Friday Roundup

February 18th, 2011 | Simcha Weinstein | Comments Off on Friday Roundup

Our regular Friday feature: News from Around the Web, that discusses topics and recent news stories covering the food and agriculture industry.

– In a time where creating jobs seems like it should be of the highest priority for this country, it looks like farming and the world of agriculture is doing its part:

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, said today that American agriculture is supporting 16 million jobs and is one of few industries leading the economic recovery. Stabenow made the comments at the Committee’s first hearing of the 112th Congress, where Members and witnesses examined agriculture’s effect on the U.S. economy.

“Rarely have we seen a more positive outlook for the agricultural economy as a whole,” Stabenow said. “This should come as no surprise to any of us: American farmers and ranchers produce the safest, most nutritious and most sustainable agricultural products in the world. In fact, one of the biggest success stories in our nation’s economy is the strength of our farm exports. For the second year in a row, agricultural exports are projected to be over $100 billion … Our agricultural exports will support over one million jobs this year alone — and these jobs are not just on the farm but in towns and cities all across the country.”

Stabenow pointed to her state of Michigan, where agriculture is the second-largest industry, as an example of a state poised to continue strengthening an already robust sector. “Agriculture represents more than $70 billion for our economy each year, and represents one out of every four jobs in my state,” she said.

– And this is my favorite story of the week. Our universities are not shopping malls. Well done!

When Panda Express, a 1,300-outlet Chinese fast-food chain, announced plans to open a branch on the campus of the University of California-Berkeley, a group of students protested (not surprisingly, given that their city is the heart of all things local/seasonal/organic). What is surprising is that the students not only defeated the chain but also took their victory one step further by raising $100,000 to replace the proposed Beijing Beef, Honey Walnut Shrimp, and Kung Pao Chicken joint with a student-run co-op carrying fresh, local, healthy, sustainable, and fairly produced food that would be sold at affordable prices. Read more.

– When looking at the recent unrest in Tunisia and Egypt, many experts are saying that the troubles really transcend politics, and that it’s really about food prices. Read more.

– A must see video. This video – Rory Sutherland: Life Lessons from an Ad Man – is well worth watching in its entirety, but if you only have a few minutes, start watching at the 11:57 mark and it presents a remarkably enteraining twist to marketing a cereal called, Shreddies.