Enough is Enough

A bill introduced in the Unicameral, LB 176, would remove restriction on meatpacking corporations owning hogs, as long as the hogs they own are raised by contract growers and not the company.

Although efforts to open the door to packers owning hogs last year were met with stern opposition from family farmers and ranchers, the Center for Rural Affairs, Nebraska Farmers Union and a host of rural and small town Nebraskans, a hauntingly similar bill - LB 176 - has emerged again this year.

A Rural Rock Star (and Conservation Champion) Retires

When Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) retired at the end of 2014, we lost an astute and dedicated champion for conservation, beginning farmers, livestock competition, organic and value-added agriculture, and renewable energy.
On conservation, without Senator Harkin and his staff’s leadership the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) would not exist today. He sponsored the original legislation and carried it through three farm bills, making improvements along the way. The senator also worked tirelessly to protect it from funding cuts.

Study Debunks Meat Labeling Myths

Americans overwhelmingly support Country-of-Origin-Labeling (COOL). America’s COOL law requires that retailers inform consumers about the country where beef, pork, lamb and certain other agricultural products were produced.
In 2009 Canada and Mexico challenged COOL provisions related to muscle cuts of beef and pork as an alleged barrier to trade. They argued that the cost of implementing COOL discouraged U.S. meatpackers from purchasing livestock of non-U.S. origin and as a result, reduced the prices of those livestock imports.

Communities Need Input and Information on Energy Projects

On Jan 27, 2015, the Center for Rural Affairs and Lancaster County Farmers Union hosted an informational forum on wind energy development in Cortland, Nebraska. Cortland sits on Highway 77 about 20 miles south of Lincoln.

If you live in or around communities impacted by wind energy development, you deserve to ask questions and have your voice heard. People in Cortland and surrounding communities told us they had not had a chance to engage in a public conversation on the project.

Peggy Says Goodbye

Peggy Mahaney retired from the Center on Jan 30, 2015, after 21 years of outstanding service. She has been “the glue” for our small business development program REAP, serving our staff of business specialists across the state and our hundreds of clients. It’s our privilege to share her retirement goodbye with you.

It has been an honor to be part of the Center for Rural Affairs for the last 21 years, and I wish to express my appreciation for the Center’s work in rural America issues.


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