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  • Manitoba announces historic investment in food processing | Manitoba News release

    The Manitoba government and Roquette today announced a historic investment in the province’s food-processing industry, confirming the France-based company’s plans to build a new, $400-million pea-processing facility near Portage la Prairie.  Premier Brian Pallister and Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler were joined by Edouard Roquette, Roquette’s chairman and Jean-Marc Gilson, Roquette’s CEO, as well as many industry partners for the announcement made at the Legislative Building on Global Pulse Day. Once open, the facility is expected to create approximately 150 jobs with an estimated annual payroll of around $9 million, the premier noted.  The facility will help to better serve customers in North America and globally with high-value nutritional choices including vegetarian foods and high-protein sport nutrition products, he added. Construction is expected to begin in the Rural Municipality of Portage la Prairie before the end of 2017, Roquette said.  Roquette is committed to working with local contractors, skilled trades and professional service providers, with approximately 350 full-time jobs anticipated during the project’s two-year design and construction phase, he added.

    Post date: Thu, 01/19/2017 - 07:33
  • Organic livestock handling rule goes into effect | Meatingplace (free registration required)

    New rules regarding humane handling of organic livestock will go into effect Thursday, Jan. 19, when they are published in the Federal Register.  Last week, the final rule, which amends the Organic Food Production Act of 1990, was cleared by the federal Office of Management and Budget, where it had languished since last summer. The imminent implementation of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Rule drew praise from animal protection and rights groups and was met with criticism from meat industry associations. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) “commends” the move, calling it an “historic move” and “the first comprehensive set of regulations governing the on-farm treatment of animals ever issued by the federal government.”  In a news release, NPPC said the regulations will “dictate how organic producers must raise livestock and poultry, including during transport and slaughter … without scientific justification.” Some of the requirements, such as outdoor access, could even put some livestock at risk for contracting certain diseases. USDA is accepting public comments on the rule until Feb. 21, but it goes into effect as soon as it’s published in the Register tomorrow, in accord with to federal procedures.

    Post date: Thu, 01/19/2017 - 07:32
  • Tom Vilsack to Take Helm of U.S. Dairy Export Council | US Dairy Export Council

    The U.S. Dairy Export Council announced that former U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will join the organization as president and CEO, effective Feb. 1, 2017. USDEC is a non-profit, independent organization that seeks to enhance the global demand for U.S. dairy products and ingredients.  - See more at:

    Post date: Thu, 01/19/2017 - 07:30
  • Donald Trump Taps Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture | NBC

    President-elect Donald Trump has chosen former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to lead the Department of Agriculture, senior transition officials tell NBC News.  Perdue served on Trump's agricultural advisory committee during his presidential campaign. orn and raised in Georgia, the 70-year-old veterinarian served as a state senator for 10 years beginning in 1991. In 2003, he became Georgia's first Republican governor since Reconstruction.  Perdue was reelected in 2006 — an accomplishment that provides the nominee a sense of familiarity that might make for an easier confirmation process compared to what could be in store for some of Trump's more politically inexperienced cabinet picks. Like Trump in the 2016 election, Perdue won his first gubernatorial bid thanks in large part to disillusioned white voters.Upset that Georgia's legislature had stripped the state flag of its large Confederate battle cross in 2001, rural whites the next year overwhelmingly flocked to Perdue, who had promised a referendum on bringing the emblem back. Georgia voters in 2004 ended up choosing a design resembling the national "Stars and Bars" flag of the Confederacy over the more infamous battle cross.'

    Post date: Thu, 01/19/2017 - 07:29
  • EPA Releases Four Neonicotinoid Risk Assessments for Public Comment | EPA

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has published preliminary pollinator-only risk assessments for the neonicotinoid insecticides clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran and also an update to its preliminary risk assessment for imidacloprid, which we published in January 2016. The updated imidacloprid assessment looks at potential risks to aquatic species, and identifies some risks for aquatic insects.   The assessments for clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran, similar to the preliminary pollinator assessment for imidacloprid showed: most approved uses do not pose significant risks to bee colonies. However, spray applications to a few crops, such as cucumbers, berries, and cotton, may pose risks to bees that come in direct contact with residue. In its preliminary pollinator-only analysis for clothianidin and thiamethoxam, the EPA has proposed a new method for accounting for pesticide exposure that may occur through pollen and nectar.

    Post date: Thu, 01/19/2017 - 07:27

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Are corporations taking over America’s food supply?

15 March, 2016

Family farms.  The foundation of America’s food security.  According to the USDA, 97 percent of farms are family farms, and they grow 90 percent of the food produced. But national policies to keep food affordable (American’s spend less than 7 percent of their paycheck for food) and the boom and bust cycles of farming have resulted in larger, more concentrated farming practices.