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Planning and zoning seems, at least at first, like a purely local issue. This idea is called Home Rule. But in most states, including here in Indiana, state (and federal) statutes limit a local government’s power. These are the numerous exceptions to Home Rule (and then of course there are exemptions to the exceptions). I recently gave a presentation to a group of certified planners and others involved in local government planning and zoning decisions.…
The ACLU recently challenged Iowa’s “ag gag” law in federal court. Iowa’s law makes it a crime to use deception to gain access to a private livestock or meatpacking facility with the intent to cause physical or economic harm or “other injury” to a facility’s operations, property or persons. The ACLU challenged that the Ag Gag law is unconstitutional, chills free speech, and criminalizes a free press. Indiana farms have been targeted by anti-agriculture activists…
Do you pay any attention to what voters are deciding out in California? In the past, I think a lot of people have thought what happens in California stays in California. But, as egg, veal, and swine farmers are finding out, that idea isn’t so true anymore. California passed a ballot proposition a few years ago requiring laying hens, veal, and swine have enough room to lay down and turn around. More recently, in 2018,…
A New Mexico dairy farmer has been in the news lately, and it isn’t good news. Art Schaap is dumping 15,000 gallons of milk each day, had to let 40 of his employees go, and plans to terminate all 4,000 of his cows because 7 of his 13 wells have been contaminated by toxins called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that entered the groundwater at nearby Cannon Air Force base. Now Schaap is stuck with contaminated…
A New Mexico dairy farmer has been in the news lately, and it isn’t good news. Art Schaap is dumping 15,000 gallons of milk each day, had to let 40 of his employees go, and plans to terminate all 4,000 of his cows because 7 of his 13 wells have been contaminated by toxins called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that entered the groundwater at nearby Cannon Air Force base. Now Schaap is stuck with contaminated…
It is still illegal to grow marijuana in Indiana (for now, at least!). Right now, with a license, hemp production for research purposes is allowed. Soon, general grower licenses likely will be available. Industrial hemp refers primarily to Cannabis sativa L. (Cannabaceae). There are thousands of uses for hemp, from medicinal and food grade oils from the seeds to paper and clothing from the fibers. Analysts predict the hemp market could hit more than $20 billion in the…
It is still illegal to grow marijuana in Indiana (for now, at least!). Right now, with a license, hemp production for research purposes is allowed. Soon, general grower licenses likely will be available. Industrial hemp refers primarily to Cannabis sativa L. (Cannabaceae). There are thousands of uses for hemp, from medicinal and food grade oils from the seeds to paper and clothing from the fibers. Analysts predict the hemp market could hit more than $20 billion in the…
We’ve written before on consumer demand’s impact on agriculture. Non-GMO, organic, cage-free, sustainable, antibiotic-free, lab-grown…there is a long list of products developed in response not to regulatory changes, but rather to meet consumer demand. Of course not all attempts to meet consumer demands can make everybody happy all of the time. Costco is taking its rotisserie chicken supply chain under its wing. Costco’s plan, currently underway, is to build a large $400 million chicken farm…
We’ve written before on consumer demand’s impact on agriculture. Non-GMO, organic, cage-free, sustainable, antibiotic-free, lab-grown…there is a long list of products developed in response not to regulatory changes, but rather to meet consumer demand. Of course not all attempts to meet consumer demands can make everybody happy all of the time. Costco is taking its rotisserie chicken supply chain under its wing. Costco’s plan, currently underway, is to build a large $400 million chicken farm…
Tyson Foods recently announced plans to improve environmental practices on two million acres of corn by the end of 2020. This announcement supports Tyson’s pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2030. Tyson will do this by “encouraging” farmers to adopt various conservation practices. Tyson has contracts with farmers who supply corn for Tyson’s livestock feed. Tyson will encourage those farmers to adopt practices which reduce fertilizer needs, water use, and soil runoff. To…