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Record rain in British Columbia devastates growing and harvesting season

Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 8:52 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this week that the Biden Administration is investing $32 million in grants to help strengthen the U.S. food supply. Those grants will go to 167 meat and poultry processors. Specifically the money will be used to expand current facilities, modernize processing equipment, labeling and food safety areas in those plants. The program will be jointly administered by the Agricultural marketing Service and the Food Safety and Inspection Service. Last June the administration put over $55 million into a similar program for processors.

In many parts of this country the weather caused lots of hardships during the growing and harvesting season for farmers. But we’re not alone. In British Columbia record amounts of rain fell recently over a 48 hour period causing massive flooding and landslides. The Fraser River Valley is home to some of Canada’s best farm land with many dairies and poultry operations in that area. But the rain and resultant floods have cut that area off from the rest of Canada. The Agriculture Minister in the province said they’ve lost thousands of animals as famers are leading dairy cattle through shoulder high water to get them to higher ground. The flooding has also wiped out rail lines and roads which are used to transport crops to western Canada for shipment overseas as well as getting needed food, fuel and other supplies to citizens of British Columbia.

The leader of the Food Safety Division at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer protection is leaving his job. Steve Ingham who has led the agency for the past 14 years is going to retire in a couple of weeks. During his tenure he oversaw the transfer of regulatory programs for restaurants, hotels and recreational programs from the Department of Health Services to DATCP and was in charge of state efforts to have Wisconsin become the first state to achieve full compliance with federal manufactured food safety standards.

The Elkhorn FFA is trying something new. The chapter is organizing its Creed speaking competition to include a Spanish speaking element to their contest. They will run the contest over Zoom on January 24th for 7th thru 12th graders.

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