Allen Berry co-owns a cow-calf operation with his wife near Trenton, Mo. Like all other cow-calf operators, Berry pays into a fund that benefits the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board for each animal sold.
Silky Shark was a beautiful animal and a successful race horse. Over the course of his career he earned over $100,000 for his Kentucky owner. But Silky Shark ended up as meat on someone’s plate – most probably somewhere in Europe.
Silky Shark’s story isn’t unusual. Over 100,000 American horses – race horses, ranch horses, teaching stable horses - are eaten abroad every year.
About a decade ago, concerns about energy independence, greenhouse gas emissions and the need to boost rural economies led Congress to launch policies in support of biofuels – corn ethanol, most notably. But the idea was that eventually more U.S.-produced fuel would be cellulosic – derived from corn residue, wheat straw or other biomass.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture updates its ag census every five years and is preparing to send farmers new surveys in December. One trend to watch is the growing number of small farms. They are easy to miss and some would rather not be counted.
“We need to produce as much to feed the world as we can, but also people like to eat locally grown foods, too, so there’s a case for both sides of agriculture,” says Greg Rinehart, a farmer in Boone County, Iowa.
The United States is the world’s leading producer and exporter of corn, which is used as livestock feed to support the increasing demand for meat in China, India and other countries with growing middle classes.
The Dust Bowl of the 1930s left an indelible mark on the Midwest and on history. It is the drought against which all others are measured. And it was a man-made disaster that could still offer lessons today.
These tomato and salvia plants are growing in bio-renewable pots in a greenhouse at Iowa State University, which received a grant through the Farm Bill to study replacements for petroleum-based plastic pots.
Beyond subsidies and food stamps, what’s in the farm bill?
With the election over, lawmakers are now returning to Washington for the final weeks of the 112th Congress. Their schedule is packed, but House majority leader Eric Cantorhas said addressing the expired Farm Bill is on the agenda.
In recent years, there has been a concerted push at the local and national levels to make healthy food more widely available, particularly in low-income areas. This is one focus of Food Day, which food groups and advocates celebrated across the U.S Wednesday. But while programs and systems are gradually putting fresh food front and center, changing eating habits can be even more complicated.