Agriculture

USDA to spend $500 million extending high-speed internet to rural America

BY: - September 22, 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will send more than $500 million in loans and grants to telecommunications providers to bring high-speed internet to rural areas across 20 states, Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday. The department will spend $360 million in grants and $141 million in loans through its ReConnect Program to benefit sparsely populated communities, including in […]

Clash over climate change funding emerging in farm bill debate

BY: - September 21, 2022

WASHINGTON —   As lawmakers begin envisioning the next farm bill, some U.S. House Republicans are wary of making climate change a priority for farmers and ranchers. The pushback from Republicans at a Tuesday hearing came as the Biden administration has tried to make significant new investments in climate change mitigation on farmland, last week […]

Missouri Supreme Court weighs whether counties can regulate CAFOs

BY: - September 20, 2022

Did legislators violate Missouri’s constitution when they overruled counties to clear the way for industrial hog farms across the state? Does new legislation prohibiting local regulation apply to counties that already had their own rules? These are some of the questions before the Missouri Supreme Court in a case challenging the state’s attempt to bar […]

Topsoil protection should be stressed in the next farm bill, U.S. House Ag panel told

BY: - September 14, 2022

WASHINGTON — Farmers and academics at a Wednesday hearing stressed the need for members of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee to support regenerative agriculture farming practices in the upcoming farm bill in order to protect topsoil. U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chair David Scott said he held the hearing to discuss ways policymakers and the Department […]

USDA more than triples funding for ‘climate smart’ agriculture

BY: - September 14, 2022

The Biden administration plans to distribute more than $3 billion to fund projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon in agriculture and forestry — a tripling of its initial commitment in February. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was set to publicly announce the expansion of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program on […]

COMMENTARY

Talking trash: We don’t have to treat our farms like landfills

BY: - September 7, 2022

Here’s something I think about all the time while working on our farm: Trash. Not “trash” as in how much manure is generated by animals (there is a lot, but we move our cattle and goats many times a week and they are on pasture 365 days a year, so there is no one spot […]

In Washington, agricultural policymakers circulate among Farm Bureau, USDA and industry

BY: - September 6, 2022

This story originally appeared in Investigate Midwest.  In the weeks prior to leaving his role as U.S. Department of Agriculture chief of staff in January 2021, Joby Young received emails from lobbyists with links to private-industry jobs with titles like “director of government relations,” “project manager, environmental stewardship” and “director of crop insurance.” Private-sector job openings […]

Missouri Capitol

Missouri tax cut special session delayed at least a week as negotiations continue

BY: - August 31, 2022

The legislature will not reconvene next week as previously planned to debate a $700 million tax cut proposal offered by Gov. Mike Parson, Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden said in an email to staff Wednesday. Instead, the session is now scheduled to begin the following week, when lawmakers are already planning to be in town […]

Vilsack: America’s voluntary approach to agriculture is better than Europe’s mandates

BY: - August 31, 2022

BOONE, Iowa — The more than $1 billion the federal government is devoting to voluntary efforts to reduce agriculture’s adverse effects on the environment is a better long-term strategy than mandating new rules for farmers, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said Tuesday. While state and federal officials in the United States have tended to […]

USDA plans ‘historic’ funding to help struggling farmers, develop new ag leaders

BY: - August 25, 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will distribute up to $550 million to expand certain farmers’ access to land, money and markets and to create educational opportunities for the students of higher-education institutions that cater to racial and ethnic minorities. “The idea here obviously is to enlarge the number of people that are engaged in this […]

Missouri governor calls special session after Labor Day on $700 million income tax cut

BY: - August 22, 2022

Gov. Mike Parson announced Monday that state lawmakers will be returning to the Missouri Capitol after the Labor Day weekend to weigh passing a $700 million income tax cut and slate of agricultural tax incentives. Parson’s proposal would lower the state’s top income tax rate from 5.3% to 4.8% and eliminate the bottom income tax […]

Biden administration plays long game for agriculture and trade

BY: - August 19, 2022

WOODWARD, Iowa — The United States could take international trade actions that might have an immediate impact on the operating costs for farmers and the markets available for their crops, but the Biden administration has opted for a longer-term strategy, one of the nation’s top emissaries said Thursday during a trip to a central Iowa […]