Rural farming – Indice Rural http://indicerural.com/ Tue, 27 Sep 2022 17:42:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://indicerural.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/cropped-icon-32x32.png Rural farming – Indice Rural http://indicerural.com/ 32 32 Students learn about sustainable agriculture https://indicerural.com/students-learn-about-sustainable-agriculture/ Tue, 27 Sep 2022 15:30:00 +0000 https://indicerural.com/students-learn-about-sustainable-agriculture/ Even hailstorms couldn’t stop a group of green-fingered school kids from giving back to the planet.

Grade 7 and 8 students at Duntroon School recently planted nearly 750 plants along Karara Creek as part of a North Otago Sustainable Land Management Group (Noslam) planting project.

Noslam co-ordinator Rob McTague said that by involving students, they are teaching sustainable farming practices to the next generation.

“It took 40 [or] 50 years to get the water quality to where it is, but we’re not going to fix it overnight because it’s taken so long,” Mr McTague said.

“These children are the farmers of the future. So we are starting to involve them now.”

They planted flax, toes, and two types of grasses that would reduce sediment runoff into the creek and improve water quality.

“We plant them about a meter apart and they form like a wall and through their root structure. They swell, just like the grasses you see on the beach and they catch all the sediment.”

The group had to weather three hailstorms to get the job done. It was the second planting organized by Noslam and the school. The first took place last December. About 17 of the students involved last year were back this time around.

Duntroon School Principal Mike Turner said the planting was a success and he looked forward to continuing the relationship with Noslam.

“We have told Noslam and we have had conversations with Noslam about maintaining this relationship,” Mr. Turner said.

“We hold [to do more plantings] and we might even get some of our younger kids to do it too. »

NIC.DUFF@oamarumail.co.nz

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Dairy farming brings £500m to Limerick’s economy https://indicerural.com/dairy-farming-brings-500m-to-limericks-economy/ Mon, 26 Sep 2022 15:00:23 +0000 https://indicerural.com/dairy-farming-brings-500m-to-limericks-economy/
Pat McCormack, ICMSA President

REVENUES from dairy farming in County Limerick now represent over half a billion euros for the local economy.

That’s according to Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) chairman Pat McCormack, who said dairy farmers in Limerick are on track to earn £339 million this year.

Multiplied by a standard of 1.6, this means that more than 500 million euros will return to the local economy.

Mr McCormack said the latest figures show what everyone should have understood by now – that milk is the fuel for Limerick’s biggest native economic activity.

“Farmers’ dairy income goes directly into their local economies via fertilizer, feed, various contractors, fuel, services and retail of all types,” he explained.

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The ICMSA president said it was already evident that inflationary input costs have already nearly exceeded the prices dairy farmers receive, but the overall economic importance of dairy production must be grasped by policy makers .

He added that politicians needed to realize that the kind of slow dairy throttle that is being touted as a ‘transition to lower emissions’ will have the deepest negative consequences for areas like Limerick and its hinterland. .

“The type of cuts the government imposes will have the same negative multiplier on Limerick’s economy as the rise in milk production and prices has had in positive terms.

“The Limerick dairy sector is the fundamental economic base of the local rural economy; it is the platform on which everything else is built,” the ICMSA President said.

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On the Road Again: Lancaster Farming takes part in Farm Aid 2022 | Farming and Agriculture News https://indicerural.com/on-the-road-again-lancaster-farming-takes-part-in-farm-aid-2022-farming-and-agriculture-news/ Sun, 25 Sep 2022 22:20:00 +0000 https://indicerural.com/on-the-road-again-lancaster-farming-takes-part-in-farm-aid-2022-farming-and-agriculture-news/

My first order of business when Farm Aid’s 38th Annual Benefit to Help Family Farmers announced Raleigh, North Carolina as the location for its concert, was to start planning a road trip.

My good friend and neighbor, Scott Swackhamer, a Penn State Ag Science graduate, and I have been attending these Willie Nelson extravaganzas for years, Scott usually wearing the volunteer hat and me carrying journalist credentials.

I had my eye on the prize: an interview with the Holy Father of Texas (the words a friend from that state recently used to describe Mr. Nelson), and asked for a 10-minute meeting with the Red Headed Stranger when applying for press accreditation.

