Agriculture section of reconciliation bill centers on fighting climate change, enhancing research

BY: - September 17, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Agriculture Committee this week finished marking up its section of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. The agriculture portion would provide funding for historically Black land grant colleges and investments in urban agriculture, along with boosting U.S. Department of Agriculture programs to address climate change threats in farming. The $66 billion agriculture measure passed […]

White House says executive order coming on labeling beef as a ‘Product of USA’

BY: - July 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — The White House will unveil an executive order in the coming days that directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to clarify that meat can only receive a “Product of USA” label if that livestock is raised in the U.S. rather than abroad, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday afternoon. “The EO directs […]

Relief payments to Black farmers on hold amid lawsuits backed by former Trump aides, conservative groups

BY: - June 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — Former Trump administration officials and conservative and libertarian nonprofits have launched lawsuits to block federal relief funds aimed at Black and minority farmers — a development that House Agriculture Committee Chair David Scott of Georgia calls “an evil system at work here.” Suits have been filed in Florida, Wisconsin and Texas that say […]

Bills you may have missed, from vaccine incentives to regulating meat substitutes

BY: - June 22, 2021

Michigan residents could claim a $100 tax credit for getting a COVID-19 vaccine and driver’s licenses would be extended under bills recently introduced in the Michigan Legislature. Those are just two of the bills members of the House and Senate introduced in June on topics ranging from vaccines to broadband internet access to budgets. Republicans […]

GOP House budget plan slashes envt. programs, gives Legislature more control in process 

BY: - April 20, 2021

The GOP-led state Legislature’s ongoing feud with Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has seeped into the budget process for the next fiscal year, with the state House proposing major funding cuts and attempting to exert more control through a quarterly budgeting process. “One of the Legislature’s main missions is oversight of how taxpayer money is spent. […]

Vilsack keys in on food insecurity and nutrition in USDA budget request

BY: - April 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday laid out USDA’s goals to expand food insecurity and nutrition programs in the president’s budget request, as well as the agency’s focus on programs to address longtime racial discrimination. “Normally I would talk to you all about numbers in the budget,” Vilsack, the former governor of […]

House Agriculture panel probes ‘systemic’ USDA discrimination against Black farmers

BY: - March 26, 2021

WASHINGTON  — The House Agriculture Committee on Thursday heard about how Black farmers have faced decades of racial discrimination in their dealings with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The committee’s chair, Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.), said the testimony at the virtual hearing would help the panel craft legislation that aims to increase the number of […]

Farmers call for voluntary, financially appealing programs to fight climate change

BY: - March 12, 2021

Congress should use voluntary, financially appealing programs to encourage farmers and foresters to help address climate change, experts told the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Thursday.  Speakers from the corn and soybean fields of Illinois to the rice fields of Arkansas told the panel that it would be best to work through existing farm programs to coax farmers […]

Key Republican seeks ties with farm-state Dems on Senate Agriculture panel

BY: - March 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall is vowing he’ll rely on the relationships he’s built with Democratic colleagues and the Biden administration to advance Kansas farming interests in his coveted new post on the Senate Agriculture Committee. That’s in stark contrast to the Kansas freshman’s recent history as an outspoken conservative who opposed the […]

House Agriculture panel to key in on climate change and farming

BY: - February 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — Democrats are eyeing proposals that would support programs for U.S. farmers — who have suffered catastrophic losses from severe weather events in recent years — to reduce carbon emissions on their land. In his first major policy hearing as House Agriculture Committee chair, U.S. Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) said Thursday that the issue […]

Environmentalists make long-shot attempt to ban new factory farms

BY: - February 23, 2021

Iowa has a poop problem. The Hawkeye State’s pigs, cows and chickens produce about as much waste as 134 million people — nearly the population of Russia. Most of that manure is spread onto fields as fertilizer, where significant amounts of it wash into Iowa waterways. The city of Des Moines uses one of the most […]

Stabenow: Vilsack is ‘one step closer’ to taking back reins at USDA

BY: - February 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved Tom Vilsack’s nomination to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), after a hearing in which Vilsack discussed climate change goals in farming, food insecurity, supply chain problems and inequalities faced by Black farmers. “We are one step closer to confirming Secretary Vilsack so […]