Deputy secretary will be first Biden appointee to leave USDA
Jewel Bronaugh, the first Black person to serve as Agriculture deputy secretary, said on Thursday that she would leave the USDA at the end of February “so I can spend more time with my family.” Bronaugh, who oversees the USDA’s day-to-day operations, would be the first high-level Biden appointee to depart the agency.
FDA asks Congress for help on CBD regulations
Pointing to a lack of scientific research, the FDA said on Thursday that it would not consider rulemaking for the use of cannabidiol products as dietary or food supplements or in animal feed. Instead, said principal deputy commissioner Janet Woodcock, the FDA wants to work with Congress on “a new regulatory pathway” for CBD.
Extreme weather creates a food crisis for California farmworkers
Farmworkers who harvest the nation’s food are paid so little that they can’t always afford to eat. Now extreme weather events — many of them fueled by climate change — are making matters worse. “When climate hits, these communities of farmworkers are hit harder,” says Josue Medellin-Azuara, an associate professor of environmental engineering at the University of California, Merced. This story was produced in collaboration with “Here and Now,” the national radio program from WBUR.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Rainfall becomes windfall: California’s winter storms have bolstered state reservoirs, and the Department of Water Resources expects to give drought-stricken public water agencies 30 percent of the water supplies they requested rather than the 5 percent previously allocated. (Department of Water Resources)
Welch joins Senate Ag: Democrat Peter Welch, who succeeded Pat Leahy as U.S. senator from Vermont, will also succeed him as a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. (VTDigger)
‘We have to act’: California Gov. Gavin Newsom said his administration is investigating the mushroom farms in Half Moon Bay where seven farmworkers were killed in a mass shooting earlier this week, after investigators discovered the “squalor” the workers had been forced to live in. (San Francisco Chronicle)
Four Illinois reps on House Ag: First-term Reps. Jonathan Jackson, Nikki Budzinski, and Eric Sorensen of Illinois are among the new Democratic members of the House Agriculture Committee. Republican Mary Miller is returning to the panel. (FarmWeek Now)
DOE boosts aviation biofuel: AVAPCO, which will build a demonstration plant to convert biomass into sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel, won $80 million of $118 million awarded by the Energy Department to accelerate the production of sustainable biofuels. (Department of Energy)