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Peterson expects House Republicans to cut conservation programs to pay for disaster aid

House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said this evening that he expects the House Republican leadership to cut conservation programs to fund disaster aid for livestock producers and possibly fruit and vegetable growers hurt by the drought. The House is expected to vote on a disaster aid program, probably on Thursday. Read More...

House leadership pulls farm bill extension; disaster aid to be considered separately

The House leadership has just pulled the bill that would have extended the 2008 farm bill for one year and provided disaster aid. The House will take up a separate disaster aid package on Thursday. Offsets for that aid are not known. Read More...

Most ag groups oppose farm bill extension

When House Republican leaders begin trying on Tuesday to assess support for their bill to extend most of the 2008 farm bill with disaster aid attached, they will not find much support among farm, conservation or rural development groups, while most nutrition groups appear neutral. In fact, the prospect of an extension bill seems to have rallied support for a five-year farm bill. Read More...

Lucas says one year extension would be ‘orderly;’ Peterson, groups oppose extension

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., signaled over the weekend that he favors extending most of the 2008 farm bill for one year along with disaster aid in the package that the House will consider this week, while still writing a new farm bill that would apparently begin a year later than expected. Read More...

Stabenow says Senate will reject House extension bill

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said over the weekend that if the House passes the extension bill the Senate will reject it, Agweek, a Grand Forks, N.D., publication reported. Read More...

House Rules posts farm bill extension bill, CBO preliminary score revealed

The House Rules Committee late Friday posted the text of the bill to extend the 2008 farm bill for one year, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., listed it among the bills to be considered on the suspension calendar between Wednesday and Friday, the day the House will leave for its August recess and the political party nomination conventions. Read More...

Peterson takes stand against farm bill extension; National Corn Growers, NSAC agree

House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., speaking in response to the House decision to take up a one-year extension of the 2008 farm bill, said he has not received assurances the move will lead to a new five-year bill, while the National Corn Growers Association and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition added their voices to those opposing an extension. Read More...

Vilsack chairs Rural Council meeting on drought

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, right center, chaired a meeting of the White House Rural Council at the Executive Office Building in Washington today to update members and stakeholders on the administration’s response to the drought and to find ways to assist famers and ranchers suffering in its affects. Read More...

House Rules to discuss farm bill extension, disaster aid package on Tuesday

The House Rules Committee has announced it will take up the farm bill extension/disaster aid bill on Tuesday, and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., has issued a statement on the bill and how the disaster aid will be paid for. Read More...

Next question: The rule on the farm bill extension

House leaders have not yet figured out what kind of rule on amendments will govern debate on the bill to extend the 2008 farm bill and provide disaster aid for livestock producers and specialty crop growers that is expected to come up next week. Read More...

First lady hosts ‘Let’s Move’ event for British, U.S. kids

First Lady Michelle Obama emphasized exercise as she greeted 1,000 American and British children at a “Let’s Move” event at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in London today. Read More...

Senate Ag holds hearing on hen housing bill

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and members of the United Egg Producers made the case for her bill that would establish a single national standard for the treatment of egg-laying hens and the labeling of eggs, while a Minnesota egg producer said it would put small egg producers out of business. Read More...

California Public Interest Group releases subsidy study

The California Public Interest Group has a released a paper called “Apples to Twinkies 2012” comparing subsidies for corn and soybeans with much smaller subsidies for apples. Read More...

FFA Foundation receives $1 million gift from RFD-TV

Rural television network RFD-TV has given $1 million to the National FFA Foundation that supports FFA, formerly known as Future Farmers of America.
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House to consider farm bill extension next week, to be conferenced with Senate bill in September

A new scenario for passing a farm bill this year emerged today under which the House, with Democratic support, would pass an extension of the 2008 farm bill next week that would include livestock and fruit and vegetable disaster aid, with that bill to be conferenced with the Senate-passed farm bill in September. Read More...

Hagstrom joins food stamps panel Thursday morning on NPR

Hagstrom Report Founder and Executive Editor Jerry Hagstrom will be among the guests discussing the debate over cuts to the food stamp program on the Diane Rehm Show Thursday morning. Read More...

Braley starts farm bill petition discharge process

Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, announced today that he has initiated a discharge petition that if signed by 218 members of the House, would force the leadership to bring up the farm bill before the August recess. Read More...

Farm groups praise bill to prevent child labor rule revision, but child labor advocates denounces it

Farm groups praised House passage Tuesday of a measure that would prevent the Labor Department from revising farm child labor rules. Read More...

