Broadband projects nationwide get $759 million in USDA funds
In the biggest USDA broadband announcement of the year, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Thursday that 49 projects will receive $759 million to bring high-speed internet access to rural communities from North Carolina to California. With the new funding, the USDA has awarded $1.6 billion through the third round of ReConnect grants and loans this year.
As bird flu losses mount, USDA advises ‘plan for elevated risk’
For the first time, researchers have tracked the movements of a wild duck infected with bird flu, information that could help them come up with disease mitigation strategies against the viral disease, said the U.S. Geological Survey on Wednesday. More than 47.7 million birds in U.S. domestic flocks have died in outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza since February.
Second company seeks Iowa permit to build a carbon capture pipeline
A Texas-based company filed for a permit with the Iowa Utilities Board on Tuesday to build a 900-mile pipeline across the state to transport liquefied carbon dioxide, collected from the smokestacks of ethanol refineries, to Illinois, where it would be sequestered underground.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Food bank revenue surges: The 300 largest U.S. food banks saw a 37 percent increase in revenue, which includes food as well as monetary donations, in 2021, reflecting the need for food assistance beyond the Covid pandemic. (Food Bank News)
Rail contract rejected again: The Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen was the second union to turn down a proposed contract with U.S. freight railroads, rejecting the package on a 3-to-2 vote and increasing the chances of a strike in November. (CNN)
Free school meals: The Senate Agriculture Committee should expand eligibility and funding for the community eligibility provision, which allows schools in low-income neighborhoods to serve meals for free to all students, said a coalition of anti-hunger, education, consumer, medical, and parents groups. (FRAC)
Grants for urban ag: The USDA awarded $14.2 million in grants for 52 projects that support urban agriculture and innovative production, including an aeroponic farm in the Florida Keys and training in urban agriculture for refugees in Idaho. (USDA)
Emperor penguin declared threatened: The tallest and heaviest penguin species, the emperor, was listed as threatened with extinction because of the impact of climate change on sea ice, where the penguin spends most of its life. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)