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  • Advertisement against Massachusetts Ballot Initiative | you Tube

    See Diane Sullivan speaking against the Massacusetts Ballot Initiative that will make it illegla to sell eggs and meat products from confined animals.

    Post date: Thu, 10/20/2016 - 16:59
  • AEM Seeks Answers to Rural Infrastructure Challenges | Asociation of Equipment Manufacturers

    AEM hopes to help find answers to the infrastructure challenges facing the U.S. agriculture sector.  Under its Infrastructure Vision 2050 thought-leadership initiative, AEM will seek innovative ideas and best practices to address those challenges in the context of current and future U.S. infrastructure trends. AEM is calling for papers and research that  focus on one of two specific areas: 1) the movement of agriculture products from farm to market or 2) the movement of equipment from farm to farm.  "How we plan to transport agriculture products from farm to market or equipment from one farm to another in the future, relying on our current infrastructure, are crucial questions that AEM wants to help answer," said AEM President Dennis Slater. "This call for papers provides us with a platform to help shape the future of U.S. infrastructure for both the agriculture community and rural America."

    Post date: Thu, 10/20/2016 - 13:09
  • USDA Publishes Final Rule for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program | USDA

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) yesterday  published a final rule on the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), the nation’s premier conservation easement program that helps landowners protect working agricultural lands and wetlands. These rule changes will make the program more flexible and responsive to the unique needs of farmers and ranchers in each region of the U.S.  The 2014 Farm Bill consolidated three previous conservation easement programs into ACEP to make it easier for diverse agricultural landowners to fully benefit from conservation initiatives.  The final rule published in the Federal Register October 18, 2016, responds to public input and makes permanent the changes that were made in the interim final rule. Significantly, the final rule clarifies certain program requirements for certified and non-certified entities, which will help streamline participation in the Agricultural Land Easement component of ACEP.  The final rule also incorporates more fully the protection of grazing uses and related conservation values as one of the program purposes.

    Post date: Thu, 10/20/2016 - 13:08
  • Warning for US egg producers: Beware of free-range hens | Watt Ag Net

    Glenrath Farms has a profitable egg business, one of the U.K.’s largest, whose hens lay around 1.5 million eggs per day. John Campbell, the company's chairman, told the audience at the United Egg Producers’ Annual Board Meeting & Executive Conference in Miami Beach, Florida, on October 18, “I strongly advise any egg producer to avoid free range. It (free-range rearing for hens) is a disaster waiting to happen.”  What makes these statements remarkable is the fact that Glenrath Farms has made a lot of money supplying free-range eggs to U.K. consumers. When asked about why his company got involved in free-range egg production, given Campbell’s opinion, he said, “We did it because we made a lot of money.” He explained that while free-range production can be very profitable, it requires a lot of small flocks which are very hard to manage. Giving the hens outdoor access increases disease risk, exposes them to predators and requires more labor and management.

    Post date: Thu, 10/20/2016 - 13:07
  • Congress mulls project to flood Washington farmland | Capital Press

    Federal lawmakers may authorize the Army Corps of Engineers to pursue a $451.6 million project to convert hundreds of acres of privately owned farmland into Puget Sound fish habitat, unsettling to a farmer who owns property vital to the government’s designs.  “It’s definitely, definitely in the back of my mind, all the time,” said Scott Bedlington, third-generation Whatcom County farmer. “I have to farm. That’s what we live off.”  The corps and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife propose to inundate 2,100 acres in Whatcom, Skagit and Jefferson counties, including by removing dikes protecting farms.  The flooded land would include about 800 acres of Whatcom County farmland and about 250 acres of Skagit County farmland.  Farm groups make a broader point that the plan, drawn up without the involvement of farmers, shows that the agencies are indifferent to preserving farmland and maintaining a vibrant agricultural economy.  “Project proponents have demonstrated they are out of touch with the reality of our threatened farmland and certainly out of touch with the cost of purchasing high-value land,” Whatcom Family Farmers Executive Director Fred Likkel said.

    Post date: Thu, 10/20/2016 - 13:06

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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.