The road trip

I had traveled to Virginia in the days leading up to our epic trip south, so we met at a Park & ​​Ride lot just below Washington, DC, and I stuffed all my gear into the Dodge Savana minivan. 1997 Scott’s brown giant.






Dan Sullivan of Lancaster Farming and his friend and road trip partner Scott Swackhamer.




“Smells like ripe bananas,” I told Scott.

“Yeah,” he replied.

“What is that.”

“Paw paws,” Scott said with a sheepish smile.

Turns out Farm Aid, which always includes a plethora of learning opportunities in the days leading up to the event, and at the event itself, was hosting a seed swap and Scott – a serious farmer with his wife, Emelie, a Montgomery County ag Extension Agent – had nothing to trade, so he picked fruit from one of the trees in his yard. Always an adventure to travel with Scott, and no doubt the feeling is mutual.

Local (and international) wisdom

Scott and I had met and kept in touch with North Carolina farmer activist Craig Watts at Farm Aid in Hartfort, Connecticut, the previous year, so we all went to an Airbnb house 20 minutes north of the hall. concert.







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A Farm Aid volunteer.




Craig had become somewhat famous – “infamous, some might say – as a whistleblower for shining the spotlight on the economically unfair and inhumane practices of companies dealing with contract poultry farmers.

Farm Aid came to town in 2014 and helped give it a national platform.

Watts now works for the Socially Responsible Agriculture Project, Farm Aid Beneficiaries and Collaborators. He is converting his old chicken coops to the organic production of mushrooms and vegetables.

After settling into our digs and getting the guitars out for a bit, we all turned around and got ready for Friday’s pre-concert activities. Craig and I set off in his truck for Durham for a screening of “The Smell of Money”, a documentary about how large commercial pig farms are causing environmental and health problems in predominantly black rural communities.

Scott and his son, Clay – as fate would have it, Clay and his freshly minted doctorate. in Biological Systems Engineering from UC Davis were in town to present at a conference – were on their way to Raleigh to pick up their degrees and volunteer assignments for the next day.

Craig and I were early. I said hello to a guy in the row behind us, and his accent piqued my curiosity, so I moved over to talk to him.

Craig later said, with characteristic Southern wisdom flowing effortlessly from his mouth, that if you meet someone who speaks English with an accent, they know at least one more language than you do.

Fred Stouthart has been working with local municipalities and provinces in the Netherlands at the intersection of agriculture, health and the environment for 40 years. Soon to be retired, he is now looking for a meaningful legacy project and plans to bring the Farm Aid model to the Netherlands.

Stouthart said he thought it was a happy coincidence when he saw the trailer for the documentary we were about to watch.

“It’s the same kind of problems we face in Holland,” he said. The main thing is odor nuisance and the health of local residents.

The smell of racism

More than a nuisance, according to the documentary we watched following our conversation. People were dying.

“I hate to talk about resilience as a black person,” panelist Ghanja O’Flaherty, co-director of infrastructure and development with the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network, said after the film. “It feels like it’s an ongoing thing that we have to do. It is at the heart of our experience and … of being able to live in the world.

“But at the same time, I feel like that’s what it’s all about, in a lot of ways.”

The documentary follows a group of residents over 20 who have been harmed by factory hog farms and the industry’s deleterious practices, including the spraying of effluent (they call it fertilizer) from hog waste pits onto fields. adjacent to their homes and how communities, many residents of who had family land on which pig farms now operate were taken illegally, are fighting back.







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Farm Aid participants speak out.




“They’re protecting their position, protecting their property, protecting their well-being and their lives,” O’Flaherty said. “The fact that you even have to do this is more than a little infuriating. Who in the world thinks it’s an appropriate position to have to ask not to get shit sprayed? »

Farm Helper Spirit

Craig and I had just enough time to change into costumes before we all hopped in the van and headed out to Farm Aid’s New Year’s Eve dinner and the Spirit of Farm Aid awards ceremony. The paw paws became noticeably more mature.

I met Pennsylvania Farmers Union President Mike Kovach, my former Rodale colleague Heidi Secord, who is now Pennsylvania’s first female executive director of the USDA Farm Service Agency, and many other familiar faces.

