Monsanto Biotech Rider Bypasses Legal Requirements

Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, inserted a rider in the US House Bill to fund the government next year. It would allow biotech crops to be planted even if courts rule they were approved illegally, according to Reuters business news service.


Monsanto spent $6.37 million on Washington lobbying last year, and $1.4 million so far this year, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Build Your Business with USDA Grants

The US Department of Agriculture is taking applications for the Value-Added Grant Program. Grants help farmers/ranchers or marketing partnerships develop and sell value-added agricultural products.

Planning grants ($100,000) and Working Capital grants ($300,000) are available. Matching cash or in-kind funds are required for both. Proposals are due October 15, 2012.

Find out more at your local USDA Rural Development office or online here .

Young People in Kansas Taken Seriously

A Kansas state program called The Rural Opportunity Zone repays student loans over five years. It’s for those willing to relocate to 50 designated counties. Most of these counties are agricultural with roughly a 10 percent population decrease in the last census. The maximum benefit during this period is $15,000.

Benjamin Reeves of the International Business Times reports the program has detractors. He writes, “Generally conservative and small-government oriented, agricultural communities in this part of the Midwest tend to oppose the idea of handouts to outsiders.”

Washington Town Keeps Marching Forward (and Loudly!)

Census figures were just the thing to light a fire under the people of LaCrosse, Washington. At one time it boasted a population of 1,000. But now that number has plummeted to 310. This has resulted in limited resources and abandoned buildings and homes.

John Stucke of the Spokesman-Review was told by wheat farmer Randy Myklebust that, “This is not an impossible situation, but a situation full of possibility.” He recently bought an older home and is restoring it.


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