The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens
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Vilsack, ag leaders step up talk on farm bill

Despite his earlier statements that the Obama administration would let Congress write the next farm bill, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack commented today and Monday on several sections of the bill, while there were indications that congressional leaders are preparing for the super committee in charge of deficit reduction to take some action on agriculture. Read More...

Merrigan announces $18 million for new farmer training

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced today that USDA has awarded 36 grants totaling $18 million to organizations that will provide training and assistance to beginning farmers and ranchers to help them run successful and sustainable farms. Read More...

Rural broadband access hearing set in Illinois

The House Agriculture subcommittee on Rural Development Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture will hold a hearing on the role of broadband access in rural economic development on Saturday, Sept. 24, in Springfield, Ill., House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., announced today.
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Senate Appropriations ag bill cuts discretionary spending, doesn't take up amendments

The Senate Appropriations Committee today approved a $19.78 billion fiscal year 2012 Agriculture appropriations bill that provides less discretionary spending than either the 2010 or 2011 bills, but left potential controversial amendments for the Senate floor even though some senators are worried that the bill will never come up as an individual piece of legislation. Read More...

Two House Ag subcommittee hearings set

The House Agriculture Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Subcommittee has scheduled a hearing Thursday on federal dairy programs. Read More...

USDA, Council on Foundations agree to work together

The Agriculture Department and the Council on Foundations, a nonprofit membership association of foundations and corporations that make grants for community purposes, have signed an agreement to work together to spur economic growth in rural America, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Council on Foundations President Steve Gunderson have announced. Read More...

House subcommittee to discuss rural development, biotech

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., announced today that the Rural Development, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee will hold two hearings next week. Read More...

O'Brien named deputy undersecretary for rural development

KANSAS CITY — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said here today that Doug O’Brien will be appointed deputy undersecretary for rural development, effective Monday. Read More...

Vilsack: Rural Council, Congress should limit definitions of 'rural America'

KANSAS CITY — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today that he would ask the White House Rural Council to try to reduce the number of federal government definitions of rural America and also encouraged Congress to take up the issue since rural officials have complained they have a hard time figuring out what programs they qualify for. Read More...

SPECIAL REPORT | South Dakota team leads key rural development initiatives

When Dallas Tonsager is asked how he met Jonathan Adelstein, a fellow South Dakotan and Obama administration appointee, he smiles and says, “I knew his father first.” And therein lies a tale of how an improbable duo of South Dakotans rose to head two of Obama’s most important initiatives in rural America: encouraging renewable fuels and bringing high-speed Internet service to the most remote areas of the country. Read More...

Tonsager: Funding programs for ethanol pumps on the way

SAN ANTONIO ­— Within a month, the Agriculture Department will announce a funding program to build ethanol pumps at gas stations around the country, Agriculture Undersecretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager said here today at the National Farmers Union convention. Read More...

Obama's USDA: Undersecretary Tonsager says Recovery Act a big help through Rural Development

Agriculture Undersecretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager runs what former President Clinton last week called “an underappreciated division of USDA that will become more important in the years ahead.” Many economists and develop experts would agree. Read More...