Policy & Politics

Obama's Fuel Efficiency Standards a Blow to E-85

Published May. 20, 2009

President Barack Obama's tough fuel economy program for vehicles could put another damper on the struggling ethanol business, because the alternative fuel packs lower energy content than gasoline, according to Reuters. Obama on Tuesday introduced the most aggressive proposal yet...

Honeybee Colony Decline Slows

Published May. 20, 2009

The decline of honeybee colonies has slowed slightly since last fall, but the Agriculture Department says a mysterious combination of ailments is still affecting honeybee populations. Research at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., found that honeybee...

Vilsack Stands Up for Livestock Farms

Published May. 20, 2009

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack defended the livestock industry against a lawmaker’s allegations that crowded conditions and antibiotic usage in modern farms are endangering human health. Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) told Vilsack at a House appropriations subcommittee hearing on Wednesday...

U.S. Beef Hormone Agreement Signed

Published May. 21, 2009

The United States and the European Union signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in their dispute over the EU’s import ban on U.S. beef produced with hormones.

Tests Confirm H1N1 Did Not Originate on Mexican Hog Farm

Published May. 21, 2009

Officials with Mexico’s agriculture department announced test results indicating the H1N1 influenza strain that infected 4,300 people in 33 countries did not originate from hogs at a Smithfield Foods operation in Veracruz. The hogs at the Granjas Carroll de México farm also tested negative...

Farm Bureau Reiterates Opposition to House Climate Change Bill

Published May. 21, 2009

Climate change legislation unveiled last week (H.R. 2454) “ignores the complex needs of a very diverse U.S. agricultural industry” and will draw opposition from the American Farm Bureau Federation. In a letter sent to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, AFBF President Bob Stallman...

USDA Re-Establishes Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee

Published May. 21, 2009

USDA is re-establishing the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee to examine the full spectrum of issues facing the fruit and vegetable industry and to provide suggestions to USDA on how programs can be tailored to best meet the challenges of the industry...

Obama Nominates Judge Sotomayor for Supreme Court

Published May. 26, 2009

Today President Barack Obama announced Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace Justice Souter on the Supreme Court of the United States. Read more about Judge Sotomayor and the President's decision to nominate her in the official White House Blog.

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Kasich Announcing Gubernatorial Bid Soon?

Published May. 27, 2009

The Dayton Daily News reports on its blog that former U.S. Rep. John Kasich is planning to announce his bid for governor on June 1. Kasich's campaign website is also now live with a Youtube video message inviting everyone to a special announcement event at the Everal Barn in Westerville...

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Rep. Josh Mandel Announces Candidacy for State Treasurer

Published May. 29, 2009

Rep. Josh Mandel (R-Lyndhurst) made his bid for state treasurer official on Thursday, saying he wants to use technology to monitor and protect the state's money and investments.

AgriPOWER Institute Application Deadline Extended to June 8th

Published Jun. 1, 2009

The deadline to apply for Ohio Farm Bureau's AgriPOWER Institute has been extended to June 8th. The AgriPOWER Institute is an intensive, year-long leadership course consisting of multiple training sessions. Its purpose is to help farmers and agribusiness professionals develop skills...

Stallman Defends Direct Payments

Published Jun. 1, 2009

In a letter to the editor sent today to the Boston Globe, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman defended direct payments as a basic safety net for the 98 percent of U.S. farms that are owned and run by families. An editorial in Tuesday’s Globe labeled direct payments...

New Fumigant Pesticide Restrictions Issued

Published Jun. 1, 2009

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued final safety measures for soil fumigant pesticides, which agency officials said will increase protections for agricultural workers and bystanders near sites where the fumigants are being applied. Creating buffer zones, enforcing posting requirements...

Peterson Viewed as Obstacle to Climate Change Bill

Published Jun. 1, 2009

The Minneapolis Post reported that House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) is viewed as a major obstacle to climate change legislation. Peterson said the draft of the climate change bill recently passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee is unacceptable and ignores...

Farmer Support Needed for Climate Change Bill

Published Jun. 1, 2009

The Des Moines Register reported Sunday that Democrats may have to win over farmers if they want to enact controls on greenhouse gases. According to the Register, Democrats control the House, 256-178, but many of their newest, most politically vulnerable members are from rural areas, and farm...

U.S. EPA Names Agriculture Advisor

Published Jun. 1, 2009

Larry Elworth, has been named as chief Agriculture Counselor to Administrator Lisa Jackson. Larry has more than 30 years experience in agriculture and brings to EPA an understanding of all sides of agricultural issues.

Ohio Senate Finance Committee Adopts Substitute Budget Bill

Published Jun. 1, 2009

The Ohio Senate committee adopted a substitute version of the state budget (HB 1) incorporating numerous changes from the House passed version. President Bill Harris characterized the proposal as “balanced, fiscally responsible and sustainable.”

Farm Bureau Seeks Nominations for Excellence in Crop Advising Award

Published Jun. 1, 2009

County Farm Bureaus, OSU Extension offices and Soil and Water offices will have a great opportunity to
recognize Certified Crop Advisers (CCAs) for their outstanding work with agricultural producers. The
Excellence in Crop Advising Award is to recognize Certified Crop Advisers who have...

Kasich Formally Declares Run for Governor

Published Jun. 2, 2009

Former U.S. Rep. John Kasich announced a run for governor on Monday evening, telling supporters in Westerville he's aiming for a fundamental shift in the state's leadership.

Ohio Senate Passes Budget

Published Jun. 4, 2009

The Senate passed HB1 (Sykes), the biennial budget bill, along party lines on Wednesday, setting up the legislation for a conference committee battle. The House is expected to take up the Senate amendments at the June 10 session.

DOL Suspends Changes to H2A Program and Announces Updated Wage Rates

Published Jun. 4, 2009

The U.S. Dept. of Labor (DOL) announced on Friday, May 29 that it is suspending the final rule of December 18, 2008 to the H2A Temporary Agricultural Guest Worker Program for nine months effective on June 29, 2009, and in the meantime is reinstating the previous rule.

OTA, IDFA Appeal Court Ruling on Dairy Labeling Law

Published Jun. 5, 2009

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) are appealing a federal district court ruling upholding Ohio’s regulation on hormone-free claims on dairy product labels. The full story is available at cheesemarketnews.com.

Grassley Wants EPA Officials To See A Farm

Published Jun. 5, 2009

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) says he wants to instill some “common sense thinking” at the Environmental Protection Agency and is inviting Administrator Lisa Jackson and other agency officials to visit a farm in Iowa. “I don’t think the people at the EPA get the big picture.

Tobacco Regulation Bill Being Debated

Published Jun. 5, 2009

Legislation giving the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco products appears on track for passage after a procedural vote in the Senate on Thursday, but Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) are taking steps to slow or stop the bill.

Ag Committee Will Consider Climate Bill

Published Jun. 5, 2009

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has given the Agriculture Committee and Ways and Means Committee authority to mark up the cap-and-trade bill crafted by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) that recently passed the Energy and Commerce Committee, but six other committees...