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Recent posts by Rhea Landholm

America's family farmers and ranchers let down 

Family farmers and ranchers have waited years for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to institute basic fairness protections in the poultry and livestock industries.

However, last week, officials announced a rollback of two rules of the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA); decided not to move forward with an interim final rule of the Farmer Fair Practices; and said they will take no further action on a proposed regulation of the Farmer Fair Practices Rule.

Center for Rural Affairs September and October newsletter

Note from the editor:

This edition of our newsletter focuses on STEWARDSHIP of the natural environment upon which all of us – current and future generations – rely. 

Lowell and Milissa Osborne, who live on the Omaha Indian Reservation, know what it’s like to be stewards of the land. Bees moved onto their land, so they gave the bees a home and a chance to be productive. They study companion planting and treat the land with care, so the land will take care of them.

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Outhouse Honey Farm is one of 220+ gardens on the Omaha Reservation

Members of the Omaha Tribe are working to improve access to fresh food, starting with growing produce in their own communities. The Center for Rural Affairs has worked alongside them during the last four years.

In 2016, gardeners had a record year with high levels of garden participation – Center staff demonstrated garden soil preparation at more than 100 family garden plots. This year, staff demonstrated in at least 220 family gardens, and at a demonstration plot at Nebraska Indian Community College.

America’s farmers and ranchers let down by USDA’s rollback of GIPSA rules

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today a rollback of two rules of the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).

Also today, Agriculture Sec. Sonny Perdue decided not to move forward with an interim final rule of the Farmer Fair Practices, and decided USDA will take no further action on a proposed regulation of the Farmer Fair Practices Rule. Together, these rules would have helped balance the relationships between producers and meat packing companies in highly concentrated livestock and poultry industries.

There’s a buzz about Outhouse Honey Farm

Along a gravel road on the Omaha Reservation is a white house surrounded by gardens and fruit trees.

On one side of the property is an aging outhouse – the namesake of the small operation, Outhouse Honey Farm.

Bees in the outhouse

Four years ago, owner Lowell Osborne noted something peculiar.

“On the side of the outhouse, there were a whole lot of bees going in and out of that big hole,” he said. “I looked, and it was just full of bees in there.”

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