Some small-farm backers and animal welfare advocates are pushing for tighter policing of checkoffs, but the self-help commodity promotion programs are popular with most farmers, so don't hold your breath expecting new mandates from Congress.
All of the leading Democratic presidential candidates are calling for major increases in spending for roads, bridges, rural broadband and other infrastructure needs, but the plans differ sharply in scope as well as in how the candidates plan to pay for them.
Though a grocery shopper may remain oblivious to the financial collapse of Dean Foods, a major milk processor and manufacturer, the industry is guessing how the firm's trip though Chapter 11 bankruptcy and expected sale to the Dairy Farmers of America will all shake out.
Federal dollars have been a major catalyst in advancing renewable power, but industry officials say that government support going forward could be affected by proposed federal regulatory revisions and possible action in Congress.
With solar and wind power systems getting cheaper and coal prices steadily rising, America's rural areas are, often with the help of grants, loans, and tax breaks, getting in step with the global pursuit of renewable power.