Ag Chat with Kristin Smith - Dec. 6th

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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) -- With the number of new jobs expected to increase this year, college graduates may find themselves at an advantage. And to help develop tomorrow's agricultural leaders, the America's Farmers Grow Ag Leaders program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, will partner with farmers to award more than $500,000 to students pursuing ag-related degrees in 2018. Administered by the National FFA Organization, these scholarships are awarded in $1,500 increments to students looking to pursue post-secondary education in an ag-related field of study. Applicants must be students 23 years of age and under who live in eligible counties, and are looking to enroll or are currently enrolled in post secondary schools. Students do not need to be FFA members to apply. The deadline for students to apply is February 1, 2018.

Wisconsin is now 1 of 13 states involved in a legal challenge in California's egg law. Attorney General Brad Schimel announced yesterday that his office is challenging California's attempt to impose agricultural regulations on the State of Wisconsin, to the U.S. Supreme Court. The challenge is on a California law requiring Wisconsin egg producers to comply with California's farming regulations in order to sell eggs in California. Missouri is leading the challenge with Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and now Wisconsin.

Two large national monuments in southern Utah have been reduced by approximately two million acres after President Donald Trump signed a proclamation on Monday. Bears Ears National Monument will go from 1.35 million acres to almost 229,000 acres, a reduction of 83 percent in size. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was reduced from 1.88 million acres to a little over 1million acres, a drop of 46.5 percent in acreage. Both monuments were protected by the Antiquities Act of 1906, a law allowing presidents to grant federal protection for federal lands. President Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to proclaim a national monument for Devils Tower National Monument in 1906, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was designated in 1996 and Bears Ears National Monument in December of 2016.

Matt Lauer, who was fired from his job as a host of the Today show for sexual indiscretions, may have some problems in New Zealand because of the accusations against him. Earlier this year, Lauer bought a 27,000 acre sheep and cattle ranch on the South Island for just over $9 million. But one of the conditions of owning land in New Zealand is that the individual involved must be of good character. Officials at New Zealand Overseas Investment Office say they are in touch with some of Lauer's people to get more information.
They're celebrating in Austin, Minnesota. It's the 80th birthday of Spam-the iconic pork and ham product that comes in the blue can. Spam became popular during WWII as U.S. soldiers relied on it to survive harsh European winters. And, it's still popular. Hormel officials say 44,000 cans of Spam are produced every hour of every day and people eat it in 40 countries around the world. The biggest Spam eaters in this country are in Hawaii.

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