Secretary of Agriculture talks about issues facing farmers and his plans for USDA

From the Capital Press On Feb. 24 Tom Vilsack took the oath of office as the 32nd Secretary of Agriculture.It’s Vilsack’s second time as chief of the USDA. He previously served eight years in the same role in the Obama administration. Vilsack, 70, is also the former governor of Iowa, and most recently was president of the U.S. Dairy Export ... Read More »

Preserving family farms act to help ease the burden of estate taxes

From agdaily.com Defining estate tax regulations for farmers has been a hot topic this year. In an effort to preserve family farms for generations to come, Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) introduced the bipartisan Preserving Family Farms Act. The legislation would help family-owned farms continue operations after a loved one has passed by easing the burden ... Read More »

Wheat growers meet with state, federal legislators

Most of the wheat growers’ advocacy trips to Olympia and Washington, D.C., are a whirlwind of activity, hurrying from one appointment to another to fit in as many meetings as possible in just a couple of days. This year’s efforts involved a whole lot less walking but just as much advocacy. Since early March, the leaders and staff of the Washington ... Read More »

Coalition letter supporting dams goes out to regional legislators

WAWG and the Washington Grain Commission (WGC) have joined more than 40 river stakeholders on a letter sent to the Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana congressional delegations and the governors of all four states. The letter points out that there is no assurance that Idaho fish runs will be restored if the four lower Snake River dams are breached, and ... Read More »

USDA announces pandemic assistance initiative for farmers

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA is establishing new programs and efforts to bring financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions. The new initiative—USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers—will reach a broader set of producers than in previous COVID-19 aid programs. USDA is dedicating at least $6 billion toward the new ... Read More »

Wheat grower organization welcome confirmation of Katherine Tai

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) welcome the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Katherine Tai today as the next U.S. Trade Representative. During the confirmation hearing process, Tai said she understands the values and rules that guide global commerce and the importance of enforcing those terms “vigorously.” Most encouraging is Tai’s past work as a chief ... Read More »

Ag organizations remind appropriators to maintain export market development funding

American farmers and rural businesses need continued investment in the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program to make up for lost export opportunities in the pandemic and to fight foreign competition. That is the message the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports sent March 9, 2021, in letters to House and Senate Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee ... Read More »

USDA extends application deadline for quality loss program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending the deadline from March 5 to April 9 for agricultural producers to apply for the Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Program because of recent winter storms and some clarifications to program rules. This program assists producers who suffered crop quality losses due to qualifying 2018 and 2019 natural disasters. “Because of recent winter ... Read More »

NAWG elects officers, adopts 2021 policy priorities at annual conference

Last week, the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) concluded its annual conference, which entailed organizational action and adoption of 2021 policy priorities. Given the impacts of COVID-19 over the past year, the board re-elected the same slate of officers to continue in their roles for 2021. With that action, the board has re-elected Dave Milligan (Michigan) as president; Nicole ... Read More »

USDA offers sign-up for CSP

Agricultural producers wanting to enhance current conservation efforts are encouraged to renew their existing Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Classic contract. Through CSP, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service helps private landowners improve their business while implementing conservation practices that help ensure the sustainability of their entire operation. Application for CSP Classic are due by March 31, ... Read More »