Friday, February 26, 2021

Quick hits: Drought forecast for Western U.S.; which seven senators voted against Tom Vilsack?

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 heather.chapman@uky.edu.

A rural liberal in New Hampshire set out to talk to his many pro-Trump neighbors. Read more here.

The Senate confirmed Tom Vilsack for his second stint as agriculture secretary, 92-7. Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont voted no, with Republicans Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida, and Dan Sullivan of Alaska. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is asking farmers and ranchers to respond to the 2020 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey to get a more accurate picture of local and regional food systems. USDA will continue to accept responses through April. Read more here.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association called on the federal government to establish more rural-friendly rules for broadband grants. Read more here.

James Fallows, who crisscrossed the U.S. writing about rural America and its newspapers for The Atlantic, writes now about how we can apply the lessons from FDR's New Deal to rebuild the economy from the pandemic. Read more here.

President Biden reverses his predecessor's freeze on certain green cards and temporary work visas for farmworkers and other skilled workers. Read more here.

At the Agricultural Outlook Forum this week, USDA leadership committed to helping control the pandemic as well as tackling deep-seated farming issues. Read more here.

Scientists are forecasting a drought for much of the Western U.S. this spring. Read more here.

Twenty percent of Wisconsin wolves are to be killed after a court sided with hunters. Read more here.

Extreme winter weather has caused shipping nightmares for grain barges. Read more here.

The internet has played a critical role in farmer networking during the pandemic. Read more here.

An explainer shows the ins and outs of how the Federal Communications Commission's Rural Digital Opportunity Fund broadband auction works. Read more here.

Frozen pipes in Texas are the latest warning of what will happen to water systems across the U.S. if policies and aging infrastructure are not updated to account for the increase in extreme weather climate change brings. Read more here.

1 comment:

Northcoaster said...

Both Florida Senators voting against Vilsack? Where's the risk management in that? Florida's farmers should start looking for other channels into the USDA