And many new ones. What Farm Aid does best – besides supporting family farmers (and other groups with similar missions) and putting on a big concert – is facilitating relationships.







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Farm Aid’s Homegrown Village offers exhibitions and interactive activities.




I made an important one when I entered the room. How many people, if boasting were in their nature, could call themselves both older than Willie Nelson and counted among his dearest friends?

There stood David Amram, 91 (he will be 92 in November) and interpreter at every Farm Aid since 1987.

Amram has collaborated artistically with Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Jack Kerouac, Sonny Rollins, Lionel Hampton, Allen Ginsberg, Wynton Marsalis, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Odetta, Patti Smith and Arlo Guthrie, to name a few. -ones.

And, of course, Willie. When the Nelson Family Band, including his sons Lucas and Micah, closed the show the next night, Amram literally blew everyone away with his blues solo playing two pennywhistles at the same time.

Happy to chat, Amram hinted that his association with Farm Aid had led him to healthier eating and possibly longevity.

“People would rather eat poison than an ear of corn that might have an insect in it,” he said. “People just don’t realize these farmers are feeding their children.”

Spirit of Farm Aid winners have included longtime Farm Aid producer Charlie Hernandez and his wife Andrea Fulkerson, artist Tim Reynolds (who has performed with Dave Matthews annually since 2007), volunteer Adam Baker, farmer advocate Savi Horn of the Land Loss Prevention Project, and North Carolina farmer and advocate Craig Watts.

What? He didn’t look surprised?

“I’ve sworn to secrecy,” Watts deadpanned.

Oh yeah, the concert

An hour before showtime, Willie Nelson and fellow board members John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and Margo Price took the stage for a press conference, joined by Farm Aid communications director Jen Fahey , Executive Director Carolyn Mugar and a rotating group of local family farmers.

“By bringing Farm Aid back to North Carolina, we can show what family farmers are doing for the benefit of all, through their on-farm practices,” Nelson said. “Family farmers have an intimate relationship with the earth’s soil and water. By investing in the long-term health of our soils, water and climate, farmers are giving back to the land that provides us all with good food.







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Participants in Farm Aid 2022, including North Carolina farmer and activist Craig Watts.




The festival at Coastal Credit Union Music Park in Walnut Creek was sold out. Viewers were encouraged to visit the local Farm Aid village which offered hands-on activities to celebrate farming and a chance to meet farmers in person and learn how they enrich the soil, protect water and grow food. economy as well as healthy food. Local and national organizations were also on hand to provide information on collecting and relocating food systems to avoid preventable food waste, the dangers of corporate consolidation, and local Carolina farms, markets, and agricultural produce. North.

As well as addressing local and regional social justice issues, the theme for Farm Aid 2022 was tackling climate change.

“Farmers are on the front lines of climate change and know all too well its consequences,” said Carolyn Mugar, executive director of Farm Aid. “At the same time, family farmers are the best resources we have to minimize the consequences of climate change. We all need to support proactive agriculture and food policies that support climate-resilient family farmers and pastoralists as they manage our soils and strengthen our food system.

Throughout the day, artists and farmers came together on the FarmYard stage to discuss the challenges and opportunities of agriculture, including climate change, farmer mental health, food policy and indigenous agriculture. .

The musical lineup included Sheryl Crow, Chris Stapleton, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Allison Russell (a new discovery for me and my favorite), Charley Crocket, Brittney Spencer and Particle Kid (aka Micah Nelson), with longtime Matthews his collaborator Tim Reynolds joining him on stage.

Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats, originally slated to join, and my interview with Willie, both fell victim to COVID. Nelson is doing great, as evidenced by his phenomenal guitar playing that night, but his people have decided that one-on-one talks aren’t going to be a thing this year.

I’ve spoken at length with so many people about the issues facing family farmers that space in an already lengthy web article wouldn’t do them justice. Look for ‘Farm Aid Dispatches’ appearing on this website, and possibly in the pages of the Lancaster Farming newspaper, over the next few weeks.

It’s time to get back on the road. Scott is chomping at the bit… and I think we still have a few legs left.

