USDA puts $67 million to new program for heirs’ property owners
The Department of Agriculture on Thursday will announce $67 million in funding for owners of heirs’ property, aiming to address a leading cause of land loss among Black and low-income farmers. “The key here is for it to work,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in an exclusive interview. “When it works, we can go back to Congress to appropriate more money … it’s trying something, learning from it, and perfecting it.”
More competition in meatpacking or ‘bust them up,’ senators are told
With four companies dominating the meat industry, Congress and federal regulators must intervene to assure that livestock farmers get a fair price from processors or “if need be, bust them up,” the president of the National Farmers Union said at a Senate hearing on Wednesday.
Infrastructure package has $65 billion for broadband
The infrastructure agreement announced by a bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday would expand broadband access to all Americans, according to the White House. An estimated 35 percent of rural families currently lack high-speed internet service.
Today’s Quick Hits
California’s Prop 12 upheld: The U.S. appeals court in San Francisco agreed with a district court’s dismissal of a lawsuit by farm groups trying to overturn California’s Proposition 12 animal welfare law. Prop 12 bans shipment of pork, veal and eggs produced in other states if the animals are housed in conditions that do not meet California’s animal welfare standards. (FERN’s Ag Insider)
Swine fever in Dominican Republic: USDA scientists confirmed African swine fever in hogs in the Dominican Republic, the closest the highly contagious viral disease has come to the United States. (USDA)
Free school meals: Congress should enact free meals for all public schoolchildren to reduce hunger and improve academic performance, said the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in an op-ed. (The Hill)
Jacobs-Young for undersecretary: President Biden nominated Chavonda Jacobs-Young, head of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, to be agriculture undersecretary for research. (White House)
Bunge earnings soar: A day after rival ADM reported a 52 percent jump in quarterly profit, grain trader Bunge said its net income leaped to $398 million, a 41 percent increase, an indication of impact of the pandemic on major grain traders. (Reuters)