The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens

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Vilsack to House: Pass farm bill by September 30

Citing the need for disaster aid programs, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today called on the House leadership to move the farm bill so that a conference report on the bill can be sent to President Barack Obama by Sept. 30, the date the current farm bill expires. Read More...

National land grant colleges on display at Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the Mall

Professors and students from land grant colleges throughout the country have come to Washington to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the land grant system by participating in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall, being held through Sunday and again July 4 – 8. Read More...

Wholesome Wave says court ruling will prevent illness

Michel Nischan, president and CEO of Wholesome Wave, a group that promotes consumption of healthy food among low income people, issued a statement in support of the court ruling. Read More...

FMI, Western Growers comment on Obamacare ruling

The Food Marketing Institute said in a statement to its members today that it will help members comply with the health care reform law, while Western Growers said it would continue its plans, but noted that undocumented workers are not covered under the law. Read More...

WTO issues split ruling on country-of-origin labeling

The World Trade Organization appellate body split ruling today in the country-of-origin-labeling (COOL) dispute between the United States and Canada and Mexico provoked a variety of responses. Read More...

Congressional ball teams get 'sustainable' hardwood bats

At tonight’s congressional baseball game between Republicans and Democrats, both parties will get warmed up practicing with “sustainable” bats made from U.S. maple, emblazoned with the slogan: “American Hardwoods: Legal and Sustainable,” the Hardwood Federation said today. Read More...

Labor seeks bids for project to reduce child labor in imported ag products

The Labor Department announced today it would solicit bids to implement a $5 million cooperative agreement to pilot test Agriculture Department guidelines to reduce child labor and forced labor in imported agricultural products. Read More...

Like country, ag groups split on health care ruling

The National Farmers Union and the American Farm Bureau Federation reacted along ideological lines today to the Supreme Court’s decision that President Barack Obama’s health care plan is constitutional, while the National Restaurant Association called for its repeal. Read More...

House Ag approps unlikely on floor this week, maybe never

The House appears “highly unlikely” to take up the fiscal year 2013 Agriculture appropriations bill this week, an aide to a key member of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee said today. Read More...

Peterson Farm Brothers ag music video goes viral

Into the midst of the usually dreary, boring and unsuccessful attempts to communicate a positive message about conventional agriculture to the urban masses has come a music video from three Kansas farm brothers. Read More...

Zoellick going to Peterson Institute, Harvard

Outgoing World Bank President Robert Zoellick will become the first distinguished visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics when his term as head of the bank ends this week, the institute announced today. Read More...

Irish ag minister urges adoption of BSE rule

Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney today thanked Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for the Obama administration’s decision to move forward with a comprehensive rule on bovine spongiform encephalopathy, better known as BSE or mad cow disease, because that rule would lead to U.S. imports of European beef, an Irish Embassy official has told The Hagstrom Report. Read More...

Gutter named deputy undersecretary, Nelson leaving FSA post

Agriculture Undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse announced several changes of personnel today: Read More...

Farmers and Ranchers Alliance seeks star farmers

The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, the public relations effort funded by checkoff programs and chaired by American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman, is conducting a search for ranchers and farmers to be spokespersons for the group. Read More...

United Fresh: Supreme Court decision means more labor instability

The Supreme Court’s ruling on Arizona’s immigration law released Monday “will likely lead to even greater labor force instability for produce industry employers in Arizona and other states that have similar immigration laws,” the United Fresh Produce Association said today. Read More...

House Ag approps uncertainty won’t affect farm bill markup

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., delayed committee markup of the farm bill until July 11 in anticipation of the fiscal year 2013 Agriculture appropriations bill being on the floor this week, and is apparently planning to stick to that schedule, even though the timing of floor consideration of the appropriations bill is now uncertain. Read More...

Farm leaders call for congressional action in wake of immigration ruling

Key farm groups dependent on immigrant labor said the Supreme Court’s decision on immigration today once again demonstrates the need for comprehensive immigration reform. Read More...

