Agriculture

USDA Expands DamWatch Web App to Forest Service Dams
Environment
USDA Expands DamWatch Web App to Forest Service Dams
2021-03-29 21:29:17
by TWN Staff

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has entered into an interagency agreement with the Forest Service to add up to 600 of its dams to NRCS’s Nationwide DamWatch® system. DamWatch is a web-based application developed... Read More

Vilsack Puts Focus on Food, Nutrition Insecurity
Agriculture
Vilsack Puts Focus on Food, Nutrition Insecurity
2021-03-05 14:36:53
by Kate Michael

WASHINGTON — Just over a week after he was confirmed as head of the United States Department of Agriculture for the second time, Tom Vilsack doubled down on his efforts to solve both food and nutrition insecurity around the nation. ... Read More

'We Are Facing Extinction': Black Farmers in Steep Decline
Agriculture
'We Are Facing Extinction': Black Farmers in Steep Decline

BELLE PLAINE, Kan. (AP) — After Gil Alexander's death left no active Black farmers in a historic Kansas community once home to hundreds, Alexander's nephew and his wife gave up their jobs in Arizona to try and save the family... Read More

Vilsack Emerges as Biden's Top Candidate to Lead Agriculture Department
Agriculture
Vilsack Emerges as Biden's Top Candidate to Lead Agriculture Department

WASHINGTON — Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack has emerged as a leading candidate for secretary of agriculture in the Biden administration, reprising a role he held under President Barack Obama, according to people familiar with the nomination process. The people said that while Vilsack... Read More

Meeks, Scott Make History As First African-Americans to Hold Respective Chairs
Congress
Meeks, Scott Make History As First African-Americans to Hold Respective Chairs
2020-12-04 19:51:51
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - House Democrats made history on Thursday when the caucus voted to make Reps. Gregory Meeks, of New York, and David Scott, of Georgia, the first African-Americans to chair, respectively, the chamber's Foreign Affairs and Agriculture Committees. Meeks, who... Read More

‘Critical Fix’ Gives Klamath Irrigators Access to Up to $10 Million in Emergency Drought Relief
Agriculture
‘Critical Fix’ Gives Klamath Irrigators Access to Up to $10 Million in Emergency Drought Relief
2020-10-12 14:36:30
by Sean Trambley

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., and U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., announced in a release that the U.S. House of Representatives passed a critically needed fix to the 2018 Water Resources Development Act that would... Read More

Washington State to Provide $300K in Grants to Shellfish Growers Impacted by COVID-19
State News
Washington State to Provide $300K in Grants to Shellfish Growers Impacted by COVID-19
2020-10-09 14:45:58
by Sean Trambley

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The Washington State Department of Commerce has announced $300,000 is available for grants to shellfish growers impacted by declining exports and restaurant sales due to COVID-19.  Local and global market demand for Washington’s world-renowned shellfish has dropped... Read More

American Farm Bureau Honors Rep. Delgado with Prestigious Ag Award
Agriculture
American Farm Bureau Honors Rep. Delgado with Prestigious Ag Award
2020-10-08 20:48:43
by Sara Wilkerson

On Wednesday, Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-N.Y., was honored by the American Farm Bureau Federation with their prestigious “Friend of Farm Bureau” award, an honor bestowed on lawmakers in recognition of their agricultural efforts for their farming communities. To receive the... Read More

American Farm Bureau Applauds Spanberger’s Efforts on Behalf of Ag Community
Agriculture
American Farm Bureau Applauds Spanberger’s Efforts on Behalf of Ag Community
2020-10-07 13:59:48
by Reece Nations

WASHINGTON – United States Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., received the “Friend of Farm Bureau” award from the American Farm Bureau Federation on Tuesday.  Spanberger, who serves on the House Agriculture Committee and as chair of the Subcommittee on Conservation and... Read More

Pre-Pandemic, National Food Insecurity Dropped to Lowest Level Since Great Recession
Agriculture
Pre-Pandemic, National Food Insecurity Dropped to Lowest Level Since Great Recession
2020-09-10 15:22:53
by Reece Nations

