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Catalina Sea Ranch snags federal grant to start kelp farming

Daily Breeze | Posted on October 12, 2017 in Agriculture, Federal News

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.

Japanese mutant chickens are laying eggs filled with cancer-fighting drugs

Fast Company | Posted on October 12, 2017 in Agriculture News

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.

Under pressure, Amish farmers begin to exit dairy business

edairynews | Posted on October 12, 2017 in Agriculture News

Has a slow exodus of Plain Sect farmers from the dairy business in Lancaster County already begun?

SARL Members and Alumni News

South Dakota Department Of Agriculture Recruiting Dairy Processors

edairynews | Posted on October 12, 2017

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.

Maine: Legislative panel to study pet peeve of governor: conserved land

The Fresno Bee | Posted on October 12, 2017

Lawmakers have begun diving into the issue of land conservation programs, which supporters say benefit surrounding communities and Republican Gov. Paul LePage has often derided as a tax giveaway for wealthy interests. LePage has, for years, criticized lawmakers for catering to wealthy groups and individuals whom he claims enjoy scenic views on tax-exempt land that increase property taxes for seniors and poor Mainers.

Coalition challenges Iowa 'ag gag' law

Globe Gazette | Posted on October 12, 2017

A coalition has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Iowa’s so-called “ag gag” law that criminalizes undercover investigative efforts to expose poor conditions for workers, food safety violations, environmental harm and animal cruelty in agricultural facilities.The lawsuit asks, among other things, the federal court to declare that Iowa’s ag gag law is a violation of the U.S. Constitution, strike it down and block the state from enforcing it.

Minnesota grants fund on-farm livestock improvements

Farm Forum | Posted on October 12, 2017

Livestock producers may apply for a portion of $1.9 million in Livestock Investment Grants. Funds are provided by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation (AGRI) Program and may be used for on-farm improvements. “Livestock Investment Grants help farmers stay competitive and reinvest in their industry,” said MDA Commissioner Dave Frederickson. “Last year, 105 livestock farmers received grants to improve their operations.”

Clean water vs. farm profits at heart of debate over new fertilizer rules

Minnesota Star Tribune | Posted on October 12, 2017

Now Minnesota is poised to roll out its first-ever strategy to protect drinking water from the farm fertilizers that carry nitrates — one of Minnesota's worst pollution problems.   The contradiction between supporting farmers and protecting water may be inevitable in a state where agriculture contributes $19 billion annually to the economy. Every year, farmers plant 16 million acres with corn and soybeans, using close to 800,000 tons of fertilizer.

Agriculture News

Catalina Sea Ranch snags federal grant to start kelp farming

Daily Breeze | Posted on October 12, 2017

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.

Japanese mutant chickens are laying eggs filled with cancer-fighting drugs

Fast Company | Posted on October 12, 2017

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.

Under pressure, Amish farmers begin to exit dairy business

edairynews | Posted on October 12, 2017

Has a slow exodus of Plain Sect farmers from the dairy business in Lancaster County already begun?

South Dakota Department Of Agriculture Recruiting Dairy Processors

edairynews | Posted on October 12, 2017

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.

Maine: Legislative panel to study pet peeve of governor: conserved land

The Fresno Bee | Posted on October 12, 2017

Lawmakers have begun diving into the issue of land conservation programs, which supporters say benefit surrounding communities and Republican Gov. Paul LePage has often derided as a tax giveaway for wealthy interests. LePage has, for years, criticized lawmakers for catering to wealthy groups and individuals whom he claims enjoy scenic views on tax-exempt land that increase property taxes for seniors and poor Mainers.

Federal News

Catalina Sea Ranch snags federal grant to start kelp farming

Daily Breeze | Posted on October 12, 2017

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.

How Will the Clean Power Plan Repeal Change Carbon Emissions for Your State?