G-20 nations asked to step up global food aid

The Treasury Department is urging G-20 countries whose economies are growing to donate more foreign and global food security aid to make up for whatever reductions there may be from the traditional G-8 donor countries that are experiencing economic difficulties, a key Treasury official said today. Read More...

U.S. Grains Council: Dorr retires, Sleight named president

U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Dorr has retired, and Thomas Sleight, the vice president for operations and membership, has been named president of the group, a grains council spokeswoman confirmed today. Read More...

Administration threatens Ag approps veto

The Obama administration has found so many objections to provisions in the fiscal year 2013 Agriculture appropriations bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee that the White House Office of Management and Budget has issued a veto threat even before the bill has come to the House floor. Read More...

Vilsack announces funding for 450 renewable energy projects

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA will fund 450 renewable energy projects nationwide, including 31 in the politically competitive state of North Carolina. Read More...

Ag groups want House to pass bill this year

Farm, ranch, agriculture and conservation groups of all types reacted to Senate passage of the farm bill Thursday by calling on the House of Representatives to pass the farm bill as soon as possible this year. Read More...

Peterson Institute policy brief predicts TPP gains

The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, now in negotiation among 11 Asia-Pacific countries, could yield annual global income gains of $295 billion (including $78 billion for the United States) and offers a pathway to free trade in the Asia-Pacific with potential gains of $1.9 trillion, the Peterson Institute for International Economics said in a policy brief released Thursday. Read More...

June 19-21 – Senate farm bill amendments, motions

Action on the amendments and motions associated with the Senate farm bill. Read More...

Senators put pressure on House to pass farm bill

After the Senate passed the farm bill today in an atmosphere of extraordinary bipartisan cooperation, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., ranking member Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and others began putting pressure on the House Agriculture Committee and the full House to pass a bill. Read More...

Johanns, Hoeven reveal remaining differences over crop insurance target prices

In the wake of the farm bill passing the Senate, Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., and Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., revealed that differences remain over the target prices issue. Read More...

Lucas, Peterson react to Senate passage

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., became the first House member to praise the Senate for passing the farm bill today while House Agriculture ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., emphasized the importance of passing the bill before the 2008 farm bill expires on Sept. 30. Read More...

How the Senate voted on the farm bill

Here is the roll call of how the Senate voted on the farm bill. Read More...

Senate passes farm bill, 64-35

The Senate has passed the farm bill by a vote of 64 to 35. Read More...

Final Senate farm bill votes Thursday

The Senate will convene Thursday morning for final votes on amendments to the 2012 farm bill and a vote on final passage, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told senators this evening. Read More...

Today’s Senate actions on farm bill amendments and motions

Today’s Senate actions on farm bill amendments and motions: Read More...

Crop insurance takes hits on Senate floor

Subsidized crop insurance took its first hits in the farm bill debate today when the Senate voted to approve an amendment offered by Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., to raise premiums by 15 percent for farmers with an adjusted gross income of more than $750,000, and approved another amendment by Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., to require farmers participating in the crop insurance program adhere to federal conservation standards. Read More...

Sugar survives major attack, takes small hit

The Senate today rejected an amendment offered by Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., to end provisions from the 2008 farm bill that made the sugar program more generous, but the Senate later adopted an amendment offered by Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., that would make it easier for the Agriculture Department to authorize more sugar imports earlier in the year. Read More...

House farm bill markup July 11

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., announced today that the committee will hold a markup on the 2012 farm bill on July 11. Read More...

Obama nominates farmer for National Council on the Arts

President Barack Obama today announced his intention to nominate David “Mas” Masumoto, a California organic peach and grape farmer, author, and columnist for The Fresno Bee, as a member of the National Council on the Arts. Read More...

Reid: Final Senate farm bill votes on Thursday

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has announced that final votes on the farm bill will take place on Thursday rather than tonight. Read More...

House won't mark up farm bill until after July 4 recess

The House Agriculture Committee will not hold a markup on a new farm bill until after the July 4 recess, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., said today. Read More...

