In Brief… – for Aug. 20, 2009

Be slap happy: August 20 is World Mosquito Day – a day set aside to raise awareness of the importance of mosquito control. “Mosquitoes cause more human suffering than any other organism, and afflict not only humans, but animals as well,” the American Mosquito Control Association says in a release.

The annual event was originated in the late 1800s by Dr. Ronald Ross of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine who is credited with identifying the role mosquitos play in spreading malaria. He received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1902. Pork promoters: The Manitoba Pork Council has reached a milestone – more than 250,000 slices of locally grown smoked pork loin served at Manitoba functions since 1995. The Pick Pork Grill Team has served pork on a bun at 2,006 events within a 150-kilometre radius of Winnipeg over the past 14 years. The carts cater to a wide variety of events.

“We aren’t yet in the league of fast-food chains with billions served, but we are thrilled to reach this landmark,” said Susan Riese, manager of consumer marketing and community relations for the council. National security: The U. S. Agriculture Department will try to help farmers and rural businesses survive the recession by offering loan restructuring and low-interest loans as needed, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says.

Vilsack said USDA would use its authority to maximize relief to borrowers. “Not only is this effort critical to restoring economic prosperity in America’s rural communities, it is essential to ensure that Americans continue to have access to a safe, secure and healthy food supply,” said Vilsack in a statement. – Reuters At the helm: Earl Geddes is the new executive director for the Canadian International Grains Institute (CIGI).

Geddes has served in several capacities at the Canadian Wheat Board since 1995, most recently as vice-president of farmer service. He is a past president of Keystone Agricultural Producers and has been on the executive of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. Geddes replaces Barry Senft, who was appointed in 2002 and who left in May to become chief executive officer of the Grain Farmers of Ontario.

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