18 APR

Melania Trump kicks off 139th annual Easter Egg Roll

Eggs are rolling — nearly 18,000 of them — Monday at the White House.

First lady Melania Trump, hosting the 139th annual White House Easter Egg Roll, kicked off the event alongside President Donald Trump, calling it a “wonderful tradition.” “As we renew this tradition, thank you for joining us. On behalf of the President and Barron, we wish you great fun and beautiful days coming ahead of us,” she said, also thanking the military band, White House staff and egg roll volunteers for their help. Trump, in his suit and signature red tie, also thanked the crowd of attendees gathered below the White House balcony. Read more

18 APR

Cooper Farms builds station to prevent diseases

A new building at the intersection of West Caroline Street and Walnut Street in Paulding on the property of the Cooper Grain and Feed Mill is a truck disinfectant station to help prevent the spread of diseases to and from the Cooper Farms facility.

“All of this is because of bio security, which is disease prevention,” said Cassie Jo Arend, Cooper Farms corporate communications manager. “We try to make sure that all of our animals stay as healthy as they can stay,” she added. “It’s part of why we have them in barns because external factors are the biggest issues when it comes to our animals being unhealthy.” Bio security is one of the things at the top of the list for the employees of Cooper Farms. One of the biggest diseases that they worry about is avian influenza, along with many other diseases. Read more 

13 APR

NCC commends USDA for extension of GIPSA interim final rule

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today it is extending the implementation date 180 days for the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s (GIPSA) interim final rule on competitive injury.  The interim final rule was scheduled to go into effect on April 22.  “With this extension notice, it is clear the administration has recognized this is a complicated and controversial issue with deep economic consequences for American poultry and livestock producers,” said National Chicken Council (NCC) President Mike Brown. Read more 

13 APR

More avian flu found in France as depopulation continues

Among European countries, France has been the worst hit by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the current season. Efforts to bring the disease under control appear to be bearing fruit, however, and following a period of depopulation of susceptible flocks in high-risk areas, the government has set a date to begin restocking poultry premises although the virus continues to be detected elsewhere in the country. New HPAI outbreaks caused by the H5N8 subtype of the virus in commercial poultry have been reported in the last week to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) by the respective national animal health agencies in Austria, Germany and Italy, and five countries have informed OIE that the virus has been detected in wild birds found dead.  Read more

13 APR

Court vacates federal air emission reporting exemption for animal waste

On April 11, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated a 2008 federal rule that generally exempted livestock facilities from administrative reporting requirements for the release of hazardous substances to the air from animal waste (Waterkeeper Alliance, et al. v. EPA, No. 09-1017, April 11, 2017).  The court’s decision creates regulatory uncertainty for many large livestock operations across the country that may now be subject to annual reporting requirements for the release of hazardous substances from animal waste to the air under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) and the Emergency and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA). The decision may impact also state-based reporting exemptions to the extent they incorporate or are tied to the federal reporting requirements. Read more 

13 APR

Census Of Agriculture countdown begins for America’s farmers and ranchers

America’s farmers and ranchers will soon have the opportunity to strongly represent agriculture in their communities and industry by taking part in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Conducted every five years by theU.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the census, to be mailed at the end of this year, is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them.  “The Census of Agriculture remains the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every county in the nation,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “As such, census results are relied upon heavily by those who serve farmers and rural communities, including federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, extension educators, researchers, and farmers and ranchers themselves.”  Read more

11 APR

Assemblyman Gray: “Transportation Deal is a Game Changer for Merced and Stanislaus”

Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) issued the following statement today after lending his support to a transportation plan to raise new revenues for road maintenance and transportation infrastructure while asking voters to constitutionally safeguard these funds:

I have continuously highlighted the state’s underinvestment in rural California, especially in the San Joaquin Valley. Whether you are talking about infrastructure, doctors, jobs, poverty, or crime we have too much of the bad and not enough of the good. The state assistance and funding that flows so easily to the big cities and the coast dries to a trickle when it comes to helping the Valley.

The other parts of the state take for themselves, and leave us only what is left over the same way they drive through on Highway 99 leaving nothing but their exhaust behind. They forget about us when we fade from their rearview mirror. But when it came to mustering the votes needed to pass this transportation plan, they could not ignore us, as much as they may have wanted to. Read more

11 APR

Marin County decision to allow local slaughter fires up a debate

One vision of a progressive food system celebrates diverse local farms and an approach to meat production that reduces the suffering of animals eventually slated to be slaughtered. But another vision insists that animal slaughter will never expunge its inherently inhumane nature, and that only plants should feed a growing global population. Which is more progressive? And which is more sustainable? In many communities, food activists are too busy combating new concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) or looking for alternatives to large-scale commodity crop production to debate the finer points of niche issues like local animal slaughter.

Read more 

11 APR

Vote to confirm Perdue as Ag Secretary delayed until lawmakers return from two-week Easter recess

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced this week that the chamber will vote on former Governor Sonny Perdue’s nomination for Secretary of Agriculture on April 24, after lawmakers return from their two-week Easter recess that begins today. Senate leaders scheduled Perdue’s confirmation vote this week after Democrats blocked action on Perdue’s confirmation, preventing him from assuming office before the recess. Read more