The Buzz

From Greensburg aid to rebuilding rural communities.

This week's "Buzz" is a summary of numerous notices, news briefs and tidbits that have been cluttering my desk for the past few weeks.

  • Federal money continues to pour in for residents of Greensburg and surrounding counties in the wake of the May 4 tornado. Two weeks ago, USDA's office of Rural Development announced that up to $5.9 million will be available to help homes and businesses rebuild. The first $1 million will help the region in recovery planning, according to USDA Secretary Mike Johanns. More information is available on the Web site, www.rurdev.usda.gov/ks  
  • The 2007 Farm Bill has become a political football. Presidential hopeful Barack Obama, a democrat from Illinois, has weighed in with his thoughts on what federal farm policy should represent. Obama spoke recently at the "Real Change for Rural America" rural issues summit in Tama, Iowa…
  • "It's time to turn the page on a politics that has turned its back on rural America. While you're working hard to strengthen your farms, your families, and your communities, our government is working for big agribusiness. In the last decade, we've handed out $1.3 billion in federal farm money to people who aren't even farmers. We've even got farm money going to Fortune 500 companies," Obama said, according to a press release…
  • Obama supports changes to the Farm Bill that reduce the payment limitation to $250,000 and keep the money in farmers' hands, not "corporate farmers"…
  • Agriculture is not insulated from the litigious nature of the U.S. corporate world. Last week, a law firm representing Hemisphere GPS defeated a patent infringement claim by Trimble Navigation, which would have blocked Hemisphere's agricultural GPS products. The law firm Morrison and Foerster won a summary judgment on behalf of Hemisphere…
  • Hiawatha-based RHS, Inc., maker of the Outback Guidance Systems, was a co-defendant in the lawsuit, which centered around technology used in contour farming…
  • A new Omaha Foundation called Midwest Opportunities for Rural Economics, or MORE, plans to help farmers and agribusinesses attract economic dollars to rural communities…
  • "This organization will help highlight financial and lifestyle prospects to businesses and families and let people know about the great opportunities available in rural Midwestern communities today," says MORE chairman Jim Jones…
  • MORE's goal is to help uncover and highlight all the opportunities available in the Midwest today — and make them apparent to both investors and families. "Rural communities can thrive and remain vibrant provided we focus on the opportunities that currently exist," Jones says. "We are excited about the economic future of rural Midwestern communities." More information can be obtained at 402-212-6428 or by e-mailing [email protected].
TAGS: USDA
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