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Special Report

In Aftermath Of Fires, Court Battles Begin

As heroic wildfire fights persist across California, recovery from last year's catastrophic forest fires continues – and the fight to restore watersheds, landscapes, lost homes and livelihoods affected by the 2013 Rim Fire in the Stanislaus National Forest has now shifted to the courtroom. Almost immediately after the Stanislaus forest supervisor issued a Rim Fire recovery plan last month, environmental groups went to court to prevent certain portions of it from being implemented. Specifically, the groups wanted to block plans for salvage logging on 15,000 acres of the 260,000 acres affected by the fire. Three environmental groups, including the Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity, filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to stop the logging. But that motion was denied by a judge last week. "While it remains to be seen whether the court will grant the plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction, this is a significant legal decision for the U.S... Read More »

Govt. Support Crucial For Ag Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has awarded more than $18 million in grants to small businesses for high quality, advanced research and development that will lead to technological innovations and solutions for American agriculture. NIFA awarded 100 grants through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. "Small businesses are adept at finding solutions that can advance agriculture, create new jobs and grow our economy," says USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. "These grants will provide resources so small businesses can innovate and create new breakthroughs. The SBIR program has provided hundreds of small businesses with the ability to explore new ideas that have led to cutting- edge solutions to pressing challenges and helped keep American agriculture innovative and strong." The SBIR program exists to stimulate technological innovations in the private sector and to... Read More »

Cotton School Opens Industry Doors

Call it the perfect education for pursuing a career in the cotton industry. In fact, you couldn’t find a better description for the International Cotton Institute conducted every summer at the University of Memphis. The school, which began in 1995, offers an eightweek curriculum that covers every aspect of cotton marketing and production. Read More »

Why Does The Media Cover Agriculture?

As people have become more interested in the sources of their food, they have also shown interest about the people who produce it. That was the concept behind a seminar recently conducted in San Francisco titled Journalism: The Agriculture Beat Resurgence. Hosted by the Commonwealth Club Read More »

Southern Ginners Adjust To New Environment

Southern cotton ginners know how to adapt to changing market conditions. In fact, you might say that they have rewritten the book on this topic in the last few years. That “flexibility” was a major topic of discussion at the Southern Cotton Ginners Association’s recent summer meeting in Branson, Mo. In short, because of changing acreages for cotton, corn and ... Read More »

TCGA Anticipates Bigger Crop

The Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association summer meeting at the Lost Pines Resort near Austin and Bastrop was dominated by one theme – the potential for a bigger crop in 2014. Timely rains earlier this summer created an excellent opportunity for the state’s producers. “I would say that the recent rains have definitely generated more optimism among our association’s ginners,” says ... Read More »

Trip To Montana – A Special Experience

Can a cotton producer learn anything valuable after spending a week in Montana? To the uniformed outsider, that would be a logical question. For participants in this summer’s Multi-Commodity Education Program (MCEP) tour, it all makes sense now. This program began in 2006 and is coordinated by the National Cotton Council’s Member Services and supported by the Cotton Foundation with ... Read More »