The Promoting Real Opportunity, Success and Prosperity Through Education Reform Act – unveiled this month by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) – would effectively eliminate PSLF. This could devastate our public service veterinary workforce. The simple truth is that veterinarians carry high student debt loads that necessitate the consideration of financial factors in career decisions, and any cuts to PSLF could render public service careers financially unfeasible for many. We can’t afford this disruption to our supply of public service veterinarians.
This report provides an overview of U.S. farms, including the latest statistics on production, financial performance, and farm household characteristics by farm size categories. Among the findings are that 99 percent of U.S. farms are family farms, and they accounted for 90 percent of farm production in 2016.
You might’ve heard that the internet is going to get more expensive.For most of us, that’s really big news. But the bigger issue in rural areas, and especially on farms, is getting high-speed access in the first place. Paying high prices for internet connectivity to any site, at all, is something that residents of rural areas have been dealing with for years.Sure, there’s a digital divide. Ninety-six percent of urbanites have access to high-speed broadband internet access, compared to only 39 percent of rural Americans, according to the FCC. (The Census Bureau defines rural areas as county land outside cities or towns, even those as small as 2,500 people.) Early in his tenure, President Obama signed billions of dollars into law to address that very issue. But when it comes to how farmers are using the internet, it’s not altogether different from the city-dwellers.
The number of local ordinances across the country banning the sale of pets from commercial breeders, defined as large operations that raise pets for wholesale distribution, has grown from about a hundred last year to about 250. “The momentum is there,” said Goodwin, senior director of the Humane Society’s Stop Puppy Mills campaign. California this fall became the first state to outright ban sales of commercially raised animals in retail shops — a new success for activists working across the country to transform the way pets are taken in by families.Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture regulates large-scale commercial breeders, animal welfare activists say that as shelter adoptions continue to rise, consumers are becoming more aware of the unsafe, unsanitary conditions in which commercially bred pets are sometimes raised.Activists nationwide hope California becomes a model of how to turn local ordinances into a statewide law. The idea is to approach smaller jurisdictions first, planting the seeds for statewide action, said Elizabeth Oreck, national manager of puppy mill initiatives at Best Friends Animal Society, a nationwide organization.In California, at least 36 municipalities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento, approved banning the stores from selling pets before the California Legislature acted.
The forests you see today are not what you will see in the future. That's the overarching finding from a new study on the resilience of Rocky Mountain forests.Researchers analyzed data from nearly 1,500 sites in five states -- Colorado, Wyoming, Washington, Idaho, and Montana -- and measured more than 63,000 seedlings after 52 wildfires that burned over the past three decades. They wanted to understand if and how changing climate over the last several decades affected post-fire tree regeneration, a key indicator of forest resilience.They found sobering results, including significant decreases in tree regeneration following wildfires in the early 21st century, a period markedly hotter and drier than the late 20th century. The research team said that with a warming climate, forests are less resilient after wildfires.
Human waste accounts for a high percentage of nutrients consumed by some animals and plants in suburban ponds, new research indicates. Researchers found that residential, suburban land use is altering the dynamics of the food chain, as well as where nutrients originate and how they move through pond ecosystems.
The topic of net neutrality provides an opportunity to talk about potentially contentious issues without triggering our fight or flight response. Perhaps there’s a lesson here all of us could apply to other public discussions.
Officials were scheduled to gather in a large open field in rural Harper County at 2 p.m. Sunday to break ground on a new $41 million medical complex that its developers say will introduce an entirely new model for rural health care. Funded in large part by the late Neal Patterson, a Harper County native who was co-founder and former CEO of medical technology giant Cerner Corp., and his family, the 62,500 square foot complex will consolidate the current clinic, hospital and rehabilitation services offered in both Harper and Anthony into one place, under one roof.The Patterson Health Center won’t just offer traditional health care, however, said Kimberly Temple Schrant, vice president of the recently formed Hospital District #6, but a path to wellness.The health center will include a 15-bed critical access hospital, neighboring health clinic, physical therapy and rehab center, and a wellness center.
Political strategists could learn much from the work of farm communities who have fought racism and corporate control.Scapegoating leaves us at a standstill. It also ignores a rich history: In the 1980s, when rural life was rapidly becoming as bleak as it is today, a perfect storm of politics and economics hit middle America, in the form of the farm crisis. In response, white Midwestern farmers emerged at the forefront of resistance to the prevailing government agenda of privatization and deregulation, fighting white supremacist groups, and partnering with labor unions and Black politicians.Instead of demonizing the descendants of that rural-populist uprising, we need to ask: How did that happen and how can it happen again?Over 500 farms a week were lost through the ‘80s; the properties were sold to larger operations and families were forced to move from land they had farmed for generations. Without the engine of farm sales, Main Street businesses, farm-implement factories, schools, churches, and eventually whole towns dried up. Promised economic efficiency became on-the-ground desolation. Mental health advocates at the time suggested that farm loss was so emotionally and financially significant that it traumatized not only individual families, but entire rural communities, leaving swathes of the country with chronic long-term stress and depression.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is nearing the end of an eradication program targeting feral hogs that have been rooting up New Mexico and other parts of the country. The program is set to end in September 2018 and more funding will be needed to continue fighting the pests, USDA District Supervisor for Wildlife Services Brian Archuleta said.