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  • Despite $1.1 billion year, Organic Valley posts $10 million loss in 2017 — its first in 20 years | LaCrosse Tribune

    Organic Valley posted its first financial loss in 20 years in 2017, despite its second consecutive year of gross sales over $1.1 billion and business growth of more than 4 percent. The after-tax loss of about $10 million — compared with a $6.3 million profit the previous year — resulted from a combination of factors, including excess supplies of both organic and conventional milk that bedeviled all U.S. dairy farmers.

    Post date: Thu, 04/19/2018 - 16:27
  • Farmers’ Anger at Trump Tariffs Puts Republican Candidates in a Bind | The New York Times

    As President Trump moves to fulfill one of the central promises of his campaign — to get tough on an ascendant China — he faces a potential rebellion from a core constituency: farmers and other agricultural producers who could suffer devastating losses in a trade war. Mr. Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Chinese goods came with a presidential declaration that trade wars are good and easily won. But the action has injected damaging uncertainty into the economy as Republicans are already struggling to maintain their hold on the House and the Senate in a difficult election year.While the battle for control of the House will be waged in large part in the suburbs, rural districts in Southern Illinois, Iowa, Arkansas and Missouri could prove important. And control of the Senate could come down to Republican efforts to unseat Democrats in North Dakota, Indiana, Missouri and Montana — all states staring down the barrels of a trade war’s guns.

    Post date: Thu, 04/19/2018 - 16:24
  • When Your Fixer-Upper Is Your Hometown | The New York Times

    Darla Moore came from humble roots. She grew up in Lake City, S.C., an agricultural community with a population of 6,675. After college, she moved to New York, where she achieved tremendous success in finance. She was the first woman on the cover of Fortune magazine. And with Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, she became one of the first two female members of Augusta National Golf Club.About 10 years ago, Ms. Moore began spending more time in Lake City, where her grandparents had farmed and her father, a school principal and coach, was a local leader. She attributed her success to her upbringing among a diverse group of people who worked primarily in agriculture.But it seemed that Lake City’s best days in the tobacco and cotton trade were behind it, and Ms. Moore was determined to fix it up. In the last decade, she said, she has given about $100 million to support the town.Many once-great towns and neighborhoods in America have lost their luster. But the challenges of turning around a community are complex and may deter many philanthropists. For one, the job calls for more effort than just giving money. Experts say the person leading the charge needs to be part of the community, or substantial change will be difficult to accomplish.

    Post date: Thu, 04/19/2018 - 16:23
  • rotecting Backyard Poultry Owners Against Zoonoses | AVMA

    To prevent zoonotic diseases from poultry, remember what your mother taught you, advises Richard M. (“Mick”) Fulton, DVM, PhD, DACPV, professor of pathobiology and diagnostic investigation at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in East Lansing: “Wash your hands before you eat; don’t put your fingers in your eyes, nose, or mouth; and don’t eat poultry that is undercooked.”  Most people become infected with poultry-related zoonoses via contamination of mucous membranes or by eating undercooked meat, Dr. Fulton said. He discussed problems associated with the growing number of backyard chickens.
     

    Post date: Thu, 04/19/2018 - 16:21
  • Species Threatened as Climate Crisis Pushes Mother Nature 'Out of Synch | Common Dreams

    In a new study showing that the timing of species' natural events is failing to synchronize, "everything is consistent with the fact it's getting warmer" The warming of the Earth over the past several decades is throwing Mother Nature's food chain out of whack and leaving many species struggling to survive, according to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.The study offers the latest evidence that the climate crisis that human activity has contributed to has had far-reaching effects throughout the planet.A paper by ecologists at the University of Ottawa examined 88 species on four continents, and more than 50 relationships between predator and pray as well as herbivores and the plants they eat, and found that food chain events are taking place earlier in the year than they have in the past, because of the warming climate.

    Post date: Thu, 04/19/2018 - 16:20

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.

STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS is organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, to provide and promote educational opportunities for state officials and others on technology, policy, processes and issues that are of concern to agrculture and rural communities.

STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS produces the national agriculture and rural enewsletter - Ag Clips, webinars, white papers and the annual Legislative Ag Chairs Summit.

STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS is managed by an elected board of state and provincial legislators.

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

Gleanings

Talk to your governor about the Opportunity Zones in your state

30 January, 2018

Qualified Opportunity Zones in the Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017

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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.”  

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Farm

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. 

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