Food and Farming News Roundup 3/12/11

-  The New Entry Sustainable Farming Project has developed some very cool new financial tools for farmers: a calculator to help poultry growers compare the cost of different processing options, both as a customizable spreadsheet and as an easy to use online calculator, and a full-blown, soup-to-nuts poultry enterprise calculator. They are available online here, free to use and download, so have at it! - In a recent New York Times article, “Foodies Can Eclipse (and save) the Green Movement” Bryan Walsh makes clear the need to connect the food movement and the environment. Agricultural reform can help promote healthier foods while finding solutions to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and water pollution. - Minneapolis is on its way toward adopting a new comprehensive urban agriculture policy plan.  Last Tuesday, February 22, the Minneapolis City Planning Commission moved to recommend that the City Council adopt the proposed plan. The next step is for a subcommittee of the City  Council to discuss the plan on March 24th, and if voted out of committee to be considered by the entire Council. For more see urbanfoodpolicy.com - GIPSA Briefings in House and Senate: On February 28, 2011, briefings on the proposed Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule were held in both the Senate and House.  Chandler Goule of the National Farmers Union moderated a panel of producers in favor of the rule: Mike Weaver, a contract poultry producer in West Virginia for Pilgrim’s Pride; Dan Hodges, a Berkshire hog producer from Nebraska; and Judy McCullom, a cow-calf operator from Wyoming. Each of the three described the current state of their segment of industry,  and discussed the potential implications of the rule.  Contract poultry production, especially, would benefit because the industry is more dependent on contract production than the hog or cattle industry research.  Read more...

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