WASHINGTON – Last year, roughly 10.5% of all U.S. households lacked access to enough food for “an active, healthy life for all household members,” according to a report from the USDA’s Economic Research Service. This figure is down slightly from... Read More

Struggling Farmers Work With Overwhelmed Food Banks to Stay Afloat
Agriculture
Struggling Farmers Work With Overwhelmed Food Banks to Stay Afloat

As the pandemic shut down restaurants this spring, California farmers and ranchers saw their markets drop by half, leaving many with fields full of crops but no buyers. And as millions of people lost their jobs, the state’s food banks... Read More

A Century Ago, It Was a Florida Landscape Shrub. Now, It's a Pest Plant That Keeps Spreading
Agriculture
A Century Ago, It Was a Florida Landscape Shrub. Now, It's a Pest Plant That Keeps Spreading

MIAMI — Decorative landscaping in the early 1900s introduced a new shrub to Florida whose young leaves were pink and whose berries were a deep purple. The plant, called shoebutton ardisia, started invading forests and wetlands within decades. It continues... Read More

Rockefeller Foundation Calls for Reforming US Food System
Food
Rockefeller Foundation Calls for Reforming US Food System
2020-08-11 17:51:39
by Gracie Kreth

NEW YORK - The Rockefeller Foundation has published a paper calling for immediate action to reform the U.S. food system. Amid the pandemic and deep economic downturn the country is facing, food insecurity has escalated, particularly among Black, Indigenous and... Read More

A Farmer, ‘Little Ghosts’ and 18,000 Tobacco Plants: How COVID-19 Upended Farming in South Korea
Food
A Farmer, ‘Little Ghosts’ and 18,000 Tobacco Plants: How COVID-19 Upended Farming in South Korea

NORTH JEOLLA PROVINCE, South Korea — It wasn’t yet 9 a.m., but Promdeth Phonsrikaew stood sweat-soaked in the field. He was in his third hour of picking tobacco, beginning shortly after dawn at the foot of a mountain in a... Read More

Economic Blow of the Coronavirus Hits America’s Already Stressed Farmers
Agriculture
Economic Blow of the Coronavirus Hits America’s Already Stressed Farmers

Richard Oswald, still mourning the loss of his family’s homestead to flooding along the Missouri River, is planting corn and soybeans into ground that last year was feet deep underwater. It’s probably good, he said, to not have too much... Read More

Small Farmers Worry Government Won’t Bail Them Out of Pandemic Woes
Agriculture
Small Farmers Worry Government Won’t Bail Them Out of Pandemic Woes
2020-04-14 21:07:19
by Gaspard Le Dem

When the coronavirus started shutting down livestock markets, Darvin Bentlage knew his farm would take a hit. Springtime cattle sales usually bring in about a third of his ranching income, and cattle prices were already at a low, he said. ... Read More

Stop Milking It, Dairy Farmers Tell Plant-Based Competitors
Agriculture
Stop Milking It, Dairy Farmers Tell Plant-Based Competitors

WASHINGTON — What’s milk? For Jason Gallion, the only full-time farmer serving in the Maryland state Senate, the question is a no-brainer. “It’s always been assumed the definition of milk is that it’s from a mammal,” said Gallion, 43, whose... Read More

Restoring Former Farmland: ‘The System Doesn’t Just Bounce Back’
Agriculture
Restoring Former Farmland: ‘The System Doesn’t Just Bounce Back’

MINNEAPOLIS — It’s been more than 91 years since the last crop was pulled from the soil of an old farm field that, hidden away in a science reserve just north of the Twin Cities, has been left to grow... Read More

Hot Hemp Pits States Against Feds
Agriculture
Hot Hemp Pits States Against Feds

New federal regulations would make it harder for hemp growers to prove their plants are not marijuana, in what could be a major setback to a promising industry legalized just two years ago, farmers and state officials say. The U.S.... Read More

