House Ag chairman: Use tax code to encourage purchases from Black farmers – April 26, 2021

House Ag chairman: Use tax code to encourage purchases from Black farmers

Black farmers “don’t have access to the same markets our white farmers have,” said House Agriculture chairman David Scott, but the tax code could put them on equal footing. Scott is working on legislation to offer tax incentives to processors and other companies if they buy crops and livestock from Black producers.

Biden is expected to eliminate ‘stepped-up basis’

During his campaign for the White House, President Biden said he would eliminate “stepped-up basis,” which allows heirs to avoid capital gains taxes, and he is expected to carry out the pledge this week to pay for an expansion of social programs. Farm groups say elimination of the tax break would impose a burden on agriculture.

Today’s Quick Hits

Sesame on allergy list: President Biden signed into law legislation that adds sesame to the federal list of major allergens for purposes of food labeling. (White House)

McKilap is USDA adviser: Doug McKilap, a member of the White House Domestic Council during the Obama era, was appointed senior adviser to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. (USDA)

JBS vows net-zero: In a full-page ad in the New York Times, JBS, one of the largest food companies in the world, said it would achieve net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2040, repeating a commitment made a month ago. (JBS)

Junk food for grasshoppers: Climate change has reduced the nutrient value of native grasses on a Kansas research site and contributed to a steady decline in the grasshopper population over the past quarter-century. (Harvest Public Media)

More food for seniors: The USDA announced an additional $37 million for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, which provides a monthly package of food to low-income senior citizens and tribes. (USDA)

On The Calendar


North American Agricultural Journalists holds annual meetings online, through Friday. Speakers include Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Senate Agriculture chairwoman Debbie Stabenow and House Agriculture chairman David Scott.
USDA releases weekly Crop Progress reports, 4 p.m. ET.


Supreme Court hears arguments over EPA power to exempt small-volume refineries from the RFS, 10 a.m. ET. The case is HollyFrontier Cheyenne Refining vs. Renewable Fuels Association.
Farm Foundation holds online forum, “Understanding the EU Farm to Fork strategy and its implications for US agriculture,” 10 a.m. ET. Tassos Haniotis, Alan Hardacre and Marta Messa will discuss the EU plan, while USDA economists Jayson Beckman and Marcos Ivanic discuss their analysis of it.
USDA releases Dairy Products Annual report, 3 p.m. ET.


On the eve of his 100th day in office, President Biden addresses a joint session of Congress, his first speech at the Capitol since taking office, 9 p.m. ET.

The House Rules Committee has an online hearing, “Ending hunger in America: Challenges, opportunities and building the political will to succeed,” noon ET. Rules chairman Jim McGovern, who has urged President Biden to call a White House conference on hunger, plans a series of hearings on hunger in America. “Unless we act and act boldly, this epidemic in food insecurity will persist long after the coronavirus has passed. We must seize this opportunity to end the hunger crisis once and for all,” said McGovern in announcing the hearing.

U.S. trade representative Katherine Tai is lead witness at Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on FY2022 funding for the USTR, 2 p.m. ET, 192 Dirksen.

The National Organic Standards Board holds spring meetings online, through Friday, noon ET.



Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing, “Diversifying on-farm income: Opportunities to strengthen rural America,” 10 a.m. ET, 102 Dirksen.

EPA administrator Michael Regan is lead witness at a House Energy and Commerce hearing online on proposed FY2022 budget for EPA, 11 a.m. ET.

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on proposed FY2022 funding for the EPA, 10 a.m. ET, 301 Russell.

International Grains Council releases monthly Grain Market Report, London.

Deadline for public comment to USDA on elements to be included in a new Rural Renewable Energy Pilot Program that would provide financial assistance to communities to develop renewable energy.

USDA releases annual Poultry Production and Value report, 3 p.m. ET.


House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing online, “Protecting workers from Covid-19: Monitoring the status of OSHA’s emergency temporary standard,” 2 p.m. ET.

USDA releases monthly Agricultural Prices report, 3 p.m. ET.

Deadline for public comment on a “climate-smart agriculture and forestry strategy” that would be deployed by the Biden administration to mitigate climate change.


May Day “just might have more holidays than any other day of the year,” says Infoplease. May 1 is a traditional day to celebrate spring, it’s a day for organized labor, it’s a day for political protests, and in many countries it is a national holiday. In Hawaii, it is Lei Day, to celebrate Hawaiian culture. During the Cold War, there were attempts to cast the day, claimed by workers and activists of many types, in support of law and the established order; President Eisenhower issued a Loyalty Day proclamation for May 1, 1958.

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