Policy & Politics

Thatcher Sees No Senate Climate Vote This Year

Published Jul. 1, 2009

Mary Kay Thatcher, AFBF director of public policy, tells Agriculture Online that Farm Bureau doesn't anticipate the massive climate change bill passed by the House last week to pass the Senate this year. And the New York Times reported Tuesday that opposition from Farm Bureau and other...

U.S. District Court Enjoins Obama H2-A Rule

Published Jul. 1, 2009

A Federal District Court in North Carolina recently issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from suspending the H2-A rule, issued last December. The preliminary injunction reinstates the Bush rule, which would have been suspended July 1, and halts DOL from...

Biden Announces 4 Billion in Broadband Funds

Published Jul. 6, 2009

In the first stop of the Obama Administration's rural tour in Wattsburg, Pa., Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden announced the availability of $4 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act loans and grants to help bring broadband service to unserved and underserved communities across...

Nationwide, Food Prices Trending Down

Published Jul. 6, 2009

Retail food prices at the supermarket decreased slightly for the third consecutive quarter, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey. The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare a meal was $46.29, down about 2 percent...

State Budget Update

Published Jul. 6, 2009

The staredown between Senate Republicans and the governor and House escalated this week as Senate President Bill Harris dug in his heels in opposition to expanding gambling through video lottery terminals (VLTs) at Ohios racetracks. Continuing to say that he has questions about the revenue...

Ohio - State Budget Update

Published Jul. 13, 2009

The Senates Select Committee on Video Lottery Terminals heard testimony from Michael Dolan, the Ohio Lottery director, and David Ellis, deputy director of the Office of Budget and Management. Dolan told the committee that installing the video lottery terminals (VLTS) would not be too complicated...

Peterson: Climate Bill "Still Has Problems"

Published Jul. 13, 2009

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) is looking to the Senate to make changes in climate change legislation that will better protect agriculture. "It's still got problems," said Peterson, who brokered a deal for the climate change bill to pass the House in June.

New Food Safety Rules will Burden Egg Producers

Published Jul. 13, 2009

The Obama administration's effort to improve food safety and curb the spread of salmonella will add a number of new regulations for egg producers. Nearly all egg producers with more than 3,000 laying hens--which account for the vast majority of eggs consumed by Americans--will be required to buy...

Johanns: Cap and Trade will Hammer Ag

Published Jul. 22, 2009

In a speech delivered on the Senate floor Monday, Sen. Mike Johanns (D-Neb.) said agriculture will be hammered with increased production costs as a result of cap-and-trade. "Different studies come up with varying numbers, but they all paint the same picture: agriculture loses," Johanns said...

Peterson Threatens to Oppose Food Safety Bill

Published Jul. 22, 2009

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) says he is worried the Food Safety Enforcement Act would allow the Food and Drug Administration to regulate farm activities and has threatened to oppose the bill, unless his concerns are met.

Iowa Dairy Farmer Testifies Sector in a Price-Cost Squeeze

Published Jul. 28, 2009

America’s dairy producers find themselves in a “price-cost squeeze” between plummeting milk prices and feed costs that have remained high. Several public and private assistance initiatives are in place, but relief is not yet being fully felt at the farm gate, an Iowa dairy farmer today told a House Agriculture subcommittee. Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Lang, partner in a dairy with his father, brother and sons, testified on behalf of the American Farm Bureau Federation before the subcommittee on livestock, dairy and poultry during a hearing on the economic challenges facing the dairy...

Dairy Product Price Support Program Update

Published Jul. 31, 2009

The administration announced this morning (July 31st) that it is increasing the amount paid for dairy products through the Dairy Product Price Support Program (DPPSP). USDA estimates show that these increases, which will be in place from August 2009-October 2009, will increase dairy...

