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0611pc_peck_1Brazil
The U.S. may lift a ban on fresh beef imports from some Brazilian states this year, according to a Brazilian official.

“There are well-founded reasons to believe the situation may be solved by the end of this year,” Emilio Garofalo, secretary of the government’s Foreign Trade Chamber, said in an interview from Brasilia.

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The National FFA Organization has selected 50 outstanding young people to participate in the 2011 New Century Farmer program. This exclusive, highly competitive program develops young men and women committed to pursuing a career in production agriculture.

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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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