At Wednesday’s emergency Board of Agriculture meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina's Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler said the department is planning on putting a proposal before the General Assembly to give the commissioner, via the Board, some powers to help farmers in times of natural disaster:
“During a disaster there are things that we need to do in agriculture that are emergencies. And it’s a cumbersome process sometimes to get the rules suspended during a time of emergency, and I want to get the Board of Agriculture to be involved in that, to make that decision, to ask me to suspend some of the rules that could be cumbersome to get crops out of the field in particular.”
Governor Perdue’s spokesman Mark Johnson:
“If the Department of Agriculture needs help, we will always work with them, we will always get them what they need. But in a time of crisis there needs to be one leader, and that’s the governor.”
The NC General Assembly is scheduled to convene for what’s slated to be three days next week, and the commissioner’s proposals will be introduced at that time.
Pilot Hog Waste System Gains Endorsement
A pilot waste-to-energy system constructed by Duke University and Duke Energy has garnered the endorsement of Google Inc., which invests in high-quality carbon offsets from across the nation to fulfill its own carbon neutrality goals. The system, on a hog finishing facility 25 miles west of Winston-Salem, converts hog waste into electricity and creates carbon offset credits. Read the full story...
Central Bank is Ready to Promote Recovery
In a much-anticipated speech, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke offered no hints about possible new steps to boost the flagging economy. But he did tell a group in Minneapolis that the central bank is ready to promote recovery.
“Let me assure you that the Federal Reserve will always do all that it can to help restore high rates of growth and employment in a context of price stability.”
US Food Insecurity Decreases
In 2010, 85.5% of U.S. households were food-secure throughout the year, according to a new report from the USDA’s Economic Research Service. The remaining 14.5%, about 17.2 million households, were food insecure. The percentage was statistically the same as that for food-insecure households in 2009. Households with "very low" food insecurity declined modestly from the 2009 total.