Until the federal health insurance marketplace opened in late 2013, farmers and ranchers were more likely to be uninsured than many other occupational groups. The Affordable Care Act changed that by requiring them to buy insurance. But it also gave them coverage options they didn’t have before.
Jon Bailey, of the Nebraska-based Center for Rural Affairs, says it’s hard to make sweeping generalizations about how the health care law is working for farmers and ranchers.
As you’ve probably heard, a well-respected group of World Health Organization scientists said glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s wildly popular Roundup herbicide and its generic cousins, is probably capable of causing cancer in humans.
Here are five things you should know:
1.What the report said: Roundup could cause cancer in humans.
Heartland Gourmet in Lincoln, Neb., makes everything from organic cake mixes and cornbread, to pizza and burritos. Any time something with meat is being made, a USDA inspector has to be called ahead of time.
Walking through the warehouse of food processor Heartland Gourmet in Lincoln, Neb., shows how complicated the food safety system can be. Pallets are stacked with sacks of potato flour and the smell of fresh baked apple-cinnamon muffins is in the air.
Heartland Gourmet makes a wide range of foods from muffins and organic baking mixes to pizzas and burritos. That means business manager Mark Zink has to answer to both of the main U.S. food safety regulators, the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.
The largest trade association for organic farmers, marketers and processors wants growers to help pay for promotional campaigns, using a decades-old funding model that paid for iconic ads like “Got Milk?” and “Beef: It’s What’s For Dinner.” But deciding how to spread the organic message is dividing the sector into factions.
Most states in the Midwest now allow meatpacking companies to own hogs and contract with farmers to house and feed them. Nebraska is one of the last states to prohibit the practice as a way to protect family farms.
A proposed change to livestock rules has put Nebraska hog farmers at the center of a debate that gets to the very core of what it means to be a farmer today.
In the top pork producing states like Iowa, Minnesota and North Carolina, many farmers are under contract with giant meatpackers like Tyson or Smithfield Foods – the companies actually own the pigs and pay the farmers to raise them. That arrangement is illegal in Nebraska.