Farmer says TPP limits opportunities

A Minnesota farmer says he opposes the Trans Pacific Partnership because it would create more barriers for beginning farmers like him to overcome. Eric Sannerud grows hops north of the Twin Cities near Ham Lake. He tells Brownfield the TPP would put new farmers at a competitive disadvantage. “I see aspects in this deal that… Read more »

Work continues to find labeling compromise

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Leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee say they are still working to find a compromise on GMO labeling. But committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow admits it’s one of the toughest issues she’s had to deal with. “This is tough. We’re working continually on this, trying to thread the needle, and I’m hopeful we can do that,”… Read more »

Vilsack to assure TPP partners at G7 meeting

U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says he will provide assurances about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) at the G-7 meeting in Japan. The U.S. and two G-7 countries, Japan and Canada, are part of the 12-nation agreement,  “I want to reassure my colleagues that I’m confident that at the end of the day Congress will… Read more »

ASPCA applauds anti-horse slaughter amendment

The head of a leading equine rescue group says they are pleased an amendment has passed to block the resumption of horse slaughter in the U.S. Jacque Schultz is director of the equine fund for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), “The House of Representatives Appropriations Committee did vote to… Read more »

EPA’s McCarthy continues WOTUS defense

The EPA’s controversial Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule came up for discussion Wednesday at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on EPA’s fiscal year 2017 budget request. EPA administrator Gina McCarthy was asked why the EPA hasn’t done more to address the concerns that farmers and ranchers have with WOTUS. “I think we tried very… Read more »

Trade remains top issue for pork producers

Pork producers are in Washington DC this week discussing legislative priorities with lawmakers. National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) President John Weber, a hog farmer from Dysart, Iowa,  says trade remains the top issue. “We are very supportive of TPP.  (the Trans Pacific Partnership) is going to be a big deal for America’s pork producers.  If we… Read more »

GIPSA debate could resurface Tuesday

An old issue is expected to resurface in Congress Tuesday when the House Appropriations Committee debates the USDA funding bill for fiscal year 2017. Republicans will reportedly try to add a so-called “GIPSA rider” to the bill. They want to block GIPSA—the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration—from carrying out regulations designed to protect chicken… Read more »

Witnesses urge House panel to protect crop insurance

The farm economy will be driven by commodity prices, input costs and the future of the farm safety net.  That’s the view of witnesses who testified Thursday about growing farm financial pressure before the House Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management. There is currently not a crisis, according to Zippy Duvall, president of… Read more »

NCBA urges passage of 12-nation trade deal

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Wednesday joined U.S Trade Ambassador Michael Froman in urging Congress to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.  NCBA Vice President Kevin Kester told reporters on a morning conference call that passage of the trade deal would give more value to beef cuts that aren’t as desired by U.S. consumers… Read more »

Chief ag trade negotiator holds out for TPP passage this year

The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office is working with Congress in hopes of passing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal this year.  Chief Agriculture Trade Negotiator Darci Vetter tells Brownfield that urgency is growing, but passage is possible. “I think there is time to do it this year if you follow the TPA process and the calendar,… Read more »