Skip to content Skip to navigation

Agriculture News

Activist group launches ‘surveillance’ program

Meating Place (free registration required) | Posted on February 14, 2019

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.


NY Farmworkers Fight to End 80-Year Ban on Unionizing

COurthouse News Service | Posted on February 14, 2019

Contesting New York’s nearly century-long failure to protect farmworkers from wage theft and other labor abuses, an attorney urged a New York appeals court Monday to bring state law out of the Jim Crow era. “The court ruled that farmworkers do not have a constitutional right to organize, despite the very clear language in the New York Constitution giving all employees the right to organize,” said Erin Harrist, senior staff attorney at the New York City Civil Liberties Union. “Allowing this racist exclusion that continues to leave farmworkers unprotected in New York goes against our values and our laws.”New York’s labor laws are a direct descendant of the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act, which NYCLU argues was altered at the behest of segregationist lawmakers from the South to deny black farmworkers the right to organize. 

Bavarians vote to save bugs and birds—and change farming

National Geographic | Posted on February 14, 2019

A coalition of conservation groups has recently called for the world to adopt a goal of protecting 30 percent of the whole planet by 2030 in order to preserve biodiversity. Bavarian supporters of the petition see themselves as pursuing a similar purpose at home—in a state that is the bastion of German political conservatism. The Christian Social Union, the right-wing party that has dominated Bavarian politics since World War II, and which had opposed the petition, will now be obliged to negotiate with the organizers, starting next week.“In Bavaria there are many people who are actively engaged in protecting nature,” says Hans-Josef Fell, a prominent Green Party politician in Hammelburg who signed the petition but did not help organize the campaign. “They all see that humans are causing a dramatic disappearance of species in the world, the likes of which haven’t occurred on the planet since the extinction of the dinosaurs. They all want to counter that loss of biodiversity.”

South Dakota House OKs industrial hemp bill despite Noem's call for delay

Rapid City Journal | Posted on February 14, 2019

State representatives overwhelmingly advanced legislation to legalize industrial hemp in South Dakota, just days after Republican Gov. Kristi Noem asked lawmakers to shelve the efforts this session.The 65-2 House vote came after Noem said in a statement that South Dakota isn't ready for the production of industrial hemp, contending questions remain about enforcement, taxpayer costs and effects on public safety. But House Majority Leader Lee Qualm urged support and said it's time to move forward with hemp.

More pets getting stoned on marijuana

Metro West | Posted on February 14, 2019

Be careful where you stash your weed brownies. The legalization of marijuana in Massachusetts has come with a surge of edible products, giving an alternative to consumers and patients who don’t necessarily want to smoke, vape or take the drug otherwise.But humans are not the only ones drawn to baked goodies, and veterinarians say there’s been a recent spike in the number of emergency room visits by pets who have consumed marijuana products.“We started seeing it a lot when it was first legalized and even more now,” said Dr. Kiko Bracker, a veterinarian at MSPCA-Angell. “Now, several cases a week will come in.”

Pesticide exposure linked to poor sense of smell

Science Daily | Posted on February 14, 2019

A Michigan State University study is the first to show an association between unusually high pesticide exposure and poor sense of smell among aging farmers.

Queensland floods: 500,000 cattle die in floods and rain

CNN | Posted on February 13, 2019

After seven years of drought, elated cattle farmers in the Australian state of Queensland welcomed the rainstorms heading their way as a blessing.But now, after one of the most devastating deluges in state history, a billion-dollar industry could be left in tatters.Authorities estimate that nearly 500,000 cattle -- worth about $213 million (AU$300 million) -- have been killed by flooding in Queensland's north since the rain began falling late last month, CNN affiliate Seven News reported.The downpours have ended but the cattle carcasses remain, baking in the record-breakingsummer heat. If not buried or burned, they will pose a health hazard. Video taken from overhead at one location shows scores of dead cattle huddled together amid the devastation."People have gone through drought, they have come out of years and years of drought, and they have now gone smack-bang into a natural disaster the likes of which no one out there has seen before," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.One of the farmers affected, Rachel Anderson, says she lost an estimated 2,000 cattle in the floods and more are still dying from pneumonia from the cold rain and wind."Some cattle are still quite weak from enduring the many days of rain and not able to access feed," Anderson,

| Posted on February 13, 2019

Yakima Valley Dairy Farmers are continuing to prepare as more snow is expected to hit the Valley, they’re adding extra bedding to insulate areas for cows to lay in, adding extra feed, and thawing water troughs with hot water.“Without our employees, there’s no way we, or our cows could survive this storm,” Alyssa Haak , a dairy farmer in Prosser said. “To shield our cows from the wind we stacked straw bales to create a windbreak for our cows. I give a lot of credit to our milk truck drivers, too. Without their bravery, we wouldn’t be able to get our milk off the farm.”Another farmer in Grandview says he’s been working around the clock to make sure his cows are being protected from the elements.“These have been the worst few days of my life,” he said. “We’re just devastated. I don’t think we’ve ever been hit with weather like this.”With severe winter weather continuing to occur in in eastern Washington throughout the next week, dairy farmers are assessing their current losses and preparing for the next round of snow and wind.Farmers say that they are working together to help each other through these tough times.

Climate of North American cities will shift hundreds of miles in one generation

Science Daily | Posted on February 13, 2019

In one generation, the climate experienced in many North American cities is projected to change to that of locations hundreds of miles away -- or to a new climate unlike any found in North America today. A new study and interactive web application aim to help the public understand how climate change will impact the lives of people who live in urban areas of the United States and Canada. These new climate analyses match the expected future climate in each city with the current climate of another location, providing a relatable picture of what is likely in store.

Dairy Report: US needs Japan for trade

Edairy News | Posted on February 13, 2019

A new report by Meros Consulting, a Tokyo-based company, for the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC),  shows that trade deals negotiated by other countries with Japan are hurting U.S. dairy trade access.Japan is the fourth largest dairy export destination for U.S. dairy products. The new trade agreements with Australia, New Zealand and the European Union could deprive the U.S. of $5.4 billion in sales over the next 21 years as these agreements fully mature, estimates Meros.