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  • Food Demand Survey: Parsing ‘sustainability,’ counting cows | Meatingplace (free registration required)

    The key to food “sustainability,” consumers believe, has much more to do with food safety than with traditional environmental concerns such as global warming, according to Oklahoma State University’s most recent Food Demand Survey. Consumers responded to a question included in the survey about the importance of various factors in determining food sustainability. They indicated that “ensuring food is safe to eat” and “ensuring everyone has access to plentiful, affordable, healthy foods” are more important to sustainability than “being able to trace the food sold all the way back to the farm where it was produced” or “minimizing the impact of food production on global warming.”

    Post date: Wed, 11/22/2017 - 18:06
  • UNH Research Finds Wood Pellets Outperform Fossil Fuels, Natural Gas in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions | University of New New Hampshire

    Using wood pellets for home heating fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than half over fossil fuels and natural gas, according to new research from the NH Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of New Hampshire. “Wood pellet heat is a new and growing heating alternative in the U.S. and has been proposed as a climate-beneficial energy source to replace fossil fuels. However, little work has been done to assess this claim,” the researchers said. “The opportunity for switching to wood pellet heat is particularly great for the Northern Forest region of northern Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York, which is home to more than two million people who live in rural communities, larger towns, and small cities surrounded by the largest intact forest in the eastern United States.”

    Post date: Wed, 11/22/2017 - 18:06
  • Science doesn’t support slow-growing broiler movement | Watt Ag Net

    There’s more evidence that modern poultry production practices are good for society at large, but will it matter in the long run? In November 2017, German scientific consultancy and research firm HFFA Research GmBH published a comprehensive report evaluating the opportunity cost of moving all poultry production to alternative poultry rearing methods that are “extensive” or “organic.” The study, which analyzed the potential impacts in the European Union and Germany, defined extensive methods as those that: use slow-growing poultry breeds, render less efficient feed conversion than conventional practices and require more space per head. Organic poultry is defined as meeting the EU’s minimum requirements for organic production and labeling.

    Post date: Wed, 11/22/2017 - 18:04
  • UW Study Points to RFS Carbon Emissions from Land use Change | DTN

    A new University of Wisconsin-Madison study says cropland expansion in the United States as a result of the Renewable Fuel Standard, led to expanded carbon emissions from 2008 to 2012, resulting in about 115 million tons of releases. The study points the finger at the expansion of biofuels production leading to an expansion of cropland between 2008 and 2012, as the driver behind those emissions."Consequently, emissions from clearing land to accommodate biofuel production could significantly undermine the carbon savings that biofuels seek to attain

    Post date: Wed, 11/22/2017 - 18:03
  • USDA Awards Funds to Support Rural Veterinary Services | USDA

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 13 grants to support rural veterinary services and relieve veterinarian shortages in parts of the U.S. and its insular areas. The funding from NIFA’s Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP) is authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. “Rural veterinary practitioners address a variety of unique challenges related to the health and welfare of agricultural animals, public health concerns, and managing their practices,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “This program offers incentives to these types of practitioners, students, and educators, empowering the veterinary workforce with specialized skills to enhance services in the field.”

    Post date: Wed, 11/22/2017 - 18:02

Ag and Rural Leaders

STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS is dedicated to promoting and fostering cooperation, leadership and educational opportunities among and for state and provincial legislators that are passionate about agriculture and rural communities.

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STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS is where state leaders find the answers they need on agriculture and rural policy issues.


Farmland Taxes Under Discussion in the Midwest Again

23 January, 2017

Senator Jean Leising knows it’s going to be another tough year for beef and hog producers, and 2016’s record national yields for corn and soybeans indicate that farm profitability will decline for the third straight year.  She is convinced that “the drop in net farm income again this year makes the changes Indiana made to the farmland taxation calculation in 2016 even more important.”  


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.