Need to catch up? Here are some stories you might have missed this week.
1. Rural America should tell its story, USDA Secretary Vilsack says. Vilsack made his rounds this week addressing the health of rural America, first at the Rural Futures Conference in Lincoln, Neb., and then in a review of the USDA's annual Rural America at a Glance report.
2. USDA report avoids major bearish surprises. The first USDA forecasts since the government shutdown last month yielded results for corn that were actually a bit friendly, says Farm Futures Senior Editor Bryce Knorr. Ending stocks were also less than the trade feared, thanks to the strong demand. Check out the full analysis.
3. GMO labeling measure defeated in Washington. Washington voters in all but four of the state's counties Tuesday rejected a measure to label genetically modified foods. According to the Washington Secretary of State, 45% of voters entered a "yes" vote, while 54% voted "no."
4. …but before the final vote, a pro-labeling group weighed in. Elton Robinson of Delta Farm Press explains how some groups contributing to a campaign in opposition to the GMO labeling measure caught a bit of extra scrutiny from the Cornucopia Institute.
5. How should the ag industry foster coexistence? As part of a recommendation from a USDA committee to address 21st Century Agriculture and biotech, the USDA is soliciting answers to the "coexistence question" via the Federal Register. You can submit comments until Jan. 3, 2014.
6. COOL question involves Farm Bill, Canada's intentions. Canadian Ag Minister Gerry Ritz this week reinforced Canada's opposition to COOL and its intention to retaliate at North American Meat Association Outlook Conference in Chicago, sparking a quick response from COOL supporter, the National Farmers Union: "The U.S. does not take direction from Canada."
7. Organics showing positive growth. Organic food sales and organic acreage are rebounding from 2007-2009 recession declines, showing positive growth in the sector overall, according to a recent report from the USDA Economic Research Service.
And your bonus:
Get ready for the "Hanover Experience." Farm Progress/Penton's Willie Vogt will be making his way to Germany next week for Agritechnica, a European trade show in Hanover, Germany, that will showcase the latest in ag tech from around the world – check back often or get real-time updates via Twitter (follow @Willie1701a).
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