11th Annual Food Safety Forum Scheduled

The 11th Annual Commissioner’s Food Safety Forum has been scheduled for August 18th at the State Fairgrounds.  This year’s focus will be highly pathenogenic avian influenza, and while the disease isn’t a food safety issue it has had a profound effect on the poultry and egg industries this year.  The forum will feature presentations by Dr. Barry Meade, area veterinarian in charge with USDA ‘s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and others regarding AI.  The forum gets underway at 9:30 am and wraps up at 12:30 with lunch.  The event is free, but pre-registration is required.

South Carolina Included in Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund Awards

USDA announced the first round of investments in rural infrastructure projects through the U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund. Through the Fund and its expanded public-private partnerships, USDA has facilitated the investment of nearly $161 million in private capital 22 critical water and community facilities projects in 14 states, maximizing the impact of USDA’s own investments in job-creating rural infrastructure projects across the country.  Investments include eleven community facilities projects, including a water project in South Carolina,

WTO Rules in Favor of Argentine Beef

The World Trade Organization (WTO) last Friday decided in favor of Argentina by deciding U.S. restrictions on its fresh beef exports were “unjustified,” the Argentine Ministry of Agriculture announced. The decision puts an end to the 12-year prohibition.

WTO affirmed that the U.S. barriers on Argentine fresh beef exports had no scientific reasoning, were not based on risk analysis and discriminate by imposing excessively restrictive standards.
Indemnification for AI Impacted Producers

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack discusses how USDA is addressing indemnification payments to poultry and egg producers impacted by highly pathogenic Avian Influenza going forward;

REINS Act Passes US House

On Tuesday, the US House passed the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny or (REINS) act by a vote of 243 to 165.  Under the act congress would have 70 legislative days to approve a major rule with economic impact over $100 million, as certified by the Office of Management and Budget.  The goal is to protect manufacturing and small businesses from unnecessary costs for burdensome government regulations.  The House continues to work on ways to abate government over reach through regulation.


A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.

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