The Washington Post has an interesting read detailing China’s newfound support for its minority Muslim population. Here’s an excerpt:
The praying and slaughtering begin every morning at sunrise. “Allahu Akbar” intones the imam over each cow before it is strung up by its hooves and quartered.
This scene, and other religious and ethnic practices, set China’s Muslim minorities apart, and the differences frequently led to clashes with the Chinese government in the past. But the country’s leaders are now embracing the large Muslim population in this remote and relatively undeveloped city in the western province of Ningxia, hoping that frozen packs of halal meat produced here can help build economic bridges with the Middle East.
In case you missed it, Tom Lutey had a report on the estate tax, which, much like the AMT was meant to exempt middle income taxpayers, is now consuming more and more ranches here in Montana.
“I talked to Max (Baucus) on the 10th and he thought they’d get it fixed, but it doesn’t look like it to me. Harry Reid doesn’t want it, and he’s the head of the Senate,” said Bob Hanson, a White Sulphur Springs rancher and Montana Farm Bureau Federation president.
The value in Meagher County has been driven up by non-ag purposes,” Hanson said. “People buy them for recreational purposes.”
In the last decade, ranches in Hanson’s region have sold to a former vice president of Goldman Sachs, an oil baroness and a dot-com executive. Those transactions became the comparable sales for appraising Hanson’s property, which increased in value 60 percent. The recession slowed ranch sales for recreational purposes, which lowered values some since 2007, but not enough for many Meagher County ranchers to escape the estate tax, Hanson said.
And, are spoiled milk prices likely after the New Year? Haylie Shipp has this at NorthernAg.Net: (Read all of Haylie’s headlines by clicking the “Ag” button at the top of this page everyday)
U.S. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy told the Senate Friday that milk market chaos will erupt if Congress doesn’t prevent that 1949 law from going into effect in less than one week. Leahy says the failure to act on a farm bill or farm bill extension would set off a chain of events that could double the prices of milk and dairy products. He says Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack and his staff have been literally dusting off old paper files and mimeographed notes from the 1940s and 50s to review the Agricultural Act of 1949.