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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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Electric bus movement looks to accelerate; Macron says he has not ruled out using Western troop to help Ukraine stand-up to Russia; two rural Iowa newspapers saved from extinction; BLM announces added protections for sensitive Oregon landscape.

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Speaker Johnson commits to avoiding a government shutdown. Republican Senators call for a trial of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. And a Democratic Senator aims to ensure protection for IVF nationwide.

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David meets Goliath in Idaho pesticide conflict, to win over Gen Z voters, candidates are encouraged to support renewable energy and rural America needs help from Congress to continue affordable internet programs.

Rural/Farming

The Wildlife Disease Surveillance for Pandemic Prevention Act seeks to create a Wildlife Disease Surveillance Program though the Wildlife Health Office at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (Adobe Stock)
Wildlife disease measure could benefit IA ag industry

Wildlife advocates are asking Congress to pass bill that would help states track diseases killing wildlife across the country. In Iowa, the measure …

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Many school lunch programs are introducing more non-meat, non-dairy meals to normalize a healthier,  more climate-friendly plant-based diet. (CivilEats)
California leads way in low-carbon school meals

By Naoki Nitta for Civil Eats.Broadcast version by Suzanne Potter for California News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public Ne…

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The American Biogas Council says across the U.S., more than 2,300 digester sites are producing biogas. (Adobe Stock)
Digesters: Helpful in reducing farm emissions?

Wisconsin is part of a movement to reduce livestock emissions by converting manure into energy sources, and there are calls to weave in a careful …

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Since the most recent avian influenza outbreak began, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates almost 82 million birds have been affected in 47 states. (Anton Dios/Adobe Stock)
Avian flu outbreak highlights need for improved wildlife disease tracking

In the wake of the latest, highly contagious bird flu outbreak in Arkansas and across the country, Congress is considering a bill to improve the …

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According to the new Census of Agriculture, the total number of farms with more than $1 million in sales has gone up by 36 percent. Advocates said such growth squeezes out smaller producers. (Adobe Stock)
New data illustrates decline of thriving farm communities

The nation has seen its total number of farmers and farmland decrease over the past five years and advocates for smaller producers in South Dakota sai…

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Practical Farmers of Iowa now has a full-time Spanish Engagement Outreach Coordinator to assist the growing number of Latino farmers in the state. (Adobe Stock)
High demand prompts IA farm group to increase Spanish-speaking services

A rural advocacy group has invested in reaching out to Spanish-speaking farmers in Iowa - a population that has grown dramatically. There has been …

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A University of New Hampshire study showed annual rainfall, which has increased more than eight inches since 1901, is expected to increase another 7% to 9% by the middle of the century. Scientists say most of this increase will arrive in heavy precipitation events, increasing the risk of flooding and significantly affecting agriculture. (Adobe Stock)
Farm relief funds in NH would counter climate change-related crop damage

Two proposed relief funds for New Hampshire farmers aim to recover losses from climate change-related weather events. Years of droughts were …

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Wisconsin outreach specialists say determining land maintenance responsibilities, such as repairing irrigation lines, is important for new farmers in signing a land lease. They say that could make it easier for these farmers to avoid stalling progress on their new operations. (Adobe Stock)
WI experts: A strong lease could help ease land woes for new farmers

Farmers who produce the food we eat don't always own the land that food is grown on, including in Wisconsin. Those trying to get their operations off …

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Agricultural officials saod bringing broadband connections to rural Illinois countries could provide farmers with data that could increase both crop yields and annual profits. (Wikimedia Commons)
New tool gauges economic effects of expanded broadband in rural IL

By Will Wright for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Illinois News Connection reporting for The Daily Yonder-Public News Servi…

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Forty workers at an agricultural packing shed at Battleboro Produce in North Carolina are now part of a union. (courtesy of Farm Labor Organizing Committee)
NC union agreement ushers in benefits for immigrant ag workers

Immigrant workers at an agricultural packing shed in Battleboro, North Carolina are celebrating a union agreement which will bring them new benefits…

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According to the Clean Grid Alliance, Minnesota farmers, ranchers and landowners receive nearly $9 million annually from land lease payments related to solar projects on their property. (Adobe Stock)
MN landowners warming up to solar

Drive around rural Minnesota and you might spot a solar farm. Complexities are being sorted out for bigger projects and in the meantime, farmers are …

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According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the Justice 40 Initiative's policy plan includes increasing job energy resiliency and energy democracy and decreasing environmental exposure for disadvantaged communities. (Christopher Boswell/Adobe Stock)
USDA's climate action fellows to help Ohio farmers/small businesses access clean energy funds

Ohio will soon get a dedicated person to help farmers, ranchers and other landowners apply for federal grants to help fight pollution and climate …

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