Weekend Roundup: Bad Week For Ranchers

House bill would further damage GIPSA rules • What was missing for livestock growers in the Farm Bill • The good that comes with immigration


lay off 600 Eastern Kentucky coal miners and 150 in West Virginia. 

Utilities have been switching from coal to gas, as gas prices have dropped. “The U.S. coal industry is in the midst of a restructuring that will cause some players to exit the market and others, like Arch, to pare back operations until market conditions improve,” Arch said in a May press release.

• The Daily Howler tells us how the bogus information about the use of “drones” to spy on ranchers and feed lots got going. 

• The U.S. Department of Education has started an online “community” for rural schools. You can read about it here.  

You can get to the site here. Doesn’t look very active right now. The last post was more than a week ago.

• Here is the final vote on the farm bill in the Senate, by state:


Wild map here showing invasive species in Minnesota. 

• In a New York Times op-ed, two social scientists report on new research on the effects of immigration. John MacDonald and Robert Sampson report that in regions where immigrants have settled the last two decades, “crime has gone down, cities have grown, poor urban neighborhoods have been rebuilt, and small towns that were once on life support are springing back.”

This is true in rural areas, too. The two write: 

Scholars can’t say for sure that immigration caused these positive developments, but we know enough to debunk the notion that immigrants worsen social ills.

For example, in rural counties that experienced an influx of immigrants in the 1980s and ’90s, crime rates dropped by more than they did in rural counties that did not see high immigrant growth. Higher immigration was associated with reductions in homicide rates for white, black and Latino victims. In both Hazleton, Pa., which has a recent history of hostility toward immigration, and St. James, Minn., a much more welcoming community, migrants have also bolstered dwindling populations and helped to reverse economic decline.