Skip to content Skip to navigation

Federal News

USDA gives grants to induce poor to eat more produce

Capital Press | Posted on August 8, 2017

A northwest Washington nonprofit organization has received a four-year, $488,758 federal grant to encourage people receiving federal food assistance to eat more fruits and vegetables. Viva Farms in Skagit County will use some of the money to subsidize purchases of locally grown produce. People on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program also will receive information about nutrition and cooking. The grant was one of 32, totaling $16.8 million, awarded nationwide through the USDA’s Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program. “These grants help provide low-income families with the resources they need to consume more nutritious food,” USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a written statement. “At the same time, we’re also helping to strengthen local and regional food systems.”

Potential increase in ICE presence raises concerns in Idaho

Capital Press | Posted on August 3, 2017

The prospect of ICE leasing space at a county jail in the heart of Idaho dairy country is creating fear among Hispanic workers and worry among dairymen and processors.

Early gene-editing success holds promise for preventing inherited diseases

Science Daily | Posted on August 3, 2017

Scientists have, for the first time, corrected a disease-causing mutation in early stage human embryos with gene editing. The technique, which uses the CRISPR-Cas9 system, corrected the mutation for a heart condition at the earliest stage of embryonic development so that the defect would not be passed on to future generations.

Defense to Get Historically High Share of Research Budget

Roll Call | Posted on August 3, 2017

The Pentagon and other security agencies’ outsize consumption of federal research money would grow further under Republican plans, while nondefense research spending would drop, sometimes dramatically, a new congressional report shows.

Early Implications of the Veterinary Feed Directive

Precision Science | Posted on August 3, 2017

The FDA implemented the VFD on January 1. What significant changes and impacts have been witnessed to date?Recently the animal health industry has taken significant steps to promote the judicious use of antibiotics. The process of administering “medically important” (aka those that treat human and animal disease) antibiotics in livestock has been found to contribute to antimicrobial resistance, a scenario in which bacteria can withstand and eliminate the effects of drugs and related chemicals. Previously, there was no real standard in place to supervise and police in-feed antimicrobials procedures.

Immigration Operation Arrests 650, Including Child Migrants

The Wall Street Journal | Posted on August 3, 2017

Federal immigration enforcement agents arrested 650 people last week during an operation aimed at families and children who illegally crossed the border and had been ordered deported, officials said Tuesday. Those arrested included 73 individuals who crossed the border as part of family units and 120 who entered as unaccompanied minors. Agents also arrested 457 others whom they “encountered” during the operation.Under Trump administration policy, undocumented immigrants are not safe from deportation just because they are not high-priority targets like convicted criminals. Rather, anyone encountered during an operation can be arrested and processed for deportation.

Low net farm income among issues for challenging farm bill

Delta Farm Press | Posted on August 3, 2017

Don Koehler says the fact that net farm income has fallen to half of what it was four years ago will make writing the 2018 farm bill a “challenge.” That and the fact no new money is available for funding the legislation, according to leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees. Koehler, executive director of the Georgia Peanut Commission, was one of four state peanut association executives, who gave their assessment of the climate for writing the next farm bill at the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation annual meeting in Sandestin, Fla., in a panel discussion moderated by Bob Redding, the Washington representative for the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation and other national groups.

Obamacare Saved This Woman’s Life—and Her Farm

Mother Jones | Posted on August 3, 2017

After battling two brain tumors and breast cancer, Tina Hinchley still milks 130 cows twice a day. Not many people have jobs that are as physically demanding as Tina Hinchley’s. With her husband and four children, Hinchley, 51, milks 130 cows twice a day and works the corn and soybean fields on her family’s 2,500-acre farm in southeastern Wisconsin. To keep things running smoothly, Hinchley says the whole family needs to be healthy and strong. But like everyone else, sometimes farmers get sick.But Hinchley’s symptoms got so bad that she could no longer work in the barn, so her children had to pick up the slack, each of them milking dozens of cows before catching the school bus at 6:45 a.m. When she finally went to the clinic, the doctor immediately ordered CT scan, which revealed a brain tumor. She was scheduled for surgery right away. The surgeon removed the tumor, which turned out to be benign. But then the bill came: $187,000. Hinchley and her husband thought that maybe they would have to sell off their land. They ultimately scraped by, but Hinchley worried constantly. “When we don’t have health care, it’s scary,” she told me. “There is always the fear of: ‘If something happens, we could lose the farm.'”So in 2012, when the Affordable Care Act went into effect, Hinchley signed up for insurance right away.That decision may have saved her life. In 2013, Hinchley was diagnosed with another benign brain tumor as well as breast cancer. It was an extremely difficult time for the family, but having health insurance lightened the burden. “It was just an ease,” Hinchley said.

15 states appeal EPA delay of stricter air-quality standards

AP | Posted on August 3, 2017

Attorneys general from 15 states filed a legal challenge on Tuesday over the Trump administration’s delay of Obama-era rules reducing emissions of smog-causing air pollutants. The states petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to overturn Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s extension of deadlines to comply with the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards.Pruitt announced in June he was extending the deadlines by at least one year while his agency studies and reconsiders the requirements. Several pro-business groups are opposed to the stricter rules, including the American Petroleum Institute, the American Chemistry Council and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Infrastructure: Aging River Locks in the Corn Belt Prove Costly

Farm Policy News | Posted on August 3, 2017

Shane Shifflett reported that, “For American producers who rely on the nation’s waterways to export and distribute billions of tons of grains, coal and chemicals each year, aging locks systems on rivers and the frequent delays they cause cost more than just time.“‘If we have a barge stopped on the Upper Mississippi…commodities sit there until the problem is fixed,’ says Rick Calhoun, president of Cargill Carriers, the Minnetonka, Minn.-based barge operator for the largest U.S. agricultural company by sales. ‘There’s no detours, there’s no way to do much but wait. And waiting costs a lot of money.’