Daily Harvest -- 3/3/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: USDA earmarks $27.6 million for rural pilot projects to combat child hunger
- USDA is awarding $27.6 million to five demonstration projects aimed at ending childhood hunger in America.
Des Moines Register: Vilsack defends food stamp program
- The food stamp program is being unfairly targeted by Republican lawmakers despite evidence it helps children, the elderly and other Americans, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Monday.
Des Moines Register: Bruce Rastetter: The quiet, fierce man behind ag summit
- The agribusiness entrepreneur and president of the Iowa Board of Regents, who has given more than $1.1 million in state political contributions since 2003, is not the sort to chuckle.
New York Times: Saving Big on Energy Bills, People Take It to the Bank
- While few outside of Texas and North Dakota are complaining about this huge savings that consumers have enjoyed since energy prices began falling last summer, economists have been stumped recently trying to figure out exactly what consumers are doing with the windfall.
Houston Chronicle: Biofuels industry should heed advice to diversify
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has some smart advice for biofuel producers in the United States, evolve or risk obsolescence.
New York Post: Catsimatidis trying to slip pricey biofuels mandate into budget
- Senate Republicans, under pressure from maverick supermarket billionaire John Catsimatidis, are trying to slip a “green biofuels” mandate into Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new budget that could add $150 million a year to heating costs in New York, business sources have told The Post.
Boston Globe: Rhode Island project may become nation’s first offshore wind farm
- Deepwater Wind, a Providence-based renewable energy developer, said Monday that its Block Island wind farm project was fully financed. The $250 million, five-turbine project is on track to put “steel in the water” in Rhode Island state waters later this summer, the company said, and begin generating 30 megawatts of power in 2016.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Key senator proposes cuts to school nutrition standards
- Sodium limits for schools would be frozen at their current limits and a whole grain requirement would be cut in half under proposed legislation that school nutrition directors will be lobbying Congress this week to pass.
Agri-Pulse: Wanted: Pix of fruits and veggies to shift 'food porn' balance
- Bolthouse Farms is challenging America to shift the balance of “food porn” and help create a healthier Internet.
Agri-Pulse: FDA overseas offices lag behind FSMA inspection mandate
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not keeping pace with a mandate that requires its overseas offices to inspect foreign food facilities, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.
NPR: Your Grandparents Spent More Of Their Money On Food Than You Do
- Because of the overall rise in income, and the consistent shrinking of food prices adjusted for inflation, we actually have more disposable income than our grandparents did, according to Annette Clauson, an agricultural economist with USDA's Economic Research Service who helped calculate the data in the chart.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: Trade is critical to rural America: Agriculture is key to TPA
- Marshall Matz, John Block: While Secretary Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative's chief agriculture negotiator Darci Vetter are making the case for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), Senator Ron Wyden, the Senior Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, is arguing for more negotiating transparency to be required by TPA before signing on.
Agri-Pulse: AFBF and NFU Disagree on TPA and TPP
- (Audio) The majority of farm organizations support Trade Promotion Authority for the president and the conclusion of a Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, but the National Farmers Union is opposed to both, according to Senior Vice President of Programs Chandler Goule.
Agri-Pulse: Dairy groups endorse TPA for trade agreements
- The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) today jointly urged Congress to enact new Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation, saying it is crucial to securing well-negotiated trade agreements, including a Pacific Rim pact that would open key markets to more U.S. dairy products.
Washington Post: EU nations get power to ban genetically-modified crops
- The European Union is giving member states the power to ban the cultivation of genetically-modified crops even if they have been approved by the bloc’s food safety authority.
New York Times: Britain Had Wheat Before Farming, Study Says
- DNA from an underwater site suggests that there was wheat in Britain 8,000 years ago — 2,000 years before farming arrived in the region.
Reuters: U.S. agriculture delegation visits Cuba, protests embargo
- The most important U.S. agricultural delegation to visit Cuba in more than a decade began three days of meetings on Monday, hoping to find potential business partners, while urging the U.S. Congress to lift the U.S. embargo on trade with the island.
The National: The future of farming in the UAE is vertical
- Growing crops on the roofs of office blocks or in vertical stacks could be ways of feeding the growing population of the Arab world, a conference heard on Monday.
AL: Chicken feet to Asia. Leg quarters to Cuba. How Alabama's $15 billion poultry industry feeds the world.
- Stacked onto pallets, stored in containers, and frozen at bone-chilling temperatures, Alabama's chickens feed the world.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Reuters: EU's 2050 green goals will need radical policy shifts: report
- The European Union will need radical new policies to reach goals for safeguarding the environment by 2050 after limited progress in curbing pollution and climate change, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said on Tuesday.
Washington Post: Delaware panel issues report addressing climate change
- At a news conference marking the release of a report of a panel he charged with studying how the state should prepare for the effects of climate change, Markell described climate change as “a big deal,” affecting everything from public health and safety to agriculture and economic development.
Voice of America: Experts Want Agriculture at Center of Climate Deal
- The Paris International Agricultural Show is the biggest farming event in France. The show has plenty of farm animals, growers and other people every year.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
USA Today: Voices: This time immigration impasse can do real harm
- Around this time two years ago, a bipartisan group of eight senators came together in an effort to at last solve our nation's immigration problem.
CNN: Scott Walker reverses immigration stance
- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Sunday that his "view has changed" on immigration and he no longer supports reforms that would allow undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States.
Agri-Pulse: Mikulski to retire as longest serving woman in Congress
- Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., announced Monday that she will retire at the end of the 114th Congress in 2017, ending the longest congressional career of any woman in history.
New York Post: Cherry king’s secret pot farm likely made millions: expert
- “Cherry King” Arthur Mondella was likely making millions of dollars from his secret pot-growing farm, according to an expert in the city’s illicit ganja trade — former pot farmer and ex-Gambino gangster John Alite.
Delaware Online: No sign of Peltz compromise in DuPont’ SEC filing
- DuPont maintained its hard line against billionaire investor Nelson Peltz in the preliminary proxy statement it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Arkansas Business: Tysons Give $5M to UA System Agriculture Division
- The Tyson family and Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale donated $5 million to the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
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