Human BSE Case & Biomass Funding

Human BSE Case & Biomass Funding

Human BSE Case & Biomass Funding plus Food Forethought. I'm Greg Martin with today's Northwest Report.

The Centers For Disease Control have confirmed a Texas man has died after contracting the human variant of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy or BSE. The man's brain tested positive for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease which comes from eating specified risk materials, such as brains and spinal cords, from infected cattle. This is the fourth-ever confirmed case in a human in the United States and the first in Texas. Carrie Williams with Texas Health Services says the man traveled a lot overseas.

WILLIAMS: This particular person had extensive travel history that leads us to believe exposure very likely occurred over seas.

Yesterday, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA will begin accepting applications June 16 from energy facilities interested in receiving forest or agricultural residues to generate clean energy. The support comes through the Biomass Crop Assistance Program or BCAP, which was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. BCAP provides financial assistance to farmers and ranchers who establish and maintain new crops of energy biomass, or who harvest and deliver forest or agricultural residues to a qualifying energy facility. Of the total $25 million per year authorized for BCAP, the 2014 Farm Bill provides up to 50 percent ($12.5 million) each year for matching payments for the harvest and transportation of biomass residues. BCAP matching payments will resume this summer, while crop incentives will begin in 2015. Some matching payments will support the removal of dead or diseased trees from National Forests and Bureau of Land Management public lands. This will be turned into renewable energy while reducing the risk of forest fire. Agriculture residues, such as corn cobs and stalks, also may qualify as energy-producing feedstock.

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

June is a busy month for Washington and Oregon farmers for the obvious reasons, and because June is also when Northwest farmers fight hunger by partnering with their states' Departments of Agriculture and Fred Meyer stores in order to gather donated food and funds to give to Oregon Food Bank Network, Food Lifeline and Second Harvest. While Northwest farmers are dedicated to fighting hunger all year round, June is an opportune time to pick up the pace and put forth additional effort, since this time of year sees many children who had received school meals no longer having access to the nutrition those meals provided, as well as donations to food banks slowing down. If you would like to participate, you can donate nonperishable food items in barrels at your local Fred Meyer store, as well as make a cash donation at Fred Meyer checkout registers and online at Any cash donations generated by the campaign will also help to supply emergency food boxes with nutrient-rich milk, cheese and yogurt. So, make a donation and make a difference.

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

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