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NC State Working on Christmas Tree Health

Dr. John Frampton, professor at North Carolina State University, talking about ongoing research to make better real Christmas trees for consumers.

“We have ongoing programs in different areas of the country to develop faster growing trees that have better branching characteristics. We are also looking at trying to help a problem that we hear from consumers, needle drop. We are looking at the genetic control of a trees ability to hold their needles so we can improve that in the future.”

One Medicine Symposium Brings Health Disciplines Together

Later this week, the One Medicine Symposium will take place in Durham, NC Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler outlines the event:

“It will focus on the history, regulation, current uses and impact of pesticides related to human, animal and environmental health.”

There are several state agencies involved in the symposium, including the Department of Human Health. Troxler explains the interaction of the agencies:

“This is one of those opportunities to talk about pesticides and the amount of regulation and oversight that goes into them.”

There’s still time to get involved, and Troxler tells us how:

“More info can be found at

Video Series Challenges “Superbugs” in Meat Products

The American Meat Institute’s latest Meat MythCrusher video challenges the claim that so-called “superbugs” are commonly found on meat and poultry products.

Mindy Brashears, Ph.D. professor of microbiology and food safety at Texas Tech University challenges claims by activists that “superbugs” are on the rise in meat and poultry products, noting that that USDA data suggests otherwise.

All of the videos and more are available at Myth MeatCrushers.
Local Sourcing of Food Gaining Market Share in Restaurants

2014 will be all about local sourcing food in restaurants, environmental sustainability, and nutrition, according to predictions released by the National Restaurant Association.

The number one trend predicted in the survey is locally sourced meat and seafood, while environmental sustainability came in third, children’s nutrition came in in seventh place, and farm/estate-branded items barely made it into the top ten.

Smithfield Records Earnings Loss Post Merger

Smithfield Foods Inc. said Friday it lost $4.2 million in the company’s second fiscal quarter ended Oct. 27 on decreased operating profit in its pork segment and costs associated with its merger with China’s Shuanghui International Holdings, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
After the merger with Shuanghui, Smithfield went private and was taken off the New York Stock Exchange. The company, however, said it would continue to release earnings reports.'

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.