Wednesday Roundup: ‘Farm Bill Now’ Rally

Real buttermilk • Dairy farms are disappearing in Minnesota • Fracking fees enormous in Pennsylvania

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Farmers rallied in Washington, D.C., this morning to ask Congress to pass a Farm Bill.

Farm Bill Now is a coalition of nearly every farm group in the country — and they are all asking Congress to act. The Senate has passed a Farm Bill, but the House hasn’t. News reports from D.C. tell us that nothing will happen until after the November election, if then. 

Senate Ag committee chair Debbie Stabenow says a compromise with the House is within reach on a Farm Bill — if only the House would act.

She says the two sides could settle their differences in October and pass a bill in November. 

Yonder correspondent Richard Oswald was at the rally and sent back these pictures this morning. There was quite a turnout of people from across rural America.

Richard Oswald/Daily Yonder
Here is part of the Ohio delegation at the Farm Bill Now rally.

Sticking With Aikin — The Missouri Farm Bureau thought about abandoning Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican in the U.S. Senate race in Missouri. The MFB considered taking back its endorsement, after Akin’s comments about rape and pregnancy.

Well, that ain’t gonna happen. The MFB took another vote through a series of conference calls and the ag organization decided to reaffirm its endorsement of the Republican who is running against incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill.

There was no announcement on the exact results of the vote. The Farm Bureau requires a two-thirds vote to make an endorsement. 

“During the conference calls, some of our members brought up the statement made by Congressman Akin last month; however, they accepted his apology and reaffirmed this election is still about issues such as moving our country in a better direction, getting the federal deficit under control, eliminating needless government regulations and creating more jobs,” Blake Hurst, president of Missouri Farm Bureau, said in a written statement.

Low Country Cooking — The Washington Post celebrates the 20th anniversary of the publication of Hoppin’ John’s Lowcountry Cooking, John Martin Taylor’s compilation of coastal recipes. 

“It is not European, African or West Indian dishes specifically that characterize low-country cooking; rather, it is the nuances of combination and a respect for the past that make the cuisine unique,” Taylor wrote in his introduction. “Low-country cuisine is Creole cooking, but it is more heavily influenced by Africans than is the cuisine of Louisiana.”

Fracking Fees in Pennsylvania — The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that “(n)atural-gas companies have paid nearly $200 million to Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission to meet the requirements of the impact fee imposed” by the state legislature. 

Legislators thought they would raise $180 million in impact fees from natural gas drilling in the state. So far, the fee has brought in $197.6, with another $205.9 million still owed.

Dairy Farms Evaporating — The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the number of dairy farms is shrinking in the state, done in by high feed costs and low milk prices. In January 2011, Minnesota had 4,435 dairy farms. Now there are 4,079. 

Bears Pick Apple Crop — Farmers around Missoula, Montana, are organizing to help shoo away bears who come in to help themselves to apples in the fall. 

The Indian Vote — There is a concerted effort this year to turn out the Native American vote. 

Sixty-six percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives who were eligible to register to vote in 2008 did so. The other 34 percent—more than 1 million people—did not.

Here’s a video being used to turn out the tribal electorate. 

Real Buttermilk — The New York Times finds a farm that produces real buttermilk. My mother is licking her lips. 

 

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