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Louisiana bill would require country of origin labeling on restaurant menus

The New Food Economy | Posted on May 20, 2019 in Food, SARL Members and Alumni News

Seafood that is sold at grocery stores is subject to federal country-of-origin labeling laws. That same transparency has yet to be extended to restaurants. A bill requiring Louisiana restaurants to label menus with the origins of shrimp and crawfish is winding its way through the state legislature. If passed, the law would be a huge win for Louisiana’s commercial fishing industry, which has been advocating for such a requirement for over a decade. The idea is that diners in Louisiana, when given the choice, would rather eat locally harvested seafood than the imported variety.

Wisconsin farmers tells Fox News suicides, bankruptcy rising in rural U.S. amid China trade war

Newsweek | Posted on May 20, 2019 in Agriculture, Federal News

A National Farmers Union executive and active Wisconsin dairy farmer joined Midwest agricultural leaders this week in condemning President Donald Trump's ongoing trade war with China, warning of increased financial stress and suicide among farmers. Patty Edelburg, vice president of the Washington-based NFU group, which says it represents some 200,000 U.S.

Trade aid could reach $20B: USDA calculating 'legally defensible' trade damage done to producers

DTN | Posted on May 20, 2019 in Agriculture, Federal News

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said that a second trade aid package for farmers may total $15 billion to $20 billion, the latter figure $5 billion higher than President Donald Trump has suggested. Perdue said that USDA would calculate "the legally defensible trade damage done to our producers," give that estimate to Trump and would be "prepared to defend those amounts" to the World Trade Organization, where the United States could face charges that it has violated rules on subsidies.

SARL Members and Alumni News

Louisiana bill would require country of origin labeling on restaurant menus

The New Food Economy | Posted on May 20, 2019

Seafood that is sold at grocery stores is subject to federal country-of-origin labeling laws. That same transparency has yet to be extended to restaurants. A bill requiring Louisiana restaurants to label menus with the origins of shrimp and crawfish is winding its way through the state legislature. If passed, the law would be a huge win for Louisiana’s commercial fishing industry, which has been advocating for such a requirement for over a decade. The idea is that diners in Louisiana, when given the choice, would rather eat locally harvested seafood than the imported variety.

Oregon Legislature approves environmental 'rollback' bill

Capital Press | Posted on May 16, 2019

Critics and proponents agree that recently passed legislation intended to shield Oregon from federal “rollbacks” of environmental regulations is meant to send a message. While supporters claim House Bill 2250 signifies the state government’s stand against weakening protections for air, soil and water at the federal level, opponents argue it amounts to an expensive but empty political stunt.The bill was approved by the Senate 16-12 on May 14 after passing the House two months earlier. It’s all but assured of being signed into law by Gov.

Thousands of dollars earmarked for land conservation in Saskatchewan

620 CKRM | Posted on May 16, 2019

More than $660,000 has been earmarked for land conservation agreements with Saskatchewan beef producers.The Saskatchewan Stock Growers and the South of the Divide Conservation Action Program have received funding support from Ottawa and the U.S.

Brewer’s eminent-domain bill sent to governor

The North Platte Telegraph | Posted on May 16, 2019

Property owners would win the right to challenge land seizures for renewable energy projects in court with the Legislature’s unanimous passage Monday of state Sen. Tom Brewer’s 2019 priority bill. Lawmakers also would assert their authority to protect the Sandhills and other environmentally sensitive areas under Legislative Bill 155, which won 44-0 final approval.The measure, which now goes to Gov.

Florida, DeSantis’ first veto allows local governments to keep banning plastic straws

Miami Herald | Posted on May 16, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis flexed his veto power for the first time Friday night, declining to sign an environmental bill that would have prohibited local governments from banning plastic straws for the next five years.

Agriculture News

Wisconsin farmers tells Fox News suicides, bankruptcy rising in rural U.S. amid China trade war

Newsweek | Posted on May 20, 2019

A National Farmers Union executive and active Wisconsin dairy farmer joined Midwest agricultural leaders this week in condemning President Donald Trump's ongoing trade war with China, warning of increased financial stress and suicide among farmers. Patty Edelburg, vice president of the Washington-based NFU group, which says it represents some 200,000 U.S.

Trade aid could reach $20B: USDA calculating 'legally defensible' trade damage done to producers

DTN | Posted on May 20, 2019

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said that a second trade aid package for farmers may total $15 billion to $20 billion, the latter figure $5 billion higher than President Donald Trump has suggested. Perdue said that USDA would calculate "the legally defensible trade damage done to our producers," give that estimate to Trump and would be "prepared to defend those amounts" to the World Trade Organization, where the United States could face charges that it has violated rules on subsidies.