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Rep. Davids, Torres-Small Announces Up to $45 Million for Dairy Farming Climate Initiatives – Welcome to Wyandotte Daily! https://indicerural.com/rep-davids-torres-small-announces-up-to-45-million-for-dairy-farming-climate-initiatives-welcome-to-wyandotte-daily/ Sat, 24 Sep 2022 23:06:06 +0000 https://indicerural.com/rep-davids-torres-small-announces-up-to-45-million-for-dairy-farming-climate-initiatives-welcome-to-wyandotte-daily/
Rep. Sharice Davids and Undersecretary Xochitl Torres Small received a briefing from Dairy Farmers of America Friday in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo from Rep. Davids’ office)

U.S. Representative Sharice Davids joined Xochitl Torres Small, Undersecretary for Rural Development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to announce that the USDA has awarded up to $45 million to Dairy Farmers of America.

Based in Kansas City, Kansas, DFA will use this funding to implement a new climate-smart initiative to help Kansas farmers and consumers reduce emissions and access sustainably produced dairy products.

“Farmers and ranchers are among the hardest hit by floods, droughts or heat waves, all of which have become more severe due to climate change,” Rep. Davids said during the announcement on Friday. “This new funding for Dairy Farmers of America will not only help produce dairy products in a climate-friendly way, but will also open up new markets for Kansas producers to ensure we can feed the world for generations to come. come.”

“Hard-working dairy farmers are essential to our food security and the security of our nation when it comes to fighting climate change,” said USDA Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small. “That’s why President Biden, Vice President Harris and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are investing in projects that will expand markets for climate-smart commodities. The USDA is proud to partner with Dairy Farmers of America and Congressman Davids to be there for dairy farmers who want to develop and sell low-carbon dairy products.

“Dairy farmers worked on continuous environmental improvement long before it became a concern for others. It’s how farmers think, and it’s at the heart of who we are,” said Randy Mooney, Dairy Farmer and Chairman of the Board of DFA. “I am proud to be part of a Cooperative that adds value to its member-owners by making it more accessible to adopt sustainable practices, which will ultimately help advance the development of low-carbon dairy products that consumers demand. We look forward to working with the USDA, Undersecretary Torres Small, and Rep. Davids, the newest member of the House Agriculture Committee, on this initiative and others who support U.S. dairy farmers and rural communities in which we live and work.

This new DFA project aims to reduce global carbon emissions from the dairy market by reducing individual greenhouse gases on the farm. Through collaboration with other business partners, DFA will work to ensure that the financial benefits of climate-smart agriculture are felt by local farmers and ranchers, establishing a powerful and self-sustaining green economy to benefit the community. agriculture, including underserved producers.

Last week, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the USDA would invest up to $2.8 billion in 70 selected projects, including the DFA project announced today, under the first pool of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity. This effort will expand markets for U.S. climate-smart commodities, leverage the greenhouse gas benefits of producing climate-smart commodities, and provide direct and significant benefits to production agriculture, including for underserved small-scale producers.

Rep. Davids, who was recently named a “Friend of the Agriculture Desk,” is the newest member of the House Agriculture Committee that oversees the USDA and has jurisdiction over all aspects of agriculture, forestry, nutrition, water conservation and other agriculture-related activities. the fields. Rep. Davids, 3rd District, sits on the committee alongside Rep. Tracey Mann, 1st District, as they prepare to consider the 2023 Farm Bill, a set of laws passed roughly every five years that includes several measures of critical importance to agriculture, conservation, nutrition, and trade programs.

  • History of the Office of Representative Davids
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This week in agriculture: tax cuts, fit farmers and the new Valtra https://indicerural.com/this-week-in-agriculture-tax-cuts-fit-farmers-and-the-new-valtra/ Fri, 23 Sep 2022 23:34:01 +0000 https://indicerural.com/this-week-in-agriculture-tax-cuts-fit-farmers-and-the-new-valtra/

Welcome to This Week in Farming, your weekly update of the best farming news and opinions. weekly farmers website.

Every Saturday, we round up the five most eye-catching topics on the website that you may have missed and anticipate what’s happening in the F.W. Podcast.

Return of the policy

As the 12-day period of mourning ended on Monday September 19 at the funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II, politicians returned to their offices and to parliament.