USDA does not endorse ‘meatless Mondays’ campaign

The Agriculture Department issued a statement today that it does not support the “Meatless Mondays” campaign after an article encouraging people not to eat meat on Mondays was posted online in a newsletter promoting environmental awareness, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association issued a news release denouncing it. Read More...

House Ag Committee reviews CFTC oversight

Republicans and Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee continued today to spar over whether the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is doing a proper job, as the committee reviewed the implementation of the Dodd-Frank laws and CFTC Commissioner Gary Gensler said the Libor system of determining interest rates has a “structural problem.” Read More...

Stabenow pushes for disaster aid, farm bill; Lucas ponders value of one-year extension

The House should take up the farm bill rather than consider separate disaster aid because farmers need both disaster aid and a farm bill with long-term policy, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said in a call to reporters today. Meanwhile, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., appeared to be leaning toward a one-year extension with disaster aid while still working on the new bill. Read More...

Kingston: Food aid, development advocates need to broaden their campaigns

House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Jack Kingston, R-Ga., said Tuesday that the appropriation for the P.L. 480 Food for Peace Title II program is likely to move closer to the higher Senate proposal for fiscal year 2013. Read More...

Ag leaders to meet with leadership on farm bill and disaster aid

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Senate Agriculture ranking member Pat Roberts, R-Kan., House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., agreed at a meeting last night that they should consult with the House and Senate leadership on how to proceed on the farm bill and disaster aid, Peterson told The Hagstrom Report today. Read More...

Boehner considering farm program extensions while Ag leaders meet on farm bill conference report

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is considering bringing up as early as next week an extension of existing farm programs that would include disaster aid funds to help drought damaged areas, while key farm bill players met this evening to discuss ways to move a House-Senate farm bill conference report in September, The Hagstrom Report and National Journal have learned. Read More...

First lady takes 'Let's Move' to the Olympics

First Lady Michelle Obama announced Monday that she would lead the U.S. delegation to the Olympics in London this week, and tied the trip to her “Let’s Move” initiative to address childhood obesity. Read More...

CSPI letter seeks surgeon general report on soda

The U.S. Surgeon General should issue a report on the health effects of soda and other sugary drinks, a coalition of more than 100 health organizations and individual experts organized by the Center for Science in the Public Interest has written Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Read More...

Crop insurers issue vague statement on Vilsack request

The crop insurance industry was vague Monday in responding to a request by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that companies not charge farmers interest on delayed premium payments due to the drought. Read More...

Merrigan to host virtual office hours today

Today at 1:30 pm EDT, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan will host a live Twitter chat focusing on USDA's support for local and regional food systems and the new version of the online "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" Compass. Read More...

Vilsack announces program changes to deal with drought

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday announced several ways in which conservation programs have been made more flexible to help farmers deal with the drought. Read More...

Report calls for changes, no cuts to SNAP

The Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress’s Health and Medicine program has issued a report, “SNAP to Health: A Fresh Approach to Strengthening the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.” Read More...

Conservative group's ads target Lucas, King, Hartzler; Vilsack calls on House to take up farm bill

The parameters of the debate over why the House leadership is so slow to bring up the farm bill became clearer Monday as a conservative group took out $75,000 in radio advertising urging constituents of House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, and Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., to call upon them to “fix the farm bill.” Read More...

New U.S. ambassador arrives at Rome

David Lane, the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations food agencies in Rome, arrived on Saturday to assume his post, the U.S. mission to the U.N. agencies announced Monday. Read More...

New NIFA head talks bug sex, cooks crickets and promises to preach research gospel

Sonny Ramaswamy, the new director of the Agriculture Department’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, may be the leader the American agricultural research community desperately needs to explain to the American people why agricultural research is vital and to convince state and federal lawmakers to reverse the decline in public agricultural and food research budgets. Read More...

Crickets, other insects could meet global protein needs

Most Americans think of insects as pests, and Sonny Ramaswamy, director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, has spent most of his career trying to reduce their population in crops. But when the land-grant colleges took exhibit space at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington this month, the director of the NIFA gave a demonstration on how to cook curried crickets. Read More...

Hagstrom on C-SPAN Saturday morning

Hagstrom Report Founder and Executive Editor Jerry Hagstrom will be interviewed on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" program on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. EDT. Read More...

Farm bill, drought aid battles continue

Battles over the scheduling of the farm bill in the House and possible drought assistance measures continued today. Read More...

