CropVillage Industry

Rural America, What Does It Look Like?

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Rural america makes one think of small towns and farm land as far as one can see. Rural America is more than just space and size. More than 51 million people live in rural areas. Poverty and unemployment are higher in rural areas. And rural areas are where America's food is grown.

Measures of rural employment trends over the past year were mixed. Nonmetro unemployment fell slowly in 2010 and more rapidly in first-quarter 2011 before leveling off in the second quarter, similar to the national trend. The apparent improvement, however, largely reflects a decline in the labor force participation rate; the percentage of rural adults who were employed has not risen in recent quarters.

For a comparative view of rural America, the USDA publishes Rural America At A Glance. 2009, 2010, and 2011 editions are available.

Global Green Revolution in Animal Agriculture?

Global Green Revolution in Animal Agriculture Dr. Frank Mitloehner provides some practical reference stories from Europe on the viability of standard small operations that would struggle to produce the quantity of food for the growing population. His example story is from the first ‘Bioenergiedorf’ (bioenergy village) Jühnde, in the heart of Germany, where the inhabitants are implementing 21st century energy production systems on top of dairy operations utilizing 1960's production technology.
Most of the dairy barns have not been modernized since the 1960s-’70s, and the scale of production has always been extremely small, especially to someone like me, who is used to California dairies and other concentrated feeding operations. A 100-head dairy is considered a large operation in this idyllic village and other places throughout central Europe.
Dr. Mitloehner highlights that the small dairy farm approach traditional in Europe actually creates a larger carbon footprint than larger operations with 1000's of cows. Dr. Mitloehner advocates for a global green revolution in animal agriculture, "coupled with technology transfers, to supply a growing demand for animal protein, while providing environmental stewardship by using sustainable and modern production practices."

How Does Veal + Social Media Work?

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Photo Farm Sanctuary

Audio via DairyCast.com

Presenting an update on the recently launched social media marketing campaign for veal, George Quackenbush, Director of Promotions for the Michigan Beef Industry Commission, shares the vision and scope of the fast moving initiative.