Friday, March 09, 2012

The Farm And Food Roundup

EthanSchool districts across the country are still serving the infamous “pink slime” to their kids on a daily basis. The pink slime, which is scrap beef waste that is treated with ammonia to kill pathogens, is used as filler in ground beef and is approved by the USDA. It's also found in 70% of all ground beef found in supermarkets and the USDA says that is it “generally recognized as safe.”

Wisconsin dairy had a record setting year for milk production, topping last year’s record by just under 1%. Although Wisconsin as a whole prospered, La Crosse County saw a moderate drop in dairy production from 2010. With rising dairy prices, the state expects to see increased production in the coming years. But dairy farmers still struggle — as the article says, "any boon for dairy farmers was tempered by the rising costs of milk production, including gas and feed."

The battle over genetically engineered seeds and evolving weeds has been an ongoing issue, and seems to be shedding light on alternative ways to fight invasive weeds in the future. One farmer may have an answer with alternative farming methods and a base layer of rye. What do you think about some of the alternatives to GM herbicides and pesticides of the future?

Organic Valley (a Farm Aid sponsor), has released a specialty milk produced from cows that have only been fed fresh organic grass and hay. “Grassmilk” will be sold at Whole Food Markets in California starting in April, and will move on to natural food stores in the state from there. Is grassfed milk available where you are?

A Nebraska farmer has decided to stick up for his organic operation in what is now considered “CAFO Country”. Joining with the Humane Society of the United States, Kevin Fulton has established an advisory board in Nebraska that promotes markets for locally and humanely raised meat products. He hopes that his efforts will bring business to locally owned farmers that want to avoid selling their meat products to large companies.

It may surprise you to know that 1% of dairy farms control the majority of the market. If a new generation of farmers is going to successfully take over our agricultural system and compete with dairy monopolies, they are going to need to be very innovative with their future business models. In this article, we get the perspective of three generations of farmers who all have different ideas on planning for the future, and what it means to carry on a successful dairy operation.

Everyone knows that labs love to play outside, but who knew about deer? In case you missed it, a brave deer romping around on the farm:

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