Daily Harvest -- 8/17/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Trump announces farm and rural advisory team
- Donald Trump's campaign has set up a geographically diverse team of agricultural leaders that includes congressmen, governors, state agriculture commissioners, trade association leaders and producers of grain, livestock, poultry and fruits and vegetables.
Agri-Pulse: Dual agency antitrust action concerns Grassley
- (Audio) The Iowa senator and chairman of the judiciary committee wants the FTC and DOJ to work with USDA so the federal government is on the same page with the Dow-DuPont and ChemChina-Syngenta mergers.
Washington Post: Several members of Trump’s ag committee have supported legal status for undocumented workers
- Some of the 64 members of Donald Trump’s agriculture advisory committee have advocated for comprehensive immigration reform that would give unauthorized workers a path to legal status, a position that runs counter to Trump’s call for the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants.
E&E News: Energy gurus take reins of Clinton team
- Ken Salazar, former Interior secretary, and Jennifer Granholm, former governor of Michigan, will be helping to pick agency leaders and map out policy goals, putting them in line for top administration jobs if Hillary Clinton clinches the White House.
The Intercept: Hillary Clinton Picks TPP and Fracking Advocate To Set Up Her White House
- As a senator, Salazar was widely considered a reliable friend to the oil, gas, ranching and mining industries.
Bloomberg: Oil tycoon Pickens boosted energy holdings as rigs bottomed out
- Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens boosted the value of his energy holdings by more than one-third in the second quarter, just as the U.S. oil rig count was bottoming out from the worst crude-market crash in a generation.
Toronto Globe & Mail: BC Hydro officials worry about risks of earthquakes triggered by fracking
- BC Hydro officials have worried that earthquakes triggered by fracking could damage or destroy some of the utility’s dams in the province’s north, an issue that has been a point of discussion among staff over recent years, documents show.
FOOD & NUTRITION
AP: Hawaii sushi chain tied to hepatitis A outbreak tosses food
- A restaurant chain in Hawaii that serves sushi on a conveyor belt threw out food and scrubbed its counters Tuesday after state authorities identified its raw scallops as the probable source of a hepatitis A outbreak.
Columbus Dispatch: 'Food deserts' could grow with proposed changes to federal policy, critics warn
- Nearly half of the U.S. Senate has urged the USDA to change course. In a recent letter, the bipartisan group predicted that 45 million families, seniors and children could face unintended consequences if a large number of small retailers now participating in SNAP are forced out of the program.
Food and Wine: Junk Food Ads Alter Children's Brains, Says Study
- "Food commercials may prompt children to consider their liking and wanting of specific food items, irrespective of the lack of any health benefits. The emphasis on taste may make it even more difficult for relevant caregivers to encourage healthy food choices," the report published in The Journal of Pediatrics says.
Slate: McDonald’s Put a Cap on Free Food in the Olympic Village Because Athletes Ate Too Much
- Olympic athletes are so obsessed with McDonald’s, the fast-food giant is limiting the amount of free food Olympians can order.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Today.ng: Stakeholders counsel farmers on benefits of GMOs
- Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh said: “We are here to deal with the issue of a new technology. It is scientific and we don’t want sentiments to have upper hand on the issue. We have to know and have full knowledge of GMOs. We may have to call on the public to contribute to it because Nigerians are not aware of the present development in the world of science.”
Richmond Times-Patch: McAuliffe heading to Colombia on agricultural trade mission
- After a summer vacation last week at Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is heading to Colombia for a trade mission, the 20th of his term but the first to South America. He plans to spend his two days talking up Virginia agriculture and pursuing new economic development opportunities.
Australian Broadcasting Corp.: Insect collection worth $100m providing answers to science, technology, agriculture
- The collection is large but also significant because it is one of the oldest in Australia, having been started by the-then Department of Agriculture in the 1890s.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Des Moines Register: River, agriculture experts to take a trip down the South Raccoon
- Before the float, presentations will be made by Bill Stowe, GM of Des Moines Water Works, which is suing drainage districts in three counties in the Raccoon River watershed for pollutants that flow through field tiles into the river. Roger Wolf of the Iowa Soybean Association and Mary Skopec, research geologist and IOWATER coordinator with the Iowa DNR, will also be there.
Boise Public Radio: Rare Idaho Plant To Be Listed As Threatened
- A small, flowering plant that grows only in southwest Idaho is about to go back on the endangered species list. Slickspot Peppergrass has been there before, in 2009, but its status as “threatened” was challenged by Governor Butch Otter.
Nature: Controversial insecticides linked to wild bee declines
- A dip in the populations of wild bees across the English countryside over nine years coincided with the use of chemicals called neonicotinoids on the crops in which the bees forage, ecologists say. The UK government-funded study, published on 16 August in Nature Communications1, is the first to link the controversial insecticides to the decline of many bee species in real-world conditions.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
L.A. Times: California lawmakers, faith leaders begin fast in support of overtime pay for farm workers
- California lawmakers and religious leaders will fast over the next 24 hours in support of a bill that would phase in overtime pay for farm workers in four years.
Capital Press: Tight labor supply pushes wages upward
- The farm labor association, WAFLA, estimates 15,000 H-2A workers will be hired this year. Wages have surged upward with the $12.69/hour minimum wage becoming the floor, and good pickers are making the equivalent of $15 to $17 per hour on piece rate. Large companies use H-2A but it’s harder for smaller growers to follow suit, said Mike Gempler, executive director of the Washington Growers League in Yakima.
Dallas Morning News: Tyson Foods faces $263,000 fine after Texas worker suffers finger amputation
- Tyson Foods, one of the largest meat processors in the world, faces a potential fine of more than $263,000 after an employee suffered a finger amputation and federal inspectors found more than a dozen "serious violations" at the company's chicken processing plant in Center., Texas.
St. Louis Business Journal: Bayer could mount hostile takeover of Monsanto: report
- Bayer AG reportedly is considering making an unsolicited bid for St. Louis-based Monsanto Co., which last month rejected the German firm's improved $125-a-share offer.
Jackson County Floridian: Assistance helps Florida farmers, ranchers conserve natural resources
- Florida farmers, ranchers and forest owners can apply until Friday, Oct. 21 for financial and technical assistance from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentives Program for fiscal year 2017 funding. Although applications are accepted on a continuous basis for all programs, funding selections are typically made once a year.
CNN: Anti-science claims dog Green Party's Jill Stein
- Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein has been waging an uphill battle for name recognition as she pursues her White House bid. But as she emerges in the public eye -- she is participating in a CNN-hosted town hall on Wednesday -- so have some of the retired medical doctor's past controversial comments on vaccines, her concerns about internet use being linked to poor health and GMOs.
KELO (Sioux Falls): Precision agriculture new major at SDSU
- (Audio) Bill Gibbons of South Dakota State's College of Agriculture says the major is the only one of its kind in the United States.
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