USDA releases $300 million for rural energy efficiency

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $300 million in loans and grants to help small businesses switch to more energy efficient equipment and renewable energy sources such as solar panels. "Cutting energy waste is one of the fastest, easiest and cheapest ways to help families save money on their energy bills while reducing carbon pollution," said Vilsack.

California dairy farms try nuts

A handful of dairy farms have sold their cattle and converted to tree nuts, such as almonds, and many other California dairy producers are diversifying into orchards to improve their revenue, says Capital Press. It quotes Rabobank senior analyst Vernon Crowder as saying, "Most of our customers have diversified and are growing some type of nut."