The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee advanced the nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning to be director of the Bureau of Land Management after a sharply partisan debate over her truthfulness about a 1989 tree-spiking incident on an Idaho national forest.
USDA’s 97th annual Ag Outlook Forum kicks off this morning, and for the first time the meeting will be held online. USDA’s new chief economist, Seth Meyer will provide the department’s annual forecast for crop and livestock production this year.
USDA officials tell Agri-Pulse they are working “amicably” with the Biden transition team, which is paving the way for the incoming administration next week. On the international front, the transition team has been pressing USDA for details on the impacts of the “phase one” trade deal with China.
The battle over control of the Senate could pivot on several Republican farm-state seats. Democrats’ hopes to expand their House majority could be shaped by whether they can hold onto rural districts they carried in 2018 and pick off some GOP incumbents.
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt’s job defending his department’s fiscal 2021 budget request on Wednesday was made a lot easier after President Donald Trump announced he would support full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.