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Media slimed Ag in false pink slime scare

March 31, 2012 --

National Corn Growers Association

By now everyone has got to be sick of hearing about the so-called “pink slime” in beef – which is actually just beef – but this terrible example of misleading media reporting can probably be called the most damaging attack on the production of food in this country to date. It’s similar to the attack on high fructose corn syrup, only at high speed, with faster and more direct consequences.

In today’s tough economy, this attack has resulted in the closing of plants and has put hundreds of people out of work. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad minced no words when he called the media reports about a perfectly safe product “poisonous.”

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Alert: Preserve the Waters & Preserving Rural Resources Acts

March 30, 2012 --

By American Farm Bureau Federation

On The Preserve the Waters of the U.S. Act 

“The Preserve the Waters of the U.S. Act (S. 2245) addresses a critical issue. The legislation will stop the Environmental Protection Agency and Corp of Engineers from issuing final guidance that would significantly expand the regulatory reach of the two agencies. “The final guidance proposed by EPA and the Corps would, in effect, eliminate the term ‘navigable’ from the Clean Water Act. This would dramatically expand the scope of federal jurisdiction by eliminating a provision of the law that reserves jurisdiction over certain waters to the states.

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Organic farms up 240% over decade

March 29, 2012 --

By U.S. Department of Agriculture,

The National Organic Program published an updated list of certified organic operations this week, making available the latest in certification status of USDA organic operations.

As of the end of 2011, about 17,600 organic farms and processing facilities in the United States were certified to the USDA organic standards, which is almost 480 more operators than at the end of 2010—a 240 percent increase since 2002 when the National Organic Program effectively began its oversight role. Worldwide, there are now 28,779 certified organic operators across 133 countries. (See a fact sheet that shows growth in U.S. operations over time and a map showing the current distribution of operations by state.)

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OSU solar partner goes bankrupt

March 28, 2012 --

OSU solar partner goes bankrupt

The Oregon University System wanted solar power installed at every campus, but the general contractor that was to build the systems went bankrupt last year. Renewable Energy Development Corp., known as REDCO, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on December 30, 2011. REDCO was planning to lease land from each Oregon public university, land adding up to 27 total acres statewide. The company would then build solar arrays on the leased land and sell the power back to the universities in a system expected to save $6 million over 25 years and deliver about 5 megawatts of energy.

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Forestry Board’s new face, Kitzhaber protester, More…

March 27, 2012 --

Forest Policy Briefs
by Rex Storm, Forest Policy Manager
Associated Oregon loggers

New Forestry Board Members: In February, the Oregon Senate approved three new members to the Oregon Board of Forestry. The board oversees the State Forester and Oregon Dept. of Forestry operations, including private forest regulation, state forest management, and fire protection of half Oregon’s forests. Two new eastside members are Tom Insko, inland regional manager for Boise Cascade in La Grande; and Nils Christoffersen, executive director of Wallowa Resources in Enterprise. Cindy Williams is a Medford consulting fisheries biologist, with a history of environmental work. Williams’ 19-11 vote confirmation came despite objections from several natural resources organizations. The three replace Jennifer Phillippi, Cal Mukumoto, and Peter Hayes—who Governor Kitzhaber chose not to reseat.

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High beef prices creates cattle theft

March 26, 2012 --

Ranchers guard against cattle theft during calving season
Oregon Dept. of Agriculture

Cattle ranchers in Oregon are asked to keep an eye out this time of year for a crime that has been around since the days of the old west. Cattle rustling, or livestock theft in general, is very much a 21st century crime that may be tempting to potential perpetrators during calving season, especially with the relatively high price of beef right now.

“The overall economy has improved some, but some people are still desperate,” says Rodger Huffman, state brand inspector with the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health and Identification Division. “The value of cattle has increased incrementally as well. Certainly, that might increase the temptation to steal someone’s livestock.”

Increased awareness could help prevent cattle theft. But right now, the focus for most cattle producers is on making sure the current calf crop being born is healthy. The competing challenge is the opportunity for someone to find and take these same animals.

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Timber mishap of the century (video)

March 25, 2012 --

The Oregon Economics Blog brought this amazing video to attention and mentioned “If Only He’d Studied Forestry at OSU…”. Watch video below.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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WTO appeal jeopardizes U.S. trade with Canada, Mexico

March 24, 2012 --

NCBA Statement on USTR Appeal of WTO Ruling on Country of Origin Labeling
By National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

The office of the U.S. Trade Representative today March 23, 2012, opted to appeal the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling on Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Vice President Bob McCan issued the following statement. “We are very disappointed in this decision. Instead of working diligently to bring the United States into WTO compliance, our government has opted to engage in an appeal process, which jeopardizes our strong trade relationship with Canada and Mexico, the two largest importers of U.S. beef.

An appeal is the wrong answer and a waste of valuable resources. This appeal will do nothing but escalate tension with our valuable trade partners and will prolong an issue that could be resolved quickly. We should be working toward a solution instead of creating a bigger problem.

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EPA suffers big setback in Supreme Court Sackett ruling

March 23, 2012 --

Editorial from Wall Street Journal:

These are hard times for economic liberty, but the Supreme Court on Wednesday offered a modest reason to hope. In a 9-0 ruling, they concluded that the Environmental Protection Agency can’t terrorize Americans via regulation without allowing them a day in court.

In 2005, Michael and Chantell Sackett bought a small property in an Idaho residential neighborhood, intending to build a home. Once construction began, the EPA decided without any notice that the plot was a “wetland” because it was near a lake. There is no water on the property. The agency’s pen pushers served the Sacketts with a “compliance order” that said they were violating the Clean Water Act and would be fined $37,500 per day until they restored the property to its original condition, if not criminal charges as well.

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Beware of USDA scam letter

March 22, 2012 --

By Washington Association of Conservation Districts,

A letter is being circulated by someone purporting to be from the USDA seeking personal financial information from USDA contractors. To see this letter, please click here. fraudulant letter requesting personal information

If you receive such a letter, do not respond. Instead, let Dennis Stewart of the USDA know immediately by sending him an email at Dennis.Stewart@fns.usda.gov.

Read the full article and discuss it »
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