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Beard Foundation seeks sponsors and programming for USA Pavilion at food-focused Expo Milano 2015


January 23, 2014 | Imagine a world’s fair where everyone in American agriculture could explain what they do to an audience from around the world. That place will exist at the USA Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 from May 1 to October 31. The expo in Milan, Italy, with the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” is a world’s fair that will cover technology, innovation, culture, traditions and creativity and how they relate to food and diet as the world’s population grows. ...

USDA awards rural development loans


January 23, 2014 | Agriculture Undersecretary for Rural Development Lisa Mensah today announced five awards to expand access to credit for rural businesses, particularly small businesses in poor and underserved areas. ...

NASS releases variety of farm congressional rankings


January 23, 2014 | The Agriculture Department’s National Agricultural Statistics Service on Thursday released the 2012 Census of Agriculture rankings of congressional districts. ...

House Ag Committee to take up CFTC soon


January 23, 2014 | Ihe House Agriculture Committee will try to finish a bill to reauthorize the Commodity Futures Trading Commission “as early in April as we can,” House Agriculture Chairman Michael Conaway, R-Texas, told reporters Thursday. ...

Houston Chronicle: Vilsack promotes TPP in Texas


January 23, 2014 | Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a way to counter the power of China during a trip to Houston Thursday, the Houston Chronicle reported. ...

The Hill: Democrats at war over TPA


January 23, 2014 | Dozens of House Democrats are on a collision course with President Barack Obama over his request for trade promotion authority, also known as fast-track trade negotiating authority, while Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzer said that other “dozens” of Democratic legislators support granting the authority to the president, The Hill Online reported in two stories Thursday. ...

Battle over sugar suspension agreements continues


January 23, 2014 | Imperial Sugar Company and AmCane Sugar, two U.S. refiners that rely on imported raw sugar, have taken the second step in their fight to kill the settlements reached in December to suspend the antidumping and countervailing duty cases against Mexican sugar imports, Inside U.S. Trade reported today. ...

Conaway, Peterson highlight characteristics of new House Ag Committee members


January 22, 2014 | House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, R-Texas, and ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., today highlighted the characteristics of the eight new Republican and six new Democratic members at the committee’s organizational meeting. …

Budget instructions could alter SNAP review plan, Conaway says


House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, R-Texas, told reporters today that his plans to undertake a “full-scale review” of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program without “prejudging the outcome” could be altered if he receives budget instructions from the leadership before that review is finished. …

New study debunks impact of COOL as opponents ask Congress to act


January 22, 2014 | January 22, 2014 | The National Farmers Union today released a study that says reductions in Canadian and Mexican exports of cattle to the United States are due to factors other than the country-of-origin labeling program, and that Canadian cattlemen have not suffered $1 billion per year in losses, as they have claimed. …

Branstad announces ‘presidential campaign’ for ethanol industry in Iowa


January 22, 2014 | Iowa Governor Terry Branstad today announced a bipartisan campaign to promote the Renewable Fuel Standard in the 2016 Iowa presidential caucuses. …

Durbin, Feinstein, Gillibrand applaud poultry standard as National Chicken Council reviews it


January 22, 2014 | Democrat Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Dianne Feinstein of California and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York today applauded the new pathogen standards for salmonella and campylobacter in chicken and turkey, while the National Chicken Council said “We look forward to reviewing the proposed new federal standards in their entirety and providing comments to the agency.” …

House Ways and Means, Senate Finance set trade hearings


January 22, 2014 | House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., announced Wednesday that the committee will hold a hearing on the U.S. trade policy agenda with testimony from Trade Representative Michael Froman next Tuesday. …

Seattle study shows menu labeling increases awareness


January 22, 2014 | A study of calorie labeling on menus in chain restaurants in Seattle showed that while it increases awareness of the calories in foods, awareness is heightened more among white, highly educated, wealthier people than other groups, the American Journal of Public Health reported this week. …

ARS ‘looking into’ Nebraska livestock center; Humane Society seeks end to taxpayer-funded research


