USDA Extends Free School Lunch Program


I’m Clinton Griffiths with today’s AgDay Minute.

The nation’s schools are getting an extension when it comes to providing free lunches and food to students. The USDA extending COVID-19 waivers nationally. That allows participating school districts to expand free meal service and provide food to kids on or off-campus. The new deadline runs through June 30th of next year. The previous deadline was the end of this year.

A Michigan Mink farm, now reporting an outbreak of COVID-19. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on Friday reported the recent discovery of the coronavirus in mink at an unnamed farm. This follows other reported cases at farms in Utah and Wisconsin. Michigan officials say there is currently no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus to humans.

After being leveled by African Swine Fever, Chinese officials say the country’s hog herd is well on its way to recovery. According to a report by the agriculture ministry, herd numbers are now 80-percent of the normal level. This is despite new cases still popping up, including an ASF outbreak last week in 70, piglets officials say were illegally transported from one region to another. ASF first hit China in the fall of 2018, eventually cutting the world’s largest hog herd in half. The agriculture ministry says large-scale farms now breed 53-percent of all hogs, and its encouraging small-to-middle-sized farms to increase their herds as well.

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