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Growing rice with ducks in Vermont
Traditionally considered a warm-climate crop, Boundbrook Farm, located in Vergennes, Vermont, raises rice and ducks in symbiosis. Known as “aigamo” in Japan, this method of having herds of ducks in rice fields helps control weeds and pests organically while fertilizing crops. Since rice is a slow-growing crop, ducks assist rice by eating its competitors.
According to their website, “Since 2010, we have been working on an adaptive model for heavy soils and changing climate and planting rice using organic methods.” By working with rice varieties from northern Japan, they are expanding their ecological cold-climate rice cultivation to a commercial scale. They believe these are the largest rice fields in the Northeast.
To learn more about a vineyard in South Africa that uses the same system, visit: https://backyardpoultry.iamcountryside.com/poultry-101/ducks-in-vineyard/
‘Stranger Things’ Star Noah Schnapp Introduces Delivery-Only Chicken
Schnapp, who plays Will Byers on Netflix stranger things is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania studying business. His new venture led him to sell America’s #1 protein choice: chicken. According to their Instagram page, they “deliver regular or plant-based Chik’n, 7 days a week, late nights and even on Sundays. The fries go shotgun. This chicken-only delivery service can be purchased through TenderFix.com and will be delivered by DoorDash, UberEats, GrubHub and Postmates. TenderFix is part of Nextbite which partners with neighborhood restaurants using their kitchens as TenderFix is a “virtual restaurant”. About 1,000 IHOP restaurants are currently preparing TenderFix .
Schnapp also founded TBH, a hazelnut and cocoa spread that, unlike its main competitor, does not contain palm oil, an ingredient known to cause forest deforestation and habitat loss for orangutans. .
Egyptian government asks citizens to eat chicken feet
Egypt’s National Institute of Nutrition is asking its citizens to eat chicken feet and cattle hooves during the current currency and inflation crisis. Although chicken feet are the cheapest cut of the bird, they are generally considered dog and cat food. In the NNI post, they recommend recipes as well as nutritional information. According to CNN, “Authorities say nearly 30% of Egypt’s population lives below the poverty line. The World Bank, however, estimated in 2019 that “around 60% of the Egyptian population is either poor or vulnerable”.
Tyson Foods is closing two facilities to streamline its poultry business in the United States
Tyson says it plans to close its processing, broiler and hatcher operations in Glen Allen, Va., and a plant in Van Buren, Arkansas. Both closures are scheduled for May 12. This will affect 1,600 employees. With both facilities closing, Tyson is investing $70 million to build a hatchery in Hope, Arkansas, replacing its existing facility and tripling its capacity. Construction of the facility is expected to take about two years, with completion expected by the end of 2024. Tyson blames operating inefficiencies for its last fiscal quarter, which was 68% lower than expected.
USDA announces investment of more than $43 million in meat and poultry processing research, expansion and innovation
The $43 million investment is part of USDA’s ongoing efforts to transform the food system at every stage of the supply chain. As part of this total investment, the University of Arkansas received a $5 million grant from the AFRI Center of Excellence for Meat and Poultry Processing and Safety Research and Innovation food (MPPFSRI). Additionally, $13.9 million in grants from the Meat and Poultry Processing Research and Innovation Program – Small Business Innovation Research Phase III – were awarded to 14 small and medium processors of meat and poultry. These grants are administered by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Additionally, a $25 million Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP) grant was awarded to Wholestone Farms for a major plant expansion in Fremont, Nebraska. This grant was administered by USDA Rural Development.
“Farmers rely on technology to become more efficient and profitable,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Under the Biden-Harris administration and through historic funding investments, the USDA continues to invest in the expansion of research processing that will create new and better markets and expand opportunities for small businesses and rural communities. This investment will help make that vision a reality.
Originally published in the June/July 2023 issue of Backyard poultry.