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State files again to dismiss Colorado River ‘personhood’ lawsuit, threatens to sanction lawyer

Post Independent | Posted on December 13, 2017 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

Protestors spurred on by the environmental group Deep Green Resistance gathered at dusk in front of the Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse in downtown Denver Friday. High above their heads, the words "Colorado River Rights of Nature" loomed, lit by a spotlight projector placed outside the protester circle.The activists had come in support of a first-of-its-kind lawsuit in the U.S., the Colorado River Ecosystem v. the State of Colorado, which seeks to grant direct rights to nature in the United States.

Breaking ground on the future of rural healthcare

Hutchinson News | Posted on December 13, 2017 in Rural News

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.

Wolf Administration Officials Tour New Agricultural, Environmental Learning Center at Philadelphia’s Largest Head Start Center

Pennsylvania State Government | Posted on December 13, 2017 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

Education Secretary Pedro Rivera, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, and Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Patrick McDonnell participated in the grand opening of the first Head Start center in Philadelphia to use agriculture and environmental lessons for teaching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts to young children.  The School District of Philadelphia welcomed Wolf Administration officials, local leaders and families to celebrate the opening of the Agricultural and Environmental Learning Center with Outdoor Engagement Learning Gardens.

SARL Members and Alumni News

State files again to dismiss Colorado River ‘personhood’ lawsuit, threatens to sanction lawyer

Post Independent | Posted on December 13, 2017

Protestors spurred on by the environmental group Deep Green Resistance gathered at dusk in front of the Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse in downtown Denver Friday. High above their heads, the words "Colorado River Rights of Nature" loomed, lit by a spotlight projector placed outside the protester circle.The activists had come in support of a first-of-its-kind lawsuit in the U.S., the Colorado River Ecosystem v. the State of Colorado, which seeks to grant direct rights to nature in the United States.

Wolf Administration Officials Tour New Agricultural, Environmental Learning Center at Philadelphia’s Largest Head Start Center

Pennsylvania State Government | Posted on December 13, 2017

Education Secretary Pedro Rivera, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, and Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Patrick McDonnell participated in the grand opening of the first Head Start center in Philadelphia to use agriculture and environmental lessons for teaching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts to young children.  The School District of Philadelphia welcomed Wolf Administration officials, local leaders and families to celebrate the opening of the Agricultural and Environmental Learning Center with Outdoor Engagement Learning Gardens.

Florida agriculture desperate for post-Irma aid

Ocala Star Banner | Posted on December 13, 2017

While Florida oranges have long occupied iconic status in American life, if Congress does not act promptly, Florida’s agricultural industry, including its treasured citrus growers and the communities that depend on it, could mark the end of Florida orange production and the state’s vital agricultural sector. Hurricane Irma caused enormous damage to Florida’s citrus growers. Of the $2.5 billion in damages inflicted by Hurricane Irma on Florida’s agricultural industry, Florida’s orange crop suffered the most — at $760 million, according to Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

Twelve states want the Supreme Court to axe California’s anti-confinement egg laws

The New Food Economy | Posted on December 13, 2017

Better make that back to the court we go—and this time with a bigger posse: Last week, 12 states banded together to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to block the “egg sales law,” alleging that it cost consumers upwards of $350 million in higher egg prices and is unconstitutional because it violates the interstate commerce clause—meaning that it’s preempted by federal law.This suit cites a study from a University of Missouri economist, which, the L.A.

Minnesota joins U.S. states limiting Dicamba

Reuters | Posted on December 13, 2017

Minnesota became the latest U.S. state on Tuesday to restrict controversial weed killers made by Monsanto Co and BASF SE that were linked to widespread crop damage, while Arkansas took a step back from imposing new limits.The United States has faced an agricultural crisis this year caused by new versions of the herbicides, which are based on a chemical known as dicamba.

Agriculture News

State files again to dismiss Colorado River ‘personhood’ lawsuit, threatens to sanction lawyer

Post Independent | Posted on December 13, 2017

Protestors spurred on by the environmental group Deep Green Resistance gathered at dusk in front of the Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse in downtown Denver Friday. High above their heads, the words "Colorado River Rights of Nature" loomed, lit by a spotlight projector placed outside the protester circle.The activists had come in support of a first-of-its-kind lawsuit in the U.S., the Colorado River Ecosystem v. the State of Colorado, which seeks to grant direct rights to nature in the United States.

