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.
It was once a barbeque joint, then a Colombian restaurant. But now this storefront in Strawberry Hill has traded out sizzling slabs of ribs and empanadas for another kind of oven: a kiln.
The Epic Arts studio is the brainchild of Steve Curtis, a photographer and community organizer for Community Housing of Wyandotte County. Curtis has long wanted to make art more accessible in Wyandotte County.
Pete Licata, Kansas City local and Quality Assurance Manager of Parisi Artisan Coffee, who had won the US Barista Championship in April, went on to snag first place at the World Barista Championship this weekend in Melbourne, Australia. He topped more than 50 competitors, using coffee roasted at Parisi.
Red-light traffic cameras got a contract renewal. And even a single-party's super-majority didn't produce agreement on a tax plan for Kansas. KCUR's Steve Bell recaps on those and other top stories of the week on the KCUR Saturday News Review.
Next week, while the NBA and NHL playoffs drag on, ESPN will turn its attention to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Many will again wonder, "What's a kid's classroom activity doing on the quintessential sports network?" Commentator Victor Wishna has an answer, in this latest edition of "A Fan's Notes."
In the acoustic landscape of organized competition, there are those iconic sounds that separate the hope of victory from ultimate defeat: The buzzer. The horn. The final whistle. But none may be more chilling and spirit-draining than this one: Ding!