Fred Stokes, a 77-year-old retired Army veteran who has run a small cattle operation in Mississippi, has spent much of his time over the past several years raising Cain against large market forces in agriculture such as meatpackers and seed companies.
Another five calves have been attacked by wolves at the Diamond M Ranch in eastern Washington, bringing wolf-livestock conflicts to a tally of 15 in a short three-month period. Three calves were found dead two weeks ago and two more suffered severe injuries, according to ranch co-owner Bill McIrvin.
With the backdrop of one of the nation’s biggest farm shows, leaders of major agricultural groups declared they expect members of Congress to spend their precious few legislative days next month passing a fiveyear farm bill before the current legislation expires.
The agriculture secretary spoke to participants at the Iowa Farm Bureau’s economic summit in Ames after also attending a drought meeting earlier in the day. Vilsack continued his push for farmers to let House Speaker John Boehner, R- OH, know that going to the August recess without passing a farm bill isn’t acceptable.
Californians will vote on the “Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act” on the November ballot. Bailey called the ballot measure “a serious, longterm threat to the viability of biotech in agriculture,” adding that it would lead down a path similar to Europe where biotech crops are opposed and face multiple barriers to production.
The public-relations war over lean finely textured beef (LFTB) continued last week as hundreds of Iowa State University (ISU) students joined faculty and state political leaders to slam what they called poisoned media coverage against a safe beef product.
NCBA and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board disagreed over a similar argument regarding the role of the Federation last year before leadership changes at the beef board. Some other groups also have called for the Federation to be broken off from NCBA, but Federation leaders have rejected such requests.
NFU said crop insurance should be maintained and also expanded to cover types of agriculture other than mainly commodity crops. Still, NFU added, “The proliferation of price-based revenue products creates problems in the event of a collapse in prices.”.
Farm Bureau members got a primer on the concept on the opening day of the Farm Bureau’s annual convention. The sun was shining, the waves were rolling, and Hawaii was in its full glory as farmers sat in a convention hall trying to absorb details of the Systemic Risk Reduction Program (SRRP).
In making the announcement, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) officials noted this was the first time US- DA has offered funding specifically for water-quality trading programs. The program offers Conservation Innovation Grants of up to $2 million for an individual project.