Legislative Livestock Day Today at the General Assembly

Today is Livestock Legislative Day at the State Legislature in downtown Raleigh.  This day is set aside at the General Assembly to show the importance of animal agriculture to the state’s $78 billion ag economy.  Beginning at 8:00 am the NC Pork Council will provide breakfast for legislators and their staff on the Halifax Mall, then from 11:30 until 1:00 pm the NC Cattlemen’s Association will offer lunch and the 16th annual milk-chugging contest will be held on the north portico of the Legislative Building.

 House Hearing Scheduled for Biotech Labeling This Week

On Capitol Hill Thursday the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on biotech labeling in food at a national level. The hearing’s titled “A National Framework for the Review and Labeling of Biotechnology in Food”. House Ag Committee Chairman Mike Conaway says the Ag Committee and the Committee on Energy and Commerce are working to refine and improve the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015.

Sorghum Checkoff Referendum Passes

The referendum on the continuation of the Sorghum Checkoff passed by an overwhelming 96.5 percent as reported USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. The Sorghum Checkoff referendum, hosted by USDA-AMS, was held by producer vote March 23 through April 21, 2015, and yielded 1,160 votes in favor and 42 votes against the continuation of the Sorghum Checkoff with Texas and Kansas producing the largest voter turnout. Votes were received from 18 states.

Ireland Investigating Suspected BSE Case

Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) announced Thursday the discovery of a suspected case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in County Louth.

DAFM discovered the suspected case through its ongoing surveillance system for animals that die on farm. The animal was not presented for slaughter and did not enter the food chain, officials said in a news release on the agency’s website.

The agency said tests are underway and results will be available in about a week. If confirmed, it would be the first BSE case found in Ireland since 2013.

New Ag Education Standards Released

New educational content standards have been released for the agriculture, food and natural resources (AFNR) industry. The revised standards, which provide state agricultural education leaders and educators a guide for development of well-planned curriculum for AFNR-related career and technical education programs, were released by the National Council for Agricultural Education.

The multi-stage revision of the standards began in 2014 and included input from more than 270 secondary and post-secondary educators, business, industry and state leaders in career and technical education. The revision process reflected essential and up-to-date knowledge and skills that students need to be ready for early-career success in a variety of AFNR disciplines. In addition, the revisions provide a sound basis on which to design AFNR related career and technical education courses as well as for developing assessments to measure students’ knowledge and skill levels.


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.