The New York Times | Posted on October 12, 2017

It all depends on where you live. For California, repeal won’t make much difference. For West Virginia, it could matter a lot.When the Obama administration unveiled the Clean Power Plan in 2015, each state was given individual goals to slash power sector emissions.

Ag Leaders Upset by Trump Immigration Proposal, No Guestworker Markup

DTN | Posted on October 12, 2017

Agriculture leaders are upset by President Donald Trump's announcement Sunday that the administration wants to require e-verification of workers without a new proposal to bring in farm workers, and by the cancellation by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., of the markup of the Ag Guestworker bill that was planned for last Wednesday. The White House on Sunday evening announced an immigration agenda that includes Congress paying for the border wall and implementing the e-verify program for all workers in the United States.

Sugar’s Storage Loans Benefit Farmers, Consumers, Taxpayers Alike

Agri-Pulse | Posted on October 12, 2017

Fall marks the start of the busy harvest season for sugarcane and sugarbeets across the country.

As the immigration debate ramps up, here are the leading bills already pending in Congress

The Los Angeles Times | Posted on October 12, 2017

Because of the deep divides over immigration, passage of reform will be difficult. But since the issue has been kicking around Congress for years, there are already several bills that could provide a foundation or pieces for an immigration package. The Dream Act,a longstanding bill that would offer Dreamers a path to citizenship if they continue to participate in the higher education system, the military or the workforce.

Rural News

Maine: Legislative panel to study pet peeve of governor: conserved land

The Fresno Bee | Posted on October 12, 2017

Lawmakers have begun diving into the issue of land conservation programs, which supporters say benefit surrounding communities and Republican Gov. Paul LePage has often derided as a tax giveaway for wealthy interests. LePage has, for years, criticized lawmakers for catering to wealthy groups and individuals whom he claims enjoy scenic views on tax-exempt land that increase property taxes for seniors and poor Mainers.

Unique model makes citizens a funding partner in broadband network

Daily Yonder | Posted on October 12, 2017

Ammon, Idaho (pop. 13,800), today celebrates its success at thinking differently to produce a city-owned gig network. The city built the network with no debt and got an impressive 70% of the potential customers to sign up for service. One key is new technology. The other is that the “private” in this PPP structure is citizens themselves. “Ammon has created a unique and interesting model,” says Deb Socia, executive director of Next Century Cities, a national organization of mayors and other civic leaders who are trying to improve broadband connectivity locally.

Fish farm has 60 days to fix net pens outside Seattle as 1 million Atlantic salmon move in

The Olympian | Posted on October 12, 2017

Just a week after the state Department of Fish and Wildlife approved shipment of 1 million more farmed Atlantic salmon to Cooke Aquaculture’s fish farm near Bainbridge Island, another state agency says it has found holes in the nets and corrosion in the structure of the facility. The Department of Natural Resources on Monday notified Cooke that it is in default of the terms of its lease at its Rich Passage operation. It ordered the facility repaired within 60 days, or the department may cancel the company’s lease for the facility, which operates over public bed lands.

Killer wildfires continue to menace California's wine country, with 24 dead and hundreds missing

The Washington Post | Posted on October 12, 2017

The 21 fires currently burning across the northern part of the state have killed at least 24 people, destroyed more than 3,500 buildings and torched more than 191,000 acres — a collective area nearly the size of New York City. Nine fires are now burning in Sonoma and Napa counties, the heart of California’s wine-growing industry.

Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico's food supply — here's what the island's farms look like now

Business Insider | Posted on October 11, 2017

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the devastation to Puerto Rico has sunk in. Many of the island's 3.4 million residents are still without access to power, running water, and health services. The Category 4 storm also left Puerto Rico without most of its farmland, roughly a quarter of the island's land divided into over 13,000 farms.  After Maria barreled through with 155-mph winds, it wiped out approximately 80% of the territory's crop value.

Energy News

How Will the Clean Power Plan Repeal Change Carbon Emissions for Your State?

