Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:43 am
A few years ago, if Bill Graff wanted to find out whether other farmers' fields looked anything like his, he'd make some calls and check an online bulletin board. It might take him a few days, even a week, to get a sense of how his crops stacked up against others in his region.
Now Graff, 53, who grows 1,400 acres of corn, soybean, wheat and hay in central Illinois, checks his Twitter feed. "I can get a half-way decent idea of what's going on out there instantaneously," Graff says.
Federal regulators and fast-food companies reacted with unprecedented speed this week to the release of an undercover video that animal-rights activists shot inside a California slaughterhouse. The video — which, we'll warn you, is pretty graphic — shows employees of Central Valley Meat Co. using electric prods repeatedly on cattle that appeared unable to get to their feet.
The U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass the 2012 Farm Bill before starting their August recess. With the bill expiring in September, will Congress have time to pass the important bill when they return?