USDA Agencies Begin Work in Kansas City – July 19, 2019

USDA says agencies are going to Kansas City regardless of staff refusals

Newly hired USDA employees will begin work in Kansas City on Monday as part of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s decision to move two research agencies out of Washington. The USDA said it would use “an aggressive hiring strategy” to replace the 250 staffers who declined the offer to move halfway across the United States.

Public interest law firm launches food project to take on corporate ag

This week, the public interest law firm Public Justice announced the rollout of a national food project that will unite attorneys and communities across the country to work on cases that involve agribusiness. The announcement comes as concerns about the power of corporate agriculture are growing, from the heartland to Capitol Hill.

Ibach: Gene editing might fit in organic agriculture

The USDA official overseeing organic agriculture said the sector, which rejects GMO crops along with the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, might benefit from gene-edited varieties. “There is the opportunity to open the discussion,” said Agriculture Undersecretary Greg Ibach.


BLM headquarters goes west (Washington Post): Trump administration officials confirmed that eight of every 10 employees at the Bureau of Land Management headquarters in Washington will be relocated to several western states by the end of this year, with Colorado getting the largest number of employees, 85.

Corn growers ask Trump to uphold RFS (NCGA): Delegates at the annual Corn Congress passed a resolution asking President Trump “to uphold his commitments to protect” the ethanol mandate and to end the spate of EPA waivers that exempt small-volume oil refineries from having to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Wolves vs. chronic wasting disease (CPR News): Backers of a voter initiative to reintroduce gray wolves in Colorado say the predators would be a natural ally against chronic wasting disease, an affliction similar to mad cow disease that affects deer, elk, and moose.

Broadband, biofuels key for rural America (Biden): In a position paper, the former vice president says the “pathway to the middle class for rural Americans” includes biofuels and renewable energy, $20 billion for rural broadband infrastructure, affordable and accessible healthcare, and support of beginning farmers and small businesses.

The refrigeration boom (Bloomberg Businessweek): As cold storage businesses become an unlikely darling of private equity firms, small ice cream and other food companies can be pushed out of the facilities they depend on in favor of larger clients.

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