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Top Entry Level Ag Jobs?


Getting ready to graduate in an agricultural related field? Iowa State University Agriculture and Life Sciences Careers Services released its report 09/10 Entry-level Salary Information for Recent Graduates in Agriculture and Related Disciplines. Top paying job titles? Quality Assurance/Control, Packaging Engineer, Precision Ag Specialist, Engineer, Conservation/Environmental Technician.

The complete report offers data on degree, organization hiring that degree, salary ranges, and universities that participated in the survey.

RFA View On Fueling Ethanol


Matt Hartwig, The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), shares thoughts on legislation supporting the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (aka VEETC) and possible changes in 2011.

Does Media Present Science Fairly?


Science in the media can be very hard to explain. This is especially true when the topic, like genetically modified organisms (GMO), is very technical, not very sexy, or controversial. In the case of GMOs, some media outlets cater to the confusion and aim to be sensational. Unfortunately, this approach distorts the facts and may cause consumers to make inaccurate statements about what they eat, buy, or recommend.

On December 7, 2010, Dr. Pamela Ronald, a distinguished plant scientist at the University of California – Davis, appeared as guest expert on the nationally-syndicated “Dr. Oz Show” to discuss the benefits of GMOs.

Unfortunately, what “played out” was way past disappointing. There was unbelievable bias in how the segment was edited to produce the “final” version that overshadowed the sound scientific facts about GMOs. I found it remarkable that much of what Dr. Ronald presented during the filming of the segment was edited “out” of the final version of the show!

It is important to understand how media uses fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) to derail constructive conversations about complicated subjects. Learn more from Dr. Terry Etherton and his response to the producers of the Dr. Oz Show.

Livestock Operations Need To Open To Public


Temple Grandin says livestock ranchers should open their doors to the public and show how animals are raised and cared for.

She urged farmers and ranchers to fill that information gap, and to use the Internet as a tool for demonstrating their animal-care practices. For example, she commended a California egg farm that has begun streaming live video of its chickens online.

Temple Grandin, a professor at Colorado State University, made these comments during a presentation the California Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in Monterey, California.

Grandin described Americans as "hungry for information" about what happens on farms and ranches. She noted the popularity of TV shows such as "Dirty Jobs" and others on trucking and logging that have showcased aspects of agriculture.

"Most of the public is just curious," Grandin said. "We need to be opening up the door and showing the things that we do."

Farming Business Under DOJ & USDA Review


The Departments of Justice and Agriculture are holding their final workshop to discuss competition and regulatory issues in the agriculture industry. This final workshop will focus on margins.

According to the DOJ

This workshop will look at the discrepancies between the prices received by farmers and the prices paid by consumers. As a concluding event, discussions from previous workshops will be incorporated into the analysis of agriculture markets nationally.

This all day event wraps up a series of workshops that began in March of 2010. The four previous workshops covered Issues of Concern to Farmers, the Poultry Industry, the Dairy Industry, and the Livestock Industry.