In my editorial, I commended the efforts of all event-related planning, noting that a long-term strategy and well-motivated staff were needed for all areas to succeed.

This week has seen a flurry of announcements, with mid-week details of an energy price cap for businesses that will halve the cost of gas and electricity until March 2023.

However, rural groups have condemned the more restricted support program for those dependent on fuel oil.

Then Friday marked a watershed moment for new Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, who unveiled a new set of measures to boost economic growth in an unofficial budget.

These included scrapping the planned increase in National Insurance, extending the annual investment allowance and scrapping the top rate of income tax, as well as clearing the way for more tax. onshore wind turbines.

Britain’s Fittest Farmer Final

The results of Britain’s Fittest Farmers final were revealed this week after 24 finalists who made it through the qualifying round sweated it out during grueling all-day training.

weekly farmersThe annual competition aims to promote physical and mental well-being in agriculture, and this year saw the inclusion of an over 40 category for the first time.

You can watch video of all the action and hear from the winners.

Woe to the pigs

The price paid to many pork producers has remained stubbornly below the cost of production for two years now, and a growing number of entrepreneurs are choosing to stop production.

The herd of breeding females has fallen to less than 261,000, from 313,000 in June 2021, and total industry losses now stand at around £600million.

Analysts say the industry could go from having to kill pigs for welfare in August to having pork shortages just four months later, in this report from F.W.Michael Priestley, Senior Reporter.

Late fertilizer deliveries

Fertilizer prices remain stubbornly high amid the current energy crisis, with the fall in the value of the pound sterling adding to traders’ woes.

Mid-week there was limited supply of imported ammonium nitrate, both Lithan and Pulan, at anywhere between £850/t and £900/t, while CF Fertilizer would be well behind with its planned deliveries.

High prices will likely mean greater interest in alternative technologies that can help reduce the use of artificial fertilizers, including a new piece of kit that can increase the nitrogen content of liquid manure.

The machine is being tested in the UK, including on Buckinghamshire dairy farmer Neil Dyson’s Holly Green Farm, which is home to the Arla Innovation Centre.

The test results show an average improvement in yield of 36% and an improvement in nitrogen uptake of 31%, compared to untreated slurry.

New info about Valtra

Will there be a queue to pocket a Q? Oli Mark asks this question while browsing Valtra’s latest offering, the Q305.

Massey Ferguson and Fendt’s sister brand may be a little underdog by comparison, but farmers can appreciate the continuation of the proven 7.4-litre engine in this new model – it’s been used for a decade now in other machines. .

One farm where she is unlikely to appear is that of North Yorkshire farmers Tom and Richard Sanderson.

The busy mixed farmers have a fleet of six Fendts with a total of 97,000 hours on their clocks, and they say maintenance and repair costs have been minimal compared to financing and depreciation on newer models.

Listen to the F.W. Podcast

Don’t forget the latest edition of the weekly farmers podcast with Johann Tasker and Hugh Broom too.

Listen to it here or take us with you in the taxi by downloading it from your usual podcast platform.

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This Farming Life star and NIGTA general manager will lead the UFU WIA conference https://indicerural.com/this-farming-life-star-and-nigta-general-manager-will-lead-the-ufu-wia-conference/ Fri, 23 Sep 2022 13:16:03 +0000 https://indicerural.com/this-farming-life-star-and-nigta-general-manager-will-lead-the-ufu-wia-conference/

Keynote speakers are Gill Gallagher, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association (NIGTA), and Aimee Budge, who starred in BBC’s This Farming Life.

Following the Committee for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (AERA) investigation, Breaking the ‘Grass’ Ceiling, which was published in March this year, the theme of the event is ‘breaking ground’.

UFU Rural Affairs President Jennifer Hawkes said: “After hosting an online women in agriculture conference last year due to the pandemic, we are really looking forward to hosting an event. physical in October at the Glenavon Hotel.

Gill Gallagher, Managing Director of the Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association, and UFU Rural Affairs Chair Jennifer Hawkes pictured at the launch of the UFU Women in Agriculture 2022 conference.

“The AERA Committee inquiry, breaking the ‘grass’ ceiling, was a milestone for women in agriculture in Northern Ireland, publicly exposing the challenges they have endured for many years in agriculture. ‘industry.

