USDA puts into action its pledge to expand meat industry capacity – October 4, 2021

USDA puts into action its pledge to expand meat industry capacity

Three months ago, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the USDA would commit $500 million to expand meat and poultry processing capacity and create a more competitive livestock market. “I believe it is going to leverage literally billions of dollars in investment from investors and local governments,” said Vilsack at a meat locker plant in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Senate approves Stone-Manning as land management chief

Tracy Stone-Manning, a long-time environmentalist, will serve as the first Senate-confirmed director of the Bureau of Land Management in more than four years, winning a party-line roll call on her nomination, 50-45. Montana Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat, said Republicans resorted to character assassination in their attempts to defeat the nomination.

Today’s Quick Hits

No ransom: NEW Cooperative, a grain handler based in northern Iowa, said it will not pay ransom to the cyber-hacking group BlackMatter, which took over the co-op’s computer system and threatened to start publishing stolen data. (DTN/Progressive Farmer)

New deportation rules: Immigration officers will no longer be permitted to arrest and deport undocumented immigrants who are “contributing members” of the community, such as farmworkers, if they do not pose a security risk, said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. (CNBC)

Less food-borne illness: The number of food-borne illness infections dropped by nearly one-fourth during 2020, the first decline in many years, said the CDC; the role of the pandemic, if any, was not clear. (The Packer)

Rural Covid-19 relief: The California National Guard dispatched medical teams to three rural hospitals as northern and central California experienced their worst Covid-19 outbreaks yet. (Los Angeles Times)

Debut of eco-tractor: AUGA Group, based in Lithuania, said its M1 tractor uses hybrid biomethane-electric power to reduce greenhouse gas emissions “and allow food to be produced at no cost to nature.” (AUGA)

On The Calendar

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announces a loan guarantee to expand meat processing capacity, 1 p.m. ET.
U.S. trade representative Katherine Tai outlines the Biden administration’s approach to the bilateral trade relationship with China during an online conversation at the Center for Strategic and International Relations, 10 a.m. ET.
Ohio State University professor Scott Shearer speaks at The Chicago Farmers luncheon on “Strategies for mitigating soil compaction,” 12:30 p.m. ET, Illini Center, Chicago.
USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on updates to the 1872 mining law, 10 a.m. ET, 366 Dirksen.
The Consumer Federation of America hosts the National Food Policy Conference, through Wednesday. Saundra Eskin, Agriculture deputy undersecretary for food safety is the keynote speaker at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Purdue University releases a monthly Ag Economy Barometer, a gauge of the agricultural economy’s health.
Land Trust Alliance holds Rally 2021: National Land Conservation Conference, through Thursday, Cleveland.

Acting FDA commissioner Janet Woodcock and Susan Mayne, director of FDA’s Center on Food Safety, take part in an online “keynote conversation” at the Consumer Federation of America’s food policy conference, 1:05 p.m. ET. Following is a discussion of climate mitigation through the food system with FERN’s Chuck Abbott as moderator.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee hearing “to examine the status and management of drought in the western United States,” 2:30 p.m. ET, 366 Dirksen. Witnesses include Tanya Trujillo, Interior assistant secretary for water and science.
U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy and Renewable Fuels Association host annual Export Exchange, through Friday, Kansas City.
North American Millers Association conference, through Sunday, Boca Raton, Florida.

House Agriculture Committee hearing “to review the state of the livestock industry,” noon ET, 1300 Longworth.
Farmdoc Daily holds a webinar, “Is the MRTN nitrogen rate for corn high enough?” noon ET.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization releases monthly Food Price Index, measuring the monthly change in international prices for a basket of food commodities, Rome.

Oct. 11
A federal holiday since 1937, Columbus Day commemorates the arrival of the Italian explorer in the Americas in 1492, and by extension, the contributions of Italian-Americans to the United States. The holiday has been controversial for decades and many alternatives have been proposed, such as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, says That’s the title the House calendar lists for the holiday.

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