Tennessee Gives the All Clear After Avian Flu Outbreak


Tennessee’s top veterinarian on Wednesday lifted a statewide poultry health advisory and removed the control zone around two Lincoln County poultry farms hit by allowing poultry owners to resume regular activity. H7N9 HPAI was confirmed on March 4 in a commercial chicken flock in Lincoln County. On March 14, samples from a commercial flock on a premises less than two miles away also tested positive for the same strain.

The affected flocks were depopulated, and birds from commercial and backyard flocks were tested weekly for three weeks. No additional samples have tested positive for avian influenza, and testing is now complete.

Smithfield Branching into Pharmaceuticals

Smithfield Foods, Inc. has launched a new strategic platform organization that leverages byproducts from the meat production process for the development of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and medical device solutions.

Smithfield Bioscience was created to support a range of biotechnology solutions in areas of human therapeutics, tissue fabrication and regenerative medicine, according to the company.

Smithfield’s new division is also among a group of organizations that’s figuring out ways to replace tissue for injured soldiers. The public-private initiative is partly funded by the Department of Defense.

Trump: Healthcare Reform Before Tax Reform

In a Fox Business interview, President Donald Trump put a priority on health care reform before he’ll turn his attention to tax reform. The President said in the interview, “I have to do health care first. I really want to do it right.” He says tax reform is critical to the economy and to large and small businesses. However, he says healthcare reform could potentially save hundreds of millions of dollars, which would then help tax reform. The biggest tax reform that agriculture would like to see is a repeal of the estate tax.

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.