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MARSHFIELD, MO

USDA orders Missouri food pantry to toss 905 pounds of meat

A food pantry in Marshfield has been forced to throw away more than 900 pounds of frozen hamburger meat processed at a plant that wasn't federally certified.

The Springfield News-Leader reports U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors were visiting Gibson's Packing Co. in Seymour last week when they noticed the Webster County Food Pantry paid for the processing of some meat. They then drove to the food pantry and instructed workers to toss the meat.

Pantry director Jerry Nehl says nothing was wrong with the meat except where it was processed. Nehl, who has been with the food pantry for 24 years, says the plant donated the meat to the food pantry without knowing about the federal regulations.

The food pantry serves about 225 families each month.

ILLINOIS (AP)

Survey: Illinois farmers worry about feral hog population

A new study of Illinois farmers has found that they are worried about property damage caused by feral hogs.

Researchers from the Illinois Natural History Survey said Monday that they reviewed surveys from more than 3,000 Illinois farmers. The study found that 84 percent of the surveyed farmers in Illinois agree that feral hogs should be eliminated whenever possible.

Feral hogs were once only in the southern U.S. but have spread and are now in 12 Illinois counties, most in the southern part of the state. Survey scientist Craig Miller says the animals are known to damage soil and water quality and destroy agricultural crops.

The survey found farmers trapping and eliminating the hogs instead of hunting them. Miller says that's because hunters may hit one or two hogs and the rest scatter.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP)

Friends help with deceased Iowa farmer's final harvest

Friends of an Iowa farmer who died in July came together to help with his final harvest.

The Daily Nonpareil reports that 59-year-old LaVerne Burck died after being diagnosed with lung cancer, leaving his daughter Jessica Burck about 1,300 acres in Pottawattamie County, south of Council Bluffs.

About 30 of LaVerne Burck's friends and members of the farming community teamed up to harvest corn and soybeans on the farm, which has been in the family since the 1870s, and some donated equipment for the job. A few area businesses provided fuel for equipment.

The volunteers began the harvest Sept. 8 and have nearly finished. Burck was known for planting and harvesting early.

The homestead has 160 acres, including 75 farmable acres.

Burck grew up on the land, and farmed alongside his father from a young age. He started school at Iowa State University, but lasted one semester before returning home to continue his love for farming.

"He tried the whole college thing,'' his daughter said. "His dad asked him, 'Do you want to stay up there or come back?' (LaVerne Burck) answered, 'I wanna come back.'''

Jessica Burck also grew up helping her father on the farm and works there full time, but she said she couldn't have coped without the volunteers' help. Without that, "I would still be trying to get the combine to work,'' she said.

CONCORD, N.H. (AP)

Task force to recommend help for dairy farmers to meet

A Dairy Producers Task Force to study and recommend a short-term plan for preserving New Hampshire's dairy industry is meeting to discuss aid in the midst of drought conditions and low milk prices for farmers.

The seven-member legislative task force was created after two meetings of the Milk Producers Emergency Relief Board. It's scheduled to meet Tuesday and has a reporting deadline of Nov. 4.

Officials have recommended that the Legislature approve up to $3.6 million in emergency aid for drought assistance and that lawmakers include $2 million in each year of the next biennium budget for the Milk Producers Emergency Relief Fund.

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