Daily Harvest -- 1/9/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Roberts takes over Senate committee, making history
- Pat Roberts officially became chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday, making him the first lawmaker to chair both that panel and its House counterpart.
Wall Street Journal: Dairy Factory Gears Up for Production
- In November 2012, when Cayuga Milk Ingredients Inc. broke ground for a $100 million dairy factory, U.S. dairy exports were booming and prices were high.
Wall Street Journal: N.J. Pigs Are Political Pawns, Farmers Say
- Farmer John Demarest has a message for New Jersey politicians: Please leave him and his hogs alone.
New York Times: Animal Rights Group’s Video of Hens Raises Questions, but Not Just for Farms
- An animal rights group released on Thursday a disturbing video of laying hens at a farm in Northern California that supplies eggs to Whole Foods and Organic Valley, among other retailers and distributors.
National Law Review: Wisconsin Supreme Court Weighs-in on Pollution Exclusions (Again) in Two Cases
- On December 30, 2014, the Wisconsin Supreme Court decided two cases in which the central issue was whether the substance responsible for the alleged property damage constitutes a "pollutant" sufficient to invoke pollution exclusions in relevant insurance policies.
Ag-Alert: Farm groups list priority issues for new Congress
- A changing of the guard takes place as the U.S. Congress convenes in Washington, D.C., this week for its 114th session, and farm organizations say they'll be gauging how that change affects key agricultural issues.
Wall Street Journal: Iowa water utility backs suing counties over farm runoff
- Iowa’s largest water utility plans to take its rural neighbors to court to protect drinking-water supplies, bringing a national fight over farm runoff to the heart of the U.S. corn belt.
Agri-Pulse: Senate panel advances Keystone bill, but Pelosi confident veto would stand
- A bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline is headed to the Senate floor next week after the Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved the measure on a near party-line vote, 13-9.
National Geographic: Do plummeting oil prices weaken case for Keystone Pipeline?
- Now in its seventh year, pending Keystone project will likely get another boost from Congress, but its fate remains unclear.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Deb Eschmeyer named to White House nutrition post
- Sam Kass's former nutrition spot on the White House staff is now filled. The White House announced that Debra (Deb) Eschmeyer will join the White House as the executive director of Let's Move! and senior policy advisor for nutrition policy.
Agri-Pulse: Meet the lawmaker: Jim McGovern, Massachusetts 2nd District
- (Video) After spending much of the 113th Congress fighting for strong nutrition programs, Massachusetts congressman Jim McGovern talks with Agri-Pulse's about the 2014 Farm Bill, the House Agriculture Committee in the 114th Congress, and why anyone that tries to cut nutrition funding “is going to have a fight."
Forbes: The 2015 dietary guidelines: another federal food activism vehicle?
- Every five years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) jointly issue the latest iteration of the federal government’s formal guidance on healthy eating, the Nutrition Guidelines.
Associated Press: 5 things to look for as govt writes new dietary advice
- A government advisory committee made up of medical and nutrition experts is set to issue preliminary recommendations this month. It indicated in draft recommendations circulated in December that it may suggest some changes in current dietary advice.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Ag stakeholders combine to back end to Cuban embargo
- With bipartisan support from some key members of Congress, more than 30 farm groups and agribusinesses on Thursday officially launched a coalition to work for the end of the half-century old Cuban embargo.
Wall Street Journal: German utility sells wind-farm stake to Macquarie
- German energy company EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG has agreed to sell a stake in an offshore wind farm to Australia’s Macquarie Capital in a deal worth €720 million ($857 million).
Reuters: U.S. free trade critics, supporters kick off battle for public opinion
- Supporters and critics of free trade are readying for a bitter battle this year over major free trade deals and legislation to fast-track trade agreements through the U.S. Congress.
New York Times: Democrats Step Up Efforts to Block Obama’s Trade Agenda
- President Obama is facing opposition from fellow Democrats to one of his top priorities: winning the power to negotiate international trade agreements and speed them through Congress.
Wall Street Journal: Rural Japan Governor’s Race to Test Abe’s Clout
- An upcoming governor’s race in a rural prefecture in southern Japan will be the first real test of whether Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has gained enough clout from his party’s landslide electoral win to take on a powerful interest group representing the nation’s small farmers.
Washington Post: Three weeks after Cuba accord, why haven’t more political prisoners been freed?
- Editorial Board: In what looked at the time like a partial recompense, the White House announced that the Castro regime had agreed to free 53 detainees — or about half the number of political prisoners identified by Cuban human rights activists.
The Courier: Few clues to how Truss would support farms if UK left European Union
- Within an hour of the Oxford Farming Conference opening, it was clear there was an expanse of open water between the views of Defra Secretary Liz Truss and those of Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
New York Times: 2 Puerto Rico sites chosen for US conservation program
- The U.S. government has selected two sites in Puerto Rico that will receive additional resources and protection as part of a federal conservation program.
Mercury News: California drought: State residents increase conservation but still fall far short of governor’s goal
- After two months in a row of declining conservation, Californians are doing better at saving water, but they remain far short of a goal set by Gov. Jerry Brown last January.
News4Jax: Senate begins work to carve conservation money
- Environmentalists offered state lawmakers a possible funding breakdown that included springs preservation and land acquisition, as work began Wednesday to carve up the money Florida voters overwhelmingly said in November should go to conservation efforts.
Reuters: Coldest temps since polar vortex test U.S. transport network
- Armed with lessons learned from last year's polar vortex, the U.S. transportation and shipping network faces its first big test of the winter this week as harsh cold and dangerous wind chills buffet the Plains to the East Coast.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
CNBC: Immigrant rule to mean fewer - not more - farm workers
- A recent executive action by President Barack Obama to protect some 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation may have the paradoxical effect of making it harder for farmers to find workers as they leave agriculture for better work elsewhere.
USA Today: House eyes bill to block Obama’s immigration order
- House Republicans may have found a way to stop the Department of Homeland Security from using any federal money to carry out President Obama's executive order to protect up to 4 million undocumented immigrants from deportation.
Chicago Tribune: NYC to begin banning restaurant plastic foam containers
- New York City plans to ban food establishments from using plastic foam containers starting July 1. Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration says there will be a grace period, without fines, until January 2016.
Agri-Pulse: How to milk 1,200 cows
- (Video) Most of Brian Rexing’s cows at New Generation Dairy in Indiana are milked two to three times per day with milking machines.
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