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Apply today: Conference scholarships for humane livestock producers!

We heard this week from Lisa Isenhart of Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT). She told us about their conference scholarship program for humane livestock and poultry producers. FACT will award scholarships for livestock and poultry farmers to attend select sustainable agriculture or humane farming conferences as funding allows in 2015.

Pesticide Use and Depression in Farmers

Organic farming may be as important to the farmers who practice it as to their consumers. Researchers with the National Institute of Health recently completed a landmark, 20-year study of the connection between pesticides and depression in farmers.

According to Dr. Freya Kamel, the study’s lead researcher, scattered reports in the literature about the association between pesticide use and depression led to the desire for further research.

Industrial Poultry and Dairy Operations Slide Under Organic Regulations

Federal organic regulations require that organic poultry and livestock be provided regular access to the outdoors. Dairy cattle and other ruminants must also be provided access to pasture.

Increasingly, massive industrial poultry and dairy facilities are obtaining organic certification. And there’s the rub. It strains all sense of credibility that these industrial confinement operations claim they meet the outdoor and pasture requirements embedded in the nation’s organic laws.

Congress Slashes Conservation

When thinking about the $1.1 trillion spending bill passed by Congress last month, one might ask, what does Congress have against conservation?

They made huge cuts to conservation programs, such as the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) that supports conservation practices on cropland, pastureland and rangeland, totaling $402 million over ten years. This cut means 2.3 million fewer acres enrolled in the program.

This anti-conservation spending bill also cut the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) by $136 million for this fiscal year.

Remembering Hank Rohling

A dear member of the Center for Rural Affairs staff, Hank Rohling, passed away unexpectedly on October 24, 2014. In his two years at the Center, Hank crisscrossed the country visiting with Center donors in nearly every state.

Since his passing, many of you have written to share your memories of visiting with him. One Center supporter wrote, “Hank visited our home, and we had such rich conversation. Hank was so real, and it was wonderful to have the Center reach into our home.”

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