The New York Times | Posted on October 12, 2017

It all depends on where you live. For California, repeal won’t make much difference. For West Virginia, it could matter a lot.When the Obama administration unveiled the Clean Power Plan in 2015, each state was given individual goals to slash power sector emissions.

EPA chief: I’d ‘do away with’ wind, solar tax credits

The Hill  | Posted on October 10, 2017

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said on Monday that the federal tax credits for the wind and solar power industries should be eliminated. Pruitt told a crowd at a Kentucky Farm Bureau event that the credits stand in the way of utility companies making the best decisions about power generation.“I would do away with these incentives that we give to wind and solar,” he said, referring to wind’s production tax credit and solar’s investment tax credit.

NC officials reject environmental plan for Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Charlotte News Observer | Posted on October 10, 2017

Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration has rejected environmental plans by Duke Energy and three other energy companies to build an interstate pipeline to carry natural gas from West Virginia into North Carolina. The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality said the 600-mile underground pipeline, which would travel through eight North Carolina counties, including Johnston and Nash, does not meet the state’s standards for erosion and sediment control.

EPA to scrap clean power plan: What it means locally

ABC News | Posted on October 10, 2017

Kilbert says regardless of today's announcement, coal is being phased out by a lot of power companies, and it all comes down to money, "Coal irrespective of any environmental regulations is phasing out because of cheap natural gas along with solar and wind and other alternative energy sources." In spite of today's announcement, experts say abandoning the clean power plan probably won't change the long-term outlook for coal.

Wind Energy's Expansion in Nebraska Creates Sharp New Divide

US News and World Report | Posted on October 10, 2017

Many of Nebraska's neighbors are national leaders in wind energy, and advocates say the state could easily join them.But as wind energy has grown in Nebraska, so has a fervent resistance from mostly rural landowners and lawmakers who view the turbines as noisy, heavily subsidized eyesores that lead to lower property values.The pushback was clear last year, when Lancaster and Gage counties approved noise restrictions that effectively halted several proposed wind farms.

Food News

Free online food safety course now available for artisan, farmstead cheesemakers

Dairy Foods | Posted on October 12, 2017

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.

‘CRISPR’ Bacon: Pigs could soon save millions more lives

Pork Business | Posted on October 12, 2017

It’s already known that in pig production, “everything but the squeal” can be used by humans – the meat is a wonderful source of niacin and other vitamins and minerals, pigs’ heart valves have long been used as replacements for human valves, and the list goes on.  But now, pigs may have even higher value. Researchers in Cambridge, Mass., may be a big step closer to developing pigs whose entire organs and other tissues can be transplanted into humans.

‘Farm to Flask’ Distillers Lifting Local Spirits

Pew Charitable Trust | Posted on October 11, 2017

Dan Beardsley’s great-grandfather made moonshine on the family farm to make ends meet during Prohibition. Now he can boost farm profits with a legal distillery, thanks to a new Connecticut law that took effect Oct. 1. The law, based on a similar “farm to flask” law enacted in New York almost a decade ago, allows farmers to distill and sell spirits using their own produce without high-priced licenses or distribution requirements.

Washington suspends license of raw milk dairy linked to salmonella

Capital Press | Posted on October 10, 2017

A strain of salmonella detected in raw milk from a Washington dairy was the same one that sickened two of the dairy’s customers in January. The Washington Department of Agriculture Friday suspended the processing license of a raw milk dairy, which had declined to voluntarily suspend production after the department detected salmonella last month in the dairy’s milk.

McDonald's Tries out McVegan

Independent | Posted on October 9, 2017

Catchily named the McVegan, it consists of a soy-based patty topped with tomato, salad, pickles and vegan McFeast sauce, sandwiched between a bun. McDonald’s have decided to trial the burger in Tampere, Finland, from 4 October to 21 November.  However, if it’s popular, the McVegan might be rolled out globally.