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Friday, March 16,2012

Highway Bill amendments benefit ag

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Many amendments were suggested and shot down for Highway Bill S.1813. Two of the small handful that got through should make farmers and ranchers breathe a sigh of relief. The bill will no longer require commercial licenses for drivers of farm vehicles and will lift restrictions that might have interfered with key seasonal activities.

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Friday, March 9,2012

Hope in sight for ESA reform

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Cross your fingers; the Endangered Species Act (ESA) may be getting a much-needed reworking soon. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) recently submitted a list of proposed reforms to the aging ESA which may improve transparency, efficiency, and the local involvement of ranchers and farmers in listing proceedings.

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Friday, March 9,2012

Food safety study is encouraging for beef

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
A newly-released FDA study shows some encouraging trends in food safety and the battle against antibioticresistant bacteria. Not only does retail ground beef show lower contamination rates than poultry in many cases, but many of the bacterial contaminations found in beef are less resistant to antibiotics than those found in poultry.

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Friday, March 9,2012

Subsidies make consumers fat? Think again.

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
The revelation that removing subsidies would actually increase calorie intake (even if on such a small scale) flies in the face of the popular “subsidies make Americans fat” argument.

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Friday, March 2,2012

Russia could mean big opportunity for exporters

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
According to 2011 data compiled by the U.S.-Russia Coalition for trade, Russia is currently among the world’s top 10 importers of pork and beef (ranked 5th and 8th respectively). Most recent 2009 data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations lists pork and beef as Russia’s top two imports by value, at about $3.

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Friday, March 2,2012

New Schmallenberg virus causing concern in Europe

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
The newly-discovered Schmallenberg virus has spread to southern England. So far, 83 farms in the United Kingdom (UK) have documented infected animals, as well as many farms in Germany, France and the Netherlands. Of the confirmed English cases, most have involved sheep herds, but some infected dairy cattle have been noted as well.

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Friday, March 2,2012

Supreme Court overturns Montana's river rights

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
The U.S. Supreme Court just unanimously overturned the Montana Supreme Court’s decision requiring PPL Montana LLC (PPL)—an energy company—and other landowners, such as ranchers, to pay rent for the use of Montana’s riverbeds. The state of Montana and a number of environmental groups had argued that the state owned the riverbeds.

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Friday, March 2,2012

Beta agonists antagonize beef exports in Asia

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
The growth of beef exports around the world has resulted in more conflicts over how individual countries raise their production animals. Increased U.S. beef export efforts, coupled with mutual interest in expanded trade in areas of Asia and Europe to a lesser extent, have sparked controversy over our meat production practices.

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Friday, February 24,2012

U.S.-China symposium stresses relationships, trade

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Delegates from China met with U.S. agricultural representatives in Iowa to discuss trade agreements and agricultural cooperation at a firstever symposium. Chinese officials toured farms and signed a five-year agreement to direct conversations on agricultural topics.

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Friday, February 24,2012

Prospect of lab-grown meat stirs controversy, skepticism

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Sunday, Feb. 19 saw the announcement of what might be the first successful effort to grow meat in a lab. Of course, it didn’t take long for the discussion to take on distinctly science-fictiony tones that would make any nerd feel at home. Star Trek’s famous replicators were mentioned.

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