January 21, 2014 | The Agriculture Department's Agricultural Research Service said today that it is ”looking into” the conditions at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Nebraska, which was the subject of an article in The New York Times on Monday. …

Moran to chair Senate Ag Approps


January 21, 2014 | Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., will chair the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran, R-Miss., announced Wednesday. …

Peterson announces 19 Democratic members on House Ag


January 21, 2014 | House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., announced today that 19 Democrats will serve on the House Agriculture Committee in the 114th Congress, two fewer than in the 113th. …

Obama administration begins TPA push


January 21, 2014 | President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union speech Tuesday night at the Capitol. (White House)
After President Barack Obama asked Congress in his State of the Union address to grant him trade promotion authority, the administration has begun a push to convince Democrats to support it, even as Democratic House members who oppose it began their own campaign to convince other members to join them. …

NCGA, Farm Bureau, NFU support Cuba liberalization


January 21, 2014 | The National Corn Growers Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union all issued statements in favor of President Barack Obama’s notice in the State of the Union message that the United States will pursue normal diplomatic relations with Cuba. …

USDA proposes tougher ground poultry standards


January 21, 2014 | The Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service today proposed tougher federal standards to reduce salmonella and campylobacter bacteria in ground chicken and turkey products as well as raw chicken breasts, legs and wings. …

Senate Ag to hold organizational meeting


January 21, 2014 | The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a business meeting on Wednesday to welcome new members and approve the committee funding resolution, committee rules and subcommittee assignments, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., announced today. …

First Lady reads to children about eating healthy


January 21, 2014 | In a demonstration of the Obama administration’s continuing commitment to promoting healthier eating, First Lady Michelle Obama today invited school children to the White House where she read to them about “staying healthy” from a new version of a Dr. Seuss book. …

SupermarketGuru says everyone wants fresh, talks trends in all food sectors


January 20, 2014 | LA QUINTA, Calif. — All sectors of the food industry want to create for themselves the image of freshness that the fruit and vegetable industry has had for decades, Phil Lempert, author of the SupermarketGuru newsletter, told the United Fresh Produce Association last week at this resort near Palm Springs. …

United Fresh updates logo, website, issues


January 20, 2014 | LA QUINTA, Calif. — The United Fresh Produce Association has updated its logo and website while establishing its national policy agenda for 2015, CEO Tom Stenzel told industry executives of member companies at its leadership forum here last week. …

White House promotes State of the Union


January 20, 2014 | With President Barack Obama’s performance rising in the polls as he prepares to give the State of the Union address tonight to a Congress controlled by Republicans in both chambers, the White House has launched its promotion of the address, giving hints of what might be in it. …

First Lady to read from ‘healthier’ Dr. Seuss


January 20, 2014 | On Wednesday, the morning after the State of the Union address, First Lady Michelle Obama will host local students in the East Room for a special reading of “Oh, The Things You Can Do That Are Good for You: All About Staying Healthy.” …

Study: Recess before lunch increases fruit and vegetable consumption, reduces waste


January 20, 2014 | Holding grade school recess before lunch rather than after is significantly more effective at encouraging fruit and vegetable consumption than simply requiring students to take a fruit or vegetable with their lunch and fewer children throw food away, Cornell University and Brigham Young University have concluded in a joint study. …

Youth pizza consumption should be limited, study says


January 20, 2014 | Children and adolescents get too much saturated fat and sodium from pizza and their consumption of it should be limited, according to a study in the journal Pediatrics released Monday. …

Durbin, DeLauro to introduce single food safety bill


January 20, 2014 | Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., announced Monday that he and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., will introduce a bill to establish a single food safety agency. …

Ethanol groups criticize Feinstein-Toomey-Flake ethanol repeal amendment


January 20, 2014 | Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., last week introduced an amendment to the Keystone pipeline bill to repeal the corn ethanol mandate, but pro-ethanol groups called the amendment a rehash of previously introduced and failed legislation. …

Stabenow, Leahy, Durbin, others travel to Cuba


January 20, 2014 | Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., a former chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, led a Democratic delegation to Cuba this weekend, The New York Times reported on Saturday. …