EPA announces new members of ag, rural issues committee

The Environmental Protection Agency today announced new members of the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC) for 2012-2014. Read More...

Reid urges faster action on farm bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has urged the Senate to speed up action on the farm bill today. Read More...

Senate to resume farm bill debate before noon

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said today that the Senate will resume debate on the farm bill about 11:30 a.m. and that she hopes to finish the bill late today or on Thursday. Read More...

Farm bill headed for final vote Wednesday after vote-o-rama

The Senate farm bill appears headed for a final vote late Wednesday after a day-long session of voting on amendments today. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., came to the Senate floor this evening to praise the Senate for its discipline in holding debates that were one minute on each side and then to hold 10-minute roll call votes. Read More...

Status of Senate farm bill amendments

Here is the status of Senate amendments to the farm bill: Read More...

House Approps approves FY 2013 Ag bill

The House Appropriations Committee today approved a fiscal year 2013 Agriculture appropriations bill that is very similar to the bill passed earlier by the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, but including an amendment by Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., that prohibits farm program benefits to individuals or entities with adjusted gross incomes of more than $250,000. Read More...

Obama announces Canada to join TPP negotiations

President Barack Obama announced today that the countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiation have decided to let Canada join the negotiations. That announcement followed the news Monday that Mexico would join the group. Read More...

Conrad has alternative commodity title proposal

As the Senate began voting on amendments to the farm bill today, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said that he withdrew his target price proposal Monday night because he has another proposal that he prefers and that he intends to bring up with the House when the bill goes to conference. Read More...

Senate to take up farm bill Tuesday afternoon

The Senate will take up the farm bill at 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday and begin debating and voting on more than 70 amendments in what is known as a “voterama.”
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Reid asks Senate for unanimous consent on farm bill

After a day of silence, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has sent senators a message asking them to agree to unanimous consent on the farm bill. Read More...

No action in Senate on farm bill

The Senate went back into session today, but there was no apparent action on the farm bill as of this afternoon. Read More...

USDA still backs Kansas facility

The Agriculture Department continues to back the construction of a National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kan., despite the release of a National Academy of Sciences study Friday that found a risk assessment conducted by the Homeland Security Department to be inadequate, a key USDA official said today. Read More...

House approps meets on ag Tuesday

The House Appropriations Committee will take up the fiscal year 2013 Agriculture appropriations bill on Tuesday. The bill covers discretionary spending for the Agriculture Department, the Food and Drug Administration, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Farm Credit Administration.
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Mexico to join Trans-Pacific Partnership talks

President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calder¤în announced today that Mexico would join in the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Mexico becomes the tenth nation to join the negotiations. Read More...

Ford Foundation stresses positives of urbanization

Agriculture development advocates have urged developing country officials and developed country donors to shift money to assistance to small farmers partly to discourage urban population growth, but a panel discussion in advance of United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (also known as Rio+20) today showed that there is competition for the viewpoint that urbanization is bad. Read More...

Risk study on Kansas animal disease research facility still not definitive

The site-specific risk assessment the Homeland Security Department conducted for the proposed National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kan., continues to be inadequate in characterizing the risks associated with locating it there, a National Research Council committee said in a report released today.
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Cuban economic reforms encouraging for ag imports from U.S

Economic reforms in Cuba will encourage that country to import more agricultural products from the United States, a key U.S. analyst of Cuba said at a briefing last week. Read More...

Stabenow: Progress on farm bill for consideration next week

As the Senate prepared to go out of session until next week, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said late today that she has made progress on putting together a package of amendments to the farm bill next week. Read More...

Target price amendment could be key to Senate passage

The target price program farm bill amendment that Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., introduced today may be the key that will get the farm bill through the Senate. Read More...

Bankers ask for no cut to crop insurance

The Independent Community Bankers of America today proved what agriculture leaders on Capitol Hill have been saying for weeks: that bankers want farmers to have crop insurance. Read More...

Coburn, ag export groups battle over MAP funding

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., released a report today on subsidies to corporations for overseas advertising under the Market Access Program and has introduced an amendment to reduce funding for it, but agriculture export groups issued a statement that they will oppose it. Read More...

