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Fair Food Network starts SNAP fresh produce program with grocery stores in Michigan


August 19, 2014 | Five years ago when food activist Oran Hesterman started the “Double Up Food Bucks” experiment in Michigan to increase the fruit and vegetable purchasing power of food stamp beneficiaries at farmers markets, a lot of people thought the idea might be too complicated to work. …

NFU withdraws from beef checkoff working group


August 19, 2014 | The National Farmers Union has withdrawn from the working group that has been struggling to reach consensus on changes to the beef checkoff program, The Hagstrom Report has learned. …

Cornucopia Institute publishes NOSB scorecard


August 19, 2014 | The Cornucopia Institute has published a scorecard on how members of the National Organic Standards Board has voted on key issues. The scorecard tells how members have voted in relationship to Cornucopia’s stands. …

Coalition urges oil and gas to help protect sage grouse


August 19, 2014 | A coalition of environmental and farm groups today sent a letter to Western Energy Alliance, an oil and gas trade group, taking issue with the alliance's statements that environmental groups want to shut down the western economy by listing the greater sage grouse as an endangered species. …

Hartman Group: Private-label products growing


August 19, 2014 | Private-label food products — those sold in grocery stores as products of the store usually at a cheaper price than well known brand names — continue to proliferate but their growth potential varies dramatically, according to a study released by The Hartman Group, a Bellevue-Wash., consumer research organization. …

Feed industry associations says link to PEDv is unclear


August 19, 2014 | The link between animal feed and porcine epidemic diarrhea virus revealed by researchers is unclear, an official of the American Feed Industry Association said late Monday. …

EU announces support for growers hurt by Russian ban


August 19, 2014 | COPA-COEGA, the largest European farm and co-op group, today thanked the European Commission for introducing measures to help growers of perishable fruits and vegetables hurt by Russia’s ban on their products. …

USDA announces Farm for Progress grants


August 19, 2014 | The Agriculture Department today announced $127 million in Food for Progress funding in developing countries. …

National Research Council invites critics to three-day meeting on genetically modified crops


August 18, 2014 | The National Research Council has scheduled a three-day semi-public meeting in mid-September on the “concepts and questions” surrounding genetically-engineered crops that will include testimony from severe critics of the technology. …

USDA reviewing advisory panel guidance


August 18, 2014 | Agriculture Department officials are reviewing the guidance from the Office of Management and Budget that federal advisory panels can be reopened to registered federal lobbyists, but have not made any decision on how to reopen the panels, an Agriculture Department spokesperson told The Hagstrom Report over the weekend. …

USDA releases updated cost of raising a child


August 18, 2014 | For middle-income families, the cost of raising a child born in 2013 until age 18 is $245,340, according to the Agriculture Department’s “Expenditures on Children and Families” report released today. …

Farmland values up in Fed’s 11th District


August 18, 2014 | Farmland values in the 11th Federal Reserve District are higher than last year, according to the second quarter survey of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. …

Study: Feed spreads pig virus


August 18, 2014 | Contaminated feed spreads the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus known as PEDv, according to a peer-reviewed study, The Des Moines Register and Reuters reported over the weekend. …

NASDA comments on EPA worker pesticide standards


August 18, 2014 | The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency Friday that EPA’s proposed updating of the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard regulation would “miss the mark by placing unnecessary burdens on state regulatory agencies and the regulated community, without providing additional appreciable protections for workers.” …

Farm Bureau, Pork Producers ask court to stop EPA from FOIA data releases


August 18, 2014 | The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Pork Producers Council have asked the U.S. District Court for Minnesota to bar the Environmental Protection Agency from disclosing farmers’ and ranchers' personal information in response to requests under the Freedom of Information Act. …

Will surplus, low prices, food processor pressures force farmers to change crops, how they grow them?


August 15, 2014 | The Agriculture Department’s forecasts this week of record crops and low commodity prices plus reports that packaged food sales are flat and that more companies have committed to Oxfam’s sustainability goals are raising the questions of whether farmers will have to change some of their crop choices and practices in order to satisfy their customers and make a profit. …

Soybean, corn growers discount EWG report


August 15, 2014 | The American Soybean Association and the National Corn Growers Association are discounting a report by the Environment Working Group Thursday that children who go to school within 20 feet of a corn or soybean field will be in danger if the Environmental Protection Agency approves a new herbicide. …

DeLauro praises FSIS traceback proposal on ground beef


August 15, 2014 | The Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service Thursday proposed new traceback procedures when it or another federal or state agency finds raw ground beef or bench trim that tests positive for Escherichia coli O157:H7. …

Regional Federal Reserve banks issue reports


August 15, 2014 | The Chicago, Kansas City and St. Louis Federal Reserve banks all issued quarterly reports on the agricultural sector this week. …

