Weekly Column

Bring responsible food choices into schools

Each day, 29 million students participate in the national school lunch program. The Nebraska Food Council is urging Congress to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act, with inclusion of the Farm to School Act and Kids Eat Local Act, to bring responsible food choices into schools.

Last spring, Congress signaled an attempt to build a new Child Nutrition Act. This legislation is traditionally revised every five years and, while most program authorizations are permanent or extended through annual appropriations, a new Child Nutrition Act has not been reauthorized since 2010.

Shop local this holiday season

Shopping at a locally-owned and operated business is truly a unique experience.

The atmosphere surrounds you as soon as you step out of your car. Sometimes, holiday music flows through the main thoroughfares of your small town. Almost always, twinkling snowflakes line the streets.

Large storefront windows decorated for the season beam welcoming lights onto the sidewalk. These windows offer a snapshot of what you can expect when you enter the small business.

Funding available for livestock investment in Minnesota

Producers looking to improve, update, or modernize their livestock operation infrastructure or equipment in 2020 or early 2021 may be eligible for grant funding through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

The department  plans to award a total of $768,000 during this time frame. Grants would be awarded for 10 percent of a proposed project’s value, up to $250,000.

The nine-page application is straightforward, with the instructions explicitly asking applicants to avoid getting too technical.

Public invited to comment on new Conservation Stewardship Program rule

Changes are coming to the nation’s largest conservation program and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking public comments on a new rule.

On Nov. 12, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced changes to the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), which offers farmers and ranchers a valuable opportunity to build on and increase conservation on their operations.

The 2018 farm bill made a variety of changes to CSP, and this rule is the process where the USDA puts them into action. The changes include: 

What about our farmers?

Earlier this year, in the midst of a trade war with China, President Donald Trump announced a $16 billion agriculture bailout, telling Americans, via Twitter, the biggest beneficiaries would be “our great Patriot Farmers.”

Recent news reports, however, indicate foreign companies are getting a substantial amount of the bailout dollars.

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