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  • Catalina Sea Ranch snags federal grant to start kelp farming | Daily Breeze

    Inside a cavernous steel warehouse built in the 1910s for the Port of Los Angeles’ then-booming fishing industry, Catalina Sea Ranch’s unique aquaculture labs are blazing a trail for a budding new U.S. industry. A Cryolab nurtures bunches of genetically diverse breeding mussels growing in baths infused with phytoplankton. Many of their shiny black-shelled progenies, hanging on lines in federal waters 10 miles offshore, are awaiting the ranch’s first harvest in December.And ranch founder Phil Cruver just began work to produce his newest crop: giant sea kelp.The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded Catalina Sea Ranch $450,000 to help kick off the new offshore aquaculture industry, farming kelp for human and animal consumption. The ranch is the first U.S. aquaculture farm permitted in federal waters.

    Post date: Thu, 10/12/2017 - 15:45
  • Japanese mutant chickens are laying eggs filled with cancer-fighting drugs | Fast Company

    In their ongoing efforts to make drugs cheaper, Japanese researchers at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) have genetically engineered chickens to lay eggs containing drugs that can fight diseases like hepatitis and cancer. According to Phys.org, the unique drug creation technique uses gene-editing technology to make the …er, cocks produce interferon beta, a protein related to the immune system that is a powerful tool in treating of skin cancer and hepatitis. Those cells were then used to fertilize eggs and create hens, which inherited those genes. A few rounds of cross-breeding later and voila!: chickens were laying eggs with disease-fighting superpowers.

    Post date: Thu, 10/12/2017 - 15:44
  • Under pressure, Amish farmers begin to exit dairy business | edairynews

    Has a slow exodus of Plain Sect farmers from the dairy business in Lancaster County already begun? The farmers do not blame consumers’ declining milk consumption for their predicament.Rather, frustrated local Plain Sect farmers here and around the state have banded together to protest — and in at least one case, sue — over the way milk is controlled, priced and sold after leaving their milking barns.They blame what they see as lack of representation and empire-building by large, officially nonprofit milk cooperatives that now are assuming control of dairies and milk processors, and have broad powers.Among the powers cooperatives wield are the right to deduct the costs of marketing and milk transportation from dairy farmers’ checks without having to itemize those deductions to the farmer.The cooperatives also have voting rights on how milk pricing is set, while individual farmers don’t.

    Post date: Thu, 10/12/2017 - 15:41
  • South Dakota Department Of Agriculture Recruiting Dairy Processors | edairynews

    South Dakota has gone from a milk deficit to a milk surplus. As a result, state officials and dairy industry representatives were at the World Dairy Expo trying to recruit new processors to the state. David Skaggs works with dairy development for the South Dakota Department of Agriculture. He says they’re looking hard at plants that process some of the new dairy products on the market, like protein drinks.He says currently milk is being exported out of state. Plus, permits have been approved for new dairy operations that are on hold because they have nowhere to sell their milk. However, he says attracting a new processor is tough due to the huge investment.

    Post date: Thu, 10/12/2017 - 15:40
  • Free online food safety course now available for artisan, farmstead cheesemakers | Dairy Foods

    The course, offered by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy in partnership with North Carolina State University, focuses on food safety.  The Innovation Center’s latest resource, an online course offered in partnership with North Carolina State University, is geared toward artisan and farmstead cheesemakers, who represent a growing segment of cheese production. More than a thousand U.S. processors are helping meet consumer demand for these cheeses. To reach and support this cheesemaking community more effectively, the Innovation Center said it partnered with the American Cheese Society, along with academics, retailers and small dairy manufacturers, to establish the Artisan Food Safety Advisory Team.

    Post date: Thu, 10/12/2017 - 15:36

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STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS is where state leaders find the answers they need on agriculture and rural policy issues.

Gleanings

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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Farm

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. 

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