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Tag Archives: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Historic hospital, shuttered for decades, getting renovated

MOUND BAYOU — After 30 years of being boarded up, renovation has begun on the Taborian Hospital in Mound Bayou, one of Mississippi’s oldest hospitals. Contractors have 210 days to complete the work. The Bolivar Commercial reports that the work is funded with a $2.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The facility will reopen as the Taborian ...

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Avery honored with award

Mississippi State University has recognized Extension professor Jimmy Avery with a Spirit of Excellence Award. As Mississippi’s only Extension catfish specialist, Avery has spent the last several years working to revitalize an industry in which Mississippi excels. That leading position has been hit hard recently due to foreign imports and falling prices. He coordinated efforts of several colleagues to initiate ...

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EPA announces $50 million for Gulf river basins

HOUSTON — Federal authorities are providing $50 million to restore seven Gulf Coast river basins after last year’s catastrophic oil spill. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s head Lisa Jackson says a task force has set out a series of goals to help restore the region, the result of a year of work between the five Gulf Coast states and the ...

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State's peanut crop tops in U.S.

Back in the summer, the peanut industry was facing a crisis. The extended drought had affected nearly half of the state’s peanut growers, and they were looking at a bad, perhaps disastrous, year. But, the same September rains from Tropical Storm Lee that saved pecan growers turned the season around for peanut farmers. Instead of a bad year, the crop ...

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Betting the farm

While the escalation in farmland values in the Midwest has gained national attention, Mississippi agricultural land has had a less-noticed run-up of its own. From 2009 through 2010, Mississippi’s cropland rose 5 percent in value, keeping pace with Missouri and Kansas and outpacing Illinois (3.2 percent) and Iowa (1.2 percent), the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported. Mississippi per-acre prices still ...

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Labeling chicken

A new regulation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture requiring nutrition labels on raw, single-ingredient poultry products has the poultry industry in Mississippi somewhat mystified — and very concerned. Effective Jan. 1, 2012, the USDA will require certain poultry products to provide nutrition information on the package or available at the point-of-purchase. The rule is targeting non-consumer-ready poultry cuts, which ...

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Nowhere to go but up

Farmers enjoy record-setting year in 2010 Compared to the disaster that was 2009, this year was a banner one for Mississippi’s agriculture community. In the end, there was nowhere to go but up. Still, the estimated total production value for the state’s crops set a new record in 2010, and some commodities posted their best season in years, especially catfish ...

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Feds consider limiting potatoes offered to kids

GLEED, Wash. — Potato growers are fighting back against efforts to ban or limit potatoes in federal child nutrition programs, arguing the tuber is loaded with potassium and vitamin C and shouldn’t be considered junk food. One Washington man is so exasperated by the proposals that he’s in the midst of a 60-day, all potato diet to demonstrate that potatoes ...

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Hollow victory?

USDA slashes catfish inspection budget   As of late, good news coming from the beleaguered U.S. catfish industry has been meager at best. So, it made headlines when, after years of lobbying by the industry, the 2008 Farm Bill approved the transfer of the inspection of imported fish from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the U.S. Department of ...

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Spell guardedly optimistic about agriculture outlook

  If farmers who saw catastrophic losses in 2009 receive timely aid in early 2010, Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Lester Spell is optimistic about the upcoming year. If not… “There is no definitive figure on just how many farmers we could lose if they don’t get some assistance,” Spell said. “I predict it will be a higher number than we have ...

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