New pandemic aid program encourages dairy donations to food banks – August 26, 2021

New pandemic aid program encourages dairy donations to food banks

To reduce food waste and help feed hungry Americans, the USDA will spend an estimated $400 million to reimburse dairy organizations for donating products to food banks, said Deputy Agriculture Secretary Jewel Bronaugh on Wednesday. The donation program was the second component of pandemic relief to dairy farmers that would total $2 billion this year.

Green, farm groups offer their plan for conservation spending in reconciliation bill

Congress should provide $30 billion for climate-friendly agricultural practices and organic production in the upcoming reconciliation bill, said five dozen farm, environmental, and food groups in a letter to Democratic leaders on Wednesday.

Danone to terminate organic milk contracts in Northeast

Global food company Danone has given a year’s notice to 79 organic dairy farms in the Northeast that it will stop buying their milk on Aug. 31, 2022. The decision is just the latest squeeze on organic dairy producers, who face rising costs and pressures to consolidate.

Today’s Quick Hits

Vietnam to ease duties: In conjunction with a visit by Vice President Kamala Harris, Vietnam said it would reduce or eliminate import duties on U.S. corn, wheat, and pork products. The country is forecast to buy $3.8 billion worth of U.S. ag exports this fiscal year. (White House)

GOP takes aim: Six members of the House Agriculture Committee are among the 15 Democrats targeted by the House Republican campaign committee in ads declaring an “inflation crisis” in America. (NRCC)

H-2A visas soar: The annual total of H-2A certified positions could exceed 300,000 for the first time ever this fiscal year, continuing the rapid expansion, averaging 14 percent a year, of the past decade. (American Farm Bureau Federation)

Racial justice agreements: Up to $50 million is available to organizations, colleges, and individuals to carry out Racial Justice and Equity Conservation Cooperative Agreements that expand the delivery of conservation assistance to historically underserved farmers. (USDA)

Farms at food banks: Some food banks and pantries operate small on-site farms that provide starter plants for home gardens and advice on nutrition as well as fresh food for distribution. (Food Bank News)

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