As lawmakers debate the Farm Bill in Washington, millions of dollars are at stake for small businesses across the country. Rural development grants go out to everything from home loans to water projects to small co-ops.
With budget cuts likely, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is adjusting how these funds are used, and proposing changes to the word “rural.” But there’s concern that a tighter belt at the federal level means farmers and ranchers in small towns will be left behind.
The USDA’s amended COOL rule will require packers and retailers to include more information on labels on beef, pork, lamb, chicken and goat meat, specifically where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered.
Currently, labels only require companies to include where the animal was born.
Companies are also now barred from commingling cuts of meat from animals of different origins, which could make it easier to trace contaminated products. The USDA estimates these labeling changes could cost more than 7,000 companies up to $192 million.
In the small town of Staunton, Ill., the new $9 million water plant is a welcome addition. After all, when the 80-year-old facility it replaces seized up last year, the community’s 5,000 residents were without water for five days.
But for Staunton’s part-time mayor Craig Neuhaus, the plant represents more than water security. He expects the water system upgrade to help bring business to this town about 40 miles north of St. Louis.
Growing and eating local food isn’t just about health for one Kansas City group. Their farm fields are fertile ground for developing responsibility and shaping young lives, and the group’s leaders hope to harvest more than just tomatoes.
When you grow up in the city, chickens aren’t something you see every day, but 13-year-old Malek Looney is getting to know them well.
"They’ll flap their wings and make loud noises and squawk at you. And you’ll be like, 'Oh no, they're mad at something,'" says Looney.
Groundbreaking for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility will take place next Tuesday in Manhattan, Kansas according to a release from Senator Robert's office.
Cost sharing for this phase of the animal disease lab will be about equal - 50/50- for the independent power plant required on the 48 acre site at Kansas State University. Both Kansas and the federal government are putting in roughly $40 million.
Kansas Senators Tuesday gave first round approval for new spending in support of a controversial federal animal disease lab Manhattan.
Some Democrats as well as some in Gov. Brownback’s own party have questioned whether the state should commit an additional $202 million in bonds, on top of $145 million already spent in support of the federal lab.
Doubters in the legislature worry the state will be on the hook for cost overruns as the project continues.
How does a new craft brewer stand apart from the pack? A few have hitched their brewery onto the local food bandwagon, sourcing the ingredients that form beer’s DNA straight from the fields around them.