Welcome to the second week of the new Views on the News. I hoped to have this recap done earlier in the week, but I've been busy getting the August/September issue of Feed & Grain ready for you, so this post will be straight to the point.
This week’s top stories are…
- Illinois Man Dies in Grain Bin Accident
- House GOP Passes Farm Bill Without Food Stamps
- Visit by Japanese Officials Raises Hope for Resumed Imports
- United Cooperative and Hillsboro Farmers Cooperative Make Plans to Merge
- United Ethanol Employee Dies in Grain Bin
I’m fairly new to the industry, but I’m told that once the weather heats up, news of grain bins deaths/injuries rise. I’m also told that this year is worse than normal. Our condolences go out to Roy L. McCarty’s family and friends. This story along with No. 5 on our list reminds us of just how dangerous an industry agriculture can be, and how easily a task that someone has done countless times before can kill them. So please, for everyone reading this, remember to be careful and follow best practices when you have to get into a grain bin. For safety tips to avoid grain engulfment, check out this article. Also, be on the lookout for a story on the new OSHA sweep auger regulations in our August/September issue.
This next story was talked about in last week’s "Views." But as of this update the bill still hasn’t gone to conference. With August recess around the corner, it doesn’t look like likely that we’ll be getting a farm bill soon. But many associations are encouraging those in agriculture to reach out to their representatives and let them know that the farm bill has not been forgotten and that a simple extension is not acceptable. So, call our email your representative this August, I will be.
The GM wheat that was found in that field in Oregon seems like old news. There are still lawsuits pending and the USDA investigation is ongoing, but after the USDA announced that no more GM wheat seemed to have entered the field or supplies, the story was over for most. Except for Japan, who is still uncomfortable accepting shipments of U.S. western-white wheat. A Japanese team met with the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and even though he felt confident about the meeting and said that exports would be accepted in early August, Japan has only said that it’s still a concern.
United Cooperative and Hillsboro Farmers Cooperative’s potential meager is a story that hits quite literally close to home. For those that don’t know, Feed & Grain is based out of Fort Atkinson, WI, a modest rural town in the southern part of the state. And the United Cooperative headquarters in Watertown, WI, is just a hardy stone’s throw away. So it’s always nice to see the local area making big news. This merger will make the new co-op more efficient at providing for its members, as well as give them a larger voice on the national stage, both good things for Wisconsin farmers. Hopefully it gets approved soon, so it can start that mission as soon as possible.
We started with tragedy and we end with it as well. This is an older story, posted in late April, but sill on the minds of many in this part of the country. With so many deaths happening lately, many people have been looking at those we’ve reported on in the past. We send out our deepest condolences to Jerad Guell’s family and end this recap by once again asking that you be safe out there.
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