Digest: Rural Ghettos, A Diploma & 100 Cows, and more

Our weekly contribution to the Digest over at Ethicurean.

Rural ghettos: After 40 years of population loss, some Kansans are arguing that unlimited farm subsidies are turning American agriculture into an industry, and rural America into a ghetto. (Parsons Sun)

Second time’s a charm?: We lost the battle for Farm Bill payment limit reform in the House, but suddenly everyone is talking about it in the Senate. Is the drum beat for reform being heard? (Agriculture Online)

Delay, delay, delay: With the House version of the Farm Bill already passed, all eyes are on the Senate. But now we hear that the Agriculture Committee in the Senate won’t even begin to take up the bill until October at the earliest. No word on when the full Senate might get to it. (Congress Now)

Held captive: While farm program payment limits suck up much of our reform efforts, there’s another issue that’s key to the survival of the independent family farmer. Does your senator support competitive markets for farmers? (Agri News)

Pure hogwash: New research suggests seepage of pharmaceuticals from hog farms "is not an environmental problem." Scroll to the last paragraph to see who funded the research. Uh, right. (Science Daily)

And an Internet connection: Farm Bill reform alone will not save rural America. Increasingly important for both business and home, rural communities should not be doomed to dial-up internet. (PC World)

A diploma & 100 cows: In 1862, the Homestead Act got you 160 acres. Now a diploma from one Nebraska community college could come with 100 cows. (Nebraska Ag Connection)

Megafarms multiply: While the overall number of farms in the state is falling, one Ohio farm is set to triple its herd to 29,000 cattle. (Columbus Dispatch)

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