Daily Harvest -- 3/9/2015
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: Budget battle looms for Congress; TPP negotiators meet
- (Subscriber only) Lawmakers are bracing for a battle over federal spending as House and Senate Republican leaders prepare budget blueprints for reducing the deficit.
Agri-Pulse: Open Mic with Roger Johns, Pres. National Farmers Union
- (Audio) Our guest on Open Mic is National Farmers Union President, Roger Johnson. As the group prepares for their 2015 convention, Johnson shares his support for current farm bill and opposes any attempt to return to open policy debate.
Agri-Pulse: Iowa Ag Summit elevates key issues for presidential contenders
- Rastetter told Agri-Pulse that the idea surfaced last November and Gov. Terry Branstad has been a big supporter of the event, even calling a number of candidates and encouraging them to join the discussion. Other Iowa agricultural leaders have jumped on board, too.
Agri-Pulse: Walker pledges backing for biofuel mandate, touts food stamp work requirement
- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker closed out an historic forum for potential presidential candidates by checking off the boxes on policies important to Midwest farmers, starting with support for federal biofuel policy.
Agri-Pulse: Christie kicks off ag summit with attack on Obama biofuel policy and Cuba; rules out GMO labeling
- Kicking off an historic, agriculture-focused test of presidential candidates, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie slammed the Obama administration's regulatory policy and inaction on biofuel mandates, key concerns for Iowa agriculture, but he endorsed keeping the trade embargo on Cuba.
Agri-Pulse: Bush backs 'certainty' on ethanol, calls for legalizing immigrants
- Jeb Bush, forced to address two landmines that face his potential presidential candidacy in Iowa, said ethanol needs "certainty' from federal policy and called for giving undocumented workers a path to legal status.
Agri-Pulse: Growers concerned about RFS, lower prices at Commodity Classic
- (Video) A record number of corn, soybean, wheat, and sorghum producers gathered last week in Phoenix to discuss trade and renewable fuels policy as well as set policy for their organizations for the coming year. In this video, state soybean leaders talk about uncertainty in the Renewable Fuel Standard and potential drop in net farm income that could have long-term consequences on the industry.
Agri-Pulse: Perry: Leave biofuel policy to states
- Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry disappointed an audience hungry for him to reverse his opposition to federal biofuel policy and instead gave a muddled argument for leaving it to states to support renewable energy development.
Agri-Pulse: Focus of Iowa summit is RFS
- (Audio) Nine GOP presidential hopefuls were asked a number of agricultural related questions at the first Iowa Ag Summit on Saturday. Each potential candidate was asked specifically where they stand on the Renewable Fuel Standard.
Wall Street Journal: At Iowa Ag Summit, GOP Hopefuls Split on Renewable Fuel Rule
- Nearly a dozen Republicans weighing White House bids attended the Iowa Ag Summit, an effort by the state’s agricultural industry to exercise its clout in the early race for the GOP nomination.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: USDA to fund $30.5 million worth of training, equipment for healthier school meals
- The USDA announced today it will grant over $30 million to states so schools can serve healthier meals and snacks to their students.
The Hill: USDA allocates $5.5M to help schools serve healthier lunches
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture is giving schools $5.5 million in training grants, in addition to the $25 million being allocated this year for new kitchen equipment, to help districts prepare healthier meals.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Rep. Collin Peterson reluctant to tackle food stamp inconsistencies just yet
- Some Minnesota residents make slightly too much to receive benefits by Minnesota law while their counterparts making the same income across the state line are getting help.
Washington Post: McDonald’s makes a healthy choice
- Farmers and ranchers have often argued they are not responsible for the rise of antibiotic resistance and have balked at change. The McDonald’s decision is certain to get their attention and cause change by market incentives.
New York Times: McDonald’s Seeks Its Fast-Food Soul
- Its core customers still line up at the drive-through window for cheap, quick cups of coffee and hash browns. But the company is also trying to appeal to more finicky eaters who have moved onto upstart competitors like Smashburger and Chipotle, which market their quality ingredients and food customization.
CNBC: Fast food's new mantra: What's old is new
- For some diners, recent menu additions at fast-food giants Burger King and McDonald's are sparking a trip down memory lane. The two chains are embracing a "what's old is new" menu strategy, and selling items that were removed years ago to boost sales.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Top presidential economists call on Congress to pass TPA
- Top presidential economic advisers from both parties going back to Gerald Ford are calling on Congress to give President Obama fast-track negotiating authority.
The Japan Times: Japan-U.S. gap left in working-level TPP talks
- Japan and the United States failed to bridge the gap over tariff issues related to agricultural and auto trade as they wrapped up working-level bilateral talks associated with Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade negotiations on Friday.
The Hill: Labor fires back at Obama on trade
- Labor unions and other groups opposed to free-trade policies are ramping up a spring offensive against the White House and congressional Republicans with new trade legislation set to emerge in the coming weeks.
Glens Falls Post-Star: International Trade Commission makes preliminary determination on paper industry case
- The International Trade Commission reached “an affirmative preliminary determination” foreign competitors are illegally dumping product on the U.S. market to undercut U.S. paper manufacturers such as Finch Paper, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., announced Friday.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Des Moines Register: Panel covers issue of nutrient loss in Iowa soil
- Six Iowa farmers and conservationists offered their thoughts during a panel discussion on Iowa's soil nutrient loss issue Saturday at Drake University.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Agri-Pulse: Imported farmworkers need protection from recruiters, GAO says
- Mexicans and other foreigners who are imported to temporarily work on U.S. farms and in the food industry need better protection from recruiters who charge hefty, prohibited fees and lie about jobs, investigators say.
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