EWG announces plans for congressional scorecard

A coalition of national leaders in food and farm policy has formed a new nonprofit organization that will score individual members of Congress on their performance on food policy issues before the 2012 elections, the Environmental Working Group said in a news release. Read More...

Interior distributes payments in lieu of taxes

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that more than 1,850 local governments around the country are receiving a record total of $393 million under the 2012 payments in lieu of taxes (PILT) program. Read More...

USDA: Last year's child will cost $234,900 to raise

A child born last year in a middle-income family will cost $234,900 to raise over the next 17 years or $295,560 if projected inflation costs are factored in, according to a report issued today by the Agriculture Department. Read More...

Conrad files target-price based commodity amendment

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., filed today his long-awaited amendment containing a target-price based commodity program. Read More...

Reid sets strategy for unpopular amendments

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., appears to have settled on a short-term strategy of allowing Republicans to bring up the amendments that would be the most unpopular in the Senate and guaranteed to be killed. Read More...

Food stamps report calls for transparency

A report written by public health lawyer and consultant Michele Simon has raised questions about corporate profits from food stamps and called for public disclosure about expenditures under what is now known as the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP). Read More...

Obama to sign broadband executive order

President Barack Obama on Thursday will sign an executive order to make broadband construction along federal roadways and properties up to 90 percent cheaper and more efficient. Read More...

NSAC delivers letter to Senate, joins conservation support

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition today sent senators a letter urging them “to expeditiously complete consideration of the farm bill, reject all non-germane amendments, and strengthen the bill’s reform, food, and jobs provisions.” Read More...

EWG: Crop insurance firms spend more on lobbying

The Environmental Working Group released a study today that says the crop insurance companies and agents spend more on lobbying and political donations than corn, soybean and wheat groups. Read More...

Parham named acting assistant secretary

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Tuesday that President Barack Obama has designated Gregory Parham, the administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, to serve as USDA acting assistant secretary of Agriculture for administration. Read More...

OECD releases G-20 report

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development this week released a report on G-20 governments’ attempts at collaboration on sustainable agriculture development and actions they could take in the future. Read More...

Poultry groups, DuPont endorse Russian PNTR

The National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and USA Poultry & Egg Export Council on Tuesday applauded the introduction of a Senate bill that will establish permanent normal trade relations with Russia by repealing the 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment. DuPont also announced its support. Read More...

NGFA report supports removal of farm acres from CRP

The National Grain and Feed Association released a report today that recommends Congress include language in the 2012 farm bill that mandates removal from the conservation reserve program (CRP) of millions of acres of what the Agriculture department classifies as “prime farmland.” Read More...

American Bankers Association hires Elfmann

The American Bankers Association has hired Edwin Elfmann as senior legislative representative responsible for legislation on agriculture and rural banking. Read More...

Stabenow uses deficit reduction to promote farm bill movement

Expressing confidence that the Senate will move forward with the farm bill despite procedural conflicts between the Democratic and Republican leadership, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., pointed out today that the bill is the only bipartisan deficit-reduction legislation for senators to vote on. Read More...

Senate to take up farm bill in morning as Stabenow schedules news conference

The Senate is scheduled to take up the farm bill Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m. including votes on two amendments. But the fate of the overall bill is uncertain, and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., has scheduled a news conference for 9:45 a.m. ...
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Conrad, Chambliss working together on amendment

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., are attempting to come up with a farm bill amendment that could deal with the problems that both senators see with the commodity title in the farm bill, a knowledgeable Senate source said today. Read More...

Russian trade legislation earns praise

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and farm and business groups today praised the introduction of legislation to establish permanent normal trade relations with Russia.
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Israeli water scientist wins 2012 World Food Prize

The World Food Prize Foundation announced today that Daniel Hillel, an American-born Israeli water scientist, has won the 2012 World Food Prize. Read More...

