An international committee of cancer experts shocked the agribusiness world a few days ago when it announced that two widely used pesticides are "probably carcinogenic to humans." The well-respected International Agency for Research on Cancer published a brief explanation of its conclusions in The Lancet and plans to issue a book-length version later this year.

A government-appointed group of top nutrition experts, assigned to lay the scientific groundwork for a new version of the nation's dietary guidelines, decided earlier this year to collect data on the environmental implication of different food choices.

Congress now has slapped them down.

Baltimore's seaport is a world of big, noisy steel machines: giant cargo ships, cranes and roaring trucks.

In the middle of this hubbub, David Ng, an agricultural specialist with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, tries to find things that are small and alive: snails, moths and weed seeds of all sorts.

The House Appropriations Committee began hearings on the budget proposals for each of the state’s departments Monday. Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain is asking for a bit more money this next year, and Representative Henry Burns (R-Haughton) quizzed him about the reasons.

THURSDAY: Tom North, Grace Boatright, & Roman Krznaric

Feb 6, 2014

Jim Engster speaks with child abuse survivor Tom North about his book, "True North," and Grace Boatright, Legislative Director of the National Grange talks about non profit organizations with missions to assist rural America and agriculture, and Roman Krznaric, founding faculty member of the The School of Life, discusses his latest book called, "How Should We Live."

Jim Engster speaks with political consultant, Raymond Strother, and Dr. Denise Reed of the Water Institute of the Gulf about coastal marsh erosion, and Jeff Kuehny of the LSU AgCenter about Arbor Day events.

Earlier this week Governor Bobby Jindal signed a bill into law that creates a "Save the Honeybee" license plate.

But why are honeybees so important?

For that answer WRKF's Ashley Westerman turned to Dr. Tom Rinderer, the researcher leader at the USDA Honey Bee Lab here in Baton Rouge. That lab will benefit from the proceeds from license plate.

"Honeybees are absolutely vital to American agriculture, they pollinate in excess of $20-billion worth of crops a year," said Rinderer.

One scientist with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality says the key to improving our watersheds is educating our farmers. A new partnership between the LDEQ and the state and federal departments of agriculture aims to do just that.

WRKF's Tegan Wendland had a conversation with Jan Boydston, Senior Environmental Scientist at the LDEQ, about the new initiative, which focuses on educating and training farmers in Acadia, Lafayette, Vermilion, Catahoula and Tangipahoa parishes.