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.
Joe Biden's decision to nominate Tom Vilsack to run the Agriculture Department for a second time will give Biden a policy veteran who shares his passion for addressing climate change and already has relationships with critical lawmakers and farm groups.
Providing some parting advice on climate policy, House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson said he was introducing legislation that would require the Agriculture Department to take 50 million acres of cropland out of production through the Conservation Reserve Program.
Leading farm groups united with two major environmental groups to release on Tuesday more than 40 policy proposals aimed at helping farmers benefit economically from reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions while helping growers become more resilient amid climate change.
Robert Bonnie, who oversaw USDA natural resource programs during the Obama administration, is leading the department’s transition effort for President-elect Joe Biden, while several EPA alumni are assisting with setting up the new administration’s operations at that agency.