Thursday, August 26, 2010

(Finally) Friday Roundup

Good morning, all. For those of you who work Monday through Friday, congratulations: you're nearly there. For the rest of you... read this quickly, then get back to work!

There are several noteworthy items today, of which I will try to hit a few. First, the obligatory update on the massive egg recall: Food and Drug Administration officials are saying the most likely culprit behind the salmonella outbreak is contaminated chicken feed, shipped to only two Iowa egg producers. According to AFP News, the FDA is unsure of the specific source of the contamination, but possible culprits include "rodents, shared equipment, [and] workers."

Caitlin Howley of The Daily Yonder wrote yesterday about the Race to the Top federal education funding program (which I mentioned here), claiming that the winners and the criteria used to choose them reveal a systemic bias against states with a high proportion of rural school districts. Although Howley doesn't mention the issue of local control (as KOA Radio does here), the reported fact that Colorado's application was docked because too much of it was still allowed - combined with the rural proclivity for self-determination - leads me to believe that a federal bias against local control may be part of the stacked deck in the process.

Also under the general heading of federal funding, several articles deal with the US Department of Agriculture making funds available for increased access to broadband internet in rural areas. Bloomberg, however, reports that some farmers are becoming concerned that this kind of USDA spending will come at the cost of other, more established, spending - like crop subsidies. Another criticism of the broadband spending comes from Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas, who says the Obama administration rushed billions of dollars into the program before proper planning could be completed in order to influence this November's elections.
Finally, if you liked Jon's Talib-Ag post, you might be interested in this dispatch from Pete Shinn of the Iowa National Guard's Agri-Business Development Team. Its title: "Who wants us in Afghanistan? Afghan farmers!"

Thank you for stopping by to visit us. I hope your Friday goes well, and that you all have a wonderful weekend.

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