Friday, February 23, 2018

Quick hits: appraiser shortage hurts rural market; N.M. is a black-lung hot spot; checklist to keep kids safer on the farm

Here's a roundup of stories with rural resonance; if you do or see similar work that should be shared on The Rural Blog, email us at

The latest episode of Banking Journal, a podcast from the American Bankers Association, tackles a little-recognized problem for rural America: the shortage of qualified appraisers. It's hard enough to get people and businesses to move to rural America, but those who want to buy a farm or commercial real estate in rural America can face waits of several months while lenders wait for the appraisals. It can harm younger would-be farmers who want to buy in, since sellers might sell for a lower price to an older farmer who has more cash up front. There are significant barriers to entry for potential new appraisers as well. Read more here.

Black-lung disease is often thought of as something that mostly hits Appalachian coal miners, but New Mexico is seeing a surge in the disease as well. Dr. Akshay Sood, the Miners’ Colfax Medical Center Endowed Chair in Mining-Related Lung Diseases at the University of New Mexico, said "We’re not only a hotspot for black lung; we’re also a hotspot for silicosis, other pneumoconiosis, sarcoidosis, and interstitial lung disease." Read more here.

Children often help out around the family farm, which can lead to injuries. The National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety has published a handy printable checklist for parents to help keep kids safe on the farm. Find it here.

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