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On World AIDS Day, New Mexico activists say more money is needed for prevention; ND farmers still navigate corporate land-ownership policy maze; Unpaid caregivers in ME receive limited financial grants.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges Israel to protect civilians amid Gaza truce talks, New York Rep. George Santos defends himself as his expected expulsion looms and CDC director warns about respiratory illness as flu season begins.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

NC's Black Farmers Can't Find Affordable Land

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Tuesday, March 21, 2023   

With the cost of farmland up by more than 8% percent in North Carolina, the state's Black farmers are struggling to purchase additional acreage or jumpstart their farming dreams.

Demi Tucker, owner of Uyoga Farms and a fifth-generation Black farmer, grows mushrooms on her family's land in Steadman. She said most farmers she knows are leasing and looking to expand, but finding themselves competing with investors and corporations swooping up large tracts.

"If somebody has 23 acres to sell, they're going to sell it to the person who can buy out 23 acres and that half of an acre or an acre, which is what most people can afford starting off, " Tucker said.

According to Global AgInvesting, an estimated 26 to 35 billion dollars of farmland nationwide is owned by institutions or corporations.

Tucker pointed out after purchasing land, farmers also face additional costs to clear it, buy heavy machinery, and do soil and water testing. She said all of these obstacles add up for Black and Indigenous farmers who historically have faced discrimination qualifying for federal funding.

"There's a lot happening right now with the farm bill that's going to pass this year, a lot of advocacy going around as far as certain demands that we would like met so that more people of color can qualify for loans," Tucker added.

Over the past century nationwide, an estimated 98% of Black farmers were dispossessed through the denial of loans and credit, and through acts of violence and intimidation, according to Data for Progress.


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Respite for ME Grants, funded by the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan, provide caregivers up to $5,171 to access needed services and can be accessed through the state's five Area Agencies on Aging. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

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Advocates for unpaid family caregivers in Maine say they'll need continued support beyond the recently passed paid family and medical leave program…


Social Issues

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The Students for Justice in Palestine chapters at the University of Florida and the University of South Florida are filing lawsuits against the deacti…

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A new report from WGU Labs, a nonprofit affiliate of Western Governors University based in Millcreek, Utah, is shedding light on the importance of …


The economic threshold for the Senior Property Tax Exemption program in King County will increase to $84,000 in 2024. (CascadeCreatives/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

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Many older residents of Washington state are facing strains on their budgets -- and the government programs that could assist them are underused…

Environment

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Bloomington and Indianapolis are getting some international recognition for the work they're doing to help the environment. The two have been named …

Today marks the 35th anniversary of World AIDS Day. (Nito/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

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New Mexico activists are tapping today's World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, to announce they'll ask the State Legislature to provide more money for treatment …

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Bipartisan legislation that proposes the installation of solar panels in schools across Pennsylvania awaits a vote in the state Senate. The Solar …

Social Issues

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A bill in Congress with a Connecticut House sponsor aims to reduce child labor in the United States. Called the "Children Harmed in Life-Threatening …

 

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