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Marijuana law challenged over black farmer license

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A lawsuit filed Friday challenges the constitutionality of part of a new state law that requires a coveted medical-marijuana license to go to a black farmer.

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Vern Buchanan says citrus greening aid finally bearing fruit

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Congressman Vern Buchanan announced Monday federal money for citrus greening has been awarded to researchers working to find a cure for the devastating disease. In the most recent round of funding, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded $13.6 million to citrus greening research projects. The funding was made possible by a USDA program the Sarasota Republican fought to include in the 2014 farm bill, called the Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program. “Finding a cure for this destructive disease…

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Family farms offer big quality for just a little capital

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Not every vegetarian is opposed to eating meat in every circumstance. What they do oppose is the Fresh from Factory Farms brand of agriculture that makes antibiotics manufacturers rich and the rest of us fat and sick. So, it’s great news that Nicole Kozak and Manny Cruz have found a way to make a living farming the old-fashioned, pre-Industrial Revolution way. Treat yourself to a video tour of the couple’s farm, and farming methods, courtesy of Ft. Myers News-Press reporter…

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Citizen-scientists: Uncle Sam wants you to fight Zika!

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The mosquitoes that can spread Zika are already buzzing among us. The U.S. government could use some help figuring out exactly where. No experience is necessary for what the U.S. Department of Agriculture envisions as a nationwide experiment in citizen-science. Teenagers already have proven themselves up to the task in tryouts involving a small number of high school students and science teachers. Now it’s time for the Invasive Mosquito Project to scale up and fast, since Zika has been linked…

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Gwen Graham announces “North Florida Farm Tour” next month

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U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham announced what a spokesman called a “huge district event” Tuesday: The freshman congresswoman will tour more than a dozen farms in her Panhandle district to highlight agricultural issues. Graham’s “North Florida Farm Tour” will make stops in all 14 counties in her 2nd Congressional District, which runs from Madison to Bay counties in North and Northwest Florida The Democrat plans to kick off the event with a panel discussion with special guest Krysta Harden, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department…

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Activists go to Kathy Castor’s office calling on her to reject food labeling law

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Over two dozen anti-GMO activists crowded into U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor’s West Tampa District office on Tuesday, calling on her to oppose legislation that would prevent states from imposing their own laws requiring mandatory GMO labeling laws. GMOs are genetically modified organisms, a source of genetically modified foods. “We want those members of Congress, especially those on the commmitees, that we want labeling,” Dessa Stone-Pividal with March Against Monsanto told aides to Castor, as the congresswoman was not in the office.…

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USDA sending more money to fight citrus greening

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Federal authorities are sending more money to help fight the citrus greening disease that is threatening Florida’s citrus industry. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday said his agency was offering $23 million for further research on greening. He made the announcement during a visit to an Orlando market that sells a wide range of fresh produce. The funding offer comes on top of another $23 million that was promised to research universities during the last fiscal year. Citrus greening…

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