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• Women outnumber men in college, so how does a small liberal arts school increase the number of males in the classroom? Easy. Start a football team.

The Washington Post reports this morning that Stevenson University in Stevenson, Maryland, spent $500,000 to start a football team and soon had 130 extra men on campus, raising the percentage of males on campus from 34 to 39 percent.

• A new study finds higher levels of fructose in soft drinks than previously believed. The high levels of fructose were found in fountain drinks sold at Los Angeles area fast food restaurants.

• Great story in the Des Moines Register about what it means to have good neighbors.

Dan Pillar tells of Mark Brown (above), who died when his combine caught fire in the middle of harvest. The phones started ringing around Anita, Iowa, after the tragedy and neighbors rallied to finish the harvest on the Brown’s 1,400 acres of corn.

“It’s what farmers always do,” said Nancy Brown, Mark Brown’s widow.

• Navajos in Arizona are questioning their large commitment to coal, according to the Washington Post.

The tribe is holding its election next week and an environmentalist is running for vice president. Earl Tulley is talking about the cost of coal. Air quality is suffering in the area because of a coal-fired power plant, and ground water is diminishing as a coal slurry system is putting a strain on supplies.

• What happens to rural programs and legislation is the Republicans retake the House?

The Delta Farm Press says “not much is expected in the House Agriculture Committee where Oklahoma Republican Frank Lucas would replace Minnesota Democrat Collin Peterson as chairman. Peterson and Lucas worked closely together to pass the 2008 farm bill. The bigger impact could come in the House itself where numerous candidates are running on promises to reduce federal spending and trim the size of government and on the Senate Agriculture Committee where the current chairman, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, is in the political fight for her life.”

“It seems to go without saying that all the candidates who are running on downsizing the government are going to have to look to areas like farm programs to make good on their promises,” said one agricultural economist at a major land-grant university.

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