CBS News — Money Watch, Aimee Picchi, 7/28/2020

“…A July study by Yale economists found, ‘no evidence’ that people who have recently lost their job are choosing to stay unemployed because of the sweetened federal jobless aid. In fact, they added, ‘Workers facing larger [unemployment] expansions generally appear to be quicker to return to work than others, not slower.’ …”

Read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/unemployment-benefits-600-jobless-aid-discourage-returning/

CNBC – Food and Beverage, Amerlia Lucas, 4/27/2020

KEY POINTS

  • Meat processors, including Tyson, Smithfield and JBS, are closing U.S. facilities after workers test positive for Covid-19….
  • “The food supply chain is breaking,” Tyson Foods Chairman John Tyson wrote in a full-page newspaper ad that ran on Sunday.
  • “More than a dozen packing and food processing workers have died after contracting Covid-19, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

…These temporary closures will also mean millions of livestock will be slaughtered because farmers will not be able to sell their pigs, cows, and chickens to buyers who can process the meat….”

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/27/tyson-foods-chairman-warns-food-supply-chain-is-breaking-as-coronavirus-forces-plant-closures.html

The US Department of Agriculture defined Rural America to include more than 46 million people who live in 1,976 counties spread across all 50 states in 2015. At My Rural America, we think about farms, small towns, crops and manufacturing, the customs, the economy — all that connects to rural families. 

We know that everything is complicated by distance.  For purposes of this website, we offer a “go-to” resource for vetted news that affects the families who live in rural America.  Our RESOURCES page shares tools you can use to test the news you find here and on other sites, including web, newspapers, radio, and television. 

See earlier 2020 News Coverage for “the big picture” affecting Rural America to see the patterns.

Cows grazing on a farm

The Economist, Jan 25, 2020

“MONROE, WISCONSIN TO WALK AROUND Dan Wegmueller’s farm in southern Wisconsin is to conjure up the past. He says each of his 50 Brown Swiss cows—with white-tipped ears and bells clanging from their necks—has a name and distinct personality. His red-painted barn is crowned by an elegantly arched roof. He trundles over the snow on a green John Deere tractor. Such small-scale farming looks wonderfully quaint. But it might as well exist in a museum.

“The farm, set amid rolling hills on 350 acres, has been in Mr Wegmueller’s family since the 1930s, the decade when dairy farms in America peaked at 3.6m. Today the country has 37,000 left, with just over 7,000 in Wisconsin.” Read More: https://www.economist.com/united-states/2020/01/25/business-has-gone-sour-in-americas-dairy-capital

From ABC News, Jan 21, 2020, ABC News, Erin Schumacher

“The first case of a new coronavirus that’s sickened nearly 300 people in Asia has been reported in a patient in Washington state, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday at a news conference.”

Read More: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/1st-confirmed-case-coronavirus-reported-washington-state-cdc/story?id=68430795

BY JONATHAN EASLEY AND REID WILSON – 01/18/20 05:06 PM EST

“Democrats are homing in on a strategy they hope will bring new rural voters into the fold through hyperlocal economic messaging and by venturing into parts of the country they ignored in the run-up to the 2016 election.

“There’s a coordinated effort among the House Democratic campaign arm, presidential candidates and liberal outside groups to address the party’s rural blind spot by finding new ways to speak to white working-class voters and rural black voters in key battleground states and districts in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Illinois and New York.

“Democrats believe they’re making inroads with the white working-class voters in the Rust Belt who broke late for President Trump in 2016 through an ad campaign showcasing stories from disappointed voters who are local to the region …”

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/478814-democrats-plot-new-approach-to-win-over-rural-voters

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) in Summerville, S.C., on March 2

By E. J. Dionne, Jr. 1/5/2020

“We often hear that both sides of politics benefit equally from polarization. This is plainly untrue. … It’s thus a big mistake for progressives to think that their own form of “base politics” is sufficient, and one politician who firmly grasps this is Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). He has a lot to teach this year’s Democratic presidential candidates, and he gathered his thoughts in his delightful book, “Desk 88,” published last year. …”

Read more. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/will-we-be-enemies–or-fellow-citizenswhat-sherrod-brown-gets-about-trump-and-polarization-that-others-dont/2020/01/05/4d1fe8bc-2e38-11ea-9b60-817cc18cf173_story.html

By Reid Wilson, Jan 5, 2020

“ A decades-long trend of Americans moving to densely-packed urban cores is likely to sap rural parts of the country of their political power in coming years as a new reapportionment and redistricting process kicks off just three months from now …” Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/476666-urban-america-likely-to-gain-clout-after-census

Wondering whether your local television news outlet gives you accurate and balanced information? Probably not, if you’re watching a station owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group. The company owns almost 200 local television stations throughout the country, many in rural America. Sinclair has a history of forcing its reporters to present biased news created by the corporate office rather than coverage of local events.  In the following article, Sheelah Kolhatkarprovides an excellent introduction to the company that controls what so many of us see on our local news. It’s long, but well worth the read. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/10/22/the-growth-of-sinclairs-conservative-media-empire

 

Agricultural exports have not yet provided the boost to farm income that U.S. farmers have been hoping for. Instead, they are now harvesting large crops this fall without knowing if their corn and soybeans will find buyers in overseas markets.  USDA is already sending out checks under the Trade Mitigation Program to offset some of these losses.

As U.S. farmers face their fourth consecutive year of below-average net farm income, they are not yet receiving the boost from agricultural exports they had been hoping for.  The latest (August 30) USDA projection for 2018 net farm income is $65.7 billion, only 53 percent of the figure recorded in 2013.