USDA

For the past several years, a scientist in Brookings, S.D., has been engaged in an escalating struggle with his employer, the USDA's Agricultural Research Service. The scientist, Jonathan Lundgren, says that he has been persecuted because his research points out problems — including harm to bees — with a popular class of pesticides called neonicotinoids.

U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, portal.hud.gov

The City of Paris, Tennessee is offering empty lots to people who qualify for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development’s single family housing program.

The city will accept as little as $1 from qualified loan holders for the seven available lots.

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Kentucky officials have re-enacted a state-wide ban on bird sales and movement in response to an avian flu outbreak in southern Indiana.  State Veterinarian Robert Stout says he took the step out of an abundance of caution.  

United States Department of Agriculture

  Some farmers may receive less financial support from the government to mitigate crop loss due to changes to the federal farm bill. The US Department of Agriculture is cutting the direct payment program which provided support to farmers who submitted a base production plan. 

Author: Michaelb1983, via Wikimedia Commons

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has received a $291,564 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help strengthen the commonwealth’s specialty crops market.

Anthony / Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Kentucky will receive $9.4 million in federal funds to restore wetlands along the Mississippi River.  

It’s part of a $30 million U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to conservation groups in six Mississippi River-adjacent states to protect, restore and enhance over 19,000 acres of wetland.

The wealth gap in America manifests itself not just in our pocketbooks but also in our bellies: The poor are eating less nutritious food than everyone else.

So concludes a new review of 25 studies published between 2003 and 2014 that looked at the food spending and quality of diets of participants in SNAP, the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps.

USDA / http://www.factoryfarmmap.org/#animal:broilers;location:US;year:2012

  A Weakley County poultry farm lost its contract with Tyson Foods and McDonalds after an undercover video purported abuse of the chickens. A Mercy For Animals video revealed birds being painfully beaten, stabbed, and impaled by makeshift clubs.  Mercy for Animals’ Matt Rice said s an investigator was at T&S Farms in Dukedom, Tennessee for three weeks before handing over their footage to the local officials, who have now taken the lead in the investigation.

Flickr user ljmacphee, Wikimedia Commons

Local farmers who have lost cattle to the recent harsh winter weather can apply for federal assistance under the United States Department of Agriculture’s Livestock Indemnity Program. But the same program also helps farmers whose livestock have been killed by federally-protected avian predators like the black vulture.

Katie Brady / Flickr (Creative Commons License)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has found about half of ground chicken is contaminated with salmonella, and the agency is proposing new standards to reduce the bacteria by 30 percent.

The new rule would mean more testing, which John-Mark Hack says is more expense for the processor. He is a co-founder at Marksbury Farm Market in Garrard County.

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