revived with opioid antidote.


How cats and cows protect farm children from asthma

Science Daily | Posted on July 13, 2017

It is a known fact that microbes on farms protect children from asthma and allergies. But even non-microbial molecules can have a protective effect. Immunologists have shown that a sialic acid found in farm animals is effective against inflammation of lung tissue. This study opens up a wide variety of perspectives for the prevention of allergies.


Interest rate increase for federal loans will affect veterinary students

AVMA | Posted on July 12, 2017

Many veterinary students rely at least partially on federal loans to finance their education. That’s why it’s important for veterinary students to be aware that interest rates for federal student loans increased on July 1. We know this change is unwelcome news for veterinary students, and the AVMA is working hard to secure lower interest rates in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The July 1 changes are based on formulas outlined in the Higher Education Act (20  U.S.C. 1087e(b)). Rates for direct unsubsidized loans for graduate students rose to 6 percent, up from 5.31 percent previously. Rates for direct PLUS loans also rose, to 7 percent from 6.31 percent. These rate changes mean that a veterinary student who borrows $50,000 in 2018 will pay approximately $2,000 more over a 10-year standard repayment term than they would have if they had borrowed in 2017.


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