Politics | 5/22/2015

Bipartisan fast-track trade bill clears Senate

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2015 - With crucial Democratic support, the Senate agreed to give President Obama fast-track negotiating authority to wrap up a 12-nation Pacific Rim agreement and complete a second deal with the European Union.

Farm & rural policy news

Politics | 5/22/2015 9:29:41 AM

Walmart moves to improve animal welfare conditions in supply chain

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2015 -- Walmart, the biggest U.S. grocery retailer, today announced new farm animal welfare policies, joining a long list of food companies taking steps to improve the conditions of the cattle, hogs and poultry in its supply chain.
Politics | 5/22/2015

Roberts says EPA 'stacked the deck' on WOTUS comments

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2015 - Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., used a nomination hearing today to sound off on what he said were EPA's questionable activities surrounding the proposed Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule.

Politics | 5/21/2015 3:47:44 PM

USDA's improper payment reporting faulted for fourth straight year

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2015 - For the fourth straight year, the USDA's Inspector General has found the agency failed to comply with mandatory reporting requirements regarding improper payment information. Total improper payments in the 20 high-risk programs for fiscal 2014 came to $6.9 billion, or a 5.5 percent improper payment rate.
Politics | 5/21/2015 12:09:23 PM

Senate Ag Committee approves grain standards bill

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2015 - The Senate Agriculture Committee today unanimously approved a bill reauthorizing the Grain Standards Act, including provisions that would ensure export grain inspections continue during labor disputes.
Politics | 5/21/2015 10:52:30 AM

Senate takes 'major step forward' on trade bill

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2015 - The fast-track trade bill cleared another hurdle as the Senate voted to move ahead on the legislation, 62-38, after dramatic floor discussions between GOP leaders and key Democrats.
Politics | 5/21/2015 9:06:24 AM

Land O'Lakes hires Dana Brooks in industry relations post

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2015 - Dana Brooks, formerly the director of government affairs for Elanco Animal Health, has been hired by Land O'Lakes Inc. as its senior director of state affairs and industry relations.
Politics | 5/20/2015 4:37:33 PM

Killing GMO bill would force industry 'to the table,' critics say

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2015 - Critics of biotech foods say that stopping a House bill to preempt state GMO labeling laws would force the food industry to negotiate with labeling proponents.
Politics | 5/20/2015 4:05:52 PM

USDA announces new rural development priorities

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2015 - USDA released a new Regional Development Priority (RDP) policy Wednesday that details how the agency will support rural economic development by providing loans to small businesses and grants for community infrastructure improvements.
Politics | 5/20/2015 3:49:44 PM

Farm groups fear changes may make WOTUS more onerous

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2015 - The administration is expected to release the final waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule in the next week or so. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has been promising to refine the definitions in the proposed rule to address concerns raised by critics.
Politics | 5/20/2015 3:46:42 PM

Senators debate how US relations with Cuba will benefit its citizens

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2015-- While the agricultural industry is anticipating more business due to President Barack Obama's actions to normalize relations with Cuba, several members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today questioned the administration's ability to negotiate with a totalitarian communist state known for human rights abuses.
Politics | 5/20/2015 3:44:45 PM

 Amendments debate put brakes on Senate fast-track trade bill

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2015 - Senate Republican leaders have been working to get the fast-track trade bill to the finish line this week, ahead of the Memorial Day recess. But the debate was dragging amid negotiations over how many amendments would be considered.
Politics | 5/20/2015 3:40:50 PM

 Strict rules for many animal antibiotics soon apply nationwide

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2015 - A new, comprehensive discipline in the use of antibiotics for animals will apply to all animal care by the end of next year.
Politics | 5/20/2015 3:34:54 PM

 Crop subsidies could face possible WTO challenge

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2015 - Administration officials could learn in the next few days whether Brazil could challenge the legality of commodity programs created by the 2014 farm bill.
Politics | 5/20/2015 3:26:20 PM

Senate bill on EPA advisory process needs work, panel says

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2015 - Several witnesses told a Senate Environment and Public Works subcommittee that a Republican sponsored bill designed to improve transparency and accountability in the EPA's scientific advisory process would actually add new bureaucratic inefficiencies and present ethical dilemmas.
Politics | 5/20/2015 3:23:05 PM

 What does EU's biotech confusion mean for T-TIP?

