The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens
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OTA survey says more U.S. families choosing organic

Seventy-eight percent of U.S. families — more than ever before — say they are choosing organic foods, according to a survey published Wednesday by the Organic Trade Association (OTA). Read More...

Farm bill proposals continue to come in

As the Tuesday deadline for congressional agriculture leaders to submit a farm bill proposal nears, lobbying and letter writing is intensifying to the 12 members of the super committee and to what the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is calling “the Big 4” — Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Pat Roberts, R-Kans., House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and House Agriculture ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn. Read More...

Farmers/Ranchers Alliance launches 'Food Dialogues' campaign today with consecutive events

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will be the headliner today when the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, a coalition of more than 50 national, regional and state agricultural groups and their partners, launches its campaign to create a better dialogue with consumers about how food is grown in the United States. Read More...

Organic farmers seek more mandatory spending

Congress should increase mandatory spending on organic farming in the next farm bill to $185 million over five years to encourage the already-expanding industry, the Organic Farming Research Foundation said at a news conference Monday. Read More...

Vilsack visits People's Garden at Paris embassy residence

PARIS — When Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited Paris last week for the G20 meeting of agriculture ministers, he stopped to tour something at the American ambassador's residence: an organic vegetable garden inspired by the USDA People's Garden program and First Lady Michelle Obama's kitchen garden at the White House. Read More...

First lady to attend Alice Waters-hosted fundraiser

First Lady Michelle Obama will appear at an Oakland, Calif., breakfast fundraiser for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign hosted by Alice Waters, the legendary Berkeley, Calif., chef, who pioneered the concept of school gardens, Obama Foodorama reported today. Read More...

Vilsack idea: Insurance to compensate organic producers for GMO seed drift

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today it might be possible to create an insurance fund to compensate organic growers who believe they have been hurt by the drift of genetically modified seed into their fields. Read More...

The women of organic leadership

Major organic organizations today released a photo of the four women who now lead those organizations as executive director. Read More...

No ag program cuts in Senate-passed funding resolution

The Senate today passed a two-week government finance resolution that does not include any cuts in the agriculture programs, just as farm and nutrition groups launched campaigns to try to oppose the deep cuts in a longer term spending bill that the House passed on February 19. Read More...

Organic farmers ‘deeply disappointed’ with alfalfa decision

A wide range of farm and agribusiness groups praised Thursday’s announcement that USDA would allow the planting of Roundup Ready genetically-engineered alfalfa without restrictions, but the Organic Trade Association said in a news release it was “deeply disappointed.” Read More...