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Agriculture News

Horse's case raises an important question: What would happen if animals could sue us?

ABC News | Posted on February 7, 2019

A horse named Justice sues former owner for more than $100,000 for neglect. An organization called the Animal Legal Defense Fund has filed a lawsuit against the former owner, Gwendolyn Vercher, in Justice’s name at the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for the County of Washington, asking for at least $100,000 for veterinary costs as well as "non-economic damages for pain and suffering." The money will be placed in a trust that will be used to look after Justice no matter who takes charge of him.But behind what appears to be just an eye-catching headline and a poignant story may lie a set of far more consequential questions, the answers to which could upend human society and its relationship to animals.Attorneys are appealing to a higher court after a Washington County judge dismissed the case last month.

Sanderson Farms asks for penalties against activists in false ad lawsuit

Meating Place (free registration required) | Posted on February 7, 2019

Sanderson Farms Inc. is asking a federal judge in San Francisco to impose financial penalties on two advocacy groups suing the poultry processor for alleged false advertising claims. Sanderson wants Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim of the U.S. District Court for Northern California to levy a $11,275 penalty against Friends of the Earth and the Center for Food Safety.

Farm Belt Bankruptcies Are Soaring

The Wall Street Journal | Posted on February 7, 2019

A wave of bankruptcies is sweeping the U.S. Farm Belt as trade disputes add pain to the low commodity prices that have been grinding down American farmers for years. Throughout much of the Midwest, U.S. farmers are filing for chapter 12 bankruptcy protection at levels not seen for at least a decade, a Wall Street Journal review of federal data shows.


Dairy Report Says U.S. Exports to Japan Endangered

DTN | Posted on February 7, 2019

A study released Wednesday by the U.S. Dairy Export Council projects new trade agreements between Japan and other countries will put U.S. dairy exports at a competitive disadvantage, resulting in lost sales of $5.4 billion over 21 years. The Japanese dairy market, the fourth-largest export destination for U.S. dairy exports, is expected to continue to grow in years to come, but new trade agreements between Japan and Australia, New Zealand and the European Union will give the advantage to competitors, according to the study conducted by Tokyo-based Meros Consulting.

A new era in ag as record number of women hold top state jobs

Politco | Posted on February 6, 2019

A record number of women now lead state agriculture departments across the country, a leadership wave that reflects the industry's growing gender diversity. A total of 13 women have either been elected or appointed to head state agriculture departments, surpassing the prior record of ten women holding top ag offices, according to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. And that number could increase, as the top state agriculture position remains open in five states, NASDA officials said.“As we broaden the diversity of our members, we broaden our perspectives and our ability to lead on ag policy,” said Barbara Glenn, chief executive officer of NASDA.Having more women in leadership positions in state agriculture could mean governments will be more likely to consider emerging issues such as programs to expand opportunities for the next generation of farmers in rural communities, she said.


N.C. Supreme Court to hear challenge to Smithfield payments

Meating Place (free registration required) | Posted on February 6, 2019

A legal challenge to the use of millions of dollars paid by Smithfield Foods Inc. to North Carolina is heading for the state Supreme Court. The seven-member panel agreed to hear appeals in a lawsuit questioning whether money the processor paid annually under a 2000 agreement with the state should have been applied to state education initiatives.The conservative public policy organization Civitas Institute won a challenge to the use of the funds in a state appellate court in September 2018. The Raleigh, N.C.-based organization argued that the state constitution could allow the $2 million Smithfield paid each year to go toward schools instead of being used to address environmental issues at hog farms across the state.

Rural Profile 2019: Arkansas economy rises; rural growth behind

The Pine Bluff Commercial | Posted on February 6, 2019

 Since the end of the Great Recession in 2010, both Arkansas’ and the national economy have grown; however, the state’s rural areas have “grown only slightly since 2010 and have not even come back to pre-recession levels,” according to Wayne Miller, an author of the “2019 Rural Profile of Arkansas.”

'Speed gene' key to future of horse racing

Breaking News | Posted on February 6, 2019

A ‘speed gene’ can be used to identify whether racehorses are better suited to short, middle or long distance races.The effects of the gene were tested by matching it to the race records of more than 1,700 thoroughbred horses in Britain and Ireland.Lead author of the study Professor Emmeline Hill, associate professor of Equine Science at UCD, said the research established a clear relationship between the speed gene and a horse’s career earnings by distance.

Canada’s Agriculture Day Feb. 12

Journal Pioneer | Posted on February 6, 2019

 Canadians are invited to celebrate the food they love in celebration of the annual Canada’s Agricultural Day.This year, Feb. 12 marks the third annual celebration of the agriculture industry and all other industries that play a role in bringing food to tables across the country.It's the industry's biggest celebration of the year, said Debbie Bailey, manager of Agriculture More Than Ever, one of the driving forces behind Canada’s Agriculture Day.“Canada’s Agriculture Day showcases all the amazing things happening in agriculture and the entire food industry. The day is also about helping consumers see the connection between the food they eat and the people who produce it.”Conversations about food production will take place at hundreds of events across the country.

Career in Farming Brings High Stress-Levels

KXNET | Posted on February 6, 2019

Suicide rates among farmers are alarmingly high. Much of it has to do with isolation and stress level. We spoke with Minnesota's Department of Agriculture's Mental Health Director who was here for the Local Foods Conference.He says farming is a job that includes one stressor after the next.For example, this year we saw a late planting season, and prices for crops being set lower than in the past few years. Then negotiations over a new farm bill and the trade conflict with China.He says because farming today includes these extra stressors, farmers, more than ever, have to focus on the things they can change, and not what they can't control.