Vilsack, Merrigan, other USDA officials to tour drought areas

In a display of Obama administration concern about the drought and its impact on rural America, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will tour Iowa next week, Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan will visit Georgia, and other officials will visit New Mexico, Texas and Missouri. Read More...

Brown says buy bourbon, end RFS, but ethanol wins in court

Environmentalist Lester Brown, who on Thursday said that USDA has underestimated the decline in the corn harvest, has noted that food and drink prices are likely to go up because so many U.S. food and drink items are based on corn, including bourbon. Read More...

USDA deregulates Roundup Ready sugar beets

The Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on Thursday announced it had determined that a sugar beet variety genetically engineered to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate is not likely to pose a plant pest risk to agricultural crops or other plants or plant products, and deregulated it. Read More...

CRP signup for highly erodible land starts Monday

Highly erodible CRP signup begins Monday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today. Read More...

Senate Ag to hold hearing on egg bill

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., announced today that the committee will hold a hearing next Thursday on the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012. Read More...

Stabenow urges farm groups to lobby House to pass farm bill

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., told the National Corn Growers Association Wednesday that they should lobby House members hard to pass the farm bill, DTN, an Omaha-based news service has reported. Read More...

Crop insurers reassure farmers

National Crop Insurance Services, the crop insurance industry trade group, issued a news release Wednesday to reassure farmers that the industry has enough money on hand to handle any claims in this drought year. Read More...

Noem, Welch lead House members urging farm bill vote

Reps. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., and Peter Welch, D-Vt., are leading a bipartisan group of 62 House members urging House leaders to bring the farm bill to a vote before August, they said in a joint news release today. Read More...

Coalition calls for Renewable Fuels Standard change; ethanol groups fight back hard

A coalition of meat and dairy groups that use corn for feed today called on Congress to change the Renewable Fuels Standard, but the Obama administration and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and corn and ethanol groups are fighting hard against the idea. Read More...

Ag analyst Lester Brown predicts smaller corn crop

Lester Brown, a longtime agriculture analyst, said today that he believes the corn crop will drop much lower than the Agriculture Department has estimated. Read More...

Ohio corn, wheat leader clarifies statements about Boehner farm bill views

The leader of the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers said today that statements he gave The Hagstrom Report Wednesday on poor prospects for passing the farm bill this year were based on conversations with staff from congressional offices other than aides to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. Read More...

Pelosi calls for farm bill action; Boehner says no decision yet

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., urged action on the legislation before the August recess so that a final bill could be signed by President Barack Obama before September 30, but also noted she cannot support the food stamp cut in the House bill. Read More...

First lady adds counties to ‘Let's Move’ anti-obesity program

PHILADELPHIA — Counties have been added to the Obama administration’s “Let's Move” anti-obesity initiative, and county governments that get their citizens to improve their diets and exercise more could be eligible for medals, First Lady Michelle Obama announced here today at an event with a dozen mayors and county supervisors. Read More...

Healthier schools challenge exceeds goals

The Agriculture Department announced this week that 3,717 schools are now certified in the HealthierUS School Challenge, exceeding the goal for an initiative that boosts the health and nutrition of the nation's schoolchildren. Read More...

Boehner aides rebuff corn growers’ call for farm bill action; Lucas and Peterson still sounding optimistic

Noting the severe drought afflicting the Midwest, Ohio corn growers asked aides to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, today to bring the farm bill to the House floor, but the aides did not signal that the bill will come up any time soon, a key Ohio corn grower leader told The Hagstrom Report late today. (See later clarification of this story) Read More...

Vilsack briefs on drought and calls for farm bill passage

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack briefed President Barack Obama on the drought today and then dominated a press briefing with White House press secretary Jay Carney during which he called for passage of a new farm bill that includes disaster assistance. Read More...

House Ag to hold hearing on swaps and futures issues

The House Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on “Oversight of the Swaps and Futures Markets: Recent Events and Impending Regulatory Reform,” Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., announced today. Read More...

Vilsack meets with president on drought, will speak to press

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is meeting with President Barack Obama this morning and will join White House Press Secretary Jay Carney to discuss administration efforts to respond to the drought at the 12:30 p.m. press briefing today, the White House has announced. Read More...

National Agroforestry Center publishes handbook

The Agriculture Department has released an agroforestry handbook that the agency says "contains information to help establish, manage and market agroforestry projects that are profitable and sustainable over time." Read More...