“Now, through the conference, we aim to drive progress by bringing together women in agriculture to hear from leading figures in the industry and to network.

“Whether it’s learning how others do things on the farm and developing their agribusiness career, or more personal aspects such as balancing workload and family commitments, it can be extremely beneficial to talk to other people in a similar situation and know that you are not alone.

“Sharing experiences is key to creating the solutions and support needed for women in agriculture, which has huge benefits for the Northern Ireland agribusiness industry as a whole.”

Jennifer continued, “The conference is also hugely important in showing our younger generations how important agriculture and food production are, and about the vast career opportunities that exist in agriculture, whatever your background. Gill Gallagher and Aimee Budge are shining examples, showing what can be accomplished through hard work, dedication and passion for all things agriculture.

“I encourage all men who can to attend the event.

“They have an important role to play in the movement of women in agriculture, because although things are changing with the increase in the number of women leading agricultural enterprises, the highest percentage of farmers is still made up of older men.

“Therefore, it is extremely important to encourage a girl’s interest in agriculture, to support her wife on the farm or to help ensure that we have an agribusiness industry that only credits the deserved.

“Some efforts may seem smaller than others, but they all make a world of difference.”

Commenting on the event, NIGTA CEO Gill Gallagher said: “This is a great initiative by UFU to connect and empower women in an inspiring and supportive forum.

“Fantastic career opportunities are available in the agribusiness sector at all levels and are open to everyone.

“It’s important to publicize these opportunities and give women the opportunity to create a professional network of contacts to help support and nurture their ambitions.”

Places are limited, tickets are priced at £20 and booking is encouraged as soon as possible. You can do this using the following link www.ufuni.org/events

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Rural Broadband Projects Get $500M USDA Funding https://indicerural.com/rural-broadband-projects-get-500m-usda-funding/ Thu, 22 Sep 2022 13:32:19 +0000 https://indicerural.com/rural-broadband-projects-get-500m-usda-funding/

The Biden administration on Thursday announced half a billion dollars in grants and loans for broadband internet projects in rural areas from Alaska to Alabama, with more awards expected soon. The 2021 Infrastructure Bill earmarked billions of dollars for broadband access, and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said: “We now have, truly, an opportunity to cover all the ‘Rural America.’

More than 30 million Americans live in rural and urban areas without an internet connection at “minimally acceptable speeds,” the report said. White House last fall. Slow connections are a particular problem in rural areas, he said. The Infrastructure Act allocated $65 billion to improve internet services for rural areas, low-income families and tribal communities.

Vilsack said 32 projects in 20 states would receive $502 million in funding through the USDA. Reconnect Program. With these prizes, $858 million has been committed of the $1.15 billion offered in the third round of applications. The deadline for requests for a similar amount of funding under the fourth round is November 2.

Pine Belt Telephone Co., which serves west-central Alabama, received the top prize Thursday, at $49.7 million. The award, split equally between loans and grants, will be used to deploy a fiber optic network serving 16,000 people, 608 businesses, 52 educational institutions and 407 farms, the USDA said. “This project will serve socially vulnerable communities in Choctaw, Dallas and Clarke counties.”

The largest grants, totaling $63 million, went to two projects in Alaska, one near Skagway on the Alaskan Panhandle and the other on the North Slope, the northernmost part of the United States, over the Arctic Ocean. Both would serve sparsely populated areas, with a total of 687 people, 19 businesses and a high school involved. Vilsack said the North Slope project exemplifies the commitment to high-quality internet nationwide.

“Broadband is imperative” in a country that increasingly relies on digital connections, said Greg Puckett, who chairs the National Counties Association’s Rural Action Caucus. Without it, he said, rural communities “face a real economic hurdle”.

At the beginning of this year, in a Purdue University Poll, 12% of large farmers said they had no internet access and 16% said they had a poor quality connection. “Only three in ten respondents said they had ‘high quality’ internet access, followed by 41% who chose ‘moderate quality,'” wrote Purdue economists James Mintert and Michael Langemeier.

