‘We need action’ by Senate on farm labor reform’
With congressional adjournment on the horizon, a parade of farmers, food processors, and lawmakers called on the Senate on Wednesday to get to work on legislation to give legal status to undocumented farmworkers and streamline the H-2A guestworker program. The House passed an ag labor bill 19 months ago, but nothing has emerged from behind-the-scenes negotiations in the Senate on the issue.
Ag groups argue over cost of Thanksgiving dinner
Turkey farmers and processors yelped over a farm group survey on Wednesday that said high turkey prices were driving up the cost of a home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner. “Turkeys and good deals are available!” said the National Turkey Federation in one of the few times the American Farm Bureau Federation has been challenged on its spot checks of holiday grocery prices.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
FDA okays lab-grown meat: The Food and Drug Administration finished a premarket review of lab-grown chicken made by Upside Foods, the first time cell-cultured meat has been evaluated by the FDA, clearing the way for the USDA to approve it for sale. (FDA)
USDA analyst swayed merger decision: A federal judge cited the testimony of a USDA sugar analyst, who appeared in her “personal capacity,” in approving the merger of U.S. Sugar and Imperial Sugar over the objections of the Biden administration. (Time)
Lula to stop deforestation: Brazilian president-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced at the UN climate conference that he will crack down on illegal deforestation in the Amazon Basin, saying, “There will be no climate security if the Amazon isn’t protected.” (Associated Press)
EPA names ag panelists: The EPA appointed 20 members to its Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee and said that Beth Sauerhaft of American Farmland Trust, previously appointed to the panel, would be its chair. (EPA)
Restoring watersheds: The USDA will provide up to $40 million to Trout Unlimited under a five-year agreement to improve watersheds on national forest and grasslands, including the cleanup of abandoned mines and the improvement of stream habitat. (USDA)