Record-setting $16 Million Verdict in Carroll County Obtained by Clifford Law Offices

February 11, 2014

Kevin P. Durkin and Sean P. Driscoll, attorneys at Clifford Law Offices, obtained a record $16 million verdict on behalf of two families whose sons were killed in a grain bin entrapment incident in northwestern Illinois.

Following a two-and-a-half-week trial, the Carroll County jury deliberated just eight hours before granting $8 million to each of the two plaintiffs’ families who were working at Haasbach at a Consolidated Grain and Barge Company grain elevator.  The previous record in Carroll County was a $220,000 verdict in 1989 and a $1.1 million settlement in 2005, according to John Kirkton of the Jury Verdict Reporter.

The incident involved the July, 2010 deaths of Wyatt...

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HayssenSandiacre Appoints New VP of Engineering

February 11, 2014

DUNCAN, SOUTH CAROLINA — January 28, 2014 — Chuck Jenkins has accepted the position of Vice President of Engineering and will become a member of HayssenSandiacre’s Global Leadership Team. In this new role, he will provide focused leadership to our engineering teams at all locations.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to make a significant impact on developing our global engineering team. We have such talented people at all our locations and working with them to develop their collaborative strengths will allow HayssenSandiacre to truly support our customers in all regions,” said Jenkins.

“One of our greatest competitive advantages is to provide technical support and rapid innovation in...

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President Obama Signs 2014 Farm Bill in East Lansing, MI

February 11, 2014

At a special signing ceremony today on Michigan State University's campus, President Barack Obama signed into law the bipartisan 2014 Farm Bill authored by U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. The bill represents rare bipartisan agreement on a major jobs bill - legislation that will help grow Michigan's agriculture economy, the state's second-largest industry. The 2014 Farm Bill reduces the deficit by $23 billion and represents the most significant reform of American agriculture policy in decades.

Michigan State University is America's first land grant college and is a national leader in agriculture research.

"I'm so...

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CHS Inc. Returns $433 Million to Owners

February 11, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn., Feb. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States will share in an estimated $433 million cash distribution from CHS Inc. (NASDAQ: CHSCP), an energy, grains and foods company and the nation's leading agricultural co-op. The distribution is the second largest in CHS history.

"The ability of our owners, who are also our customers, to directly share in the financial success of CHS is a distinct advantage of being part of a cooperative business," said David Bielenberg, CHS Board chairman and a Silverton, Ore., farmer. "And, this is cash that returns to local communities, enabling farmers, ranchers and cooperatives to invest in their...

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Latin America Economic Powers Sign Trade Pact

February 11, 2014 | Commerce

CARTAGENA, Colombia (AP) — The presidents of four nations collectively responsible for half of Latin America's economic output have signed an accord to eliminate tariffs on 92 percent of the products they trade.

The presidents of Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru signed the accord in Cartagena, Colombia, on Monday. Together they form the nearly two-year-old Pacific Alliance.

The accord is expected to take effect next year after approval by institutions within the member nations. Tariffs on agricultural goods such corn and beef will be gradually reduced.

The four partners count 212 million inhabitants among them and their economies are worth a combined $2 trillion a year.

Copyright...

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President Obama Signs Farm Bill

February 07, 2014

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed into law a farm bill he says will ensure children don't go hungry.

The bill will spread benefits to farmers in every region of the country while trimming the food stamp program; the cuts inspired a two-year battle over the legislation.

The bulk of its $100 billion per year cost is for the food stamp program that aids 1 in 7 Americans.

Obama says it still protects vulnerable Americans.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Nine Injured in Chinese Corn Processing Plant Explosion

February 06, 2014

At least nine people were injured Wednesday in an explosion at a corn processing plant in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, local authorities said.

The explosion hit the Heilongjiang Longfeng Corn Development Co., Ltd. in Qinggang county at about 9:40 a.m. Wednesday, the county's publicity department said in a statement.

The injured, including three in critical conditions, have been sent to hospitals in the cities of Daqing and Harbin.

Fire fighters were working at the site to eradicate risks of more accidents.

An investigation into the cause of the explosion is under way.

The company, a leading agricultural products processing plant, has an annual corn processing capacity of over 1...

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Construction Progressing at Nevada DuPont Plant

February 06, 2014

Feb. 06--Construction at the site of DuPont's new cellulosic ethanol plant outside Nevada is progressing, with company officials expecting the plant to be operational toward the end of this year.

The $200 million facility is expected to produce 30 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol each year, and is one of the first plants of its kind in the world.

The plant will blend corn stover -- the leftover stocks, leaves and cobs left on the ground after a harvest -- into ethanol.

Operations Manager Terraun Jones said the company has already been using the technology behind cellulosic ethanol production at its pilot plant in Vonore, Tenn., which opened in 2008.

The Nevada plant, however, is a...

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USDA Offers $20 Million in Drought Aid to California

February 06, 2014 | Government

Feb. 05--The federal drought aid announced Tuesday could bring drinking water to some beef cattle, improved irrigation systems for some farmers and soil erosion controls for those who will not grow a crop this year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing $20 million to California, a small fraction of the federal aid that could come if the drought does not ease.

Part of the money is aimed at areas that have lost at least 85 percent of their irrigation allotments. They include parts of the western and southern San Joaquin Valley, where many farmers expect zero water from the California State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project this year.

"We in California are...

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House passes GOP California drought bill

February 06, 2014

Feb. 06--WASHINGTON -- House Republicans ratcheted up pressure on California Democrats to defend river and fish restorations in the delta amid a historic statewide drought, passing legislation Wednesday that would ship scarce water from Northern California to parched farms in the San Joaquin Valley.

Dismissed by Bay Area Democrats as a political ploy to boost the fortunes of Central Valley Republicans in the November elections, the legislation by first-term Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford (Kings County), nonetheless draws national attention to tensions over California's dwindling water supplies.

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, one of the key backers of the bill, ridiculed San...

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