Wisconsin Christmas Tree Adorns White House

While close to 350 million Christmas trees are growing on farms throughout the country, a Christmas tree from Wisconsin made its way to the White House Friday where it was presented to First Lady Michelle Obama. The 19-foot Balsam-Veitch fir was presented by Dave and Mary Vander Velden, owners of Whispering Pines Tree Farm in Oconto, Wisconsin. The Vander Veldens …

Senate Passes #GMO Disclosure Bill

Late Thursday evening, the U.S. Senate voted 63-30 to pass the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard that preempts individual state laws to require labeling of foods containing genetically engineered ingredients. The bipartisan compromise legislation, which was worked out by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), requires mandatory disclosure with several options, including text …

Senate Debates GMO Labeling on #AgDay

The Senate heard debate Tuesday on legislation proposed by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) to provide a voluntary national standard for foods containing genetically modified ingredients as well as an incentive to provide more information on biotechnology to consumers. During his floor speech on the Biotechnology Labeling Solutions bill, Roberts stressed the pressing need for Congress to act …

WOTUS in the Senate

The controversial Clean Water rule known as Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) was the subject of two bills in the Senate on Tuesday and hours of debate on both sides, despite one bill failing to invoke cloture. The bill that failed was sponsored by Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and would have instructed EPA to craft a WOTUS rule that “takes …

EPA Updates Farmworker Standards

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released updated farmworker standards to provide health protections under the law similar to those already afforded to workers in other industries. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and United Farm Workers president Arturo Rodriguez took part in a telephone press conference Monday to talk about the new regulations.

Clinton Unveils Ag Plan in Iowa

With a John Deere tractor as a backdrop, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton went where no candidate has gone yet – into a detailed discussion on agricultural issues. Introduced by former Iowa governor and current Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Clinton discussed her plan to support rural, agricultural America during a visit to Ankeny, Iowa Wednesday. Listen to Vilsack’s introduction …

Candidates at Iowa State Fair

A majority of the presidential candidates from both parties are speaking at The Des Moines Register’s Soapbox during the Iowa State Fair. A total of 14 Republicans and four Democrats are on the soapbox schedule starting Thursday August 13 through Saturday August 22. Check the schedule from the Des Moines Register for updates. Candidate speeches will be live-streamed and archived …

Dairy Holds Up TPP Talks

After a week of meetings on the Trans Pacific Partnership, trade ministers from a dozen nations left Hawaii last weekend with issues still unresolved but USTR Michael Froman says they remain optimistic. One of the biggest remaining issues to resolve is in dairy, according to New Zealand’s Trade Minister Tim Groser. “In every negotiation where I have been involved over …

Comment Deadline for RFS Proposal is Monday

The deadline for submitting comments to the Environmental Protection Agency on the proposed Renewable Fuel Standards for 2014, 2015, and 2016 is Monday, July 27. Here are comments from EPA, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) encouraging stakeholders to submit comments on the proposal. Comment Deadline for RFS Proposal is Monday – Comments can be …

2015 Southern Peanut Growers Conference

The location is new this year but the 17th annual Southern Peanut Growers Conference has the same great line up of information and entertainment for peanut farmers and industry partners from Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. For the first time in 17 years, Georgia is the host state for the event that has always been held in Panama City Beach, …

RFA Statement on Senate Finance Markup

Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen commented on the markup Tuesday by the Senate Finance Committee of a tax extenders bill that contains several provisions of importance to the biofuels industry. The bill contains a two-year extension of the Second Generation Biofuel Producer Tax Credit, the Special Depreciation Allowance for Seond Generation Biofuel Plant Property, and the Alternative …

EPA Administrator Talks to Corn Growers

Speaking to members of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) meeting in Washington DC this week, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy talked about recent agency actions, including the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS). More than 300 farmers and staffers were on hand to hear McCarthy’s explanation of the RFS and WOTUS decisions, as well …