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  • Australian Cattle Barons Make Counterbid for Kidman | Wall Street Journal

    Four of Australia’s wealthiest farming barons have launched a counterbid to prevent Chinese investors from buying the country’s largest cattle farm, S. Kidman & Co.  The BBHO consortium—comprising the families of influential Australian outback ranchers Tom Brinkworth, Sterling Buntine, Malcolm Harris and Viv Oldfield whose interests span livestock, grain and transport—said on Sunday it had secured financing to offer 386 million Australian dollars (US$294 million) for 100% of Kidman’s shares in what would be one of the country’s biggest agribusiness deals on record.

    Post date: Tue, 10/25/2016 - 15:21
  • The Next Hot Trends in Food | Wall Street Journal

    But now it’s no longer enough to claim a product is simply free of something that’s frowned upon. Consumers want to know that the bad ingredient hasn’t been replaced with something equally bad or worse. And they want to know the story behind their food—how it was grown or raised, and whether its production and distribution was kind to the environment. The less processed and simpler the ingredients, the better. That has left food and restaurant companies rushing to clean up their labels with ingredients derived from natural sources consumers can understand and pronounce.

    Post date: Tue, 10/25/2016 - 15:20
  • Allen Harim to build large hatchery on Delmarva | Meatingplace (registration required)

    Seaford, Del.-based chicken producer and processor Allen Harim Foods announced plans to invest $22 million to build a state-of-the art hatchery in Dagsboro, Del., that will have an egg-set capacity of 2.5 million eggs per week.

    Post date: Tue, 10/25/2016 - 15:15
  • The 6th District Court of Appeals has taken a stand by placing a higher value on companion animals. | Toledo Blade

    The court recently remanded a 2015 civil suit over an injured dog back to Toledo Municipal Court for a hearing on damages awarded in the case by determining “substantial justice was not done” by the trial court in awarding the plaintiff only $400 — or the dog’s market value — in December.  “We agree with and acknowledge that pets do not have the same characteristics as other forms of personal property, such as a table or sofa which is disposable and replaceable at our convenience,” the three-judge panel wrote in the decision.  The original lawsuit filed in municipal court in April, 2015, showed plaintiff Jamie Rego of Toledo spent more than $10,000 in veterinary care for the family dog after the “pit bull” puppy was attacked by an adult dog. The appeals court and Mr. Rice noted there have been numerous cases in Ohio and across the country where veterinary expenses were included in economic damages awarded to pet owners. “It certainly is logical to expect that a dog owner is going to take a dog to the veterinarian and seek veterinary care,” Mr. Rice said. He noted that if Kingston had died before being treated, Ms. Rego would be entitled to only his market value.

    Post date: Tue, 10/25/2016 - 15:14
  • How poor management left Mexican wolves dangerously inbred | High Country News

    On the surface, things seemed to be looking up for the entire Mexican wolf population. In 1998, after Mexican wolves were poisoned and shot out of existence here, the Fish and Wildlife Service reintroduced 11 wolves, with the initial goal of growing their numbers to 100. After years of struggle, the population crossed that threshold for the first time in 2015. Biologists counted 110 animals, a 25 percent increase over the previous year. M1296 was among 97 wolves counted in this year’s census.  Yet trouble lurks even in these historic numbers. As the population expands, it’s also edging toward a genetic crisis, and the larger the population gets, the harder it will be to avert. M1296 is descended from a fantastically successful matriarch called AF521, “A” for alpha. His mate is, too. Their story is typical. In fact, biologists know of only one breeding female in the wild that isn’t related to AF521. Wolves shouldn’t sleep with their relatives for the same reason people shouldn’t. Inbreeding can cause dangerous disorders, depress fertility, and even make small populations more vulnerable to extinction. But right now, the Southwest’s Mexican wolves don’t have much choice. On average, they share about as much genetic material as siblings do. They need new blood, and quick.

    Post date: Tue, 10/25/2016 - 15:02

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Are corporations taking over America’s food supply?

15 March, 2016

Family farms.  The foundation of America’s food security.  According to the USDA, 97 percent of farms are family farms, and they grow 90 percent of the food produced. But national policies to keep food affordable (American’s spend less than 7 percent of their paycheck for food) and the boom and bust cycles of farming have resulted in larger, more concentrated farming practices.