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Agricultural extension workers are key to transforming the agricultural sector https://indicerural.com/agricultural-extension-workers-are-key-to-transforming-the-agricultural-sector/ Wed, 21 Sep 2022 22:25:57 +0000 https://indicerural.com/agricultural-extension-workers-are-key-to-transforming-the-agricultural-sector/

The Chronicle

Nqobile Tshili, columnist

AGRICULTURE extension officers are key to transforming the country’s agricultural sector into agribusinesses by providing solutions to farming communities.

Three extension agents are deployed per district and this is intended to ensure that they are in constant contact with the farmers; each serving up to 600 farmers.

To ensure that agritex agents are practical and technically sound, they undergo refresher courses twice a year and also take exams to show that they have mastered the concepts they have been taught in an ever-changing field due to of climate change.

The officers are expected to provide technical advice to farmers as the government strives to revolutionize the agricultural sector into an industry starting in the villages.

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Development leads the rural industrialization program where villages are transformed to be more productive.

Agritex agents have been equipped with motorbikes to improve mobility and also receive monthly airtime allowances to communicate with farmers about agribusiness opportunities.

The country is gearing up for the 2022/23 agricultural season and meteorologists are predicting a normal to above normal agricultural season.

Answer the questions of the ChronicleLand, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Development, Dr John Basera, said Agritex officers are the technical drivers for successful implementation of the climate-proof Pfumvudza/Intwasa farming method .

He said Agritex agents should always be present in communities to provide agricultural solutions to farmers.

“The Pfumvudza/Intwasa program is a climate protection concept that is anchored and enabled by a responsive agricultural extension support system, managed by a well-rounded and polite agricultural extension officer whose role is to: introduce the concept and sensitize local traditional leaders on Pfumvudza/ Intwasa Programme, mobilization and registration of farmers and training of farmers in the underlying principles of Pfumvudza; minimal soil disturbance/digging, rotations, mulching,” he said.

Dr Basera said extension workers should convey and promote the adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices that focus on soil moisture and nutrient conservation for increased production.

He said they can do this by organizing the farmers into groups and reducing the burden of digging the Intwasa holes individually.

Dr Basera said farmers also need to share information about Pfumvudza through mobile interactive social platforms and organize learning visits with successful program implementers.

He said they are expected to identify and provide solutions in farming communities, which will lead to improved yields.

“Pfumvudza/Intwasa technically means a new season of producing more on less land, producing more from less other resources, thus making farming a business case. A new season of religious adoption of the principles of Conservation Agriculture to climate proof the food production sub-sector that is so vulnerable to the effects of climate change and build resilience as we move towards the 2030 vision, agriculturally,” he said.

Dr. Basera said that for extension to be effective, the government is continuously improving the skills, knowledge and skills of extension workers through tailored trainings to address farmers’ concerns such as farming as a business, l adaptation to climate change, new pests and diseases.

He said that the Ministry of Agriculture organizes several Training of Trainers (ToT) sessions targeting extension officers who are expected to impart their knowledge to the communities from where they operate.

“They will further pass on the knowledge acquired to farmers. Farmers can ask for advice (demand-driven extension) or agricultural extension workers can give advice on what they see because they are part of the farming community at the lowest local level,” he said. .

“The main roles of extension service delivery are technical support to farmers as well as agribusiness advice. We view our extension officers as agribusiness advisors and are the anchor agents of agricultural transformation and rural development.

Dr Basera said that in recognizing the critical role of agricultural extension officers, President Mnangagwa has made several interventions to ensure that they have adequate resources to administer their duties.

He said they have been given motorbikes and fuel which enable them to reach all their targeted farmers by neighborhood.

“They receive electronic gadgets/tablets, monthly airtime and data packages to facilitate communication and receive key extension information targeting farmers and they also get technical capacity building through ongoing online training. They take refresher modules every six months and take exams,” he said.

“Plans are at an advanced stage to give each agent a demo pack of entries that they will self-administer for skill capacitation. We intend to develop our extension officers into well-mannered and technically savvy agricultural practitioners.

Dr. Basera said the government has also put in place a strong monitoring and evaluation mechanism to ensure that the extension workers are performing their duties.

