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Farmers, ranchers and State of Texas win whooping crane case

Farmers, ranchers and State of Texas win whooping crane case

By Regan Beck

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed a district court decision on July 30 and ruled in favor of the State of Texas in a lawsuit concerning the whooping crane.

It was the classic example of water for people weighed against an environmental group suing under the Federal Endangered Species Act. The Fifth Circuit concluded the environmental group, The Aransas Project (TAP), failed to prove the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) management of water permits resulted in the deaths of whooping cranes.

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Hey, EPA, it’s time to ditch the rule!

Hey, EPA, it’s time to ditch the rule!

By Mike Barnett

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) attempt to clarify the Clean Water Act (CWA) is muddying the water for farmers and ranchers in Texas and across the U.S.

That’s not much of a surprise knowing EPA’s history, but their new proposed rule could be bad news for your land use decisions and farming practices.

The CWA was established to give EPA and the Corps the authority to regulate navigable waters, such as interstate rivers.  The law calls these “waters of the U.S.” State and local governments have jurisdiction over smaller, more remote waters, such as ponds and isolated wetlands, because state and local governments are more accountable to their citizens.

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Food police not far off

Food police not far off

By Stewart Truelsen

Picture yourself in the future, the not too distant future, on a bright summer day. You are grilling hot dogs at a picnic with your family in a park. You pay little attention to the drone flying overhead. It’s probably a UPS or FedEx drone making a package delivery. But it’s not. It’s the food police and they are monitoring the items you brought to the picnic. The hot dogs, buns, potato chips and soda pop exceed your family’s maximum caloric allowance for the day. Besides, non-diet soda pop has been completely outlawed because it contains sweetener. You are in trouble with the food police.

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When it comes to ‘natural,’ pay attention!

When it comes to ‘natural,’ pay attention!

By Gene Hall

Since I write on agriculture and food policy, I’m in a position to see a lot of nonsense that rolls down the road disguised as fact. It is both sad and amusing to see how the word “natural” is used by people who have no idea what it means. Then, there are those who know exactly what it means and mislead you—on purpose.

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Ranchers of different stripes work toward common goal

Ranchers of different stripes work toward common goal

By Whit Weems

Open any magazine, turn on the radio or watch television and you will hear about GMOs, organically grown, all natural and other production methods versus conventional agriculture production.

As a beef cattle rancher, I choose to utilize conventional production practices for my herd.  Some of those management steps include giving vaccines to the cows and calves to help reduce the risk of illness which is very similar to the vaccines my family and I receive.

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Are you smart enough to choose what you eat?

Are you smart enough to choose what you eat?

By Gene Hall

How’s that for a provocative headline? Make no mistake, there is a food elite, called The Food Police,” in an excellent book by Dr. Jayson Lusk that is quite determined to substitute their food choices for yours.

The thing I like about this book is that it so completely explodes all the food myths out there. I am not at all opposed to the local food movement, for example. I guess I assume that when it breaks down, as it must, that there will be exceptions. I hope so, because there just isn’t much commercial fresh fruit and vegetable production in Central Texas, where I live.

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