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Farm Briefs, April 25

Minnesota FFA bestows 27 honorary degrees

MINNEAPOLIS -- Teachers, elected officials and agri-business leaders are among the 27 people and businesses who will receive honorary FFA degrees during the organization's annual convention at the University of Minnesota.

The purpose of the Honorary Minnesota FFA Degree is to recognize individuals who have provided outstanding contributions to agricultural education and FFA programs in Minnesota, says Joel Larson, Minnesota FFA state adviser.

The awards will be presented Monday as part of the state FFA's 80th annual convention. This year's degree recipients, their hometowns and professional affiliations include Bud Heidgerken, Freeport, former state legislator; Al Juhnke, Willmar, Minnesota House of Representatives; Kris and Joel Paffrath, New London, Paffrath Stables; Leah Schwachtgen, Montevideo, agriculture teacher; and Maria Zenk, Danube, parent of a state officer.

Thune: EPA working on carbon footprint for ethanol

From Agweek reports

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., says he thinks Environmental Protection Agency activism is a threat to the ethanol industry.

According to Thune, the federal agency is considering how to measure the carbon footprint of ethanol and its impact on the environment.

He said that under the new Renewable Fuel Standard, a rule being considered is based on the idea that ethanol and other biofuels hurt the environment because U.S. biofuels policies affect agricultural decisions in other countries.

"What everyone needs to understand is that if these changes are made, ethanol -- both corn-based and cellulosic -- will suffer a devastating setback under the new Renewable Fuels Standard," Thune told reporters Wednesday in a conference call.

"These are the kinds of environmental regulations which completely undermine the ethanol industry. We need to do everything we can to stop them," the Republican senator said. "I'm going to be working with my colleagues here in the Senate to block any type of regulation that would create this kind of hazard for the greater use of renewable energy in our country, which is helping reduce our very dangerous dependence upon foreign oil imports, which (is) much more, much more harmful to the environment."

According to Thune, the state of California is considering adopting a similar change.

Irrigated potato research farmto be moved

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) -- The Northern Plains Potato Growers Association says its irrigated potato research farm in central North Dakota will be moved to the eastern part of the state.

Association president Chuck Gunnerson says the research farm near Tappen, N.D., was too far to travel for researchers from the Red River Valley.

Gunnerson says the research farm will be located next to a Hutterite colony near Fordville, N.D

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