Wolf Administration Officials Tour New Agricultural, Environmental Learning Center at Philadelphia’s Largest Head Start Center

Pennsylvania State Government | Posted on December 13, 2017

Education Secretary Pedro Rivera, Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, and Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Patrick McDonnell participated in the grand opening of the first Head Start center in Philadelphia to use agriculture and environmental lessons for teaching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts to young children.  The School District of Philadelphia welcomed Wolf Administration officials, local leaders and families to celebrate the opening of the Agricultural and Environmental Learning Center with Outdoor Engagement Learning Gardens.

Court Sides with New Mexico Cattle Ranchers in Water Dispute

Texas Agriculture Law Blog | Posted on December 13, 2017

A federal court has sided with a group of New Mexico ranchers in a case involving a dispute over stock watering rights in the Lincoln National Forest.The US Forest Service (USFS) manages federally owned land within the Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico.  As part of that management, since 1910, the USFS has issued grazing permits to ranchers to graze cattle on the federally owned forest land.  Each year the USFS determines the number of cattle that may be grazed on various portions of the forest, including the Sacramento Allotment.In 1983, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) propose

Bakers, farmers struggle to make any dough on poor wheat crop

Reuters | Posted on December 13, 2017

But this fall, bakers faced a crisis getting the right kind of bread to delis and sandwich shops locally and across the United States.Gonnella Baking Co - which supplies the buns to Major League Baseball’s Wrigley Field - faced an unusual problem in October when flour from this year’s U.S. wheat harvest arrived at their factories containing low levels of protein.That meant bakers couldn’t produce bread with the airy texture customers demand, setting off two weeks of tinkering with temperatures and the mixing process, and the eventual purchase of gluten as an additive.

USDA nearing end of feral hog removal

Albuquerque Journal | Posted on December 13, 2017

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.

Federal News

US says WTO losing focus on trade, becoming litigation group

ABC News | Posted on December 13, 2017

The United States said Monday that the World Trade Organization is losing its focus on trade negotiation and "becoming a litigation-centered organization." U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer also complained that some WTO members try to gain concessions through lawsuits that he said they could never get at the negotiating table."We have to ask ourselves whether this is good for the institution and whether the current litigation structure makes sense," Lighthizer said at the WTO's ministerial meeting

USDA nearing end of feral hog removal

Albuquerque Journal | Posted on December 13, 2017

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.

USDA Clears Arizona to Test SNAP Fraud Prevention Improvement

USDA | Posted on December 13, 2017

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cleared the state of Arizona to test a program aimed at limiting fraud and reducing illegal trafficking in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) electronic benefit (EBT) cards. The two-year waiver, granted by USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES), will allow the state to require direct contact with SNAP benefit recipients who request a replacement EBT card more than two times in a 12 month period.

Prevented Planting Option Ended

DTN | Posted on December 13, 2017

USDA Racks Up Cost Savings by Dialing Back Indemnity Potential for Prevented Planting Claims. Farmers in Northern Plains states and parts of the Corn Belt will lose the prospect of larger potential payouts under prevented planting claims following a crop-insurance change announced earlier this week by USDA's Risk Management Agency.For years, the Obama administration repeatedly sought a $1.4-billion cost savings over 10 years by asking Congress to reform prevented planting coverage by eliminating the option of buying 10% higher coverage for prevented planting.

Under Trump, E.P.A. Has Slowed Actions Against Polluters, and Put Limits on Enforcement Officers

The New York Times | Posted on December 13, 2017

The highway billboard at the entrance to town still displays a giant campaign photograph of President Trump, who handily won the election across industrial Ohio. But a revolt is brewing here in East Liverpool over Mr. Trump’s move to slow down the federal government’s policing of air and water pollution.The City Council moved unanimously last month to send a protest letter to the Environmental Protection Agency about a hazardous waste incinerator near downtown. Since Mr. Trump took office, the E.P.A.

Rural News

Breaking ground on the future of rural healthcare

Hutchinson News | Posted on December 13, 2017

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.

To Build a Progressive Populism, Look to Farm Country

Civil eats | Posted on December 13, 2017

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.

USDA nearing end of feral hog removal

Albuquerque Journal | Posted on December 13, 2017

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.

Scientists call on US to allow research on pot meds for pets

Leader-Telegram | Posted on December 12, 2017

A push is underway to have the U.S. government remove barriers to clinical trials of marijuana to see how effective it is in treating ailments in both pets and people, and one university in Colorado is already testing dogs with arthritis and epilepsy.People anxious to relieve suffering in their pets are increasingly turning to oils and powders that contain CBDs, a non-psychoactive component of marijuana.

Members of ranch family sentenced to probation, fines on gun charges

Capital Press | Posted on December 12, 2017

Ranchers Terry and Mary Hunt and their sons Russell and Derek were sentenced to five years probation and fined after pleading guilty to federal charges related to illegally buying and selling firearms.

