Daily Harvest -- 2/25/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Vilsack pressed on subsidy eligibility rules
- The top Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee is pressing Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to significantly tighten eligibility rules for farm subsidies.
Agri-Pulse: Former Congressman says farm bills getting more difficult
- (Audio) Republican Tom Latham served as congressman for Iowa for 20 years, stepping down at the end of last year, wonders if the 2014 Farm Bill is the last farm bill.
New York Times: F.C.C. Net Neutrality Rules Clear Hurdle as Republicans Concede to Obama
- Senior Republicans conceded on Tuesday that the grueling fight with President Obama over the regulation of Internet service appears over, with the president and an army of Internet activists victorious.
South Coast Today: Rural Agriculture — Without trade promotion authority, Congress is holding back rural communities
- (Opinion) Whether you’re a farmer, a small business owner, or an employee at a rural business, you make products that are in high demand here at home and abroad.
National Journal: Agriculture has a science problem
- Developments in the past few weeks have raised questions about how much people should trust agricultural science and scientists.
La Crosse Tribune: Rural life draws city couple to organic lifestyle in Vernon County
- Aaron and Andrea Kane weren’t raised on farms — and they started out with more citified occupations — but their family now is as rooted in the land as the produce on their organic farm.
Agri-Pulse: Ethanol industry urges Congress to reject Big Oil’s attacks
- (Subscriber only) The U.S. ethanol industry had a spectacular year in 2014. But unless Congress and the driving public recognize the tremendous potential of biofuels and reject Big Oil's continuing attacks, the United States could lose its leadership position.
Agri-Pulse: Obama vetoes Keystone Pipeline bill
- President Barack Obama today kept his promise and vetoed a bill approving the Keystone XL Pipeline.
National Public Radio: Solar energy advocates find unexpected ally in Tea Party
- Florida is one of several states where the Tea Party has embraced a new cause: solar energy.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Meat Institute seeks more comment time on Dietary Guidelines panel's report
- The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) is asking that the comment period for the scientific report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) be extended from 45 days to 120 days.
US News: House, Senate GOP looking at food stamp overhaul after unsuccessful 2013 effort
- Congressional Republicans are laying the groundwork for an overhaul of the nation's food stamp program, trying again after an unsuccessful attempt two years ago.
Brownfield: Hershey announces transition to non-GMO
- Hershey is the latest company to announce a switch to non-GMO ingredients. The company announced it intends to remove genetically-modified ingredients from its Milk Chocolate and Kisses by the end of 2015.
Bloomberg: Soda tax bubbles up
- Is it smart to impose a sin tax on soda? Many Americans hate the idea, considering it an imposition on personal freedom.
Reuters: World's diet worsening with globalization, major study finds: TRFN
- The world's diet has deteriorated substantially in the last two decades, a leading nutrition expert said on Monday, citing one of the largest studies available on international eating habits.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: NPPC holding firm on trade positions
- As trade talks heat up on Capitol Hill and across the globe, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) isn't interested in making concessions to speed up a deal.
Wall Street Journal: Lawmakers grapple with ‘fast track’ trade bill
- Lawmakers from both parties are trying to strike a difficult balance as they wrangle over the final intricacies of a bill that would expedite consideration of trade deals.
Wall Street Journal: Biodiesel subsidy lifts palm-oil prices but sparks demand concerns
- Indonesia’s renewed push to increase the use of palm-oil-based biofuels this month may initially have helped pump up prices for the commodity, but that optimism is already fading, as traders reckon with the possible damage the subsidies could do to overall demand for the edible oil that is used in products ranging from lipstick to biscuits and detergents.
Reuters: Friction over India's beef trade heats up after attacks
- Hindu nationalists in India have stepped up attacks on the country's beef industry, seizing trucks with cattle bound for abattoirs and blockading meat processing plants in a bid to halt the trade in the world's second-biggest exporter.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Bee experts focus on chemical management, disease research
- Bee experts at USDA's annual Agricultural Outlook Forum last week said better management of crop chemicals could go a long way toward improving the health of this pollinator that is crucial to agriculture, but researching diseases that plague the insect is the best long-term solution.
Wall Street Journal: Head of U.N. climate-change panel resigns amid harassment allegations
- Indian environmentalist Rajendra K. Pachauri, a prominent voice on global warming, resigned Tuesday as head of the United Nations’ climate-change panel—a group that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize under his leadership—after a woman filed a sexual-harassment complaint against him with police.
Boston Herald: New England wildlife also suffering through tough winter
- New England's epic snowfalls haven't just made life miserable for humans: animals are suffering, too.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Wall Street Journal: Compromise offered to end DHS funding fight
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he would be willing to bring up a bill funding the Homeland Security Department through September stripped of measures reversing President Barack Obama’s immigration policies, one of the first signs of potential movement toward compromise in Congress.
Wall Street Journal: Hispanics could account for 40% of U.S. job growth by 2020
- The U.S. Hispanic population will account for 40% of employment growth over the next five years and more than 75% from 2020 to 2034, according to a new study.
Wall Street Journal: U.S. to grant work permits to spouses of some skilled immigrants
- Spouses of certain high-skilled immigrants working in the U.S. will soon be able to apply for work authorization of their own, the Obama administration is announcing Tuesday.
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