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Industry News

Read coverage of current events and news affecting dairy producers and the industry.

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A federal judge has sentenced Humboldt Creamery's former chief executive to 2.5 years in prison after he admitted covering up severe financial problems that bankrupted the business. The judge also ordered 50-year-old Rich Ghilarducci to pay a $7 million fine.

Ghilarducci pleaded guilty last year to a single count of loan fraud. He admitted falsely inflating the creamery's revenues between 2005 and 2008 to prevent a lender from learning of the creamery's true financial picture. The U.S. Attorney's Office says Ghilarducci ultimately defaulted on the loan, prompting the creamery to file for bankruptcy.

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The Wisconsin Legislature's budget committee has voted to stop accepting applications under a program designed to preserve Wisconsin's farms.

The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee voted Wednesday to essentially end the purchase of agricultural conservation easements program and $12 million in borrowing that was approved in 2009 to help fund it.

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Camco International Limited (CAO.L), a developer of clean energy projects, has begun construction on the largest dairy biogas project in North America.

The project, which will be operated by the consortium AgPower Group LLC, involves the installation of anaerobic digesters to convert cow manure at an Idaho dairy farm into enough biogas to fuel 4.5 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity.

Construction of the project is expected to cost under $25 million, and it has been fully financed, according to Camco.

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On May 10, the President traveled to El Paso, Texas, where he delivered a speech on the need for immigration reform. In his speech, the President touted his administration’s work on securing the border and said that, while some politicians will never be satisfied, it is time to tackle comprehensive reform of the broken immigration system.

(In advance of the President’s address, the National Immigration Forum convened a background briefing for press, with national security and border security experts. You can listen to a recording of the press briefing by clicking here (mp3 file)).

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After corn is processed to make ethanol, what's left of the corn looks something like slightly dampened cornmeal, though a somewhat darker yellow, and not as finely ground. Known as "wet distiller's grains with solubles" (WDGS), this byproduct is sometimes used as a cattle feed ingredient. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists in Clay Center, Neb., are studying the pros and cons of that practice.

WDGS are rich in protein, and also provide calories and minerals, according to James E. Wells, a microbiologist with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

Since 2007, WDGS have been the subject of an array of studies by Wells and others at the ARS Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center.

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The American Association of Bovine Practitioners Board of Directors has established an ad hoc committee to study Rural Veterinary Practice (RVP). The committee, composed entirely of practitioners with practice experiences ranging from 2 to more than 25 years, is releasing its initial report.

It was the opinion of the RVP that there is not currently a shortage of veterinarians for rural food supply veterinary private practice. Efforts to increase interest in rural practice among graduating veterinary students have been successful, so lack of available veterinarians is no longer an issue for the US as a whole. However, there remain underserved rural areas across the country that may not be able to sustain a veterinary practice and absorb these new veterinarians entering the job market.

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