The Duke of Agriculture
Jan 03, 2014
It's back to school for British Royal Prince William. The Duke of Cambridge is going to take part in a 10 week program at the University of Cambridge to study agricultural management. Prince William will be learning about current issues in agriculture and rural communities across the United Kingdom. Who knows, maybe Prince William will be inspired by this course to take up farming and ranching as a career while he waits for his turn to sit on the throne. After all, his grandmother is the "largest landowner in the world," maybe she'd like to see her heir calving out some heifers in Canada or running a cattle station in Australia.
Walmart Recalls Donkey Meat
That headline is not a misprint. In fact, Walmart is scrambling to make things right with its Chinese customers after testing of donkey meat sold in Shandong province in central China revealed the meat was tainted with fox. Donkey meat is a popular snack in some parts of China where 2.4 million donkeys were slaughtered in 2011. Walmart will reimburse customers who bought its "Five Spice" donkey meat and the company plans to take legal action against the supplier that provided the tainted product.
Horse Slaughter Back in Court
Congress lifted a ban on horse slaughter in the U.S. in 2011, but the issue remains more than a bit controversial. A New Mexico businessman has been fighting for two years to open his Valley Meat Co. horse slaughterhouse, and he goes back to court today to fight a lawsuit filed by New Mexico Attorney General Gary King, who claims the business would violate the state's food safety, water quality and unfair business practices laws. Cynics believe Mr. King is using the horse slaughter lawsuit to bolster his bid to become the next governor of New Mexico.
Texas' Small Farm Decline
The Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources provides chilling statistics about the state of Texas farming: small and midsized farms and ranches in Texas--those under 2,000 acres--have been declining at a rate of 250,000 acres a year. From 1997 to 2007, the institute estimates, Texas lost about 1.5 million acres of agricultural land and is expected to lose a million more by 2020. The Texas Tribune reports on the effects of the state's drought coupled with rising land prices that have encouraged farmers to exit the business.