Daily Harvest -- 8/22/2013
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Klobuchar and Grassley request oil company investigation
- Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, asked the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission to investigate possible anticompetitive practices by oil companies regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
Argus Leader: Despite legislative difficulties, Noem predicts farm bill will pass both houses
- After years of setbacks and false starts, Rep. Kristi Noem said it looks like Congress will finally pass a farm bill in the coming months.
Kalamazoo Gazette: U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow visits Hop Head Farms, discusses proposed federal crop insurance changes
- Jeff Steinman, the horticulture director of Hop Head Farms, said discussing the federal crop insurance programs, which he considers is a huge barrier for potential farmers who choose not to invest in certain crops such as hops, was of much interest to Hop Head Farms.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Reuters: U.S. farm, food groups want better oversight of GMO field trials
- More than 150 U.S. farm and food businesses and organizations on Wednesday called for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to strengthen its oversight of field trials of experimental, genetically modified crops.
USA Today: More kids skip school lunch, but breakfasts are up
- Fewer kids ate school lunch last year after new nutrition standards put more vegetables and fewer french fries on their plates. But breakfast consumption at schools rose as more places started offering the meal in creative ways and often at no charge.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Politico: Unlikely allies seek to limit Obama trade powers
- What could conservative Republican Reps. Michele Bachmann and Walter Jones and liberal Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro possibly agree on? They all want to limit President Barack Obama’s ability to “fast-track” international trade deals.
Minneapolis Star Tribune: New Zealand launches charm offensive to reassure Chinese milk buyers after botulism scare
- The announcement by Fonterra, the world's biggest dairy exporter, of contamination in an ingredient used in baby formula threw up a potentially damaging obstacle. New Zealand's response is being led by Prime Minister John Key, reflecting the importance of milk as a pillar of its exports and of China as the world's most promising consumer market.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: USDA renews Agricultural Air Quality Task Force
- The Agricultural Air Quality Task Force is meant to promote USDA research efforts and identify cost-effective ways the agriculture industry can improve air quality.
Agri-Pulse: Wanted: Development Program for Conservation Leaders
- Bruce Knight, principal of Strategic Conservation Solutions, says in order to meet the changes and challenges we face, it's time to create a leadership development program for a new generation of conservation leaders.
National Journal: House GOP Plans Mega-Hearing on Climate Change
- Republican leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee are planning a major hearing on climate change on Sept. 18 and are inviting leaders of 13 federal agencies to testify.
Denver Post: U.S. Forest Service diverts $600 million to fighting wildfires
- Running out of money to fight wildfires at the peak of the season, the U.S. Forest Service is diverting $600 million from timber, recreation and other areas to fill the gap.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
The Hill: Grassley: Senate immigration bill is 'chock-full of loopholes'
- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said he hopes the House passes a better immigration reform bill that fixes the “broken” system since the Senate-passed bill is “chock-full of loopholes.”
Agri-Pulse: Farm income up slightly in Eighth Federal Reserve District
- Farm income, along with capital and household spending, in the seven-state Eighth Federal Reserve District increased modestly in the second quarter of 2013 as compared to the same period last year.
Agri-Pulse: Military vets could help fill ag jobs void
- (Audio) New talent is needed in the agricultural industry, including experienced professionals and new university graduates. The president of AgCareers.com says he’s looking toward the military to help fill the gap.
NPR: Young Farmers Break The Bank Before They Get To The Field
- A 2011 from the National Young Farmers Coalition showed access to land and capital to be the single biggest factors keeping young people from getting into farming or ranching. The survey also indicated young people are concerned about the environment — they're "" — and interested in small-scale operations.
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