USDA, DHS dedicate agro-defense lab approved in 9/11 aftermath
Two decades after the September 11 attacks shaped American resolve against terror, the federal government dedicated a $1.25 billion agro-defense laboratory in eastern Kansas on Wednesday to protect the U.S. food supply from zoonotic animal diseases. The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility will conduct research on dangerous livestock diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease, and develop countermeasures, such as vaccines.
More schools offer free meals to all students
Four of every five eligible schools in high-poverty areas have adopted the community eligibility provision, which allows them to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students, said the Food Research and Action Center on Wednesday.
A police killing on the packing line
David Alvarez couldn’t stop shivering. As he pulled out of the parking lot at the Seaboard Foods pork processing plant outside of Guymon, Oklahoma, and accelerated down Route 54, it was just after 7:30 on the morning of January 10, the temperature still around freezing … but Alvarez wasn’t cold. His chills were the buzz of adrenaline. “I couldn’t process what I had just witnessed,” he said later. As he drove along the edge of Guymon, past the roadside hotels, the diners and taco stands, past the gas stations and the farm supply store, his mind raced. “I was replaying the sound of all the screaming,” he said, “and then the gunshot.”
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Thirty-seven straight years: USDA data indicate that 138 residents of some of the largest U.S. cities and wealthiest beach towns have collected federal farm subsidies or disaster payments every year since 1985. (EWG)
Farm wages up 5 percent: Farm operators paid their workers an average of $18.08 an hour in early April, up 5 percent from the same period in 2022, said the semiannual Farm Labor report. (USDA)
Review prevented planting rules: The USDA is seeking public comment on preventing planting crop insurance, including the impact of a rule that requires growers to have harvested a crop at least once in the previous four years on land submitted for prevented planting indemnities. (Risk Management Agency)
FTC probes formula makers: The Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether infant formula companies colluded when bidding on state contracts to help low-income households. (ABC News)
Verra chief to resign: The CEO of Verra, the world’s leading certifier of carbon credits, said he would resign amid concerns the nonprofit had approved millions of worthless offsets that were used to meet climate and biodiversity commitments. (The Guardian)