‘You have a partner in the White House,’ Biden tells farmers
In a message to a sector that overwhelmingly voted against him, President Biden told farmers on Monday, “you have a partner in the White House” who is pursuing agricultural prosperity and fair prices in the marketplace. Biden, who has assailed meatpackers for high profits during the pandemic, pointed to a proposed $1 billion to expand slaughter capacity and efforts to keep ag exports moving despite port congestion.
India agrees to allow imports of U.S. pork
After years of U.S. prodding, India has agreed to allow imports of U.S. pork and pork products, said the Biden administration on Monday. Despite being the second-most populous nation on earth, India imports small amounts of pork at present, but U.S. farm groups believe there is great potential for sales.
Supreme Court rejects bid for year-round E15 sales
The Supreme Court, without comment, refused to hear an ethanol industry appeal to reinstate year-round sales of E15, gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol. A federal appeals court ruled last July that the EPA, acting at the direction of then-President Trump, exceeded its authority in approving summertime sales of E15 in 2019.
Today’s Quick Hits
Vote on USDA nominees: The Senate Agriculture Committee is scheduled to vote on Wednesday on the nominations of Chavonda J. Jacobs-Young to be Agriculture undersecretary for research and Margo Schlanger to be Agriculture assistant secretary for civil rights. (Senate Ag)
Equity in conservation: The Natural Resources Conservation Service awarded $50 million to 118 partnerships for two-year projects to expand conservation assistance to new, low-income and socially disadvantaged farmers. (USDA)
USDA school rules: The USDA is expected to issue a regulation on salt, whole grains and milk in school meals later this month, replacing a Trump-era move to soften standards for school lunch, breakfast and other meals. (Politico)
Farmworker unions vetoed: Gov. Janet Mills vetoed a bill giving farmworkers the right to unionize in Maine, saying it would drive up the cost of farming in the state. (Associated Press)
Overtime pay for farmworkers: Thanks to AB 1066, California farmworkers are now entitled to overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours a week, provided their employers have more than 25 employees. (Fresno Bee)
Prime farmland in trouble: The San Joaquin Valley could be four degrees hotter by 2050, which could have devastating health consequences for agricultural communities. (Los Angeles Times)
Vilsack in Colorado: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will travel to Colorado for an event highlighting USDA efforts to expand meat processing capacity on Friday. (Ag Insider)