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SARL Members and Alumni News

On-farm brewery bill approved by Oregon Senate

Capital Press | Posted on March 14, 2019

Agritourism activities currently allowed on Oregon wineries and cideries would be extended to on-farm breweries under a bill approved unanimously by the Senate. Senate Bill 287, which would permit on-farm breweries to make beer, have tasting rooms, serve brewer’s lunches and dinners and hold special events, among other provisions, will now be considered by the House.Sen. Arnie Roblan, D-Coos Bay, cast the bill was a tool for bridging the urban-rural divide in Oregon.

Ban on single-use plastic bags passes Washington state Senate

The Seattle Times | Posted on March 14, 2019

A ban on single-use plastic bags passed the state Senate Tuesday, progress for an idea proposed in the Legislature as early as 2013. The bill would ban stores from giving out single-use plastic carryout bags, giving them until 2020 to use up existing stocks, and require an 8-cent charge for other bags handed out.

Canada says improving internet and cellphone service in rural areas is a priority

CKRM | Posted on March 14, 2019

The federal government says improving internet and cellphone service in rural areas is a priority. The Minister of Rural Economic Development, Bernadette Jordan spoke Tuesday at the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities convention in Saskatoon. “It’s a huge issue, it’s an expense if one. there’s no question. But we recognize that internet now is like highways as well because you have to have it in order to grow.”Jordan says the government is in the process of developing a preliminary plan, which should be ready by June. “We will make sure that we continue to work with our partners to see the best way forward, to make sure that we do provide a business case to be able to put in the backbone that we need in order to do that.”“We know that in rural areas it’s really hard to grow a business, to upscale, to export, to expand if you don’t have that critical piece of infrastructure that is internet and also cell phone coverage,” she adds.

Representative Wills:He wants to keep fighting for Iowa’s smallest towns

Northwest Iowa | Posted on March 14, 2019

I believe we are facing a critical juncture in our state. Are we going to bury our heads in the sand and ignore the shrinking populations of rural Iowa or are we going to finally put forth serious efforts toward tackling the issue head on? I have been working on a piece of legislation that identifies communities in rural Iowa that don’t need a handout but instead need to be treated fairly. Rural Iowa should have an opportunity to compete for the same or similar benefits that seem to always land in our largest cities and counties.House File 468 is a bill that requires half the state’s economic development tax credits to be used in rural Iowa. It targets communities meeting the following criteria: population under 15,000, proximity to a four-lane highway or interstate road systems, contain a community college within it to train a workforce.These communities too often can’t compete with the big cities when it comes to applying for incentives or wooing business and industry. Some of that is due to economic development strategies that don’t focus on our areas of state. I envision a system where our state has regional hubs of economic development that serve as economic generators for the towns, communities and counties surrounding them.

Illinois Acting state ag director seeks funding for broadband in rural areas

Illinois News Network | Posted on March 13, 2019

Rural Illinois residents could be a step closer to getting access to high-speed internet access, but state leaders still need to come up with the money and a plan to make it happen. Illinois Department of Agriculture Acting Director John Sullivan sees a need for broadband in the rural parts of Illinois and is working to get funding for it.There is a need to implement rural broadband in the state, said to Rick Holzmacher, director of governmental affairs at the Illinois Rural Broadband Association. He said broadband access could drive the economy.

Maryland Senate approves statewide ban on foam food containers and cups to protect environment

Baltimore Sun | Posted on March 13, 2019

Maryland’s senators approved a bill that would ban polystyrene foam food containers and cups starting next year.If the bill eventually becomes law, Maryland would be the first state to enact a ban on the products. Some local governments in Maryland — most recently Anne Arundel County — have banned them. The Senate vote of 34-13 came after days of off-and-on debate, with many Republicans raising concerns that the ban would cause difficulty or increased expenses for farmers, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.They also questioned how much the ban would do to reduce litter and improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Sen. Adelaide Eckardt said she lives at the headwaters of a creek in Cambridge and regularly picks up litter, but rarely finds foam cups or containers.

Why Eating Roadkill Makes Roads Safer for People and Animals

Pew Trust | Posted on March 13, 2019

It’s taco night at the Lindskoog household in this suburban community 20 miles west of Boise. Nate Lindskoog has seasoned the red meat sizzling in his cast-iron skillet with a mixture of chili powder and Himalayan pink salt. In a few minutes, he will wrap it in corn tortillas and top it off with lime-soaked avocados. The 36-year-old father of six isn’t making carne asada with meat he bought from a butcher or at the grocery store. Instead, he’s searing venison from a deer killed by a car on Lake Avenue.Between 1 million and 2 million large animals are hit by vehicles every year in the United States in accidents that kill 200 people and cost nearly $8.4 billion in damages, according to estimates from the Federal Highway Administration.Instead of wasting roadkill or mocking it as hillbilly cuisine, Idaho is tracking the carnage and allowing residents to salvage the carcasses to reduce the number of vehicle-animal collisions and feed hungry people.

N.Y. lawmakers propose giving teens right to vaccinate without parental consent

Times Union | Posted on March 13, 2019

New York lawmakers are planning to introduce a bill that would allow children as young as 14 to get vaccinated without their parents' consent. Proposed by Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy and Sen. Liz Krueger, the bill would enable older children to protect themselves from preventable diseases such as measles, meningitis and human papillomavirus in the event their parents opt out of vaccinating them.

Connecticut “Big 6” Ban Passes Committee

Sportsmen Alliance | Posted on March 13, 2019

Connecticut Sen. Bob Duff’s (D-Norwalk) proposed Senate Bill 20 would ban the import, sale and possession of what he calls “the Big Six” African species; African elephants, lions, leopards, black rhinoceros, white rhinoceros and giraffes. The Joint Committee on Environment voted 24-5, sending the bill to the Senate Floor for a possible vote at any time.

KY sends bill on cultured "meat" labeling to the Governor

Ky Legislature | Posted on March 13, 2019

Amend KRS 217.035 to include any food product that purports to be or is represented as meat or a meat product that contains any cultured animal tissue produced from in vitro animal cell cultures outside of the organism from which it is derived.