GAP/GHP Workshop Offered

A Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices audits workshop is being offered at the Phillips Market Center at the State Farmers’ Market in Columbia on March 4th, getting underway at 9:00 am.  This one-day workshop will focus on how to audit GAP and GHP to verify that fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled, and stored in the safest manner possible to minimize risks of microbial food safety hazards.  For contact information, or to sign up for this free workshop, visit SFNToday dot com for links.  Matt Wannamaker (803) 737-4373,

2015 Conservation Legacy Awards Regional Winners Announced

The American Soybean Association has announced its 2015 Conservation Legacy Awards regional winners – who will be recognized at the ASA Awards Banquet at Commodity Classic in Phoenix, Arizona on February 27th. This year’s regional winners include Jimmy Thomas of Timberlake, North Carolina. Thomas says there will always be new generations of the family, new employees, new technologies and new knowledge about the environment – and producers have to be prepared to keep up.

Blacklands Farm Managers Annual Meeting Thursday

The Blacklands Farm Managers Association annual meeting will be Thursday, January 29th at 9:00 am at the Vernon James Research & Extension Center in Plymouth.  Topics to be covered include latest demand and supply estimates for corn, soybean and wheat and how to manage a lower row crop market, as well as a short BFMA business meeting, and will conclude with lunch. 

Feedlot Dust Study Shows Bacteria can Travel Long Distances

Feedlot dust in the Southern High Plains has yielded evidence of antibiotics, feedlot-derived bacteria and DNA sequences that encode for antibiotic resistance, according to researchers at the Institute of Environmental and Human Health at Texas Tech University. Although scientists couldn’t evaluate if the amounts of the materials were dangerous to human health, the results helped explain a previously uncharacterized pathway by which antibiotic-resistant bacteria could travel long distances into places inhabited by humans, said Phil Smith, an associate professor of terrestrial eco-toxicology at the institute.

With wind blowing regularly on the Southern High Plains, the antibiotics and bacteria can travel on the dust and particulate matter far from the original starting point at the feedlot. Add the infamous West Texas dust storms into the picture, and these materials have the potential to travel hundreds of miles into cities and towns, and possibly around the globe.

It is the first study documenting aerial transmission of antibiotic resistance from an open-air farm setting.'

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.