Preview of Open Data for Agriculture Conference

Chuck Zimmerman

USDA just held a preview press conference for next week’s G-8 International Conference on Open Data for Agriculture. On the phone with the press were USDA Chief Scientist Dr. Catherine Woteki and Dr. Simon Liu, Director of the National Agricultural Library. There are plans to do live streaming during the conference and people are encouraged to tweet about the conference …

EPA Advisor Aims to Build Trust with Ag

Talia Goes

The new senior Agricultural Counselor to the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator held a conference call Tuesday to discuss her background and her role as an advisor at EPA on ways environmental policy may impact growers and the greater agriculture community. Sarah Bittleman accepted the new position with EPA in February after serving Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as USDA Senior Advisor …

Ignore Agriculture at Your Peril

Cindy Zimmerman

The chairman of the House Agriculture Committee spoke to farmer and rancher representatives in Washington DC at National Ag Day activities on Tuesday, praising those who work in the agriculture industry. “The fact of the matter is we’re a critical part of the national economy and the food safety net for the country and the planet,” Congressman Frank Lucas (R-OK) …

G-8 to Talk Open Data for Agriculture

Cindy Zimmerman

Next month the G-8 International Conference will be holding an important event in Washington on Open Data for Agriculture. The purpose, according to USDA Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics Catherine Woteki, is “to make our agriculturally-relevant research and statistical data accessible to users in Africa and around the world.” Woteki explained in a USDA blog …

The Sequester is Coming

Cindy Zimmerman

Sequester is scheduled to take effect on March 1 and so far Congress has made no effort to prevent the across the board spending cuts from taking place. I talked with GROWMARK government affairs director Chuck Spencer to find out more about this monster called Sequester. Spencer explains that sequestration traces back to the Budget Control Act of 2011 requiring …

Bill to Eliminate EPA Permit Requirements

Talia Goes

Senators Pat Roberts and Mike Johanns have introduced legislation to eliminate a burdensome, costly and redundant Environmental Protection Agency permit requirement for applications of pesticides. At issue is the January 2009, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion in National Cotton Council v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, that requires pesticide applications to be permitted under the Clean Water Act. This National …

Ag Secretary Happy to Work for Rural America

Cindy Zimmerman

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is happy to be keeping his “great job” and continuing to fight for the future of American agriculture. “I am extraordinarily privileged and honored to have the job as the United States Secretary of Agriculture and to have another opportunity to continue this work,” Vilsack told the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting last week in …

USDA to Conduct Census of Agriculture

John Davis

The USDA wants to get a better idea of what’s happening on America’s farms. That’s why the 2012 Census of Agriculture forms will be hitting producers’ mailboxes very soon. “The Census of Agriculture will be dropped in the mail December 14th, so farmers should expect it in their mailboxes by the end of the year,” says Renee Picanso, Director of …

Poll Says Farmers Plan to Vote Romney

Cindy Zimmerman

According to the Agri-Pulse Farm and Rural Poll released today, 78 percent of farmers polled are voting for Mitt Romney in the presidential election and a majority blame Democrats for failure to pass a new farm bill. “We wanted to see not only how farmers viewed the presidential election, but how the failure to pass a new farm bill might …