Along with ads for beer and automobiles, viewers of the 2014 Super Bowl could see a TV commercial about composting cow manure.

A small ag business in Idaho is competing to get a free 30-second spot on the February 2 broadcast of the Super Bowl. The company, Poop – National Dairy Compost, turns cow waste into a soil additive for lawns and gardens. If they win the contest and get their message in front of a hundred million viewers,  the owners of the company say they would use the air-time to tout the benefits of composted manure.

“There is such a disconnect between the people buying the groceries and the people producing the food,” said Glenn Vander Woude, an owner of Poop – National Dairy Compost. “This is an opportunity to bridge the gap between modern agricultural practices and the modern consumer.”

The contest for the free spot (valued somewhere around $4 million) is sponsored by a software company. Readers may vote online on which ad they’d like to see; the deadline to vote is December 2.

Antibiotics and Obesity. A study in the New England Journal of medicine shows a correlation between the incidence of antibiotic prescriptions and obesity. Mother Jones mashed up the data and also found a correlation between lower median household income and a higher rate of antibiotic prescriptions. The antibiotic prescription rate is highest in the South and Southeast and lower in the West, the study found.

The authors of the study said they don’t have an explanation for the trend yet. “There might be reasons that more obese people need antibiotics,” lead author Laurie Hicks told Mother Jones’ Kiera Butler. “But it also could be that antibiotic use is leading to obesity.”

FCA Drops New Rural Lending Rule. The Farm Credit Administration has voted to drop a proposed rule that would have allowed Farm Credit System lenders to invest in non-farm community development projects. The rule was opposed by the Community  Bankers of America.

And in Other News:

  • The GMO-labeling initiative in Washington lost because backers of the initiative didn’t do enough to “woo rural voters,” says Ralph Schwartz in the politics blog of the Bellingham Herald. He sees parallels between the Washington vote and a similar measure that failed in California last year.
  • North Carolina’s change in its road-funding formula has some rural leaders concerned about whether the state will improve rural roads as expeditiously as in the past.
  • Fewer than 100 people live within 20 miles of the Three Creek Joint Elementary School in southern Idaho. Seven students are currently enrolled in the school, which serves kindergarten through eighth grade. The Times-News of Twin Falls, Idaho, profiles the school in a story that got picked up by the Associated Press.

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