This week the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infection Disease Research and Policy released new information about chronic wasting disease and its possible transmission to humans. From the report:
“We have learned a lot about CWD in deer and elk over the past several decades, but we now realize how much more we need to know to control its rapid spread and devastating impact in cervids,” said lead author Michael T. Osterholm, University of Minnesota Regents Professor, McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health, and director of CIDRAP. “And we must understand the risk of transmission of CWD prions to humans with the ever increasing consumption of infected venison and how we reduce the possibility that one day we may have a tragic replay of a bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease-like scenario in North America.”
This past legislative session we enacted some solid solutions to address CWD. These included safeguards such as double gates for cervid farms, high tensile fencing, and increased inspections by the Board of Animal Health. Unfortunately, the U of M report illustrates that greater action is necessary and I remain committed to working with all parties involved to solve this problem before it’s too late.
Midwestern Legislative Conference
This week in Chicago I attended the Council of State Government’s Midwestern Legislative Conference annual meeting. The meeting featured many policy sessions on agriculture, criminal justice, cross-border trade, economic development and education, health care, and cross-border trade. My work on the Resolutions Committee gave me a good opportunity to connect with legislators from across the region.
One of the most informative sessions was “Midwestern Jobs of the Future: The Region’s Evolving Economy.” Globalization and technological innovation have changed the nature of work, so much so that a large portion of the jobs of the future likely do not even exist today. Demographic shifts also pose challenges to national and regional labor markets. Experts provided an overview of occupational fields that have the most growth potential as well as where jobs may be lost in the future.
Some interesting information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is available here:
This coming Monday, July 29, my wife Suzanne is undergoing hip replacement surgery. As a result, I’ll likely be unavailable for a few days as she recovers. Be assured that I will get back to you just as soon as I’m able. Please join me in wishing her all the best.
Have a great weekend.