Trade War with China=Economic Disaster

Storm Lake News | Posted on May 16, 2019

President Trump is worsening an economic disaster by ratcheting up a trade war with China. On Friday the US announced new tariffs on a wide range of Chinese imports, to which China retaliated on Monday by hiking tariffs on soy, pork and poultry. Soybean futures markets plunged again, after having set a 10-year low late last week. Soy prices on May 10 were about $2.50 per bushel below where they were when Trump won in November 2016. China is our biggest soy customer. Trump slapped on new tariffs when negotiations on a new trade deal fell apart. It takes patience to trade.

Wanted: Digital Whizzes to Work in Agriculture

Pew Trust | Posted on May 16, 2019

Robots with fingers designed to pick mature tomatoes, among the most delicate of crops. A Fitbit-like collar that monitors the wellbeing of a cow. Drones with sensors to identify dry areas of a field or discover crop production inefficiencies.

USDA opens signup for new On-Farm Trials effort

The Fence Post | Posted on May 16, 2019

 USDA is investing up to $25 million per year over the next five years to help support the adoption and evaluation of innovative conservation approaches on agricultural lands. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting proposals through July 15, 2019, for On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials, a new, additional sub-program created by the 2018 farm bill for the USDA’s Conservation Innovation Grants program. On-Farm Trials include a Soil Health Demo Trial, also created by the 2018 farm bill.

Federal News

Wisconsin farmers tells Fox News suicides, bankruptcy rising in rural U.S. amid China trade war

Newsweek | Posted on May 20, 2019

A National Farmers Union executive and active Wisconsin dairy farmer joined Midwest agricultural leaders this week in condemning President Donald Trump's ongoing trade war with China, warning of increased financial stress and suicide among farmers. Patty Edelburg, vice president of the Washington-based NFU group, which says it represents some 200,000 U.S.

Trade aid could reach $20B: USDA calculating 'legally defensible' trade damage done to producers

DTN | Posted on May 20, 2019

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said that a second trade aid package for farmers may total $15 billion to $20 billion, the latter figure $5 billion higher than President Donald Trump has suggested. Perdue said that USDA would calculate "the legally defensible trade damage done to our producers," give that estimate to Trump and would be "prepared to defend those amounts" to the World Trade Organization, where the United States could face charges that it has violated rules on subsidies.

USDA opens signup for new On-Farm Trials effort

The Fence Post | Posted on May 16, 2019

 USDA is investing up to $25 million per year over the next five years to help support the adoption and evaluation of innovative conservation approaches on agricultural lands. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting proposals through July 15, 2019, for On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials, a new, additional sub-program created by the 2018 farm bill for the USDA’s Conservation Innovation Grants program. On-Farm Trials include a Soil Health Demo Trial, also created by the 2018 farm bill.

Michigan farmers blast Trump trade policies amid new Chinese tariffs

Detroit Free Press | Posted on May 16, 2019

Frustrated Michigan farmers blasted the Trump administration's trade policies Monday, hours after China announced new tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. imports. "The noose is getting tighter," said Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association."We have lost market opportunities. We're not shipping soybeans around the world like we normally would. We're not shipping them to China.

FCC Rural Broadband Fund Would Move Funds From Existing Program

Next.gov | Posted on May 16, 2019

The rural broadband fund that Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai proposed last week would rely on funding from an existing broadband program slated to expire next year, while also setting higher standards for internet speeds, according to the FCC. Around $2 billion has been available annually in recent years through the Connect America Fund and that same amount would be shifted to the new fund, dubbed the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, said Mark Wigfield.

Rural News

‘Who’s going to take care of these people?’

The Washington Post | Posted on May 16, 2019

As emergencies rise across rural America, a hospital fights for its life. The hospital had already transferred out most of its patients and lost half its staff when the CEO called a meeting to take inventory of what was left.

West Virginians were promised coding jobs in Appalachia. Now they say it was a fraud.

MSN | Posted on May 16, 2019

Many West Virginians like Ms. Frame signed up for Mined Minds, quitting their jobs or dropping out of school for the prized prospect of a stable and lucrative career. But the revival never came. Almost none of those who signed up for Mined Minds are working in programming now.

As the Opioid Crisis Peaks, Meth and Cocaine Deaths Explode

Pew Trust | Posted on May 16, 2019

Most states are keeping a close eye on opioid overdose deaths, but they may need to start focusing on cocaine and other stimulants as well. It turns out that the same lethal drug that has been driving the nation’s spiraling opioid epidemic is also causing an historic surge in overdose deaths among cocaine users.That’s according to a new analysis of death certificate data from the U.S.

Wild Pig Wars: Controversy Over Hunting, Trapping in Missouri

AgWeb | Posted on May 16, 2019

Under gray skies on a fall morning, Rick Clubb wears an expression of disbelief as he walks across 10 acres of strafe-bombed pasture and stares down at ground turned upside down overnight. Wild pigs have unleashed hell. Again. The field is flipped and cratered, green gone brown in multiple stretches, testament to the wrecking ball capacity of a phenomenally opportunistic survivor. Head in hands, Clubb rubs his temples as the proverbial dollars drain from his pockets, keenly aware of the stark reality on his southeast Missouri farm: The wild pigs always return.