Revised North American Trade Deal Overwhelmingly Passes House
Trade
Revised North American Trade Deal Overwhelmingly Passes House
2019-12-20 14:41:04
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - In a strong show of bipartisan cooperation just hours after they were at each other's throats over the impeachment of President Donald Trump, Democrats and Republicans threw their support behind a new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.... Read More

Trump Dispenses Billions in Aid to Farmers, Hoping to Shore Up Rural Base
Agriculture
Trump Dispenses Billions in Aid to Farmers, Hoping to Shore Up Rural Base

WASHINGTON — Moving to offset the impact his trade war has had on rural America, President Donald Trump has bypassed Congress to send some $20 billion in aid to farmers, mostly going to a bundle of states that are essential... Read More

Farmers Struggle as Hemp Harvest Winds Down
Agriculture
Farmers Struggle as Hemp Harvest Winds Down

PHOENIX, Ore. — Ajit Singh strode across his 16-acre hemp field toward a broken-down harvester. He’d been hoping all day that the mechanic now crouched beside the machine could get it back up and running. It was late October and... Read More

Problem Solvers Caucus Endorses Bipartisan Agricultural Workers Bill
Immigration
Problem Solvers Caucus Endorses Bipartisan Agricultural Workers Bill
2019-11-01 22:03:31
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The House Problem Solvers Caucus, a group dedicated to finding bipartisan consensus on important issues, has endorsed a bill to extend earned visa status to individuals who can show they've been regularly employed as an agricultural laborer in... Read More

GAO Report Says US Public Land Workers Face Assaults, Threats
Public Lands
GAO Report Says US Public Land Workers Face Assaults, Threats
2019-10-22 17:31:31
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Federal employees overseeing public lands in the U.S. were assaulted or threatened at least 360 times over a five-year period ending in 2017, a sign of increased tensions between the employees and anti-government groups, the Government Accountability Office... Read More

Historic Rains Ravaged Illinois Farms. Now The race Is On to Harvest Before It’s Too Late.
In The News
Historic Rains Ravaged Illinois Farms. Now The race Is On to Harvest Before It’s Too Late.

Mark Tuttle cuts straight to the point when describing the field and weather conditions he has faced this year on his farm in southern DeKalb County. “In one word, I’d say: ‘miserable,’ ” said Tuttle, who grows corn, soybeans and... Read More

California Farmers Face ‘Catastrophic’ Water Restrictions. Can They Adapt to Survive?
Agriculture
California Farmers Face ‘Catastrophic’ Water Restrictions. Can They Adapt to Survive?

TERRA BELLA, Calif. — It was 2015 and, as far as John Konda knew, farming still had a viable future in the San Joaquin Valley. So he expanded. The Tulare County grower planted 75 acres of pistachios, adding to a... Read More

Senate Bill Seeks to End Confusion Over Liability for Hemp Shipments
Agriculture
Senate Bill Seeks to End Confusion Over Liability for Hemp Shipments
2019-10-04 17:45:50
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON - A provision in the Justice Department’s annual funding bill is likely to alter the criminal liability risks for sellers and handlers of cannabis products. Ten states have authorized limited sales of the psychoactive drug for recreation, despite the... Read More

White House Repeals Obama-Era Clean Water Rule
Environment
White House Repeals Obama-Era Clean Water Rule
2019-09-13 19:51:40
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration announced Thursday that it is repealing an  Obama-era clean water rule that had placed limits on polluting chemicals that could be used near streams, wetlands and other bodies of water. According to the Environmental Protection... Read More

FOIA Doesn't Entitle Newspaper to Private Business Information
Supreme Court
FOIA Doesn't Entitle Newspaper to Private Business Information
2019-06-24 21:08:54
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the media and general public are not entitled to every bit of information a government body collects about private businesses. The underlying case came to the high court from South Dakota... Read More

Trump Administration Proposes Easing Rules on Genetically Engineered Crops
Agriculture
Trump Administration Proposes Easing Rules on Genetically Engineered Crops

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration would exempt many new genetically engineered crops from regulation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under a broad overhaul of biotechnology rules announced on Wednesday. The overhaul, which the department said would cut the cost... Read More

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