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CCFB News» September 2021

Family Farm and Food Bytes

09/07/2021 @ 3:10 pm

ILLINOIS ALLOWS HOME COOKS TO SELL SHELF-STABLE FOODS BEYOND FARMERS MARKETS – The Illinois General Assembly passed a law this spring that will allow entrepreneurs to make direct sales and deliveries to customers beyond farmers markets. They will be able to sell their products across the state without a $1,000 monthly sales cap. (Marketplace)



U.S. Olympians should have felt a touch of home in the Olympic stadium thanks to USDA and American ag research. Japan sodded its National Stadium field with TifSport Bermudagrass, developed by USDA and University of Georgia researchers on the Tifton campus, which is world renown for turfgrass research. TifSport is dense, medium- to fine-textured grass bred to withstand high traffic on sports fields and to tolerate herbicides. TifGrand also is shade tolerant, key for the Japanese stadium with high walls of seating and roofing that could hinder grass growth on the field. (FarmWeekNow)


DOLLAR GENERAL ADDING FRESH PRODUCE TO STORES - Dollar General reported the company expects to sell fresh produce in up to 10,000 stores over the next several years, according to Progressive Grocery. Currently, the variety store chain sells fresh produce in 1300 stores that provide the top 20 items typically sold in grocery stores and at about 80% of the types of produce carried by most grocers. In recent years, Dollar General’s top merchandising priority has been adding freezers and coolers in new and remodeled stores make space for more refrigerated and frozen products. (FarmWeek)


LABOR SHORTAGE NOT NEW TO FARMING, BUT THERE IS EVEN MORE COMPETITION NOW – From the fruit orchards of California to dairy farms in Cambria County, Pa., a labor shortage is affecting the entire food chain industry, including agriculture. The labor shortage is also hitting home in the Heartland, where some farms struggle to attract qualified labor, restaurant job ads go unanswered, and some corn de-tasseling contractors struggle to meet deadlines due to short crews. (Farm World)


PHILIPPINES APPROVES GOLDEN RICE FOR COMMERCIAL USE – The Philippines on July 21 became the first country to approve commercial propagation of Golden Rice. The hope is that the approval of Golden Rice will help the Philippines meet its Sustainable Development goal of ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture. (World-Grain)


BACON MAY DISAPPEAR IN CALIFORNIA AS PIG RULES TAKE EFFECT – At the beginning of next year, California will begin enforcing an animal welfare proposition approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2018 that requires more space for breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens and veal calves. Unless the courts intervene or the state temporarily allows non-compliant meat to be sold in the state, California will lose almost all of its pork supply, much of which comes from Iowa. (NBC News)  


MCDONALD’S RIDING THE TREND IN COMFORT FOOD TO SOARING SAME-STORE SALES RESULTS – McDonald’s Corp. reported global comparable sales growth of 40.5% in the second-quarter, up 6.9% on a two-year basis, helped not only by the pandemic recovery, but also a comfort food trend that has taken hold over the past year. (MarketWatch)


HOW TO USE SNAP BENEFITS AT YOUR LOCAL FARMERS' MARKET – Fresh fruit and vegetables can be one of the more expensive items on a grocery bill. During financially challenging times, the goals of making ends meet and putting those healthy foods on the table may seem at odds with one another. But today in the U.S., local farmers' markets and government organizations are working to help people get greater access to these nutritious foods with assistance programs. (Allrecipes)


FOR FIRST TIME, AVERAGE PAY FOR SUPERMARKET AND RESTAURANT WORKERS TOPS $15 AN HOUR – The U.S. labor market hit a new milestone recently: For the first time, average pay in restaurants and supermarkets climbed above $15 an hour. Wages have been rising rapidly as the economy reopens and businesses struggle to hire enough workers. Some of the biggest gains have gone to workers in some of the lowest-paying industries. (The Washington Post)


FOOD STAMPS TO GET THEIR BIGGEST BOOST EVER, WITH BENEFITS RISING MORE THAN 25% – The Biden administration is overhauling food stamps by putting in place a permanent increase in grocery benefits, providing a 27% bump in aid that marks the biggest-ever increase for the program. The boost comes as a temporary increase of 15% was set to expire next month. (CBS News)


YOUR DAILY COFFEE HABIT IS ABOUT TO GET MORE EXPENSIVE – Climate shocks in Brazil and shipping bottlenecks have pushed the price of coffee beans sharply higher. Starbucks says it won’t be affected for more than a year, but small cafes can’t hold off that long. (New York Times)


USDA: AGRICULTURAL LAND VALUES JUMP 7% – The Land Values 2021 Summary report, released last Friday by the Agriculture Department’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, shows farm land values increasing at the largest rate since 2012. (The Fence Post)


IMMIGRATION REFORM FOR H-2A AND UNDOCUMENTED FARM LABOR – Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley wants to do what he can to reform the H-2A guest-worker program to bring in legal year-round labor for agriculture, as long as any piece of reform legislation does not include "mass amnesty" for the hundreds of thousands of agricultural workers in the country now illegally. (DTN)


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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