Daily Harvest -- 8/24/2016
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse Daybreak for Aug. 24, 2016
- USDA buys extra cheese, but not as much as dairy industry wanted. Also: enviros and ESA; Trump still anti-TPP; Greens and ag; FDA delays FSMA deadlines; Food Stamp numbers down.
Agri-Pulse: USDA to buy $20 million of cheese to aid dairy industry
- USDA announced today it will spend an estimated $20 million to take about 11 million pounds of cheese off the market and reduce the surplus that has helped keep prices low.
Agri-Pulse: Grassley announces Judiciary hearing on antitrust issues
- Senate Judiciary Committee chair Chuck Grassley says his committee will hold a hearing on antitrust and merger issues next month. This comes after news of the Syngenta and ChemChina merger clearing a procedural hurdle and calls for a closer look at how the federal government handles merger reviews.
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack says next farm bill should expand outreach to veterans
- Recruiting military veterans and youth into farming should be a major goal of the next farm bill, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said today at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event to highlight its Hiring our Heroes program.
LuckyPeach: Your Food Policy Guide to the 2016 Election
- While issues like immigration, job security, taxes, healthcare, and gun control have made predictable appearances in Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s platforms, issues of food and agriculture—with the exception of a few bullet points in Hillary’s “Plan for a Vibrant Rural America”—are once again glaringly absent.
Agri-Pulse: Net metering battles test renewable energy support
- As the solar industry looks for continued growth, the debate is also growing over whether or not net metering is the best way to incentivize the industry's expansion.
Storm Lake Pilot Tribune: New lawsuit seeks 'emergency' stop to pipeline construction
- On Monday, August 22, Bill Hanigan of the Davis Brown Law Firm filed an emergency motion with the Iowa Utilities Board to temporarily prevent construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline across the property of fifteen Iowa landowners while a lawsuit remains pending in Polk County District Court.
Bismarck Tribune: State pulls relief resources from swelling Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp
- North Dakota’s homeland security director ordered the removal of state-owned trailers and water tanks from the Dakota Access Pipeline protest campsite Monday, citing mounting reports of unlawful activity -- the latest involving lasers -- and the risk of damage.
Bloomberg: Obama Rule Could Take Wind Out of Renewable Power on Public Land
- Although the Obama administration has given initial approvals to 46 wind and solar projects on 216,356 acres of public lands since 2009, just 15 are in operation. Others have been abandoned, are still being built or are undergoing years of required environmental analysis.
The Hill: Libertarian candidate backs carbon ‘fee’
- Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is supporting a “fee” on carbon dioxide emissions, a policy more closely associated with environmentalists and liberals.
Quartz: Man-made “wind trees” will finally make it possible to power homes using turbines
- Picture a steady breeze blowing through the leaves of a tree. Now imagine these leaves could do more than simply churn in the current of air—what if they could capture the wind and transform it into renewable energy?
FOOD & NUTRITION
Minneapolis Star-Tribune: High-end hand-cut ice is a must for Minnesota's cocktail culture
- Nicholas Kosevich, co-founder of Bittercube, Milwaukee-based maker of handcrafted bitters: “We’re in the midst of a cocktail renaissance, focused on the art of the drink. There’s beauty in a perfect piece of ice.”
Raleigh News & Observer: Activists salvage $2,000 in food from Raleigh trash bins
- For two nights, a handful of food activists scoured the trash bins of roughly a dozen Raleigh retail stores – Food Lion, CVS, Aldi, Rite Aid – pulling out anything edible they could salvage. In about 10 hours of scavenging, they came up with an estimated $2,000 in groceries.
The Packer: FDA awards grants for tribes and local food producers
- The Food and Drug Administration has awarded grants to help tribal operations and local food producers receive appropriate food safety training.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Bloomberg: Bayer, Monsanto Said to Move Closer to Deal as Talks Advance
- Negotiations between Bayer AG and Monsanto Co. are advancing toward a deal after the companies made progress on issues including the purchase price and termination fee, people familiar with the matter said.