“A reporting system where weekly reports are submitted is another measure that ensures that agricultural extension agents execute and achieve their scheduled activities. There are various programs that require execution by agricultural extension agents and these have objectives. Structures and processes have been put in place to track progress and reports are used to determine responsibility and accountability of implementation teams,” said Dr Basera.

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Evening Edition | Tuesday, September 20, 2022 https://indicerural.com/evening-edition-tuesday-september-20-2022/ Tue, 20 Sep 2022 22:08:59 +0000 https://indicerural.com/evening-edition-tuesday-september-20-2022/

In this evening edition, learn about agriculture’s role in the rural economy, planter and baler upgrades, and subsidies available to livestock processors.

rural economy

More U.S. farmers are relying on off-farm income as agriculture accounts for a smaller share of rural employment nationwide, a University of Missouri study said Monday.

The analysis, commissioned by agricultural lender CoBank, said the majority of major farmers worked off the farm and off-farm income accounted for 82% of farm household income.

“The rural economy has become more diverse and complex than 15 years ago,” said Dan Kowalski of CoBank. “In many cases, the historical concept of ‘rural’ no longer applies.”

Seeders and presses

Editor Alex Gray reports on machine announcements from Claas and CaseIH.

For Claas, this includes technical upgrades to the Quadrant Evolution series square baler and the new Variant 500 series round baler.

Case IH has announced new upgrades to the 2000 Series Early Riser seeders, including the 2150S announced earlier this year.

Among these new updates are further increased fluid capacity, a dealer-installed 48th row option and software upgrades for the AFS Pro 1200 display.

Minnesota Processor Grants

Minnesota livestock processors looking to start or change businesses may be eligible for a grant program administered by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

The two-year-old program’s goal is to increase sales of Minnesota livestock products by investing in equipment and physical improvements that support processing, capacity, market diversification and access to markets.

The ministry plans to award up to $1.4 million through a competitive review process.

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There’s still time to participate in the award-winning ABP Angus Youth Challenge https://indicerural.com/theres-still-time-to-participate-in-the-award-winning-abp-angus-youth-challenge/ Tue, 20 Sep 2022 14:22:51 +0000 https://indicerural.com/theres-still-time-to-participate-in-the-award-winning-abp-angus-youth-challenge/

The skills development program for 11/14-15 year olds recently became Business in the Community’s “Best Educational Partnership” winner for 2022.

The prize package for anyone who reaches the final stage of the competition includes a small herd of Angus crossbred calves to rear, worth around £3,500, as well as a study trip.

This year’s tour presented an inspiring experience of working from farm to fork at ABP Belgium. He started at Lismullin Cooking School in Navan with ABP Ireland and Kettyle Irish Foods.

Shortlisted entrants competing at last year’s show during Halloween at Balmoral Park. This year’s event will take place on October 28 and will be judged by an independent jury, for a place in the final round of the 2023 ABP Angus Youth Challenge.

The competition is aligned with learning outcomes in a range of GCSE subjects to support success. It gives teenagers who reach the final stage direct experience and skills in beef production.

Teams that make it to the final stage are assigned a mentor from the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise to support them in their research while they raise their calves. They also receive professional training in communication, presentation and interviewing to help prepare them for the world of work.

After submitting an application, a selection of teams will then be invited to participate in an exhibition event at Balmoral Park. An independent judging panel will judge the teams’ performances at the exhibition, to determine who will enter the finalist program and win the prizes.

At the end of the finals, a winning team will also receive a £1,000 check for their club or school.

ABP Northern Ireland Managing Director George Mullan highlighted the success of the ABP Angus Youth Challenge and the recognition ABP and its delivery partner Certified Irish Angus Producer Group received at the 2022 Responsible Business Awards.

He said: “We are delighted that the expert judges recognized the impact our initiative is having on young people. Developing and attracting skilled and talented young people to our industry is an integral part of our commitment to supporting sustainable beef production in Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, teams from Banbridge Academy, Dalriada School Ballymoney, Cookstown High School, Friends’ School Lisburn, St Kevin’s College Lisnaskea, St Catherine’s Armagh and Newtownhamilton High School are due to complete their finalist program in October, when the winners will be announced.

Registration and participation in the ABP Angus Youth Challenge can also now be used under the skills section of the Duke of Edinburgh/Joint Award.

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