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0611pc_scherer_1Five years after the passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, which banned the processing of horses in the U.S., the debate over domestic horse slaughter remains a subject of controversy.

This past February, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) submitted a proposed strategy for the future management of America’s wild horses and burros, based on comments received from the public in 2010.

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On April 14, the U.S. Department of Agriculture published an interim rule for Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) in the Federal Register. This interim rule modifies the existing grant and guaranteed loan program for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. In addition, it adds a grant program for feasibility studies for renewable energy systems and a grant program for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance, as provided in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008.

Although effective immediately, USDA is requesting comments on the interim rule. These comments must be received on or before June 13. See the Federal Register notice for instructions on submitting comments.

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The National Farm-City Council has announced new officers and the chairs of its five standing committees, all dedicated to enhancing links between farm families and urban residents.

A non-profit organization, the Council provides local organizations with educational programs about people who grow our food. In addition, it organizes an annual symposium on a significant topic of interest to both farm and city residents.

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A beef feedlot in Underwood, Iowa, has agreed to pay a $20,000 civil penalty for unpermitted discharges of wastewater from the facility into Mosquito Creek.

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The Animal Health Network is coordinating with the Texas Animal Health Commission to inform horse owners throughout the state about the potential spread of equine herpesvirus-1, also known as EHV-1, a highly contagious and potentially devastating equine disease.

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After corn is processed to make ethanol, what's left of the corn looks something like slightly dampened cornmeal, though a somewhat darker yellow, and not as finely ground. Known as "wet distiller's grains with solubles" (WDGS), this byproduct is sometimes used as a cattle feed ingredient. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists in Clay Center, Neb., are studying the pros and cons of that practice.

WDGS are rich in protein, and also provide calories and minerals, according to James E. Wells, a microbiologist with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

Since 2007, WDGS have been the subject of an array of studies by Wells and others at the ARS Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center.

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