United States Department of Agriculture | St. Louis Public Radio

United States Department of Agriculture

The School Nutrition Association showcased vendors with various food products that are being introduced to school districts across the country on July 15, 2019.
Chad Davis and Nicolas Telep | St. Louis Public Radio

About 6,000 nutrition professionals gathered at the America’s Center Convention Complex in St. Louis. They came from all over the country to sample ramen noodle, Parmesan-crusted Alaskan pollock nuggets and low-sodium seasonings that can be used on a variety of meats.

But these foods won’t be served to adults. They’ll be consumed by kids in many of the country’s school cafeterias.

Trees killed by sudden oak death on a hillside in Big Sur, California, in 2006. The pathogen that causes sudden oak death was found on some ornamental plants in Illinois.
Wikimedia Commons

Updated at 12:45 p.m. Friday to add that the pathogen has been found in Missouri, as well.

A pathogen that’s deadly to some native trees has been found in 10 Illinois counties, including St. Clair and Monroe.

Agricultural officials found Phytophthora ramorum, which causes sudden oak death, on some ornamental plants from big-box garden centers around the state. The pathogen causes dark brown spots on the leaves and branch tips of rhododendron, azalia and lilac, but it is deadly for oaks and certain other tree species. 

The Kansas City metro area is among three sites still in the hunt to become the next location for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's research arms.

The U.S. meat industry is gigantic, with roughly $200 billion a year in sales and growing. But the industry faces emerging threats on two fronts: plant-based meat substitutes and actual meat grown in labs.

Peyton Manning, the NFL quarterback-turned-pitchman, apparently has another side hustle: Certifying shipments of grain as organic for a Nebraska-based agency called OneCert.

Problem is, OneCert president Sam Welsch doesn’t remember hiring Manning for his business, which is accredited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect everything from small vegetable farms to processing plants and international grain operations.