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News for October 15, 2010

The Troubled Waters of Big Ag’s Academic Influence

Last month, the University of Minnesota caused a stir when it decided to postpone the release of a film that focuses on the effect agriculture is having on U.S. waterways from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. Troubled Waters–a film directed by Larkin McPhee for the University’s Bell Museum of Natural History, part of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences–was held up, according to University Relations (the university’s PR office) to “allow time for a review of the film’s scientific content.” Yet ace reporting by Molly Preismeyer at the Twin Cities Daily Planet revealed that the film’s team had already thoroughly fact-checked the film, and followed the review process utilized by the PBS science program NOVA. Attempts to get the university to outline a standard procedure for research-based films were not fruitful. Then the story shifted once again when Dean Allen Levine told Minnesota Public Radio that the film “vilifies agriculture.”

Even though the University caved under pressure and allowed the scheduled premiere of the film to take place on October 3 and on October 5 on a local television station, the story of Troubled Waters has developed into a debate on academic freedom and the role a university’s donors should play in its research priorities.

READ MORE (Civil Eats) ]

Rapping Dairy Farmers

What better way is there to express your passion for something than with music, especially in the form of a rap? Shot on location in Somerset, the Yeo Valley farmers “cooked a rap video” rapping not about their bling, girls and fast cars but instead their cows, tractors and wax jackets – matters a little bit closer to home. The rap promo intends to entertain while educating viewers about ‘Living in harmony’ and the Yeo Valley way of life.

READ MORE (Yeo Valley) ]

Parade Magazine Heralds Return of the Milkman

Parade Magazine, an American icon eagerly pulled out of the Sunday newspaper by its weekly readership of 74 million, is known for its feel good stories of personal triumph. This past Sunday, October 10th 2010, Parade tells the story of King Brothers Dairy in Schuylerville, NY ‘going local’ in Return of the Milkman!

Jan and Jeff King, of King Brothers Dairy, while continuing to sell milk to the wholesale market, have revived the tradition of their grandfather and father’s home delivery service. They launched their local milk delivery this past April.

READ MORE (Hartke) ]




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