Energy News

Under Trump, E.P.A. Has Slowed Actions Against Polluters, and Put Limits on Enforcement Officers

The New York Times | Posted on December 13, 2017

The highway billboard at the entrance to town still displays a giant campaign photograph of President Trump, who handily won the election across industrial Ohio. But a revolt is brewing here in East Liverpool over Mr. Trump’s move to slow down the federal government’s policing of air and water pollution.The City Council moved unanimously last month to send a protest letter to the Environmental Protection Agency about a hazardous waste incinerator near downtown. Since Mr. Trump took office, the E.P.A.

How Arctic Drilling, Stymied for Decades, Made Surprise Return in Tax Bill

The New York Times | Posted on December 13, 2017

As another fevered push to open the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to energy exploration collapsed on the Senate floor in December 2005, Ted Stevens, then the powerful and wily Republican senator from Alaska, declared it “the saddest day of my life.” At that moment, it looked as though the decades-long fight over drilling in 1.5 million acres of the remote refuge could finally be at an end. Republicans essentially gave up for the remainder of the George W.

White House pressures Big Corn to meet on U.S. biofuels policy

Reuters | Posted on December 12, 2017

President Donald Trump’s administration called two lawmakers from the U.S. corn belt to convince them to join talks about potential changes to biofuels policy to ease the burden on oil refineries, according to a spokesman for one of the lawmakers and a source briefed on the matter.

Coal CEO: Senate tax plan 'wipes us out'

Northwest Arkansas News | Posted on December 12, 2017

Coal CEO Robert Murray warns that if the Senate version of tax reform is enacted by President Donald Trump, he'll be destroying thousands of coal mining jobs in the process. "We won't have enough cash flow to exist.

Patagonia Joins Coalition Suing To Block Trump’s Federal Land Cuts

Huffington Post | Posted on December 12, 2017

Outdoor company Patagonia is a part of a coalition that has filed a federal complaint against President Donald Trump to block cuts to protected lands, according to a company news release. On Monday, Trump announced a plan to reduce the 1.3-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument by 85 percent and cut Grand Staircase-Escalante’s 1.9 million acres to half its size. The retail company took a stand that day by using its website to bring awareness to the cuts, putting “The President Stole Your Land” on its home page.

Food News

USDA Clears Arizona to Test SNAP Fraud Prevention Improvement

USDA | Posted on December 13, 2017

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cleared the state of Arizona to test a program aimed at limiting fraud and reducing illegal trafficking in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) electronic benefit (EBT) cards. The two-year waiver, granted by USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES), will allow the state to require direct contact with SNAP benefit recipients who request a replacement EBT card more than two times in a 12 month period.

Perdue: SNAP changes won't threaten 2018 farm bill

Politico | Posted on December 13, 2017

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Tuesday that he did not believe that GOP-desired changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, like stricter work requirements for able-bodied adults, would disrupt Congress' ability to pass a farm bill."I think the coalition that has passed the farm bill for years will be maintained," Perdue said during a speech at the National Press Club, referring to the long-standing alliance between anti-hunger and agriculture groups that has been crucial to securing votes for farm bills."By and large, there is a bipartisan group of people that bel

Food Stamp Fight Looms In Congress After Tax Code Overhaul

Huffington Post | Posted on December 12, 2017

Democrats have warned that after passing a tax bill that adds to the national debt, Republicans will say it’s all the more urgent to cut Social Security and Medicare.While overhauling those popular programs is a long-term Republican goal, in the near-term conservative lawmakers are more eager to cut food stamps.Rep.

Tyson terminates contract with Atlantic Farm in response to undercover video

Meat + Poultry | Posted on December 12, 2017

Tyson Foods Inc., Springdale, Arkansas, terminated its contract with Atlantic Farm, a poultry production operation, after undercover video footage depicting animal cruelty was released by an animal rights group on Dec. 6. A representative from Compassion Over Killing posing as an employee recorded undercover video footage of what Tyson officials referred to as “egregious, inexcusable” actions by workers at the facility over the course of several weeks.

Antibiotic confusion

Pig Progress | Posted on December 12, 2017

There appears to be lightyears of interpretation differences between the supporters and critics of antibiotic reduction. It’s clear that reducing antibiotics usage in one country or on one farm is not the same as reducing them in another. Depending on many factors, think of e.g. levels of biosecurity, legislation, farm size, professionalism of nutrition, to name a few, the way to interpret ‘reducing antibiotics’ is a different issue from place to place.