USDA

Neil Shook was relaxing at home in Woodworth, N.D., on a Saturday afternoon just over a week ago.

"My wife was outside and she yelled at me to come outside and take a look at this," he recalls.

A massive brown cloud covered the horizon to the west. It was a dust storm — although Shook, who's a scientist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, doesn't like to call it dust. "I like to refer to it as soil, because that's basically what it is," he says. "We saw this huge soil cloud moving from west to east across the landscape."

leeavision, 123rf Stock Photo

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says a Kentucky-based food distributor has issued a recall on more than 22,000 pounds of ground beef and other beef products due to possible E. coli bacteria contamination. 

When President Trump's budget director, Mick Mulvaney, unveiled the administration's budget blueprint earlier this week, which calls for significant cuts to food stamps, he noted that the aim of the budget was to get people working.

"If you're on food stamps and you're able-bodied, we need you to go to work. If you're on disability insurance and you're not supposed to be — if you're not truly disabled, we need you to go back to work," Mulvaney said Tuesday.

Top officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture didn't even try to act enthusiastic as they unveiled details of their agency's proposed 2018 budget, which includes drastic cuts in spending. "We're going to do the best we can," said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. "It's my job to implement that plan."

The livelihoods of farmers and ranchers are intimately tied to weather and the environment. But they may not be able to depend on research conducted by the government to help them adapt to climate change if the Trump administration follows through on campaign promises to shift federal resources away from studying the climate.

Two of the most influential groups in the food industry are asking companies to change those pesky "expiration" or "sell by" labels on packaged food.

Cristinistor, 123rf Stock Photo

The city of Morganfield in Union County is getting more than $3.6 million dollars in federal funding for a water treatment plant and line upgrade. 

Whitney Jones, WKMS

Three members of Kentucky’s U.S. Congressional delegation joined 16 other members of Congress in a letter Wednesday seeking clarification from federal agencies regarding industrial hemp guidelines.

Nicole Erwin, WKMS

  A federal opinion on industrial hemp research programs may provide new opportunities in Kentucky.  

Nicole Erwin, WKMS

Hemp has been used legally for years in products that display the US Department of Agriculture’s Organic Seal--as long as those products are imported. Any hemp based product originating from a domestic crop is banned from carrying this same organic certification. Kentucky Department of Agriculture Officials have said such a ban is a discriminatory act.

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