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CCFB News» October 2020

Family Farm and Food Bytes

10/04/2020 @ 1:15 pm

CRUDE OIL OR COOKING OIL? FOR SOME U.S. REFINERS, IT'S NOW A CHOICE (Reuters) – Refiners have always produced fuel using crude oil. Now some are using grease. A slump in demand for gasoline since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic has several refining companies accelerating their plans to retrofit facilities to produce so-called renewable diesel made from, among other things, used cooking oil from fast-food restaurants.


WITH SECOND STIMULUS CHECKS ON HOLD, AMERICANS SPEND LESS AT THE GROCERY STORE (Wall Street Journal) – Grocery shoppers are cutting back on spending, data show, a sign that Americans are hurting for cash as the federal unemployment stimulus remains on hold for most recipients.


FFA MEMBERSHIP INCREASES DESPITE SCHOOL INTERRUPTIONS ( – Despite 2020 being a year of turmoil due to the COVID-19 pandemic – particularly for students – the National FFA Organization continues to experience increased membership. FFA recently announced it reached a record 760,113 members for 2020, an increase of almost 60,000 from 2019. According to a press release from the organization, the top five student membership states are Texas, California, Georgia, Florida and Oklahoma.


COVID-19 LEAVES MILLIONS HUNGRY AROUND THE WORLD, WITH WOMEN DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTED (NPR Illinois) – The number of people undernourished or chronically hungry worldwide could rise from 690 million to 820 million because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report from the humanitarian group CARE.


JAPAN'S TUNA MARKET, THE WORLD'S LARGEST, HIT HARD BY CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC (ReutersJapan’s tuna market, the world’s largest, is taking an outsized hit from the coronavirus pandemic, pressuring restaurants and wholesalers at Tokyo’s sprawling Toyosu fish market to adapt to survive.


SMITHFIELD PUSHES TO BE AMERICA’S FIRST CARBON-NEGATIVE MEATPACKER (Forbes) Smithfield, the country’s top pork producer, aims to be the first carbon-negative meatpacker in the U.S. with the goal of removing more carbon emissions from the atmosphere than it produces annually by 2030, it announced Thursday.


FARMERS MORE AWARE OF RESPIRATORY ISSUES AND PROTECTIVE AIDS (KMA) – Because of the exposures farmers have in their everyday jobs — to grain dust, mold spores, animal dusts and chemicals — they are more likely to be susceptible to respiratory issues. In addition to these health concerns, it makes sense today that many farmers are worried about COVID-19 because people over age 65 are particularly susceptible to serious health issues if they contract the virus. 


FOOD BANKS: USDA PROGRAM HELPED BUT BETTER WAYS TO MEET DEMAND (Associated Press)  – The federal food box program initially faced questions because some of the companies that won contracts weren’t food distributors and the contracts didn’t always cover the final delivery costs that food banks incurred. Despite those concerns, officials at food banks said the federal food box program has undoubtedly helped.


SALMON MAY HARBOR INFECTIOUS CORONAVIRUS FOR A WEEK, STUDY SHOWS (Bloomberg) – Coronavirus lingering on chilled salmon may be infectious for more than a week, according to researchers in China, where imported fish have been investigated as a potential source of infections.


AFBF RESOURCE HIGHLIGHT (Farm Bureau) : For the past 40 years, Farm Bureau has asked every presidential candidate to provide responses to issues likely to impact and affect farmers and ranchers and rural communities in the next 4 years. Both President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden have provided their answers. Go to to review.


GLOBAL FOOD PRICES HAVE BEEN RISING DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, HITTING FOOD SECURITY (CNBC) – Last month, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations reported global food prices rose for the third straight month in August, hitting their highest levels since February.


STABILITY KEY ON LAND VALUES IN ILLINOIS (Effingham Daily News) – Stability is the key word on what’s happening with farmland values and interest rates with only a slight decline expected in 2021 cash rents. That is the information coming from a webinar hosted recently by the University of Illinois and the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.


About Family Farm and Food Bytes: This is a collection of articles gathered from both mainstream and agriculture media and is designed to keep you informed as a member and leader within the Cook County Farm Bureau® organization. The articles summarized above are not intended to represent Cook County Farm Bureau policy or positions, but rather to provide members an idea of what is being reported regionally, nationally, and globally.

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