Facing historic drought, young farmers fly to Washington to urge support for a farm bill for the Colorado River Basin

With the Colorado River Basin facing yet another year of water scarcity, the National Young Farmers Coalition brings young farmers from impacted states to Washington, D.C., to advocate for farm bill programs that promote drought resilience and enable a new generation of farmers to grow the nation’s food supply.
They’re here to fight for their livelihoods, and for the future of American agriculture,” said Erin Foster West, policy specialist for NYFC.
“As any farmer will tell you, June is a very difficult time to leave the farm.
That’s how important this Farm Bill is to their futures.
America’s farm population is aging rapidly, and hundreds of millions of acres of U.S. farmland will change hands in the next two decades.
There’s no question that our nation needs more young farmers, and young farmers need better support for drought and climate resilience, access to credit and affordable farmland, and opportunities for training and mentorship.” One such producer, Dan Waldvogle, a rancher and NYFC member from Colorado, will be coming out to D.C. to meet with his representatives as part of the fly-in.
It can be particularly difficult for beginning farmers to withstand these events.
I feel that it is extremely important that the 2018 farm bill have a hearty safety net and conservation programs directed toward creating resilience for the next generation of farmers and ranchers.
Among the legislators the farmers are scheduled to meet are members and staff of the Senate and House Agriculture and Natural Resource Committees including: Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Michael Gardner (R-CO), John Barrasso (R-WY), Martin Heinrich (R-NM), and Jeff Flake (R-AZ); as well as Representatives Scott Tipton (R-CO), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Liz Cheney (R-WY), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), and Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ).
Visit NYFC on the web at www.youngfarmers.org, and on Twitter,Facebook, YouTubeandInstagram.

Research unravels mysteries of mouthparts of butterflies

A study by Matthew Lehnert, Ph.D., assistant professor of biological sciences at Kent State Stark, shows that the method in which flies and butterflies ingest liquids into their own bodies for nourishment may be used as a model for delivering disease-fighting drugs to the human body.
Drug delivery systems are engineered technologies for the targeted delivery and/or controlled release of therapeutic agents.
This study also found that there is a limiting pore size from which each individual can feed — butterflies and flies with smaller mouthpart channels will be able to feed on liquids from smaller pores, which might have an advantage for the insects and more broadly for the ecosystem in case of a drought.
Lehnert, three of his Kent State Stark undergraduate student assistants and four other researchers found that flies, butterflies and moths (20 percent of all animals) use capillary action, or the movement of liquids seamlessly from one place to another, as the guiding principle when feeding on liquid films — their primary source of food.
An insect’s proboscis, a body part that allows them to drink liquids, acts like a highly-sophisticated sponge and straw that uses capillary action to send nectar or other liquids to the insect’s diges tive system.
In order to feed on nectar and other liquid films, natural selection has favored the evolution of specialized mouthparts in fluid-feeding insects.
In butterflies and flies, the mouthparts consist of a proboscis adapted for using capillary action to pull thin films of fluid from surfaces for subsequent feeding.
By copying this natural method, scientists say the mouthparts of flies and butterflies can serve as models for developing new devices for improved drug delivery systems.
Journal Reference: Matthew S. Lehnert, Andrew Bennett, Kristen E. Reiter, Patrick D. Gerard, Qi-Huo Wei, Miranda Byler, Huan Yan, Wah-Keat Lee.
ScienceDaily, 13 April 2017.