Saturday, July 2, 2022

Play

The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.

Play

SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Fairness in Farming: Seed Money Sought for Starting Co-ops

Play

Thursday, May 5, 2022   

Farmer cooperatives allow producers to pool resources together to get a better bang for their buck. While they have been around for generations, there is a Minnesota effort to expand the movement by creating a new grant program.

Farmer-owned co-ops are designed to boost processing capacity and build markets for members and the food they grow. The Minnesota proposal would allow startup grants for up to $50,000.

Angela Dawson, co-founder of the 40 Acre Co-op, which was created in 2019 to elevate socially disadvantaged farmers, said while her model already is thriving, she sees value in helping other local networks get off the ground.

"Cooperative funding to rural communities, I think, should be a real top priority because our rural communities have really suffered from business shutdowns during the pandemic," Dawson explained. "And a lot of us have not really had the proper resources to recover."

The provision is included in the House agriculture omnibus bill. It is unclear if it will remain during negotiations with the Senate.

The proposed program would not rely on state funding, with sponsors noting it could be established through the use of federal recovery dollars. Groups such as the Minnesota Farmers Union are asking lawmakers to approve the plan.

Dawson, who farms in northern Minnesota, said 40 Acre is the first national Black farmer co-op since the Reconstruction era. She said combining resources can help smaller-level producers feel like they have a chance to gain an edge in today's market.

"And when we're talking about the crises that we're having in agriculture and equity and farmers -- who really want to be on the land and want to feed our communities but can't get the access to resources -- we need to think about some of those barriers and hurdles," Dawson contended.

She added there is a range of systemic issues within long-standing government programs, while adding the grants are too competitive. In the U.S., roughly two million farmers are members of more than 2,000 cooperatives.

Disclosure: Minnesota Farmers Union contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Health Issues, and Rural/Farming Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…


Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Environment

The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …


The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Proponents of a consumer-owned utility say as Maine works to improve the power grid, it is important to hold power companies in the state accountable. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …

Social Issues

By Sarah Melotte for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Eric Galatas for Colorado News Connection for the Public News Service/Daily Yonder Collabor…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021