House Ag panel will start with climate change – February 9, 2020

House Ag panel will start with climate change

With the resolution of a disputed election in New York State, the House Agriculture Committee is ready for action with climate change as its top issue. “Everything will tie into climate change,” says the committee chief of staff and the first hearing of the year will focus on climate change’s impact on agriculture. 

FRAC says free school breakfast is crucial to addressing hunger, academic performance

Nearly a year into the pandemic, school closures have taken a harsh toll on American kids. Virtual classes have left many behind academically, and losing access to school meals has increased child hunger across the country, as replacement programs have failed to meet rising need. Experts warn that, as interruptions to traditional schooling continue, racial and socioeconomic gaps in performance will only widen.

Justice for Black Farmers bill introduced in Senate

Six Democratic senators announced legislation on Monday to end discrimination at USDA and to expand Black-owned farmland by up to 32 million acres through land grants over 10 years. Sponsors include five members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, which would handle the bill.

New approach needed following ‘phase one’ failure, says analyst

The Trump administration’s “phase one” trade agreement with China alienated U.S. allies while failing to deliver on its promises of mammoth purchases by Beijing, wrote trade policy expert Chad Bown on Monday in calling for a new approach.

Today’s Quick Hits

Impeachment vote blowback: California Rep. David Valadao, a member of the House subcommittee that oversees the USDA budget, is on the defensive in his Central Valley district after voting to impeach President Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 mob attack on the Capitol. (Los Angeles Times)

Tyson set tone: Meat processor Tyson Foods communicated regularly with local officials in northwest Arkansas, to the point of writing comments for government officials that were included in company announcements about efforts to control Covid-19 outbreaks at its plants. (Facing South)

Big ethanol exports: Ten percent of U.S.-produced ethanol, 1.3 billion gallons, was exported in 2020, the fourth-highest total on record with Canada, the No. 1 market, taking nearly a quarter of the biofuel. (Renewable Fuels Association)

Consumption over-taxes nature: Human demands on nature far exceed its capacity to supply us with the goods and services we all rely on, putting biodiversity under pressure and society at “extreme risk,” says a comprehensive new paper. (BusinessGreen)

USDA resisted OSHA: Documents obtained through a public-records request show that USDA officials rebuffed offers of help from OSHA while Covid-19 outbreaks were reported throughout the meatpacking industry, said a consumer group that is suing the Labor Department. (Public Citizen)

America’s Farm Report