Gensler: CFTC will review self-regulatory groups

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission will review the role of the National Futures Association and other self-regulatory groups that are the first-line regulators of the commodities and futures industry, in light of their failure to detect problems at Peregrine Financial Group and MF Global, CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler told the Senate Agriculture Committee. Read More...

Farmers Union supports disaster aid extension legislation

The National Farmers Union board today passed a resolution supporting legislation to extend for one year the disaster programs for crops and livestock producers that were in the 2008 farm bill, but have expired. Read More...

House farm bill critics express their concerns

The most severe critics of the House farm bill held a news conference today to express their concerns about the bill.
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USDA updates online 'Know Your Farmer Compass'

The Agriculture Department today released an updated version of its online “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass.” Read More...

Report details lobbyist spending on 2008 farm bill

Food & Water Watch today released a detailed analysis of the lobby expenditures surrounding the 2008 farm bill. Read More...

Scuse, other USDA officials to tour drought areas to push farm bill

In a signal of the high priority the Obama administration is placing on passage of a new farm bill that includes disaster assistance — and of the issue’s potential significance in the elections this fall — Agriculture Undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse today canceled plans to travel to Brazil for negotiations on the cotton issue to begin a tour of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana to observe weather-related problems and encourage Congress to restore disaster assistance by passing the farm bill. Read More...

Farm groups ask House leaders for farm bill floor time

Forty-six national farm, commodity, financial, conservation, rural, religious and research organizations wrote House leaders on Friday urging them to schedule floor time for consideration of the farm bill so that it can be enacted before the 2008 farm bill expires on Sept. 30. Read More...

Merrigan, White House official to host local food event

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan and Jon Carson, the White House director of public engagement, will host an online discussion on Tuesday to highlight efforts to strengthen local and regional food systems. Read More...

Pork, beef producers praise EPA decision on reporting

The National Pork Producers Council and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association have praised the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to withdraw its proposal to require more reporting on confined animal feeding operations. Read More...

Vilsack criticizes SNAP cut

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Thursday that the proposed cut to the supplemental nutrition assistance program better known as SNAP or food stamps was “unfortunate” and that the Obama administration, which has proposed no cuts to nutrition programs, will continue to seek policy solutions that are consistent with President Barack Obama’s budget. Read More...

How they voted on the farm bill

Thirty-five members of the House Agriculture Committee voted to approve the farm bill early Thursday, but 11 voted against it. Read More...

House Ag Committee posts adopted farm bill amendments

The House Agriculture Committee has posted all the amendments that were adopted at the markup of the farm bill on Wednesday and early Thursday, as well as the video of the markup. Read More...

Senate bill would extend ag disaster programs; drought could change farm bill, election politics

In what would appear to be the equivalent of an ad hoc disaster program and a signal that the drought may change the politics of both the farm bill and the election season, Democratic Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester of Montana, Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Tim Johnson of South Dakota Thursday introduced legislation to provide a one-year extension of the agriculture disaster assistance programs that were in the 2008 farm bill but expired at the end of the 2011 fiscal year. Read More...

USDA announces new political appointee changes

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that Leigh Allen, an appointee in the Risk Management Agency, will begin a detail as a confidential assistant in the Farm Service Agency. Read More...

Grain industry alarmed by Peregrine failure to segregate customer funds

The National Grain and Feed Association said this week that it is was “extremely alarmed” by reports that the Peregrine Financial Group Inc. failed to segregate customer funds, and said it would work with Congress and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on new regulations to avoid the problem in the future. Read More...

No farm bill floor plans from Boehner or Cantor

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, refused to guarantee that the farm bill will get floor time, and a spokeswoman for Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., also did not discuss floor time in a statement, National Journal Daily reported Thursday. Read More...

Zeigler new executive director of Global Harvest Initiative

The Global Harvest Initiative, a collaboration among DuPont, Elanco, IBM, John Deere and Monsanto on global food security, has hired Margaret Zeigler as its new executive director. Read More...

Stabenow: House leaders must act to get bill passed

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., today applauded House Agricultural Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., for their achievement in passing the farm bill out of committee, and called on the House leadership to bring the bill to the floor for consideration to keep Congress on track for passing a bill before September 30. Read More...

Lucas ‘overjoyed’ at committee approval, Peterson calls for floor action

“I’m just overjoyed the bill is done in committee at this moment,” House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., told reporters early this morning after the committee approved the farm bill on a roll call vote of 35 to 11. Both the majority in favor of the bill and the minority in opposition were bipartisan. Read More...

