Here are this week’s top stories from Farm and Dairy:
The Ohio Department of Agriculture announced June 2 that all 2015 poultry shows have been cancelled as a way to control Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). This ban includes county and independent fairs, the Ohio State Fair and other gatherings for bird sales or shows, including auctions and swap meets.
So far, the virus has not been detected in Ohio. Members of 4-H who chose poultry as their project this year won’t be able to show live animals, but they will learn about how a disease can affect an animal and an entire industry.
The U.S. EPA released the renewable fuel standard proposal for last year and the next three years on May 29. The released standards all fall short of original proposals.
Chad Kemp, president of the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association, warned that the renewable fuel standard decision will hurt both farmers and consumers. He said that only Big Oil will benefit from the EPA’s decision. American Petroleum Institute president Jack Gerard stated that Congress should repeal the renewable fuel standard since consumers’ interests should be ahead of ethanol’s interests.
On June 1, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s state veterinarian decided to cancel all 2015 poultry and waterfowl exhibitions in the state.
The decision was made to prevent the commingling of birds from other locations. There are no reported cases of bird flu in Michigan, but the health of backyard and commercial flocks must be protected.
Brandon White from Lucasville, Ohio, was indicted after he allegedly purchased over $30,000 worth of livestock and vehicles using fraudulent checks and falsified documents. His charges include engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, two counts of grand theft of a motor vehicle, five counts of theft by deception and others.
White is accused of using fraudulent checks to buy cattle from farmers, and then quickly sold the cattle before the checks bounced. He is accused of stealing vehicles and filing false documents to transport the cattle.
On May 22, the U.S. Senate voted 62-37 to grant the president trade promotion authority (TPA), and the House will likely vote on the same legislation in early June. While Congress would still have to vote on trade deals that the president might approve, TPA would give the president would be able to negotiate with other countries in a more deliberate, business-like way.
Opponents of TPA argue that the trade deal will cost the U.S. jobs and will hurt labor unions.
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