WOTUS: “You take their money away”

The chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee says the final Waters of the U.S. rule can be stopped through the funding process. “You take their money away. We’re doing a budget. Once you do a budget, you can do reconciliation. Once you do reconciliation, you can do appropriation bills.” Kansas Senator Pat Roberts says the… Read more »

Ag Committee leadership ask OMB to help in H5N2 fight

The leadership of the House and Senate Ag Committees is requesting emergency assistance for poultry producers hit by avian influenza.  In a letter to the Office of Management and Budget; Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Representatives Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Collin Peterson (D-MN) asked that the Secretary of Agriculture be allowed… Read more »

Grassley says COOL fix is likely if U.S. loses appeal

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has made it clear that Congress will have to act if the U.S. loses its third and final WTO appeal on country of origin labeling (COOL).  Vilsack says the USDA is out of options to fix the law. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says a legislative solution is likely should the U.S…. Read more »

Wisconsin Cranberry Board seeks nominations

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is accepting nominations for two seats on the Wisconsin Cranberry Board. Anyone who grows and sells cranberries in the state is eligible. They may nominate themselves or other eligible producers. Nomination forms can be requested from DATCP, they must be signed by five eligible producers, notarized… Read more »

USDA addresses climate change

USDA announced new incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration and increase renewable energy. USDA will utilize existing programs and initiatives to focus on soil health, nutrient management and forest conservation. The department will also improve efforts to develop renewable energy, increase energy efficiency and build agricultural and forestry systems. “In order to… Read more »

Senate ag committee focuses on Cuba

The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing this week on expanding agricultural trade with Cuba.  Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow says the committee wants to improve agricultural trade opportunities. Stabenow says there is potential for billions of dollars in trade.  She says Cuba can benefit from U.S. commodities and agricultural equipment just 91 miles from their… Read more »

Vermont GMO labeling rules finalized

The rules for Vermont’s mandatory GMO food labeling law have been finalized. That state’s Attorney General’s office says the rules will take effect July 1st, 2016, giving food manufacturers plenty of time to adapt to the new labeling. Vermont passed the labeling law last spring. A lawsuit filed by the food industry to try and… Read more »

Agriculture needs innovation, collaboration and leadership

Innovations copy

With a career that includes time at Oscar Mayer, Johnsonville and Con Agra; Chris Salm and his brothers formed Salm Partners in 2004.  Utilizing a new, innovative process and a partnership philosophy, Salm Partners has become the largest cooked-in-package sausage maker in the country.  Chris says that is the kind of innovation that agriculture will… Read more »

Senate committee takes up TPA

The Senate Finance Committee is holding a markup session today for legislation that would renew the president’s trade promotion authority (TPA).  The bill is seen as a necessary step toward concluding two major free trade agreements. Currency manipulation is one of the issues being discussed. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he will introduce an amendment… Read more »

Greek yogurt in school lunches next year

Beginning this fall, school lunch programs nationwide may use Greek yogurt as a protein source.  Greek yogurt has about twice the protein content of traditional yogurt and USDA determined in 2013 that it could be used as a substitute for meat as a protein source. At the urging of some of New York’s congressional delegation,… Read more »