The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens

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USDA officials join organic events at Expo Milano

Anne Alonzo, the administrator of the Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Marketing Service, joined three organic industry women leaders at an Organic Trade Association event at Expo Milano last Thursday, OTA said in a news release. Read More...

North Bridge hires Caitlin Miller

North Bridge Communications, a firm whose specialities include agricultural and farm issues, has hired Caitlin Miller as a senior account executive.
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Obama praises healthier school meals; Kansas farmers head to classrooms

In signing a proclamation declaring this to be National School Lunch Week, President Barack Obama also restated his administration’s commitment to healthier school meals, paid tribute paid to the first lady’s campaign against childhood obesity, and urged people to go for a walk and choose fruits and vegetables over salty snacks and sweets to set a good example for children. Read More...

Argentine ambassador talks ag before elections

Argentina has never exported as much in grains as it has in the last few years, but the nation’s economy still needs to diversify beyond agriculture, Argentine Ambassador to the United States Cecilia Nahón said in a recent program sponsored by the Women’s Foreign Policy Group. Read More...

Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Honduran group win Food Sovereignty Prize

The U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance, a food and agricultural justice alliance, has awarded its annual Food Sovereignty Prize to the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, a group that helps primarily African-American farmers, and to the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras, a group that helps an indigenous population descended from Africans who sustain themselves through farming and fishing Read More...

Iowa groups urge candidates to talk hunger, ethanol

As Democratic presidential hopefuls get ready for their first debate in Las Vegas tonight, groups in Iowa are calling for them and the Republican candidates to take positions on two very different issues important to agriculture: hunger and renewable fuels. Read More...

Exports to Cuba down again, but expected to gain

Exports of food and agricultural products from the United States to Cuba in August 2015 consisted only of soybeans valued at $2.25 million, compared to $14.3 million in July 2014, Economic Eye on Cuba, the report of the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council issued Monday. Read More...

International Fertilizer Development hires new CEO

The International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), based in Muscle Shoals, Ala., has hired Scott Angle as its president and CEO.
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Pork producers upset U.S. prisons stop serving pork

The National Pork Producers Council is upset that the U.S. Bureau of Prisons has stopped buying and serving pork, but a spokesman for the prisons says that it is in response to a prisoner survey, The Washington Post reported. Read More...

FIA Technology hires Solinger

FIA Technology Services, the for-profit subsidiary of the Futures Industry Association, has hired Nick Solinger as its president, effective January 4, 2016.
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Obama, Vilsack, Wyden, NCBA, NPPC praise TPP agreement, others cautiously await details

President Barack Obama, Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden, D-Ore. the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Pork Producers Council have praised the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement announced this morning, while others were more cautious or critical. Read More...

Study: TPP and regional pact could reshape ag, food trade

The Trans-Pacific Partnership and other regional trade agreements could shift food and agricultural trade patterns, the International Centre for Trade and Development, a Geneva-based group, said in a new study. Read More...

North Dakota cattle ranchers tour Broken Heart Ranch

MANDAN, N.D. — Members of the Independent Beef Association of North Dakota on Friday toured several ranches including the Broken Heart Ranch, operated by Dwight Keller and his wife, Susan, who is also the North Dakota state veterinarian, and their sons Luke and Jake and daughter Tessa. Read More...

North Dakota officials push to stop Clean Water Rule

BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota officials are determined to stop the implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water rule, also known as the Waters of the United States rule, but the courts seem a better route than legislation at this point. Read More...

State vet worried about combination of avian influenza and foot-and-mouth disease

BISMARCK, N.D. — The recent experience with avian influenza has made her more concerned about the possibility of importing foot-and-mouth disease into the United States, Susan Keller, the North Dakota state veterinarian and the incoming head of the National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials, said here Saturday.
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Hoeven needs Democratic co-sponsor for GMO bill; talks taxes, House leadership, politics

BISMARCK, N.D. — Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said here Saturday he will not introduce a bill to ban state labeling of genetically modified foods without a Democratic cosponsor. Read More...

