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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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Colleges see big drop in foreign-language enrollment; Kentucky advocates say it's time to bury medical debt; Young Farmers in Michigan hope the new farm bill will include key benefits regarding land access.

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The White House presses for supplemental Ukraine aid. Leaders condemn antisemitic attacks during Gaza ceasefire protests. Despite concerns about the next election, one Arizona legal expert says courts generally side with voters and democracy.

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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.


Iowa has warmed 0.5 to 1 degree in the last century, and floods are becoming more frequent. In the coming decades, the state will have more extremely hot days, which may harm public health in urban areas and corn harvests in rural areas, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. (Adobe Stock)

Monday, December 4, 2023

State skips climate-change grants, Iowa cities reap $3 million instead

A handful of Iowa's biggest cities has been awarded $3 million to work on solutions to climate change at the local level. The climate pollution …

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Poor mental health in adolescence is more than feeling blue. It can affect many areas of a teen's life. Youth with poor mental health may struggle with school and grades, decision-making and physical health, according to the CDC. (Adobe Stock)
Doctors increase mental health services to rural Iowa kids

Research shows two in 10 Iowa youth report they have considered suicide, and to confront the crisis, doctors and social scientists are using federal …

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If the United States shifted 180,000 acres, or 0.2% of its corn acreage, of genetically modified corn to non-genetically modified, it would generate $7.75 million in additional revenue for U.S. farmers and successfully meet Mexico's shifting needs, according to Farm Action. (Adobe Stock)
Mexico's GM corn ban opens market for American farmers

Mexico has issued a ban on importing genetically modified corn from the U.S., potentially opening a new market for American farmers. Mexico is the …

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Around 400 million acres of American farmland are projected to change hands this year in what amounts to the country's largest-ever generational land shift. (Practical Farmers of Iowa)
Young Iowa farmers struggle for a leg up

Today is the deadline for small farmers seeking financial assistance to apply for grants from a farm advocacy organization designed to help them get t…

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The USDA says producers can increase their environmental stewardship activities through the department's Conservation Stewardship Program. (Adobe Stock)
Family farm advocates suspect profit motive behind some 'conservation' practices

Midwest family farm advocates have sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, opposing recent additions to conservation practices they said …

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Iowa has nearly 31 million acres of farmland. The average farm is about 360 acres, according to the USDA, and much of is monitored with high-tech equipment. (Iowa State University Extension Dept.)
Iowa farmers concerned with e-data use by corporations

New polling data show Iowa farmers are taking advantage of high-tech agriculture practices, and more plan to do so. But some say there's a downside …

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Alliant Energy Corporation provides regulated energy service to 995,000 electric and 425,000 natural gas retail customers across Iowa and Wisconsin. (Adobe Stock)
Senior advocates push back on Alliant utility increase

The Iowa Utilities Board is taking public input this week on a proposed rate hike by one of the state's biggest gas and electric service providers…

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Cedar Rapids, in eastern Iowa, had only 15.5 inches of rain in all of 2022, which is about half of what it would normally get by early October. (Adobe Stock)
IA implements first-ever drought plan

The State of Iowa has just put its first-ever drought plan to work to help it manage one of the longest and most severe dry periods in recent history…

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Rural Webster County, Iowa, uses money offered by the state to test water wells. Some 43 million Americans rely on private wells for their water, but many don't have those wells tested for water quality. (Tony Leys/KFF Health News)
Rural IA boosts efforts to test private wells

By Tony Leys for KFF Health News.Broadcast version by Mark Moran for Iowa News Service reporting for the KFF Health News-Public News Service Collabor…

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For the past 20 years, the U.S, President and Congress have declared the month of October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a collaborative effort between government and industry to enhance online awareness. (Adobe Stock)
IA boosts cybersecurity precautions as elections, holidays near

As part of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the State of Iowa is focusing on potential threats to the online integrity of upcoming elections. Given …

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According to the Independent Voter Project, 68.47% of Iowa's population of 3,155,070 is registered to vote. (Adobe Stock)<br />
With election on horizon, support for Iowa poll workers

With elections on the horizon, Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate has launched a public awareness campaign in support of poll workers. Election …

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About 80 Ukrainian farmers learn best practices and ask questions during middle-of-the-night Zoom calls when ISU Swine Veterinarian Justin Brown teaches sessions on disease, biosecurity and feed management. (Iowa State University/Association of Ukrainian Pig Breeders)
Iowa experts teach Ukrainian farmers

Livestock and grain experts in Iowa are sharing their experience with Ukrainian farmers who are trying to keep their hog operations viable despite the…

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