Fixing the Dam & Winery Sponsors Horse Race

Fixing the Dam & Winery Sponsors Horse Race

Fixing the Dam & Winery Sponsors Horse Race plus Food Forethought. I'm Greg Martin with today's Northwest Report.

Work continues on Washington's Wanapum Dam to try and determine the extent of the damage after a crack was recently discovered. Algae growing in the crack suggests it has been there some time. Besides a potential threat to irrigators, Washington Fruit Commissions BJ Thurlby says fish are being looked at.

THURLBY: Water is the lifeblood of agriculture in the summer, not just tree fruit growers but any agriculture. It's a big issue. The other thing I keep hearing is that we're expecting one of the largest salmon runs in the history of the river this summer and here we are with no water in the river so that can't be good. And that obviously means that the salmon may or may not be able to get across these dams and that's something we don't want.

The 14 Hands winery in Prosser, Washington has announced that they will again be a proud sponsor of this year's Kentucky Derby. This is the second year for the sponsorship. 14 Hands has also partnered with "Hostess with the Mostess," blogger and lifestyle expert, Jenn Sbranti, to share tips and tricks on how to throw a great Kentucky Derby party at home.

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

When you think of poverty do you automatically think inner city? If so, you're not alone, most people do, but as Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack has been telling people , nearly 85% of the country's persistently poor counties are actually located in rural areas. In 2010 the USDA launched the StrikeForce For Rural Growth and Opportunity Initiative, a program to help local communities in poverty stricken rural areas. Started as a pilot program with three states, StrikeForce has now formed more than 400 community based partnerships. Recently the USDA added four more states to the program. Though the nation as a whole saw farm lending drop 10 percent between 2011 and 2012, Farm Service Agency loans in StrikeForce areas were up almost 10 percent in 2012 over 2011, and rural housing loans were up more than 110% that same year. Some people ask why we need to put so much focus on rural poverty. Simply put, one can't survive without the other. It's rural ecosystems that provide us with the bulk of the goods that we as humans depend on for survival.

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

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