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Arizona Black farmers fight against long-standing federal discrimination

James and Rachael Stewart have seen their ranch grow tremendously since starting it from scratch in October 2020 as Arizona’s first Black-owned protein ranch, but the biggest struggle for Southwest Black Ranchers is access to money - their ranch doesn’t qualify for any assistance in its first three years.... Read more»

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Fifth-generation Pinal County farmer struggles to grow crops with less water

Obtaining water has been a constant source of worry for farmers in Pinal County, and with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced a Tier 1 shortage on the Colorado River in August, farmers will receive one-third of the water supply that would normally be available.... Read more»

'Climate change is fundamentally altering the Colorado River': States, tribes grapple with drought

States in the Colorado River Basin are adjusting to the reality that their rights outstrip the available water by nearly one-third, state and tribal leaders told a congressional panel Friday, emphasizing how serious the situation is but offering few solutions.... Read more»

Drought-stricken western towns say no to developers

The nation’s five fastest-growing states are all in the Southwest or Mountain West, and communities are facing difficult questions about water scarcity and what it means for future growth— because climate change is expected to make such droughts more frequent and intense.... Read more»

Colorado River drought conditions spur calls for better water infrastructure

Experts in government, agriculture, water management and the environment stressed during a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday the danger that droughts fueled by climate change pose in the West, including the Colorado River Basin. ... Read more»

Chickasaw woman gets USDA post, one in a string of Indigenous nominees

For the first time in history, an Indigenous woman is overseeing U.S. agriculture law – but Janie Simms Hipp is just the latest in a number of Native Americans nominated to top posts in the Biden administration. ... Read more»

Court rejects Trump clean water rule with 'significant' Arizona impact

Environmental groups welcomed a federal judge’s decision this week to overturn Trump-era clean-water regulations that had “fundamental, substantive flaws” and were so narrow that many waterways in Arizona ended up being excluded from federal oversight. ... Read more»

Analysis

As Colorado River Basin states confront water shortages, it’s time to focus on reducing demand

The U.S. government announced its first-ever water shortage declaration for the Colorado River on Aug. 16, 2021, with Arizona losing nearly a fifth of its total Colorado River allocation and triggering future cuts in the amount of water states will be allowed to draw from the river. ... Read more»

Colorado River shortage to hit Central Arizona farmers hardest

Seven states from Utah to California share the Colorado River’s roughly 15 million acre-feet of water annually, but in the 100 years since the states agreed how to share the water, it has become clear that the river is over-allocated. ... Read more»

White House says executive order coming on labeling beef as a 'Product of USA'

The White House will unveil an executive order in the coming days that directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to clarify that meat can only receive a “Product of USA” label if that livestock is raised in the U.S. rather than abroad.... Read more»

Arizona dairy farms pivot from restaurants to food banks as COVID-19 shifts demand

The past four months have been a roller coaster for Arizona dairy farms, as the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed the way some of their biggest clients did business.... Read more»

Critics say Trump order on immigration does little but stir up anxiety

President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending immigration in the face of the coronavirus will “not have much of an effect” on the jobs the president said he’s trying to protect, experts on both sides of the issue said last week. ... Read more»

Trump signs new trade deal with Canada and Mexico

President Donald Trump on Wednesday officially signed the new trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico and Canada, finalizing a deal that overhauls labor, environmental and intellectual property rules. ... Read more»

Advocates: EPA’s new clean-water rules hit Arizona, Southwest hardest

Clean-water rules unveiled Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency could remove the vast majority of Arizona’s waterways from federal oversight, a change environmentalists call bad news in a region where water is “super precious.”... Read more»

As valley fever education increases, so does the infection’s reach

New research finds that as climate change alters American landscapes in the coming decades, valley fever has the potential to spread far beyond the Southwest. ... Read more»

Trump pledges $16B for farmers

The Trump administration announced Thursday a second aid package to farmers suffering under retaliatory tariffs from China, with the bulk of the $16 billion bailout going to direct payments to producers.... Read more»

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