Fish and Wildlife seeks yellow-billed cuckoo protection


August 15, 2014 | The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a division of the Interior Department, proposed Thursday the designation of 546,335 acres of streamside habitat as critical to the survival of the yellow-billed cuckoo, a songbird. …

McDaniel seeks win over Cochran in court


August 15, 2014 | Chris McDaniel, the challenger to Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Thad Cochran, R-Miss., has asked a court to throw out 25,000 votes in their runoff election and declare him the winner of the race, reported The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson. …

National Milk hires Detlefsen from IDFA


August 15, 2014 | The National Milk Producers Federation has hired Clay Detlefsen as senior vice president for regulatory and environmental affairs. …

National Corn Growers Association hires Myers


August 15, 2014 | The National Corn Growers Association has hired Jennifer Myers as communications manager, based in the Washington office. NCGA is based in St. Louis. …

Sugar Association hires Gaine


August 15, 2014 | The Sugar Association has hired Courtney Gaine as vice president of scientific affairs. …

Crop insurers do not have position on APH update


August 14, 2014 | The crop insurance companies that do business with the federal government do not have a position on whether the Agriculture Department should make it possible for farmers to update their actual production history (APH) quickly, The Hagstrom Report has learned. …

Farm Policy Facts releases interactive map


August 14, 2014 | Farm Policy Facts has released an interactive map for each state that provides basic facts about that state’s number of farms, farm receipts, acres in farmland, farm receipts and crop insurance statistics. …

NYT: Native population rates in South vary dramatically


August 14, 2014 | The percentage of native population and the migration patterns from other states and countries vary dramatically in the Southern states and go a long way in explaining their politics today, The New York Times reported today. …

Pork producers fight Japan ‘gate price’ in TPP talks


August 14, 2014 | The National Pork Producers Council said today that U.S. trade negotiators should insist in the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations that Japan get rid of its “gate price” system. …

National Rural Electric Co-op hires Jan Ahlen


August 14, 2014 | The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association has hired Jan Ahlen as its regulatory advocate. …

Crop insurers do not have position on APH update


August 13, 2014 | The crop insurance companies that do business with the federal government do not have a position on whether the Agriculture Department should make it possible for farmers to update their actual production history (APH) quickly, The Hagstrom Report has learned. ...

Farm Policy Facts releases interactive map


August 13, 2014 | Farm Policy Facts has released an interactive map for each state that provides basic facts about that state’s number of farms, farm receipts, acres in farmland, farm receipts and crop insurance statistics. ...

Pork producers fight Japan ‘gate price’ in TPP talks


August 13, 2014 | The National Pork Producers Council said today that U.S. trade negotiators should insist in the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations that Japan get rid of its “gate price” system. ...

NYT: Native population rates in South vary dramatically


August 13, 2014 | The percentage of native population and the migration patterns from other states and countries vary dramatically in the Southern states and go a long way in explaining their politics today, The New York Times reported today. ...

National Rural Electric Co-op hires Jan Ahlen


August 13, 2014 | The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association has hired Jan Ahlen as its regulatory advocate. ...

White House hosts ‘virtual’ kitchen garden field trip today


August 13, 2014 | White House Chef Chris Comerford will host a virtual Maker Camp field trip to First Lady Michelle Obama’s White House garden today at 2 p.m. EDT. …

European sugar growers fear sugar, ethanol in TTIP


August 13, 2014 | STOWE, Vt. — European sugar growers, manufacturers and refiners fear there could be sugar imports from the combined U.S.-Mexican market if sugar is brought up in the Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations, and also don’t want ethanol to be brought up, a key European sugar executive said here last week during a trade discussion at the American Sugar Alliance International Sweetener Symposium. …

USDA announces $6 million available for rural nonprofits


August 13, 2014 | Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA is seeking applications for grants to provide financial and technical assistance to housing, community facility and community and economic development projects. …

USDA establishing higher ed center for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers


August 13, 2014 | The Agriculture Department will sponsor the establishment of a Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center at an 1870 land-grant college or university. …

Environmental Defense Fund launches ag blog


August 13, 2014 | The Environmental Defense Fund today launched an agricultural blog called Growing Returns that the groups says will show “we can meet growing demands for food in ways that improve the natural systems that sustain us.” …

Obama administration to ease lobbyist rules


August 13, 2014 | The Obama administration will make it easier for lobbyists to serve on the administration’s advisory panels, according to a Federal Register notice published today. …

‘Aunt Jemima’ descendants sue over image


August 13, 2014 | The descendants of an actress who portrayed Aunt Jemima for the syrup brand have filed a lawsuit claiming $2 billion in royalties as the brand tries to modernize its image, Fortune reported. …