Bloomberg: Bayer, Monsanto Must Overcome Incredible Hulk, Regulators
- Mark Ruffalo, who played the green giant in two of Marvel’s “Avengers” films, was one of many people calling on EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager and U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General Loretta Lynch to “shut down this #mergerfromhell” with hundreds of tweets this month.
Financial Times: The fate of British farming lies with the Treasury
- It is hard to think of many sectors that are more deeply affected by the UK’s vote to leave the EU than agriculture. The recent news that Philip Hammond, the chancellor, has guaranteed to maintain committed EU funding for farmers until 2020 was encouraging. However, as I was reminded by a farmer more cynical than me: “He didn’t say what you will have to do to get it.”
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Environmentalists seek to force endangered species listings
- The Center for Biological Diversity is seeking to force the Fish and Wildlife Service to act on petitions to protect 417 animals and plants under the Endangered Species Act. The notice names species from across the country, including Florida sandhill cranes, the Oklahoma salamander, golden-winged warbler, eastern diamondback rattlesnakes and the San Joaquin Valley giant flower‐loving fly.
Forbes: Russia Kicks Up Arctic Oil Drilling As Polar Ice Caps Melt
- Russian oil company Gazprom Neft, the country’s fourth largest oil producer, said two weeks ago that four wells were now in production at the northern Prirazlomnoye field after two more were successfully started. The Prirazlomnoye field is an Arctic offshore oilfield located in the Pechora Sea, south of Novaya Zemlya, Russia.
L.A. Times: California's climate change law clears a big hurdle after lobbyists crank up pressure
- A controversial measure to extend California’s target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions was approved by the Assembly on Tuesday, clearing a major hurdle in a battle at the Capitol over the future of the state’s environmental programs.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Sierra Sun Times: New Report Finds California Has a Stable Farm Workforce
- There are twice as many farmworkers as there are farm jobs in California, according to an analysis published online today in California Agriculture journal.
Progressive Grocer: SpartanNash Pledges Support for Fair Farm Labor
- SpartanNash is the first food distributor in Michigan to sign Migrant Legal Aid’s Fair Food Pledge, affirming the company’s commitment to fair labor practices for the state’s more than 94,000 migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families.
Daily Coffee News: Mapping the Way to Farmworker Inclusion
- We all know that the production of great coffee requires careful attention to detail, starting with harvesting. It requires skilled laborers.
Des Moines Register: It takes a village to raise an Iowa bar
- When a bar opened on the flat midsection of Iowa in July, it recalled the social unity of grain threshing crews a century before. Dozens of residents saw a need, and they gathered to fill it, launching a new prairie proverb: "It takes a village to raise a bar." What unfolded was the story of rural Iowa — at least the fun part.
Ithaca Journal: Organic farming making small dairy viable
- Larry Moore is the fourth generation in his family to farm. He got started on April 1, 1989, after completing four years in the Air Force. He bought the place in 1994 and was a conventional dairy farmer for six years until he started thinking about going organic.
Shelbyville (Tenn.) Daily Union: Seeding Change: The future of Agriculture
- A panel of experts spoke in Shelbyville over the weekend about the future of agriculture in America. The presentation on Saturday, “Seeding Change? The Future of Our Farms and Communities,” was part of a traveling program series sponsored by the Illinois Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Modern Farmer: Should Agriculture Be a Required School Subject?
- The Kenyan government is attempting to create a whole new subject, one that makes perfect sense: agriculture.
Washington Post: How Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm became the Big Ten’s most unlikely football factory
- Jim Shaw was once a lineman at Colgate, and he taught his sons that as worms move the earth, so could they. “I don’t mention it, but I can build a lot of things. Just because I learned over the years,” son David Shaw said. “I watched people. Because I worked on a worm farm, I know how to do a lot of things.”
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