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    PNS Weekend Update - January 24, 20150 


    Among the stories on our nationwide rundown; The Supreme Court agrees to hear a lethal injection case; we’ll take you Oregon where low-wage workers are rallying this weekend for a raise; and to a state that is pondering whether it should take back some tax exemptions.

Rural/Farming

PHOTO: With more than half of Iowa farmland owned by people age 65 and older, a major transfer to a new generation is under way, leading to difficult choices for many farm families. Photo credit: Jo Naylor/Flickr.

AMES, Iowa - The historic transition of farmland to a new generation - one of the most sweeping changes ever for the state's rural landscape - is the focus as Practical Farmers of Iowa gather for their annual conference. To help prevent the loss of family farms and keep rural communities strong, sa ...Read More

Photo: A new program from USDA could help more people get into farming. Photo by GDNS.

YANKTON, S.D. - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing $18 million to help educate and develop the next generation of farmers. The funding is in the 2014 farm bill under the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development program. Traci Bruckner, senior associate for Agriculture and Conservation P ...Read More

PHOTO: A so-called ag-gag law that's being challenged in Idaho and Utah has been introduced as legislation in Washington. It prohibits people from audio or video taping in agricultural production facilities without the owner's written permission.  Photo credit: derausdo/FeaturePics.com

OLYMPIA, Wash. – There's keen interest among farm workers groups and animal rights advocates in Washington in a so-called ag-gag bill introduced in the Legislature. House Bill 1104 gets its first hearing Tuesday at 8 a.m. in the House Public Safety Committee. It is almost identical to leg ...Read More

PHOTO: Seven California counties depend heavily on Colorado River water, and a new study by Arizona State University quantifies just how much their economies would suffer if less water is available. Photo of Palo Verde Dam near Blythe, Calif., by Sandra J. Owen-Boyce, U.S. Geological Survey.

LOS ANGELES — A little more than half the economy of Southern California is dependent in some way on the health of the Colorado River system, according to a new report that quantifies the value of the river to the seven Western states that use it. Researchers at Arizona State University found ...Read More

PHOTO: Time is running out for Iowa farmers and ranchers to voice their concerns on how the Conservation Stewardship Program is set to operate for the next five years. Photo credit: Carl Wycoff/Flickr.

DES MOINES, Iowa – It's an opportunity that only comes along once every five years, so as the public comment period on the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) nears an end, Iowa farmers and ranchers are being urged to make their voices heard. The program offers payments for actively manag ...Read More

PHOTO: The window for comments on proposed changes to Wisconsin farmland conservation practices is closing soon, and the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute and other Wisconsin agriculture organizations are encouraging farmers to make their voices heard. Photo courtesy University of Wisconsin-Extension.

EAST TROY, Wis. - For years, the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has partnered with the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI) and other Wisconsin agriculture groups to create partnerships and educational resources for farmers. New rules have been proposed for the NRCS Conserva ...Read More

PHOTO: They may be tiny, but California's Delta smelt proved to be important enough that the case for protecting them made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The highest court in the land has sided with one of the tiniest fish in California - by refusing to hear an appeal on Monday. The U.S. Supreme Court was asked by some California farming interests and water districts to consider overturning a case that affirms protections for th ...Read More

PHOTO: The Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund approved by Iowa voters in 2010 remains unfunded but that could soon change with 2015 session, underway today (Monday). Photo credit: Tony Fischer/Flickr.

DES MOINES, Iowa – The gavel comes down today to open the 2015 Iowa Legislature, and among the proposals to be considered is a move to raise taxes for the environment and recreation. In 2010, Iowa voters approved a constitutional amendment for a future sales tax increase to go to a Natural R ...Read More

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