USDA announces $4.3 billion smorgasbord of ag aid – May 22, 2023

USDA announces $4.3 billion smorgasbord of ag aid

Farmers and ranchers who suffered losses due to natural disasters ranging from drought to hurricanes last year will receive $3.7 billion in aid in coming months, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The USDA also announced $500 million in additional funding for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program and $103 million to defray marketing costs for organic dairy farmers this year.

Mad cow case traced to Tennessee producer

Animal health officials announced the seventh case of mad cow disease in the United States in 20 years — an apparently spontaneous infection of a beef cow from a farm in southeastern Tennessee.



Facing climate disaster, a young chief helps his Louisiana tribe find a way forward

Devon Parfait steers his truck into the parking lot of what used to be a firehouse on Shrimpers Row in Dulac, Louisiana. He’s the new chief of the Grand Caillou/Dulac Band of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw, and he’s getting reacquainted with his community. The 1,100-citizen tribe has traditionally fished and hunted along this fertile edge of the Gulf of Mexico. But human engineering and extreme storms have reshaped Louisiana’s coastline, swallowing up 2,000 square miles of land since the 1930s. Land loss has chiseled away at tribal livelihoods and traditional diets, exacted a toll on citizens’ mental health, exacerbated chronic illnesses, and displaced families.


Biden: food cuts unacceptable: In calling for House Republicans to abandon “extreme” proposals, President Biden said he would not accept a debt-ceiling deal “putting food assistance at risk for … nearly 1 million Americans.” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Biden were to meet face to face on Monday. (White House)

Fetterman now ‘a joyful person’: Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, is wearing his trademark baggy hoodies and is “a joyful person to be around” after treatment for depression. (Associated Press)

Tastes just like chicken: With the FDA giving a green light to cell-cultured meat, 2023 could be a pivotal year for the industry, facing the challenges of bringing down costs and boosting volume, to prove it is a functional business model. (CNBC)

USDA research center ‘declining’: Three employees at USDA’s largest ag research center filed whistleblower complaints alleging years of mismanagement, delayed maintenance and staff cuts have pushed the Beltsville, Maryland, facility into decline. (Reuters)

First drought, then floods: After the worst drought in 40 years in the Horn of Africa, heavy rainfall in some regions has resulted in floods that displaced 1 million people in central Somalia. (Devex)


Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announces “significant investment” to expand access to housing, healthcare and infrastructure in eight states and Puerto Rico, as part of the Rural Partners Network, 11 a.m. ET, Washington.
The National Confectioners Association holds the annual Sweets and Snacks Expo, through Thursday, Chicago.
The National Restaurant Association holds annual show, through Tuesday, Chicago.
USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.

House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing on five bills dealing with wildfire suppression, 2 p.m. ET, 1324 Longworth.
North American Millers Association holds 2023 Washington Policy Conference, Washington.
House Appropriations Committee votes on USDA-FDA funding for fiscal 2024, 10 a.m. ET, 2359 Rayburn. The bill would make more able-bodied adults subject to a 90-day limit on food stamps unless they work at least 20 hours a week; rescind $6 billion earmarked for clean energy and farm-loan forgiveness; and end three livestock marketing rules under development at USDA.
USDA holds a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, Manhattan, Kansas. The $1.25-billion facility replaces the Plum Island Animal Disease Center as the highest-level biosafety USDA laboratory to conduct research on high-risk livestock diseases such as foot and mouth disease. “This state-of-the-art facility is a national asset that will help protect the nation’s agriculture, farmers and citizens against the threat and potential impact of serious animal diseases,” says the USDA..
U.S. Meat Export Federation holds 2023 Spring Conference, through Friday, Minneapolis.
USDA releases semi-annual Farm Labor and monthly Cold Storage reports, 3 p.m. ET.

USDA releases monthly Food Price Outlook, 9 a.m. ET. At present, grocery prices are forecast to rise 6.6 percent this year, compared to the 11.4-percent increase during 2022 and the long-term average of 2.5 percent annually.

The United States hosts a ministerial meeting on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, Detroit. “The Detroit meeting is an important milestone in IPEF negotiations, as it will mark one year since the framework was officially launched in Tokyo in May 2022,” said the U.S. trade representative’s office. It follows the third round of IPEF negotiations, held in Singapore from May 8-15.

May 29
Memorial Day, honoring men and women who died while serving in the armed forces. Observed originally as Decoration Day following the Civil War, Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971. The origins of the observance are unclear; some records suggest Black people held the first commemoration in 1865, says, but Waterloo, New York, is credited as the birthplace of Memorial Day because it hosted an annual community-wide observance in which businesses closed and residents put flowers and flags at the graves of soldiers. In 1868, former Gen. John Logan of Illinois, a Civil War veteran, proposed a nationwide day of remembrance of the war dead.

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