**The Animal Agriculture Alliance is launching the ‘Animal Ag Allies’ program to empower farmers, ranchers and practicing veterinarians to be outspoken advocates for agriculture online and within their communities, and is currently seeking participants to enroll by August 7th.

The Allies program provides opportunities for networking, training, and continuous development of issue expertise and communication skills.

Allies will be on the front lines of responding to emerging issues and sharing positive content about animal agriculture.

To become a sponsor, contact Casey Kinler, director of membership and marketing, at ckinler@animalagalliance.org.

**New regulations from the USDA would strengthen oversight and tracking of organic imports and represent a landmark regulation for the growing industry.

USDA released an unofficial draft of the ‘Strengthening Organic Enforcement’ proposal that creates new import-specific tracing and reporting requirements to ensure transparency in the growing organic market.

The SOE would require all parties in the trade of organic commodities to be certified by an organic certification agency and for all organic imports to be electronically reported and monitored by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

**Fitting chickens with tiny backpacks has helped University of California specialists learn how to recognize when parasites bother the birds.

UC Riverside scientists say the small sensors caused chickens no discomfort, and gave researchers data about bird behavior that signaled parasite attacks.

The scientists say the information could be used by farmers to protect their birds from parasite damage.