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N.A.I.S. R.I.P?


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By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson I’ve been grousing about NAIS, the National Animal Identification System, since 2006, when we got a letter from the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture inviting us to put radio frequency ID tags our poultry so the government could come and slaughter them if someone, somewhere, came down with a case of bird […]

Where Hip Meets Crunchy


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 by Daphne Bishop When we first met Valerie Gates a few months ago, she’d just started Will Work for Food, which offered her design services through barter and reduced rates to help eastern and central Massachusetts farmers market their wares. The project was also about connecting her family to healthy, local foods. Since March, Will Work for […]

Joe Abbey & The Little Engine That Did


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by Debra Kozikowski Just one month before his June 8 victory in Virginia’s primary election, anyone who knew anything about Old Dominion politics agreed that Creigh Deeds faced an uphill battle to be the Democratic nominee for governor of Virginia.  But the Deeds campaign had done better than hang in there hoping for a miracle and built a […]

Virginia’s Rising Blue Tide


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by Sean Reagan Of all the things you need to know about Virginia’s Democratic candidate for governor, the first is this: R. Creigh Deeds is a savvy campaigner and a real fighter. He took on two well-funded and better-known candidates – Terry McAuliffe, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee, and Brian J. Moran, […]

Food Safety Overhaul Finally Cooking


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By Matt L. Barron   Sickly spinach. Salmonella-tainted peanut butter. E. coli-burgers. It is enough to make Upton Sinclair reach for a sickbag. Sinclair, whose 1906 muckraking book The Jungle, exposed the gross and unsanitary conditions of Chicago’s meat packing plants and helped pass the Pure Food & Drug Act and Meat Inspection Act, might […]

NAIS Again: Richard Oswald Says It All


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By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson The first USDA listening session was held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Only four people spoke in favor of NAIS; 27 testified against the animal ID scheme. Guards were present at the hearing. (Photo from DailyYonder.com) Richard Oswald, a writer for the blog The Daily Yonder, testified at one of USDA’s “listening sessions” […]

Rural Teen Fatal Auto Accidents Outstrip Metro Fatals 2-1


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By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Photo: schappy / flickr Teenage drivers in rural areas are more than twice as likely as their urban counterparts to be involved in a fatal car crash, according to a study by Allstate Insurance Company. Of 43,437 fatal crashes involving U.S. teens between 2000 and 2005, 29,998 were in metropolitan areas. […]

Epidemics More Likely in Rural Places


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By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Photo: studio.miller / flickr Anyone with a shred of common sense would know that the risk of picking up a flu virus would be greater in the city than in a rural area. Cities are more crowded. You stand on lines, get packed into buses and elevators, and stand with dozens […]

Vilsack’s USDA: Every Day — Every Way


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by Matt L. Barron IN Farm Bureau President Don Villwock (left), RuralVotes Board Member Melina “Mel” Fox (third from left) confer with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at the rural community forum in Danville, IN U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s Rural Tour touched down in Indiana two days ago, holding his sixth rural community forum […]

In Case of Fire, Call Your Nearest Neighbor


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By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson (with a hat tip to Jonah) Sometimes I forget how rural rural can be.  Then something like gwen’s post on Sociological Images reminds me. She wrote: [H]ere’s an image that might surprise a lot of people who forget how rural many areas of the U.S. still are, and what that means […]


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