U.S. Department of Agriculture

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — The price of school lunches in Huntsville City Schools is going up.

Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, the cost will go up by 30 cents, raising the price to $2.65.

As many of us plan our elaborate Thanksgiving meals this week, it’s important to remember that there are also many of us who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

A rare form of mad cow disease has been found in Alabama, according to state officials.

Alabama Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan released a statement saying atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy was confirmed in an 11 year old beef cow.

The U.S. Depertment of Agriculture says this is only the fifth case of this particular form of the disease ever confirmed in the United States.

McMillan says the disease was discovered during routine screening at a livestock market. The infected cow wasn’t slaughtered, and its meat didn’t enter the food chain.

Tropical Storm Cindy dumped a lot of rain on the state of Alabama, and Governor Kay Ivey is now looking for federal help for the state's farmers due to potential crop losses.

Ivey sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Friday asking for a federal disaster declaration in some Alabama counties.

She wrote that a large number of Alabama agricultural producers have "experienced significant losses" because of Tropical Storm Cindy. Ivey says farmers in the southern and central portions of the state had been impacted the most.

www.fma.alabama.gov

Alabama is getting a $100,000 federal grant to encourage school districts to buy fresh local fruits and vegetables.

 The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries said Friday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture grant will support a coalition called the Alabama Farm to School Cooperative.

drought farmer
Kevin D. Liles / WSJ

Farmers in Alabama who have been affected by the extreme drought conditions gripping the Southeast are getting some good news from the federal government.

An unusual budget provision passed by Congress earlier this month means no one who qualifies for a government farm loan in the next four months will be denied.

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran is a Kansas Republican who chairs an agricultural appropriations panel. He says the provision allows the Agriculture Department's Farm Service Agency authority to meet the spike in loan demand by using future funding.

Many of Alabama’s senior citizens that qualify for food and medical assistance don’t receive those benefits because they haven’t signed up for the program.

The city of Foley is partnering with the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission Area Agency to help those seniors find out if they’re eligible for assistance and to enroll in benefit programs.