American Royal & REAP Grants Announced

American Royal & REAP Grants Announced

American Royal & REAP Grants Announced plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

Yesterday was a busy day for Ag Secretary Vilsack as he announced his intentions of traveling to Vietnam on a trade mission and then proceeded to make a couple of announcements that would directly affect several northwest businesses. He announce REAP or Rural Energy for America Program grants for a number of biodigester projects including three in Idaho and 2 in Oregon. He also announced economic development funding for two businesses in Washington.

If you follow horse shows then you have heard of the American Royal show that takes place annually at Kemper Arena in Kansas City. Heck, I even saw Paul McCartney there in 1976. Well things they are a changing as Bob Peterson, President and CEO of the American Royal tell us.

PETERSON: It’s done a wonderful job for 40-some years but quite honestly its day has come and gone and what we have announced is a plan to demolish that arena and replace it with a new state-of-the-art agricultural event center that would be geared around livestock and equine events, what we call “dirt events.” Our heritage here and our core competency is livestock and equine events, that’s what we’re about.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

There’s hardly a day goes by that a person doesn’t hear cutting remarks against agriculture. Oddly enough, even though the agriculture industry has been under attack over the last several years the Future Farmers of America organization has seen its membership numbers skyrocket. More high school students than ever before have joined the FFA this year and they are not just “farm kids”, many of the students that are joining have no farming background. The reason for the diverse membership pool seems to lean towards the FFA’s expansion over the last decade to encompass not only production agriculture, but agricultural sciences and agribusiness as well. This change has especially helped increase FFA membership in the urban schools, which had seen dwindling membership numbers since the 1980’s. For these students the FFA program has opened up a whole new world, introducing them to several hundred career possibilities within the agriculture industry. As Hugh Mooney, north coast regional supervisor for agriculture education at the California Department of Education likes to say, “ This isn’t your dad’s FFA anymore.”

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

Previous ReportImmigration Changes & High Hay
Next ReportTrade Mission To Vietnam & More Gun Owners