House Ag passes farm bill

The House Agriculture Committee early today passed the farm bill on a vote of 35 to 11. Read More...

House Ag passes state trade, COOL amendments, rejects USDA catfish inspection repeal

The House Agriculture Committee late tonight passed controversial amendments that would make it illegal for states to stop the movement of agricultural products from other states even if they violate their standards and that would require the Agriculture Department to submit a report on the implementation of the World Trade Organization on country-of-origin labeling. Read More...

House farm bill nutrition, credit titles closed

In a key vote, the House Agriculture Committee has rejected by a vote of 13 to 33 an amendment offered by Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., to cut $33 billion from the food stamp program, the full amount that the committee would have cut if it had followed reconciliation instructions. Read More...

House Ag rejects elimination of food stamp cut

The House Agriculture Committee has rejected an amendment offered by Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., to eliminate the food stamp cut in the House farm bill draft. The House bill would cut $16.5 billion over 10 years from the program. Read More...

Commodity, conservation, trade titles closed

After adopting an amendment related to Farm Service Agency county offices proposed by Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., noted that there were no more amendments dealing with the commodity title, and closed it. Read More...

Goodlatte sugar amendment defeated

The House Agriculture Committee today rejected a farm bill amendment to change the sugar program by a vote of 36 to 10. Read More...

House Ag rejects dairy margin insurance amendment

The House Agriculture Committee has rejected with a 29-17 vote an amendment to the dairy title of the farm bill to eliminate dairy market stabilization program in favor of a margin insurance program. Read More...

More than 100 amendments filed to House farm bill

At least 101 amendments have been filed on the House farm bill before the markup that starts today, but amendments that are not germane to the core bill will not be considered, a House Agriculture Committee aide said early today as the markup was about to begin in the Longworth House Office Building committee room. Read More...

House Ag markup of farm bill begins Wednesday morning

The House Agriculture Committee will begin markup of a new farm bill at 10 a.m. Wednesday amidst speculation that there will be fewer amendments than expected and that the bill may not go to the House floor until after conference with the Senate. Read More...

DuPont, Economist release 2012 Food Security Index

DuPont and the Economist Intelligence Unit today released a global food security index designed to help policymakers understand food security issues in various countries and the problems those countries experience. Read More...

GMA fighting California GMO labeling initiative

Grocery Manufacturers Association President and CEO Pamela Bailey said today that she is organizing an effort to defeat the California initiative that would require labeling of foods derived from genetically modified products, saying she considers it to be “a serious, long term threat to the viability of agricultural biotechnology.” Read More...

Stabenow announces Dodd-Frank hearings

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., announced today that her committee will hold hearings on the implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform act on July 17 and August 1. Read More...

Food and Agriculture at Aspen Ideas Festival

ASPEN, Colo. — If anyone still thought that the nation’s elite is uninterested in issues of food and agriculture, that idea was dispelled at this year’s Aspen Ideas Festival, the annual gathering here of international intellectuals and leaders to explore the ideals and ideas that define a good society. Read More...

Glickman: Constituency needed for ag development

ASPEN, Colo. — Advocates for agricultural development in Third World countries need to develop a constituency for supporting those programs in Congress, former Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman warned here during the Aspen Ideas Festival. Read More...

Young panelists discuss food and society of the future

ASPEN, Colo. — What are some of the nation’s most visionary young academic thinkers studying agriculture? Who are they? How food changes the organization of society, how computers are affecting food production and how food fits into the understanding of cities are some of the current hot topics, according to several rising academic leaders brought to the Aspen Ideas Festival for a panel called “Dispatches from the future: work, food and cities.” Read More...

Next Food Inc. previewed at Aspen

ASPEN, Colo. — A new film on hunger in America that the producers hope will have the impact of “Food, Inc.” was previewed here for attendees of the Aspen Ideas Festival, as former Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman said it is bound to be controversial. Read More...

'Let's be Frank' provides grass-fed hot dogs

ASPEN, Colo. — Aspen Ideas Festival attendees had two meals per day — breakfast and lunch — included with their registrations, but the heart-healthy salads served in tents did not seem as popular as the hot dogs served from carts by “Let’s be Frank,” the California-based purveyor of hot dogs made from grass-fed beef that have become a tradition at the festival. Read More...

Lucas: Texas A&M study supports House Ag's bill

Texas A&M University today has released a detailed comparison of the commodity titles of the Senate and House farm bills and their impact on representative farms. Read More...

