Need to catch up? Here are some stories you might have missed this week.
1. USDA makes school lunch changes, again. Though it's in response to criticism of protein and grain caps some legislators and parents viewed as too strict, the USDA has again made changes to its school lunch revamp, announcing that a temporary lift on the protein caps will now be permanent.
2. Chart power! The USDA's Economic Research Service prepares several charts throughout the year, tackling a vast array of topics. The agency has selected its top 10 for the year – see which ag charts made the cut.
3. Cheerios go non-GMO. In response to activist pressure via social media, Cheerios cereal manufacturer General Mills Thursday confirmed that it now makes the cereal without any genetically modified ingredients.
4. The best and worst, a farmer's perspective. What were the best aspects of 2013? Good yields? Better GPS options? One farmer weighs the best and worst of 2013.
5. FAA sets up drone tests. It's possible that 2014 will become the Year of the Drone, which may be true on the farm. But for wider use, more study is needed, which is why the FAA on Monday selected six U.S. testing sites to integrate drones into the U.S. airspace for commercial use.
6. Congress has earned its reputation. A Gallup poll released last month has confirmed that Congress has earned its "low man on the totem pole" reputation. Only 10% of Americans polled view legislators as trustworthy, reports Wisconsin Agriculturalist Editor Fran O'Leary.
7. PED vaccine takes aim at deadly virus. More than 700,000 doses of a newly released vaccine to curb Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus have been distributed in several states, but continued vigilance is needed to protect herds that have not been affected. One precaution, warns a University hog specialist, is to avoid the convenience store while hauling hogs – here's why.
And your bonus:
Ag & food commercials make best and worst ad list for 2013. According to the Wall Street Journal's poll of advertising insiders, Brad Jakeman, president of PepsiCo Inc.'s global beverages group, selected Ram Trucks' "So God Made a Farmer" as the top commercial of 2013, while Chipotle's "Scarecrow" spot received his worst ad of 2013 designation.
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