North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services suspended for two weeks without pay the veterinarian that attempted to tip Butterball officials about abuse taking place in their Shannon, NC facility. Dr. Sarah Mason said she acted on her own when she reached out to a fellow veterinarian so as to immediately curtail any avian abuse, and for no gain of her own. Director of Public Affairs for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, Brian Long:
"While she did have inappropriate contact with a veterinarian from Butterball and while she should not have passed along any information, there were some mitigating factors in that situation."
For more on NCDA’s official statement, visit our website, SFNToday.com
Vilsack Pleased with President’s Budget Proposal for USDA
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack calls the President’s 2013 budget request to Congress relatively stable – with increases in some areas – but cuts in others.
Vilsack says some 30 programs are cut or eliminated in the President’s fiscal 2013 budget request – which seeks to protect key priorities – including research, conservation and some nutrition programs:
“There are small increases in the overall discretionary spending due in part to fully funding the Women’s Infant and Children’s Nutrition Program, for a full participation of 9.1 million people, and a significant increase in our competitive research grant allocation.”
Twenty-three percent more for research to help combat crop and livestock pests and disease. But even with those increases, Vilsack says discretionary USDA spending is roughly the same while mandatory spending is up on higher crop insurance payments in 2013.
NC Disaster Recovery Committee Recommends Changes for Ag
A North Carolina legislative committee responding to the effects of Hurricane Irene and preparing for future storms has made several recommendations but no appeal for additional funds for the recovery.
The Senate emergency preparedness panel held its last meeting Wednesday and agreed changes should be made within agriculture and emergency management agencies. Committee chairman Sen. Pete Brunstetter of Forsyth County said the panel never received a legislative agenda or monetary request from Gov. Beverly Perdue's administration after the August storm.
Comments Show Deepening Charleston Harbor a Must Do
The Charleston Harbor shipping channel needs to be deepened as quickly as possible. That's the general consensus among dozens of comments received by the Army Corps of Engineers about its $20 million study of deepening the channel.
Charleston District corps spokeswoman Glenn Jeffries says the roughly 80 comments received were a lot just on the scope of a study. She says the vast majority favor the project and want it done quickly.
MF Global’s Missing Funds Grows
MF Global's commodity customers, whose cash vanished when the firm collapsed last year, lost more than first thought. The New York Times reported that MF Global’s missing funds have grown to 1.6 billion dollars. MF Global’s British subsidiary is holding 700 million dollars. The trustee tasked with recovering the money did not include the 700 million when projecting the shortfall, hoping to avoid a battle with MF Global’s British arm.
Amendment Would Speed Pipeline Construction
Senate Republicans have introduced an amendment to a federal transportation bill that would speed the construction and operation of the controversial Keystone oil pipeline between Canada and the United States. Within hours, environmentalists generated hundreds of thousands of e-mails against the amendment.