‘Justice’ bill would transfer up to 32 million acres to Black farmers
Black-owned farmland could expand sevenfold under a bill filed by three Democratic senators on Thursday to reverse decades of discriminatory practices by the Agriculture Department, sometimes called “the last plantation.” The Justice for Black Farmers Act would enable Black farmers to acquire up to 160 acres apiece at no charge through a USDA system of land grants.
Smithfield settles suits over North Carolina farms, after losing appeal
Smithfield Foods announced Thursday that it had reached a settlement with plaintiffs who had sued the company over the stench, flies, buzzards, and truck traffic coming from its industrial swine farms in North Carolina. The announcement came immediately after the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, rejected a call from the world’s largest pork producer for a retrial in a lower court case it had lost.
Tyson orders investigation of ‘betting on Covid’ allegations
Former attorney general Eric Holder will lead an independent investigation into allegations that managers of a Tyson Foods hog plant in Waterloo, Iowa, ran a betting pool on how many employees would become ill with Covid-19, said the meat processor on Thursday.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Lowest-cost Thanksgiving dinner in 10 years: Largely because of lower prices for turkey, the classic Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, sweet potatoes, green peas, and pumpkin pie would cost an average of $4.69 per person, the lowest price in a decade, according to an informal survey of grocery prices. (American Farm Bureau Federation)
Fewer teeth when OSHA bites: In 1988, OSHA fined a meatpacker $4.3 million for violating the “general duty clause” of labor law for workplace safety, but during the pandemic, meatpacker fines twice dropped below $20,000, which the agency says is the maximum it can impose. (Food Dive)
Hazard, yes. Pay, no: As coronavirus cases continue to rise, retailers that rewarded workers with so-called hazard pay raises during the first wave of the pandemic are reluctant to offer the bonus wages this time around. (New York Times)
Fake Ohio farms won coronavirus aid: A businessman and his family obtained $7.2 million in loans and grants from the SBA for 20 agriculturally themed but nonexistent companies located at residences in the Cleveland area. (Bloomberg)
A niche selling large dairies: Schuil and Associates, an agricultural real estate company in California’s Central Valley, specializes in selling large dairy farms, with 2,500 to 10,000 cows, mostly to other dairy farmers looking to expand. (Farm Progress)