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Farm groups such as the National Corn Growers Association rallied supporters of ethanol policy in Kansas City, Kan., Thursday. (Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media)
Farm groups such as the National Corn Growers Association rallied supporters of ethanol policy in Kansas City, Kan., Thursday. (Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media)

Thursday was not the day to switch places with Chris Grundler.

Grundler, the director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was in charge of the EPA’s one in-person hearing about proposed changes to U.S. ethanol policy.

More than 250 people signed up to speak at the hearing, forcing organizers to open a second room to record testimony. Thousands more will add comments online. But at the start of the day, Grundler told the crowd that he was prepared to stretch the hearing until all who wanted could log their comments.

Nearly all of farm country, it seemed, was represented at the hearing, from the Iowa Corn Growers Association to the American Motorcyclist Association to the National Sorghum Producers. Ethanol policy, while complicated and dry, effects many industries.

(Austin Kirk/Flickr)
(Austin Kirk/Flickr)

Current high egg prices are likely to continue, as the nation’s flock of egg-laying hens is at its smallest since 2004 thanks to the massive outbreak of avian influenza this spring.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s official numbers show nationally egg production dropped five percent in May compared to May 2014. But in Iowa, the nation’s largest egg producer and the state whose hens took the hardest hit from the flu, the figure is 28 percent.

Prices for shelled eggs at the grocery store have more than doubled in some areas (Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media)
Prices for shelled eggs at the grocery store have more than doubled in some areas (Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media)

Most bakers and restaurants affected by the current egg shortage brought on by the huge outbreak of bird flu in the Midwest are making their way through the summer by paying higher prices or cutting back on production.

But what if the current crisis brought lasting change? A silver lining in a shell?

Maisie Ganzler, vice president of strategy for Bon Appétit Management Co., believes that the steps the company is taking now to reduce egg usage in their supply chain will stick around for the long haul.

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