House Ag Committee bill raises some target prices

A chart comparing the target prices in the 2008 farm bill, the farm bill proposal that was sent to the joint supercommittee on deficit reduction in December, and the House farm bill discussion draft reveals that House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., substantially raised the target prices for barley, sorghum, minor oilseeds, lentils and chickpeas in the latest draft, compared with the December proposal. Read More...

Farm groups call for bill consideration

The American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union and 75 other farm and agriculture groups sent House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., a letter today urging committee members to pass a bill at the committee's markup this week and move it to the House floor. Read More...

Reaction pro and con to House Agriculture farm bill

Reaction to the proposed House Agriculture Committee farm bill that would reduce food stamps more than the Senate-passed bill and include a target price program not in the Senate bill is following predictable ideological and regional lines, although some farm groups did not issue immediate reactions to the draft bill’s release late Thursday. Read More...

Stabenow, Conaway, Grassley show ideological range

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., praised House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., for moving forward with the farm bill while expressing concern over the size of the food stamp cut, while House Agriculture General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee Chairman Michael Conaway, R-Texas, spraised the food stamp cut, but said he would have preferred the bill leave out the basic Senate commodity program. Read More...

Sugar growers, NFU, CoBank back sugar program

The American Sugar Alliance, which represents cane and beet growers, praised the House Agriculture Committee farm bill for continuing the current sugar program, which it noted is operated at no cost to taxpayers. The group acknowledged that Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., is expected to introduce an amendment to make changes to the program. Read More...

WTO issues cotton report

Development assistance since 2005 for cotton producers, mainly in Africa, is approaching $400 million, World Trade Organization members heard last week. Read More...

CBO releases score of House Ag farm bill

The Congressional Budget Office has released its score of the House Agriculture Committee's proposed 2012 farm bill. See link below. Read More...

House Ag releases its farm bill draft

The House Agriculture Committee today released a discussion draft and summary of the proposed 2012 farm bill, which may be found at the link below. Read More...

House Ag likely to release bill today or Friday

The House Agriculture Committee is likely to release its farm bill draft late today or Friday, sources have told The Hagstrom Report. Read More...

Agency cooperation keeps dunes sagebrush lizard off ESA list

The Interior Department’s recent announcement that the dunes sagebrush lizard will not need to be listed under the Endangered Species Act is due to landowner conservation agreements and cooperation between Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Agriculture Department’s Natural Resources Conservation Service under the Obama administration, officials have told The Hagstrom Report. Read More...

GAO to Congress: reconsider direct payments

Although both the Senate and the House are expected to end the direct payment program in the next farm bill, the Government Accountability Office has only recently released a report saying that Congress should reconsider the direct payments. Read More...

NGFA urges bankruptcy code changes after MF Global

The National Grain and Feed Association this week sent Congress and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission a letter making new recommendations for amending the bankruptcy code and taking other steps to protect customer funds in the event of a future MF Global-type liquidation of a futures commission merchant. Read More...

Goodlatte expected to propose sugar amendment

Twenty-two sweetener user, environmental and taxpayer groups have written members of the House Agriculture Committee to urge support for a farm bill amendment to make changes to the sugar program. Read More...

Chicago Council issues farm bill report

Congress should reduce overall farm bill spending, preserve the nutrition safety net and increase agricultural research, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs said in a white paper on the farm bill issued recently. Read More...

Congress, USDA spar over white potatoes

A year after the potato industry convinced Congress to pass a law that the Agriculture Department could not limit the amount of white potatoes children are served in school meals, members of Congress are once again pushing USDA to buy more of the starchy vegetable for children. Read More...

U.S. Cattlemen's group optimistic about COOL

A cattle group that strongly supports country-of-origin labeling for red meat is more optimistic than other supporters about the continuation of meaningful labeling followed a mixed World Trade Organization ruling on the legality of the COOL program under international trade law. Read More...

Peterson: House farm bill ‘settled’

The final details of the House farm bill were “settled” in the House Agriculture Committee last Thursday and the details should be released by the end of the week before a markup next Wednesday, House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said on Saturday, according to a report in the Fargo, N.D., Forum. Read More...

Vilsack: CCC to make innovative biofuels cost effective

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today that he has decided to use the Commodity Credit Corporation to reduce the cost of the feedstocks that the military and the commercial aviation industry will use to pursue new innovations in biofuels technologies and increase production of biofuels. Read More...