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2015 - As legislation to ease the approval of trade agreements works its way through Capitol Hill, agricultural leaders are wondering how the actions of a key trading partner will impact trade talks across the Atlantic Ocean.
Politics | 5/20/2015 3:14:45 PM

 Good news, bad news in latest data on foodborne illnesses

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2015 - There's some good news and bad news in the latest report on foodborne illnesses from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Politics | 5/20/2015 3:01:34 PM

 USDA's beginning farmer and rancher program falls short

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2015 - Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has long emphasized providing assistance to beginning farmers and ranchers and once suggested a goal of adding 100,000 new farmers by 2012.
Politics | 5/20/2015 2:47:26 PM

 New DOE report explores potential for wind energy in all 50 states

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2015 - Wind energy already provides nearly 5% of the nation's total electricity generation, but there is tremendous potential to expand production across all 50 states by embracing taller wind turbines, larger rotors, and other technical innovations.
Politics | 5/20/2015 11:29:43 AM

House Ag Committee clears COOL repeal bill

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2015 - Just two days after the World Trade Organization (WTO) upheld an earlier decision that a U.S. country-of-origin labeling (COOL) rule is not compliant with international trade obligations, House lawmakers officially began the procedural steps necessary to repeal the law.
Politics | 5/18/2015 3:29:35 PM

Washington Week Ahead: COOL decision due; McConnell, Ryan see fast-track passage

WASHINGTON, May 17, 2015 - Trade issues will dominate the attention of farm-state lawmakers as the World Trade Organization releases its final ruling on U.S. country-of-origin labeling, and the Senate resumes debate on its fast-track trade bill.


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Food Security at the Heart of Soy Growth Plan
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Mike's Legacy
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Farm lessons learned from Bill Murray and a large rodent
Those of us who spend time in the fencerows between the farm and the public feel like the Bill Murray character in the classic movie, Groundhog Day.


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COOL ruling reignites hot debate

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 event calendar
  AOSA/SCST 2015 Annual Meeting
  May 30-June 4, 2015 Tampa Bay, Florida

  American Frozen Food Institute 2014 Food Logistics Forum
  June 1-3, 2015 Incline Village, Nevada

  Rice Market and Technology Convention
  June 2-6, 2015 Cancun, Mexico

  World Pork Expo
  June 3-5, 2015 Des Moines, Iowa

  Association for Communication Excellence Conference
  June 8-11, 2015 Charleston, South Carolina

  Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Connect
  June 8-11, 2015 Chicago, Illinois

  United Fresh Produce Association
  June 8-10, 2015 Chicago, Illinois

  Rice Millers Association 116th Convention
  June 9-12, 2015 Wailea, Hawaii

  BIO International Convention
  June 15-18, 2015 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  National Ag in the Classroom Conference
  June 16-20, 2015 Louisville, Kentucky


 Most Popular

 1. Roberts says EPA 'stacked the deck' on WOTUS comments

 2. Killing GMO bill would force industry 'to the table,' critics say

 3. House Ag Committee clears COOL repeal bill

 4. Senate takes 'major step forward' on trade bill

 5. USDA announces new rural development priorities

 6. Senators debate how US relations with Cuba will benefit its citizens

 7. Senate Ag Committee approves grain standards bill

 8. Walmart moves to improve animal welfare conditions in supply chain

 9. Land O'Lakes hires Dana Brooks in industry relations post

 10. USDA's improper payment reporting faulted for fourth straight year