• has a long-form piece on a pastured foie gras farmer in Georgia. Friends call him “Chicken Jesus.” Money quote: “If I start doing this thing and it’s bad, like it seems like the geese are getting hurt or I’m not comfortable with it then, man — it’s over. I shut it down and I just have Christmas geese to sell. On the other hand, if I feel good about the process and it works, then I have Christmas geese and foie gras to sell.”
  • Paula Marshall, CEO of Bama Companies, during the keynote speech at the Northwest Food Processors Expo, says that workers who are treated fairly and encouraged to have a sense of ownership in the business are more scrupulous about food safety.
  • The USDA announced a new round of Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development grants with a total amount of $18 M, 5% of which is earmarked for military veterans transitioning into aiculture.
  • Business Insider has some very cool info graphics from the USDA’s livestock census, which shows you where all the meats live.
  • Earlier in the week, Jason participated in a panel discussion at the annual Farm Bureau Federation convention on behalf of The Farmer Veteran Coalition. Farm Bureau covered the event in its publication. You can listen to a podcast of the event here.
  • Capital Press writes on a lawsuit presenting a constitutional challenge to the Idaho “ag gag” law.
  • While we are on the subject, four people were arrested in Utah for photographing a hog farm from a public road, but then charges were dropped according to Food Safety News.  The hog farm produced under contract for Smithfield.
  • Think Progress reports on Senator Chuck Schumer as he calls for more pressure to be put on food warehouses.
  • Medical News Today discusses a study that attempted to quantify the minimum amounts of common allergens that can trigger reactions:  “In the 10% of participants who were most sensitive to food allergens, the team found that between 1.6-10.1 mg of hazelnut, peanut and celery protein needed to be consumed to trigger an allergic reaction, while 27.3 mg of fish and 2.5 g of shrimp protein were required to produce a response.
  • Government officials in the US and EU can now agree on two things: one, Putin is a creepy menace, and two, raw milk is potentially dangerous.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports on the passing of “Toystory”, a champion Holstein bull and sire to an estimated 500,000. Ave atque vale, you prodigious inseminator.