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Farm Bill Talk at #AFBF17

There was a lot of interest in the development of the next farm bill at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting this week in Phoenix. A session on the topic featuring a couple of top agriculture committee staffers was standing room only. AFBF Senior Director of Congressional Relations Mary Kay Thatcher, who moderated the session, says Congress has a... Read More

New Senate Ag Committee Members Include AG Nominee

One of the new members of the Senate Agriculture Committee may be a short-timer. “I welcome Senators Steve Daines from Montana and Jeff Sessions from Alabama to the Agriculture Committee,” said Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) who was selected to continue as chairman of the committee. Show More Summary

The Republican Congress Seeks to Make Big Changes to Our Food Stamp System

GOP leaders of the House Agriculture Committee released a review of SNAP this week that suggests areas of the program could see some reshaping in the coming years.

House Republicans plan to overhaul nation’s food stamps program

The GOP majority on the House Agriculture Committee released a two-year review of the program on Wednesday that stops short of making specific policy recommendations, but hints at areas where Republicans could focus: strengthening work...Show More Summary

The looming fight on states’ rights and animal welfare

We knew before the election that Donald Trump’s agricultural advisory committee included a long list of extraordinarily strident voices against animal welfare. Now, according to a leaked memo of talking points prepared for that group, we have a window into... Show More Summary

New Kansas congressman looks to shape agriculture policy

Roger Marshall says his top priority in Washington is to secure a seat on the House Agriculture Committee so that he can help protect crop insurance and shape farm policy. … Click to Continue »

New Jersey Assembly Panel Approves Cat Declawing Ban

In what could become a landmark decision, the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee in New Jersey approved of a bill (titled A3899/S2410) that would deem declawing an act of animal cruelty, except in cases where it isShow More Summary

Zimfo Bytes

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is seeking nominations for the Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics, which advises the Secretary of Agriculture on the scope, timing and content of agricultural surveys and censuses. Show More Summary

Poultry products win EuroTier innovation awards

An independent expert committee appointed by the DLG (German Agricultural Society) determined the winners of the Innovation Award EuroTier from among 251 approved applications for product innovations, based on stringent criteria.

Stop Defaming SNAP, Start Helping Deserving Families

As a Member of the House Committee on Agriculture, I have sat through too many hearings on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Fourteen since February 2015, to be exact. Yet, none of these hearings have resulted in any meaningful action for the program. Show More Summary

Goblygiadau Brexit i amaethyddiaeth Cymru

Yesterday I gave evidence to a Welsh Assembly committee on the implications of Brexit for Welsh agriculture. The paper I prepared for them is reproduced below. The standard of the questioning was high and a central theme was whetherShow More Summary

While Most Republicans Stampede Away From Trump, One Group Remains Loyal

Last Friday, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump's campaign announced additions to his Agricultural and Rural Advisory Committee: Two Nebraska farmers joined a group of more than 60 Republican elected officials and agribusiness execs,...Show More Summary

Bill Would Help Grow Urban Farming

Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) this week introduced the Urban Agriculture Act of 2016 to “addresses the unique needs of urban farmers by investing new resources and increasing flexibility through existing programs administered by the U.S. Show More Summary

‘GMO-Friendly’ Stabenow Introduces Federal Urban Farming Bill, But Should We Trust It?

On Monday, Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Committee, announced a new federal urban farming bill that her office says will “create new economic opportunities in cities and towns across Michigan...Show More Summary

Sec. Vilsack Discusses Farm Economy at Senate Ag Committee Hearing

Yesterday, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack testified before the Senate Ag Committee at a hearing titled, “The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Current State of the Farm Economy.” In his prepared testimony, Sec. Vilsack pointed out that, “Even as commodity prices have weakened and farm incomes have decreased, the rural economy remains strong. Our […]

Sec. Vilsack Points to Positives in “Rural America”- While Senate Ag Committee set to Focus on “Farm Economy”

Tomorrow, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will provide testimony before the Senate Agriculture Committee at a hearing titled, “The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Current State of the Farm Economy.” In perhaps would could be a precursor to some of the points Sec. Vilsack may highlight tomorrow, he penned a brief opinion item that […]

House Ag Committee Discusses Ag Trade with Cuba- H.R. 3687

A House Ag Committee news release from Wednesday indicated that, “Today, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing to examine the potential for expanded agricultural trade between the United States and Cuba. Much of the conversation centered on the Cuba Agricultural Exports Act (H.R. 3687) and the potential for removing financing restrictions that have limited […]

I AM @USFRA – Janna Stubbs of Texas

Janna Stubbs from Alpine, Texas is a cow-calf operator who serves on the Cattlemens’ Beef Board executive committee and is all about telling agriculture’s story to the general public. “I married into this 14 years ago and I really enjoy being a part of agriculture and the cattle industry,” Janna says. “I feel like I’m always my husband’s voice because... Read More

Is it time for U.S. to ease restrictions on farm trade with Cuba?

A handful of experts urged the House Committee on Agriculture on Wednesday to loosen restrictions on farm trade with Cuba, as legislators further contemplate U.S.-Cuba ties. Four witnesses from the … Click to Continue »

Chairman Conaway Addresses Regulatory Issues on the House Floor

Yesterday, House Ag Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R., Tex.) spoke on the House floor about executive branch regulatory actions that are negatively impacting agricultural producers. Chairman Conaway noted that: “Farmers, ranchers and foresters take great pride in their stewardship of the land. They are the original conservationists. And while it may be popular among some […]

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