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  • Activist group launches ‘surveillance’ program | Meating Place (free registration required)

    I’ve written many times previously about the latest happenings of extreme activist group Direct Action Everywhere. While I hate to give them any more of the attention they so desperately seek, I think it is important to keep you informed of their tactics and strategies as they work toward their goal of “total animal liberation.” Earlier this month, one of DXE’s main ‘organizers’ went live on Facebook to announce a new initiative – a “Frontline Surveillance Program.” She described the program as “essentially open rescue but in a different way” – “open rescue” is DXE’s term for when they trespass onto farms or into plants and steal livestock or poultry. The purpose of the new ‘surveillance’ program is to “to accumulate an extensive amount of investigatory footage, evidence, data…and basically all of this is to showcase that criminal animal cruelty is happening all the time, everywhere.”Farmers, plant employees, drivers and anyone else working with livestock should be increasingly vigilant for suspicious activity including drone sightings, suspicious vehicles, strange phone calls/emails, etc. Any suspicious activity should be immediately reported to company contacts, trade associations and the Alliance so we can spread the word.

     

    Post date: Thu, 02/14/2019 - 15:06
  • Farm Bill- Conservation Title, Update from USDA’s Economic Research Service | Farm Policy News

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS) published an overview of the Conservation Title of the 2018 Farm Bill.  Today’s update looks at a couple key points from the ERS summary. After highlighting several changes to specific programs in the Conservation Title, ERS turned to a broader focus on the economic implications of the new provisions.The ERS update explained that, “For FY2019-FY2023, the CBO [Congressional Budget Office] projects mandatory spending on farm bill conservation programs that is slightly higher than projected baseline spending (spending under an extension of 2014 Farm Act programs, without modification, through 2023). For the five largest conservation programs (and predecessors), inflation-adjusted spending increased under both the 2002 and 2008 Farm Acts (2002-2013, see chart below), but was lower under the 2014 Farm Act(2014-2018). CBO projections suggest that the 2018 Act could provide slightly higher funding, on average, than under the 2014 Act. Although program funding is mandatory (does not require appropriation), spending in future years is subject to congressional review and, under past farm acts, has sometimes been reduced from specified levels.”

    Post date: Thu, 02/14/2019 - 15:05
  • For 6 Cities on the Great Lakes, the Cost of Water Has Risen Sharply | Governing

    For months, the Rev. Falicia Campbell kept a secret from her congregation, her friends and even her adult children. It was a secret she was ashamed to divulge: She was living without running water.Like a growing number of Americans, the 63-year-old Chicago resident couldn't afford to pay her rising water bills. She inherited her mother's house in Englewood, a poor neighborhood on the city's South Side, and last year received a $5,000 bill.Campbell is partially blind and lives on a fixed income from disability payments. She dedicates most of her time to helping her community. Her church includes a resource center that provides food and shelter for poor and homeless people.She couldn't pay off her water debt, and in August her water was turned off. The Chicago Water Department offered her a payment plan but required a $1,700 deposit before restoring her water. She didn't have it.

    Post date: Thu, 02/14/2019 - 15:03
  • 2018 Farm BIll Implementation Listening Session | USDA

    U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey announced that USDA is hosting a listening session for initial input on the 2018 Farm Bill. USDA is seeking public input on the changes to existing programs implemented by the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Risk Management Agency. Each agency will take into account stakeholder input when making discretionary decisions on program implementation.  “The 2018 Farm Bill is intended to provide support, certainty and stability to our Nation’s farmers, ranchers and land stewards by enhancing farm support programs, improving crop insurance, maintaining disaster programs, and promoting and supporting voluntary conservation,” said Under Secretary Northey. “We are seeking input from stakeholders on how USDA can streamline and improve program delivery while also enhancing customer service.”The listening session will be held Feb. 26, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. in the Jefferson Auditorium in the South Building located at 14th Street and Independence Ave. S.W. in Washington, D.C. 

    Post date: Thu, 02/14/2019 - 15:01
  • A Beyonce endorsement of GMOs would probably help farmers a lot more than science | Financial Post

    For a world that has largely forsaken religion in favour of science to base its attitudes towards food on nothing more than belief and feeling is something that should make us uncomfortable and embarrassed. This is what seems to be happening. It’s alarming. It changes things for me as a writer. No longer is a column about food and agriculture about demonstrating truth — perhaps it never was. Instead, it’s now about staging an attractive argument, like a house that you can picture yourself living in.

     

    Post date: Thu, 02/14/2019 - 15:00

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Gleanings

Talk to your governor about the Opportunity Zones in your state

30 January, 2018

Qualified Opportunity Zones in the Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017

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Farmland Taxes Under Discussion in the Midwest Again

23 January, 2017

Senator Jean Leising knows it’s going to be another tough year for beef and hog producers, and 2016’s record national yields for corn and soybeans indicate that farm profitability will decline for the third straight year.  She is convinced that “the drop in net farm income again this year makes the changes Indiana made to the farmland taxation calculation in 2016 even more important.”  

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