Cattle producers told to work on Senate to keep COOL

BISMARCK, N.D. — The lobbyist and the lawyer for cattle producers who want to keep country-of-origin labeling for beef said here Saturday that if ranchers want to keep labeling they should organize quickly to convince the Senate to pass the bill that Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., have introduced. Read More...

TPP pact reached, Groser quoted on ‘ugly compromises’

Negotiators on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement completed their pact late Sunday and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has scheduled a news conference that begins at 9 a.m. and can be viewed on the USTR website. Read More...

Senate Ag to hold biotech hearing October 21

The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on the federal regulation of agriculture biotechnology with perspectives from producers and consumers on Wednesday, October 21, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., announced Thursday.
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Dairy, sugar, rice, tobacco top TPP ag agenda

As the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations drag on in Atlanta, dairy, sugar, rice and tobacco top the list of concerns of U.S. farm leaders and lawmakers.
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Vilsack to speak at Beard conference

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will address the James Beard Foundation Food Conference “Rethinking the Future of Food” on October 20 in New York City, the Beard Foundation announced today. Read More...

World crop insurance leaders meet in U.S.

KANSAS CITY — Crop insurance executives from 31 countries gathered here this week for the first meeting of International Association of Agricultural Production Insurers (AIAG) held in the United States. Read More...

Food groups ask FDA to change policy on egg temperature storage

The National Chicken Council, Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Association for Dressings and Sauces this week petitioned FDA to change its policy that requires all eggs for human consumption to be stored at 45 degrees within 36 hours of being laid. Read More...

World farmer leader urges crop insurance innovation

KANSAS CITY — Evelyn Nguleka, a Zambian farmer and veterinary doctor who is president of the World Farmers Organization, appealed to the crop insurance executives gathered her this week to develop policies that will help farmers stay in business. Read More...

Sherrod settles defamation suit over discrimination claim

Shirley Sherrod, the USDA rural development director in Georgia who was forced to resign over a false report by Andrew Breitbart that she discriminated against a white farmer, has settled her lawsuit against Breitbart’s estate, The National Law Journal reported. Read More...

Obama food aid, ag development agenda hits wall at House Ag Committee

The attempts by the Obama administration, congressional foreign affairs committees and some international development groups to make permanent changes to the U.S. system of food aid and overseas agricultural development hit a wall Wednesday at a House Agriculture Committee hearing to provide a forum for the views of a variety of commodity and humanitarian groups involved in food aid. Read More...

Obama signs CR, agriculture reauthorizations bill

The White House announced late Wednesday that President Barack Obama had signed the continuing resolution that Congress passed earlier in the day to fund the government through December 11, as well as the Agriculture Reauthorizations Act, which reauthorized Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting, the U.S. Grain Standards Act and the National Forest Foundation Act. Read More...

Cousin wants ‘zero hunger’ by 2030, but challenges ahead

Ertharin Cousin, the American who heads the U.N. World Food Programme, wants to achieve “zero hunger” by 2030, that goal may be elusive because the World Bank has cut funding for agricultural research and her own future in the job is uncertain, Jerry Hagstrom writes in his National Journal column this week. Read More...

GAO, AEI release cargo preference studies

The Government Accountability Office last week released a study of cargo preference for food aid (CPFA) that says the law requiring a preference for U.S. ships increased the overall cost of shipping food aid by an average of 23 percent, or $107 million, over what the cost would have been had the requirements not been applied from April 2011 through fiscal year 2014. Read More...

Opponents of state GMO labeling plan fly-in

The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food, a food industry group that opposes state labeling laws on foods with genetically modified ingredients, is planning a fly-in of 125 people “across the food chain” from 20 states on Wednesday, Claire Parker, a spokeswoman for the group said today. Read More...

Cousin: Lower commodity prices not reflected in WFP retail food prices

NEW YORK CITY — Ertharin Cousin, the executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme, said here last week that she supports the Obama administration’s attempts to provide more cash for food aid, but she also noted that lower commodity prices have not been reflected in food prices in the countries where WFP is using cash vouchers. Read More...

House Ag sets times for two hearings next week

The House Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing at 9 a.m. Wednesday on the development of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
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