Latest CWT Herd Retirement Round Second Largest Ever

Published Aug. 5, 2009

Cooperatives Working Together has tentatively accepted 294 bids in the third herd retirement it has conducted in the last nine months. The 86,710 cows and 1.8 billion pounds of milk accepted in this round, combined with CWT’s previous two herd retirements, equal a total production capacity...

Ohio Farmers Voice Concerns at Climate Change Rally

Published Aug. 25, 2009

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation State Trustee Mike Schuum and other Ohio farmers recently attended a climate change in Lima, Ohio where they voiced concerns over proposed climate change legislation being considered by the U.S. Senate. View a slide show with audio and photos from the event.

Oklahoma Senator Urges Support for Don't Cap Our Future Campaign

Published Nov. 2, 2009

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) spoke for several minutes in support of Farm Bureau’s “Don’t CAP Our Future” campaign on the floor of the Senate recently. Inhofe expressed support for the grassroots campaign, while holding an Farm Bureau farmer cap emblazoned with a “Don’t CAP Our Future”

Lincoln: Ag has Big Role to Play in Climate Change

Published Nov. 2, 2009

Agriculture has a big role to play in climate change, and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) wants to make sure it is a positive role and that farmers won’t see more in terms of costs. “You can’t do climate change legislation without agriculture...

Baucus won't Support Boxer-Kerry Bill in Current Form

Published Nov. 2, 2009

As the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee begins hearings on the Boxer-Kerry climate change bill, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), a member of the committee who also chairs the Senate Finance Committee, said he could not support the measure in its current form. Baucus is the first Democrat...

Two WTO Dispute Panel Requests Blocked

Published Nov. 2, 2009

Two World Trade Organization dispute panel requests were blocked recently. The United States blocked a request by Canada and Mexico requesting that a WTO dispute panel look into U.S. country-of-origin labeling rules. The two countries contend COOL has made U.S. processors reluctant to buy...

Meat Industry Must ReIntroduce Itself to Consumers

Published Nov. 2, 2009

The red meat industry must reintroduce itself to consumers to prove itself a source of innovation and technology that requires a change in approach, said Charlie Arnot, the head of the Center for Food Integrity (CFI). Arnot spoke at the opening session of the Meat Industry Research Conference...

Public Option Makes it into Senate Health Care Bill

Published Nov. 2, 2009

Health care reform legislation headed to the Senate floor for debate includes a public option for coverage. Millions of Americans would have the option of buying government-run insurance coverage if the bill becomes law. Individual states would have the choice to opt out of the program.

Farm Bureau Continues to Push Estate Tax Reform

Published Nov. 2, 2009

Farm Bureau is urging support for a broad exemption to the estate tax bill introduced by Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.). The bill would increase the exemption under the estate tax while lowering the tax rate. “There aren’t 60 votes in the Senate for permanent repeal, so we are shifting from repeal...

Senate Cap and Trade Bill Reported

Published Nov. 9, 2009

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and other Democratic members of the Environment and Public Works Committee reported S. 1733, the Kerry-Boxer cap-and-trade bill, out of committee to the Senate floor without any Republican members of the committee participating.

HB 321 Agriculture Week (Derickson - R) Introduced

Published Nov. 9, 2009

HB 321 would designate the week in which Thanksgiving occurs as "Ohio Agriculture Week" in order to increase public recognition of the vitally important role that agriculture plays both in this state and across the nation. Ohio Farm Bureau supports this legislation and will be testifying...

OFBF Monitoring HB 149 Chapter 166 Loans - Supermarkets (Miller, E - D)

Published Nov. 9, 2009

HB 149 would allows under served community groceries to qualify for Department of Development loans and loan guarantees. Current law authorizes the Department of Development to issue loans and loan guarantees for certain economic development projects.

Compromise Climate Bill Being Considered

Published Nov. 9, 2009

The Senate appears to be drifting away from the original climate change bill, authored by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), and John Kerry (D-Mass.) and moving toward a compromise measure designed to draw support from Republicans and moderate Democrats.