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State Ag and Rural Leaders


  • Ransomware Disrupts Meat Plants in Latest Attack on Critical U.S. Business |

    By Julie CreswellNicole Perlroth and Noam Scheiber

    June 1, 2021

    A cyberattack on the world’s largest meat processor forced the shutdown of nine beef plants in the United States on Tuesday, according to union officials, and disrupted production at poultry and pork plants. The attack could upset the nation’s meat markets and raises new questions about the vulnerability of critical American businesses.


    The company, JBS, said the majority of its plants would reopen on Wednesday. But even one day’s disruption at JBS could “significantly impact” wholesale beef prices, according to analysts at Daily Livestock Report.

    The breach at JBS was a ransomware attack, the White House said — the second recent such attack to freeze up a critical U.S. business operation. Last month, a ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, which transports gas to nearly half the East Coast, triggered gas and jet-fuel shortages and panic buying.

    JBS, which is based in Brazil and accounts for one-fifth of the daily U.S. cattle harvest, said in a statement late Tuesday that it had made “significant progress resolving the cyberattack.”


    Post date: Wed, 06/02/2021 - 07:54
  • Dent Recognized Nationally For Work To Help Farmers, Ranchers, Pesticide Industry |

    SARL would like to congratulate Representative Tom Dent on being selected as CropLife America’s State Leadership Award winner for 2020!  The State Leadership Award honors an individual who demonstrates outstanding leadership in the area of state legislative or regulatory issues and promotes initiatives that preserve, protect and advance the ability of farmers to provide a safe, affordable and sustainable food supply. This state legislator, agricultural commissioner or similar, has performed outstanding service by developing and/or implementing methods, programs or legislation to strengthen and improve the agriculture community. State Legislative Award Eligibility Requirements: Nominees must be a current state legislator, agriculture commissioner or similar.  Nominees must demonstrate service to the pesticide industry as well as exhibited professional achievement.  

    We can not think of a more deserving person!

    Post date: Tue, 03/30/2021 - 07:32
  • ‘Struggling to tread water’: Dairy farmers are caught in an economic system with no winning formula | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    A worldwide surplus of milk has driven down the price farmers receive to the point where many have lost money for months, or even several years, at a time. Nearly 3,000 U.S. dairy farms folded in 2018, about a 6.5% decline, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture figures.Wisconsin lost nearly 700 last year — almost two a day — as even dairy farmers used to enduring hard times called it quits in a downturn now headed into its fifth year.The fallout continues as farmers, on the cusp of spring planting, decide whether to invest in seed, chemicals, fertilizer and other supplies needed to raise the crops they feed to their cattle. More than 300 Wisconsin dairy farms shut down between January and May, including 90 — three a day — in April alone.Some will find the decision is out of their hands as banks refuse to extend them credit. “It’s enough to test even the most optimistic farmer limping out to the fields,” said Ronald Wirtz, regional outreach director for the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis, which regulates banks in parts of six states, including northwest Wisconsin, and keeps close tabs on agricultural lending trends. In 2018, for the third straight year, Wisconsin led the nation in farm bankruptcies. The state's smaller average farm size, particularly in dairy, is at least partly the reason, Wirtz said. The farm economy in the Upper Midwest "might generously be described as struggling to tread water," he added. Some dairy farmers say they've been getting around $15 for every hundred pounds of milk they produce — roughly 12 gallons — but their costs are between $17 and $22. Many families have exhausted their savings and credit to remain in business; a large number have at least one non-farm income to help meet the needs of their families. 

    Post date: Thu, 05/23/2019 - 13:10
  • Small group of America’s big farms gets bulk of Trump bailout | Financial Times

    A tenth of US farm operators have received more than half the money from a federal bailout designed to offset the costs of the Trump administration’s trade battles, data show. Some use legal loopholes to collect multiples of a $125,000 cap on payments. The government had doled out $8.5bn ahead of last Friday’s application deadline for farmers, the US department of agriculture said. The White House launched the Market Facilitation Program in September after China, Mexico and other countries fought back against US tariffs by raising duties on American farm goods, depressing their price. The payments reflect the farm sector’s political clout in Washington. No other US industry has received direct payments to relieve losses caused by tariffs.  Between September and mid-April, $4.5bn of MFP payments went to 10 per cent of recipients, according to records the Financial Times obtained under the US Freedom of Information Act. The government limited payments to $125,000 per person or legal entity in each of three commodity categories. Farmers were also ineligible if their adjusted gross income topped $900,000. The records showed that more than 3,000 farm businesses got paid in excess of $125,000 within a single category, however. More than 100 received at least $500,000 and a handful collected almost $1m.


    Post date: Thu, 05/23/2019 - 13:08
  • Maryland 50% renewable by 2030, but republican governor wants more | electrek

    Maryland’s bill mandating 50% renewable energy by 2030 is set to become law on Friday. The bill will do so without the signature of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Why won’t Hogan sign the bill? It’s probably not what you think. Like a number of critics, Maryland’s GOP governor doesn’t believe the bill does enough to combat climate change, and it gives no guarantees of Maryland jobs. As Hogan wrote in a letter to the Maryland senate president,“Despite its name, this bill is not clean enough, nor smart enough, nor does it create the intended jobs within Maryland.”Hogan actually wants to expand the mandate to 100% clean energy by 2040, surprising his critics. The new law may not go as far as some would like, but it will still have its benefits.

    Post date: Thu, 05/23/2019 - 13:00

The State Ag and Rural Leaders group was formed as a 501 c(3) non-profit in 2006 at the 5th Annual Legislative Ag Chairs Summit in Tempe, Arizona.
The first Legislative Ag Chairs Summit was in Dallas in 2002.

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.