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News from Around the Farm World - Aug. 21, 2013
 
Salad mix production halted after stomach bug reports
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Mexico processing facility voluntarily suspended production of salad mix that’s been linked to the outbreak of a stomach bug in Iowa and Nebraska, a California company announced last week.

Salinas, California-based Taylor Farms said its Mexican branch, Taylor Farms de Mexico, will not resume production and shipping of any salad mix as well as lettuce and other salad mix components without approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Production stopped Aug. 9 and has been shifted to domestic crops and processing facilities in the United States.

Company officials said the suspension, which is expected to last several weeks, allows Taylor Farms de Mexico to assist federal authorities in their investigation into the cyclosporiasis outbreak, a stomach illness that has sickened more than 500 people in 18 states.

The outbreak in Iowa and Nebraska has been linked to salad mix served at local Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants that were supplied by the plant in Mexico. The cases have not been linked to the other states.

Processing facilities in California, Colorado, Texas, Tennessee, Florida and Maryland will take over the salad mix production. Broccoli products that are not being investigated will continue to be produced at the Mexico facility, which is about 180 miles north of Mexico City in San Miguel de Allende.

Iowa farms still face electrical inspections, says board

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Electrical Examining Board won’t exempt farm buildings from mandatory electrical inspections.
The Des Moines Register said the board voted 8-3 Thursday to reject a proposal that would have generally exempted farm buildings. The proposal was aimed at resolving issues stemming from a court ruling that the board exceeded its authority by requiring inspections on most electrical installations on farms.

Some critics say the inspections are a power grab by the board and they overburden farmers. Other farmers and their supporters say poorly installed electrical wiring creates safety hazards. On Thursday the board set a task force to seek a compromise to present to the legislature.

Great weather helps record crowd at Indiana State Fair

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Consistently sunny skies and below-normal temperatures coupled with new exhibits and popular promotions helped the Indiana State Fair set a new total attendance record, according to Andy Klotz, Indiana Fair Commission PR director.
The 157th edition of the fair, which wrapped up Sunday, attracted 978,296 people through the gates – 4,394 more visitors than the previous record of 973,902 in 2009 and a 15 percent increase from last year’s total of 853,941.

With less than an inch of rain and an average temperature of 84 degrees during the fair, visitors were quite comfortable throughout the event. Next year’s Indiana State Fair will run Aug. 1-17.

Lee County residents sue over proposed wind farm

DIXON, Ill. (AP) — Dozens of Lee County residents have filed a lawsuit against the County Board and an energy company in an effort to stop construction of a wind farm.

The (Dixon) Telegraph reported the lawsuit was filed Aug. 14 by almost 60 residents of the north-central Illinois county.
The suit names the county board and Mainstream Renewable Power. The Ireland-based company wants to build the 53-turbine Green River Wind Farm.

The project was approved by the County Board in May, overruling a zoning board recommendation that they reject it. The suit asks the court to stop the project and void its permits.

Plaintiffs say the wind farm is incompatible with surrounding residential and agricultural uses and say they fear it would hurt property values, create noise and disturb wildlife.

Officials confirm gray wolf was killed in Kentucky
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources said federal officials have confirmed that a gray wolf was killed in Kentucky earlier this year.

The agency said wolves have been gone from Kentucky since the mid-1800s, so it’s a mystery how the federally endangered animal ended up in Hart County near Munfordville in March. Hart County resident James Troyer shot the animal while hunting for predators on his family’s farm.

Troyer said at first he thought he shot a coyote, but when he got a closer look, the animal looked more like a wolf. Since wolves haven’t been seen in the state in more than a century, biologists were skeptical but recent results from DNA testing proved the animal was a wolf.
8/22/2013