Daily Harvest -- 9/23/2013
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Washington Week Ahead: Congress scrambles to avoid shutdown
- The main focus of the week will likely be more congressional action to avoid another possible shutdown of the federal government. Some farm bill action also may be in the offing.
Agri-Pulse: USDA's #MyFarmBill Social Media Campaign
- (Audio) Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the department has been asking people to use the social media campaign to tell real stories about how farm bill programs have helped them. The effort is an attempt to show Congress how diverse the bill’s influence is.
Agri-Pulse: Opinion: It's Time for Congress to Clinch the Farm Bill
- Andrew McElwaine, President and CEO of American Farmland Trust, writes that Congress should remember that when it comes to protecting our natural resources, this multiyear cornerstone of U.S. farm policy is a prize worth vying for.
National Journal: The Two Sides of Crop Insurance
- Depending on whom you talk to, the crop-insurance program is either an essential risk-management tool that helps farmers when disaster strikes or a Robin Hood-in-reverse scheme that takes from the poor and gives to the rich.
Watertown Daily Times: Rep. Owens says bipartisan compromise will be crucial to pass farm bill by deadline
- To reach a compromise, however, Republicans must be willing to substantially reduce the $39 billion cut, said U.S. Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh. Not one Democrat voted in favor of the nutrition bill that passed the House on Thursday in a 217-210 vote.
Roll Call: Cantor’s Farm Bill Strategy Pays Off
- To understand what the Virginia Republican had at stake, you have to go back to January, to the Republican retreat at a golf resort in Williamsburg, Va. That’s where Cantor laid out a plan to apply the principles of welfare reform to programs such as food stamps and housing.
Politico: Fate of farm bill far from clear
- The House Rules Committee, which is virtually controlled by Boehner (R-Ohio), suddenly backed away from beginning the process this past Wednesday. When the House returns the middle of next week, the political waters may be no calmer.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Politico: Germany, 'Veggie Day,' and Michelle Obama
- In what could be a cautionary tale for First Lady Michelle Obama's efforts to tweak Americans' diets, Germans look set to punish the Green Party for urging that public cafeterias go meat-free on a designated "Veggie Day" each week in order to help the environment and reduce cruelty to animals.
Washington Post: How to bring farmers markets to the urban poor
- Crossroads was one of the first markets in the country to raise private money to supplement food stamps and nutrition-assistance grants. For every dollar a low-income mother-to-be spends at Crossroads with her benefits, for example, she can receive an equal amount in market coupons — called Fresh Checks — doubling her purchasing power.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: Audio Open Mic with John Dardis, Agricultural Attache, Irish Embassy
- Dardis sees Ireland's agricultural future in the amount of beef, dairy, whiskey and other high value exports the island nation can ship around the world while creating much needed jobs. He also offers perspective on biotechnology acceptance and how Ireland is trying to build their next generation of young farmers.
Wall Street Journal: Starboard Concedes on Smithfield's Takeover by Chinese Pork Producer
- Activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP all but abandoned its effort to block Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd.'s $4.7 billion acquisition of Smithfield Foods Inc., smoothing the way for shareholder approval of the landmark deal next week.
Financial Times: Trans-Pacific Partnership: Ocean’s Twelve
- The new trade zone, which would stretch from the US to New Zealand and from Japan to Peru, would be the first self-styled “21st-century trading agreement” and, arguably, the most important advance for free trade in two decades.
The Globe and Mail: Canada-EU achieve ‘breakthrough’ on meat issue in free trade talks, sources say
- Canada and the European Union have quietly reached a tentative agreement on beef and pork, one of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of a comprehensive trade and investment deal.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Washington Post: Conservationists push to preserve North Dakota prairie, wetlands through farm policy
- The region is being transformed “at a rate and scale not seen since the Dust Bowl,” said Eric Lindstrom, government affairs representative for Ducks Unlimited, a wetlands-conservation group.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Washington Post: House Republicans say they’ll act on immigration reform this year
- House Republicans intensified their outreach to Latino groups last week, offering renewed pledges that the House will deal with immigration reform this year.
New York Times: For Migrants, New Land of Opportunity Is Mexico
- Rising wages in China and higher transportation costs have made Mexican manufacturing highly competitive again, with some projections suggesting it is already cheaper than China for many industries serving the American market.
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