26 U.S. states ban or restrict local broadband initiatives

Tech Spot | Posted on May 16, 2019

Faced with high fees, slow speeds and poor customer service, many communities in the U.S. have turned to community broadband projects to free themselves from the clutches of major telecom providers. But this isn’t an option for everyone, as 26 states either severely restrict or outright ban community broadband initiatives. Healthy competition is meant to be the cornerstone of the U.S. economy, but the telecom industry has not only never embraced that mentality, it has apparently gone one step further by successfully lobbying to reduce competition through restrictions and outright bans.

Energy News

After Standing Rock, protesting pipelines can get you a decade in prison and $100K in fines

Grist | Posted on May 16, 2019

Cherri Foytlin and her fellow protestors spent much of last summer suspended 35-feet in the air in “sky pods” tied to cypress trees. They were hoping to block the Bayou Bridge Pipeline from running through their part of Louisiana. At the time, Energy Transfer Partners was building the pipeline to move oil between Texas and St. James Parish in southern Louisiana, crisscrossing through the Atchafalaya Basin, one of the largest swamps in the country.

Minnesota nonprofits using community solar to help veterans, families in need

Energy News Network | Posted on May 16, 2019

Minnesota nonprofits are turning to community solar as a tool to fight poverty. Community solar typically involves households or businesses buying subscriptions to projects owned by a third-party developer. The power generated is credited to subscribers’ utility bills and generally reduces monthly payments.But the model comes with barriers such as credit score checks that can put it out of reach for some of those who have the most to potentially gain. Several Minnesota charities are experimenting with ways to spread the benefits.

'Impossible' research produces 400-year El Niño record, revealing startling changes

Science Daily | Posted on May 16, 2019

Coral experts around the world said it was impossible to extract a multi-century record of El Niño events. But now a persistent effort has produced the world's first 400-year long record of El Niño events. And the changes researchers have found to El Niños in recent decades are startling.

Third-biggest US coal company files for bankruptcy

AP News | Posted on May 16, 2019

The nation’s third-largest coal company by production volume filed for bankruptcy Friday as utility companies increasingly turn to gas-fired generation and renewable energy for electricity. Gillette-based Cloud Peak Energy filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. The move was widely expected since at least March, when the company received the first of several extensions to make a $1.8 million loan payment. The latest extension expired Friday.

Ohio lawmakers seek to relax profit limits on FirstEnergy, other utilities

Cleveland.com | Posted on May 9, 2019

State rules to prevent significantly excessive profits by FirstEnergy and other Ohio utilities would be loosened by language slipped into Ohio’s massive two-year budget bill.

Food News

Louisiana bill would require country of origin labeling on restaurant menus

The New Food Economy | Posted on May 20, 2019

Seafood that is sold at grocery stores is subject to federal country-of-origin labeling laws. That same transparency has yet to be extended to restaurants. A bill requiring Louisiana restaurants to label menus with the origins of shrimp and crawfish is winding its way through the state legislature. If passed, the law would be a huge win for Louisiana’s commercial fishing industry, which has been advocating for such a requirement for over a decade. The idea is that diners in Louisiana, when given the choice, would rather eat locally harvested seafood than the imported variety.

How One Atlanta Startup Solved The Biggest Problem In Food Waste Recovery

Forbes | Posted on May 16, 2019

For any food waste recovery business, whether for profit or non-profit, the biggest expense is logistics. Jasmine Crowe, founder of Atlanta-based startup Goodrknew that from the start.Roadie’s model focuses on targeting drivers who are already near a pickup and likely heading in the right direction for the delivery. And Truxx is focused on larger vehicles for larger loads.

Impossible Foods raises $300 million with investors eager for bite of meatless burgers

Reuters | Posted on May 16, 2019

Impossible Foods, which makes a meatless plant-based burger and is backed by celebrities like Serena Williams and Katy Perry, said on Monday it has raised $300 million in the latest round of funding ahead of a possible initial public offering.

Danone CEO says plant-based could become as big as dairy

Edairy News | Posted on May 16, 2019

Danone’s U.S. plant-based business could become as big as its traditional yogurt business there in 10 years, according to Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Faber. The unit, which includes Silk and So Delicious, currently generates less than $1 billion in sales, compared with the $2 billion in dairy. But the category is growing faster as consumers race to adopt vegan alternatives to everything from yogurt to hamburgers. Danone’s U.S. plant-based business could become as big as its traditional yogurt business there in 10 years, according to Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Faber.

FDA finds euthanasia drug in pet food ingredient

Smart Brief | Posted on May 9, 2019

Pure tallow made by JBS Souderton for use in pet food contained the euthanasia drug pentobarbital, according to an FDA warning letter. The company, which does business under the name MOPAC, said it had cleaned equipment after the FDA and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture found lax testing protocols, but traces of pentobarbital were subsequently found, indicating that measures the company put in place were insufficient to prevent pentobarbital-contaminated ingredients from being used in finished tallow, according to the warning.