Saturday, January 28, 2023

Play

A critical number of rural IA nursing homes close; TX lawmakers consider measures to restrict, and expand voting in 2023 Session; and CT groups, and unions call for public-health reforms.

Play

Attorney General announces enforcement actions on ransomware, Democrats discuss border policies, and the FDA is relaxing rules for gay and bisexual men to donate blood.

Play

"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

SD Farmers Brace for Bird Flu Impact

Play

Friday, April 8, 2022   

At least two dozen states, including South Dakota, are seeing the bird flu virus quickly spread through commercial flocks on poultry producing farms. Amid the outbreaks, farms of all sizes are under the microscope.

State and federal officials say more than a dozen South Dakota counties have seen outbreaks of the avian flu, which has led to higher prices for products such as eggs.

Sherilyn Ortman, co-operator of Berrybrook Organics in Marion, said thankfully, they have not had a positive test among their flock. She added they are aware of the threat facing backyard operations like hers and are taking precautions.

"We're watching what goes into the barn," Ortman explained. "We're limiting access to the barn basically, and our birds are not going outside at this point."

Enhanced precautions took center stage after the 2015 bird flu outbreak. Some industry groups are deflecting criticism of the role factory farms play, pointing out wild birds can come in close range with flocks raised organically. Department of Natural Resources officials in affected states say the spread is linked to wild birds, such as ducks and geese.

But some activist groups say devastating outbreaks still occur within concentrated animal feeding operations, and regulators should limit their presence.

Patty Lovera, policy adviser at the Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment, said the nation has become too reliant on factory farms, which can be all it takes is for a virus to slip through and wreak havoc.

"We are putting so many animals often that are genetically identical together in one place," Lovera observed. "The disease just runs through very quickly and does a tremendous amount of damage"

Outside South Dakota, the bird flu has had a severe impact in several neighboring states, including Iowa and Minnesota. While there are still many unknowns, agriculture leaders at both the state and federal level have expressed confidence the outbreak will not be as extensive as the one in 2015.

Disclosure: The Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment contributes to our fund for reporting on Environment, Rural/Farming, Social Justice, and Sustainable Agriculture. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
New data show in California, 2021-22 state testing scores are even lower than the state's historically low testing scores. (Rawpixel/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…


Social Issues

Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …

Social Issues

A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …


From February 2020 to November 2021, the number of workers in nursing homes and other care facilities dropped by 410,000 nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals say low pay and a worker shortage have led a dramatic number of nursing homes in rural Iowa to close their doors. They hope …

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals and advocates in Connecticut have said it will take sweeping reforms to bolster the state's flailing public health system…

In a national survey, Michigan was ranked 27th among the 50 states for its cost, access and quality of long-term care supports and services. California was ranked first. (Flickr)

Social Issues

In her fifth State of the State address this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized policies designed to put more money in Michiganders' pockets…

Social Issues

By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …

Social Issues

A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021