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Cyber attacks, racial discrimination, future pandemics

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This week’s trending headlines showcase them increased challenges, vulnerabilities, and division in food, agriculture, and politics.

Today’s trending headlines may leave you frustrated, concerned and worried about the future of our food supply, the longevity of the family farm and ranch, and the security of our nation.

But then again, many of us saw some of these challenges coming from a mile away months ago. These times clearly call for greater engagement in the political process from farmers and ranchers.

In case you missed it: Is the United States prepared for acts of agri-terrorism?

Also read: Uniting producers and consumers - Food security is national security

But to be quite frank, somedays, I just have to shake my head at the craziness and pray for better days ahead. Browse through these headlines and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

1. “Largest meat producer getting back online after cyber attack” by Rod McQuirk for Dee-Ann Durbin for the Associated Press

According to the AP, “The world’s largest meat processing company is getting back online after production around the world was disrupted by a cyberattack just weeks after a similar incident shut down a U.S. oil pipeline.”

“Our systems are coming back online and we are not sparing any resources to fight this threat,” Andre Nogueira, CEO of JBS USA, said in a statement.

2. “The red meat issue Biden won’t touch” by Ryan McCrimmon for Politico

McCrimmon writes, “Since the Biden administration took over, agribusinesses and the prominent agricultural trade groups have accelerated efforts to head off federal regulators by setting their own climate goals and trumpeting steps that producers are taking to lower their environmental footprint.

“‘Many meat producers, packers and processors have already committed to further strengthen their contributions to healthy land, air and water,’ said Eric Mittenthal, a spokesperson for the North American Meat Institute, which represents meatpackers and processors.”

3. “Female Wyoming rancher sues Biden administration for race discrimination” featured on Mountain States Legal Foundation

According to the Mountain States Legal Foundation, “Wyoming rancher Leisl Carpenter announced that she is suing the Biden Administration and the Department of Agriculture for race discrimination under the US Constitution, in response to a ‘Rescue Plan’ loan forgiveness program that explicitly bars her from participation because she is white.”

4. “Future pandemic? Consider radically altering animal agriculture practices” by phys.org

Here is an excerpt: "Modern medicine has not only failed to catch up to the zoonotic threat, but in some ways is losing ground, due in part to growing global antibiotic resistance. So, from a public health ethics perspective, we should assess measures aimed at mitigating zoonotic risks. This is especially the case with systemic, predictable sources of zoonotic risk such as agriculture and food production. We argue that if the government may protect public health generally, then this permission extends to radically altering current animal agricultural practices.”

5. “What does the Biden budget mean for agriculture?” by Jacqui Fatka for Farm Progress

“The President’s budget gives USDA a new set of tools to address the urgent challenges of our time—racial injustice, a changing climate, and hunger. When we invest fairly and equitably in American families and communities, we lay the foundation for decades of American prosperity,” says Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.

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