Monday, May 23, 2022

Play

Pennsylvania tries to land a regional hydrogen hub, a new study confirms college grads are twice as likely to get good jobs, and a U.S. military plane flies 35 tons of baby formula from Germany to Indianapolis.

Play

Operation Fly Formula's first shipment arrives, worries of global food shortages grow, President Biden is concerned about a monkeypox outbreak, and a poll says Americans support the Title 42 border policy.

Play

From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

Protecting the Family Farm Focus of Virtual Event

Play

Thursday, November 4, 2021   

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Family farms are navigating a maze of market barriers and threats from climate change.

While solutions develop, some say producers could learn a thing or two from past crises, and a leading advocate in North Dakota is helping to deliver that message.

Saturday, the Dakota Resource Council (DRC) will host its annual meeting virtually.

Sarah Vogel, attorney, author, and former North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture, who led the landmark federal case from the 1980s that protected many farms from foreclosure, will be one of the speakers. She sees similarities in past and current struggles.

In the '80s, she and other advocates learned to overcome an unfair appeals process within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

"Back then, the person that would be the hearing officer would often be the person who made the decision that was being appealed," Vogel recounted. "Well, you're not gonna get a fair hearing if your judge is also the executioner."

Thanks to reforms, she said a more neutral process exists today, giving smaller farmers a bigger voice.

The Resource Council urged policymakers to offer more incentives to producers who want to adopt conservation practices, which can better protect their land from extreme weather events. The USDA said the number of farm operations in North Dakota has fallen to 26,000, with some of the biggest declines in those with the smallest revenue.

Vogel advised farmers struggling to keep their head above water should amplify calls for patience from lenders. She pointed out leaning on landowners to make abrupt decisions creates a wave of problems seen in the '80s, such as declines in property values.

Vogel added that is not good for surrounding communities.

"Today, we see declines in the rural economy, and boarded-up Main Streets and so forth," Vogel observed. "A lot of that is connected to the loss of family farmers. "

Current farmers pointed to the need for reforms when it comes to market concentration. They said only a handful of firms control beef and other commodities. This year, the Biden administration announced a series of moves to address those concerns.

Saturday's meeting runs from 12:45 to 5:00 p.m. You do not have to be a DRC member to listen in. Those interested can e-mail the group for a Zoom link.

Disclosure: Dakota Resource Council contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, 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
Around 17% of bachelor's degrees awarded to Black students nationwide come from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and research shows HBCUs boost economic mobility and generational wealth.(Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

One of North Carolina's oldest Historically Black Colleges and Universities is finding new ways to help students stay enrolled and graduate. Recent …


Social Issues

A new survey finds 8 in 10 Kentucky parents say afterschool programs could help their child combat social and mental-health struggles by reducing unpr…

Environment

A technology that once existed only in science fiction soon could emerge as a viable solution to climate change. The city of Flagstaff has added …


Environment

Minnesota has more than 10,000 brownfield sites, which are abandoned or idled properties in need of contamination removal. State officials will soon …

Georgetown researchers found that Black American women are the most likely to have to turn to student loans for college, and hold the most student loan debt, compared with their peers. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

By age 35, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher are about twice as likely as workers with just a high school diploma to have a good job - one …

Environment

The mayor of Huntington, where more than 200 homes were recently damaged by severe flooding, said now is the state's "one chance" to prevent other …

Social Issues

Alzheimer's disease is one of the leading causes of death in North Dakota, prompting state officials to launch an online dashboard, where the public …

 

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