Currently Browsing: NAIS

New USDA report: 36% of farmers don’t have computers

Farm 2.0? Not so much: A report released Friday by the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) tallies the numbers for farm computer usage for 2009. It finds: Only 64 percent of farms have access to a computer, leaving 36 percent with no computer access. 59 percent of all farms--so nearly all...

Family farmers: No NAIS in our name

NPPC doesn't speak for me: Rhonda Perry, a Missouri farmer and director of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, is tired of Big Meat purporting to represent her interests in Washington. NAIS, a controversial animal tracking program [that we've covered numerous times], is just the newest example of the "farm...

Senate basically kind of halves funding for National Animal ID

Say it again, with feeling: Senators John Tester (D-MT) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) flexed some legislative and moral muscle earlier this week with an amendment to the agriculture spending bill that halves funding for the USDA's controversial National Animal Identification System (NAIS). The amended  bill  passed...

NAIS-ness in a nutshell

Tags are bagged, for now: The New York Times has a nice, colorful overview of the USDA's proposed National Animal Identification System (NAIS), explaining the government's rationale for modernizing the system for identifying livestock (food safety tracking), but giving more weight to smaller farmers'...

Are you listening, USDA? Farmers don’t want to play NAIS

NAIS, creamed: Richard Oswald at the excellent rural news site Daily Yonder summarizes the government's proposed animal-tagging system, NAIS, and details all the hostile responses to it at the USDA's recent Jefferson City, MO, "listening session." One of small farmers' main complaints is that they will have...

Report from a USDA supposed “listening session” for NAIS

Nasty and NAIS: On Tuesday, farmer Eric Reuter and his wife traveled to Jefferson City, MO, to attend a USDA public hearing on the proposed National Animal Identification System. He blogs about the frustrating experience here. In summary: "A huge crowd of grassroots farmers, of all types and from multiple...

USDA hearings on NAIS

Will they really listen? The Rural Blog reminds us that the USDA is holding "listening sessions" about the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). The last two will be in Storrs, Connecticut on May 27 and Loveland, Colorado on June 1 (location information and a link to the NAIS comment page at USDA)....

USDA to hold listening sessions on national animal ID system

Start packing, Walter: We knew swine flu novel H1N1 virus was going to move animal-tracking to the front burner. AgSec Tom Vilsack today announced that the USDA will hold a series of "listening sessions" on the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) next month in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut,...

There are much scarier food safety bills than HR 875 in Congress

If you care about food and farming and you use the Internet, you've probably received this particular e-mail. The title is something like, "BILL WOULD OUTLAW ORGANIC FARMING!!!!" or "MONSANTO'S DREAM BILL!!!!" It appears, inevitably, in all caps. I have upwards of 30 versions in my inbox. Normally, it would...

No comment, no say: lend your voice to shaping four big food & ag policies

Photo from Iowa, courtesy of factoryfarm.org. It's easy to get cynical about our ability to influence policy or policymakers - especially when we don't have lots of money or a well-dressed K St. lobby firm to throw around. But I'd venture to say that with all the change-making, democracy-taking action...

Digest – News: Flesh-eating bacteria, wallet-eating food companies, and eating, righteously

Makes your skin crawl: As previously reported here, a flesh-eating, antibiotic resistant bacteria is killing 18,000 Americans a year and is carried by 45% of farmers and 49% of pigs in Iowa. Nicholas Kristof's piece concludes that we may be getting more than we bargained for in creating a food system that...

Digest – Features: Why NAIS is a bad idea, BBC goes nuts for sustainable, Obama feints

Who's been naughty — NAIS: David Gumpert (reporter, raw-milk detective, and The Complete Patient blogger) co-writes the definitive look to date at what's wrong with the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) and why it's sparked the "most severe political backlash rural America has seen in...