Leavitt endorses bipartisan obesity report, won’t discuss Romney views on subject

Former Utah Gov. and Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt last week joined a bipartisan group of former Cabinet officers to endorse a report on obesity and how to address the problem, but declined to discuss how a Mitt Romney administration might address those issues. Read More...

Cabinet secretaries, Dodd praise Bloomberg effort on obesity

Four former Cabinet secretaries praised New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg last week for his efforts to counter obesity, even though his latest proposal to ban the sale of super-sized drinks has garnered criticism. Read More...

Ethanol group plans advertising campaign

American Ethanol, a joint venture of Growth Energy, the ethanol group, and the National Corn Growers Association to educate the American public about ethanol, has announced a campaign to increase awareness of ethanol among NASCAR fans. Read More...

Hillel awarded 2012 World Food Prize

American-born Israeli water scientist Daniel Hillel has won the 2012 World Food Prize. Read More...

Obama endorses Senate farm bill, campaigns through rural radio and TV

In a sign the presidential campaign in rural America is heating up, President Barack Obama today personally endorsed the Senate farm bill and called for passage of the bill this year in a radio interview with the Brownfield ag radio network. Read More...

Crop insurance groups fight farm bill changes, while coalitions urge support for amendments

The American Association of Crop Insurers, which represents companies and agents, and the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau, which also represents the companies, issued a statement today urging the Senate to reject all the amendments that would change the crop insurance section of the bill. Read More...

Soybean growers: House proposal too good to rice, peanuts

While rice and peanut growers have been claiming that the Agriculture Risk Coverage program in the Senate farm bill is too generous to corn and soybeans and provides too little protection for them, the American Soybean Association issued a news release Friday that the target price program that was in the bill submitted to the super committee on deficit reduction and that might be included in the House bill would be too generous to rice and peanuts. Read More...

Support, opposition offered to other farm bill amendments

While senators and their aides were still sorting through the more than 80 amendments introduced last week after the vote to proceed on the farm bill, many groups were offering comments on some of them. Read More...

Farm groups seek undersecretary for trade/foreign a

The House farm bill should include a provision creating an Agriculture undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, farm groups wrote in a letter to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., last week, according to a news release from the American Soybean Association. Read More...

Sugar groups take different stands on Shaheen amendment

The Coalition for Sugar Reform, which is supported by candy companies and other sugar users, praised the amendment introduced by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.Y., that would roll back sugar provisions of the 2008 farm bill, while the American Sugar Alliance urged senators not to support it. Read More...

Senate Ag leaders expect farm bill to move forward

Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said Friday they do not believe Republican senators will stop consideration of the farm bill. Read More...

World Farmers' Organization plans for trade statement

The World Farmers' Organization has completed its second general assembly in Rome and is working on a plan to come up with a statement on trade, Robert Carlson, the group’s president, said in a telephone news conference today. Read More...

More than 80 amendments submitted for farm bill

Senators had filed more than 80 amendments to the farm bill by 6 p.m. on Thursday. Here is a list of senators, in alphabetical order, and brief descriptions of the amendments they filed. Many amendments also have cosponsors, who are not listed. Read More...

Lucas: Farming life, congressional schedule don't fit well

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., says in an interview published in the National Journal today that he farms while many of his colleagues play golf. Read More...

Chambliss critiques farm bill, says leaders reject changes

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., said today that Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and ranking member Pat Roberts, R-Kan., have rejected all proposals for changes to the farm bill that would create a workable safety net for peanuts, and also offered a critique of other aspects of the bill. Read More...

National Farmers Union, CFTC chairman, food aid advocates decry House approps bill

The National Farmers Union, Rep. Rosa De Lauro, D-Conn., Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler and domestic and international food aid groups have issued negative reactions to the fiscal year 2013 Agriculture appropriations bill approved by the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday. Read More...

White House supports farm bill after Senate votes to proceed

The Senate voted 90 to 8 today on a motion to proceed on the farm bill, and the White House issued a strong statement of support in favor of the bill. Read More...

Senate farm bill cloture vote Thursday; Roberts hopes to finish June 14

The Senate is expected to hold a cloture vote on a motion to proceed on the farm bill on Thursday, possibly in the morning, and Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Pat Roberts, R-Kan., hopes the bill will be finished by next Thursday. Read More...

Ag approps affects food aid, CFTC, GMOs and poultry growers

International food aid and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission budget would be cut under a bill adopted today by the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee. Read More...

Assistant Secretary Reed has retired

Agriculture Department Assistant Secretary for Administration Pearlie Reed retired June 1, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today. Read More...

Stabenow introduces farm bill on Senate floor

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., began introducing the farm bill in a speech on the Senate floor today. A cloture vote on a motion to proceed is expected on Thursday. Read More...

EWG, celebrities send letter to Congress

The Environmental Working Group and 70 celebrity chefs, authors, food policy experts, nutritionists, CEOs, and environment and health organizations sent an open letter to Congress today urging changes to the Senate farm bill. Read More...

Farm Bureau sends letter to Senate

The American Farm Bureau Federation has sent members of the Senate a letter noting its views on the farm bill. Read More...

Poll shows support for programs in farm bill

As the Senate begins debating the farm bill, three-quarters of Americans think that spending on farm subsidies should be kept the same or increased, and nearly two-thirds of Americans think that spending on food stamps should be kept the same or increased, according to a poll released by National Journal Daily earlier today. Read More...

Corn, rice growers battle over ARC studies

A nasty battle has broken out between corn growers and rice growers over the meaning of academic studies related to the Senate Agriculture Committee’s new Agriculture Risk Coverage program. Read More...

Disney announces healthy food, nutrition initiative

Flanked by First Lady Michelle Obama, Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Robert Iger today announced that Disney would introduce higher nutrition guidelines for meals at its resorts and for foods bearing its iconic characters such as Mickey Mouse and, perhaps most importantly, new standards for food advertising on programming targeting kids and families. Read More...

USDA announces personnel appointments

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the following personnel appointments at the political level: Read More...

Vilsack to appoint socially-disadvantaged farmers to serve on county subsidy certification committees

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has decided to become the first Agriculture secretary to use the power granted to secretaries in 2002 to appoint socially-disadvantaged farmers to serve on county committees. Read More...

Stabenow: Farm bill headed for Senate floor

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said today she expects the farm bill to come up on the Senate floor this week, and that if another senator or senators insist on a vote on whether to proceed, she has the 60 votes to move forward. Read More...

Larry Mitchell to head GIPSA

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has named Lawrence “Larry” Mitchell, the former CEO of the American Corn Growers Association, as administrator of the Agriculture Department’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, a USDA source told The Hagstrom Report today. Read More...

Food Summit highlights differing views in ag world

Farm leaders always say agriculture should speak with one voice, but the differences within agriculture today were on vivid display at the third annual Atlantic Food Summit in Washington last week. Read More...

Noem, Walz introduce prairie sodsaver bill

Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., and Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., on Thursday introduced a bill that would prohibit commodity payments on newly broken native sod, and reduce federal subsidies for crop and revenue insurance by 50 percentage points on those acres. Read More...

Johansson named USDA deputy chief economist

Robert Johansson has been named the Agriculture Department’s deputy chief economist, USDA Chief Economist Joe Glauber announced today. Read More...

Slaughter blasts FDA appeal of antibiotics ruling

Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., today called the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to appeal a federal court ruling that it must act to limit the use of antibiotics in farm animals “a dereliction of duty.” Read More...

Sugar and corn growers disagree on FDA decision

Sugar and consumer groups have praised the Food and Drug Administration’s decision Wednesday not to allow the term “corn sugar” to be used for high fructose corn syrup, while the Corn Refiners Association, which had petitioned FDA for the change, was critical. Read More...

Bill would offer 'USDA certified biobased' for forest products

Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Pa., and Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., Thursday introduced a bill that would require USDA to set federal procurement standards and a voluntary label for biobased products. Read More...

Colbert new senior v.p. at Waterways Council

The Waterways Council board of directors has named Debra Colbert as senior vice president, effective today. Read More...