Policy & Politics

Vilsack Directs USDA to Revise Climate Change Model

Published Dec. 29, 2009

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has directed the Agriculture Department to revise a computerized forecasting model that showed that climate legislation passed by the House would make planting trees more lucrative than producing food, according to the Washington Times.

Hong Kong Is Fastest Growing Export Market

Published Dec. 30, 2009

Hong Kong is the fourth-largest market for U.S. food and beverage exports, which have grown by 15 percent this year. This represents the fastest growth among all export markets globally, according to a report by USDA’S Foreign Agricultural Service.

Vilsack Confident Congress Will Act on Biodiesel Tax Incentive

Published Dec. 30, 2009

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says he’s confident Congress will act early in the new year to extend the tax incentive for soy biodiesel, according to Brownfield. “We’re obviously encouraged by comments from congressional leaders that it’s their intention to take this matter—the tax extenders...

Producers Benefit More from ACRE than Price-Based Programs

Published Dec. 30, 2009

A report released Tuesday by USDA’s Economic Research Service on the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program suggests that for 2009-2012, producers of corn, soybeans, wheat and rice are likely to benefit more from the ACRE program than from the price-based...

Editorial Warns of Higher Food Prices due to Climate Bill

Published Dec. 31, 2009

An editorial in today’s Investor’s Business Daily rallied against climate change legislation, stressing that consumers will pay higher food prices due to increased farming costs. “If the cap-and-trade provisions of the Waxman-Markey bill become law, you can wave goodbye to those amber waves...

Proposed Crop Insurance Cuts Sending Alarms

Published Dec. 31, 2009

Proposed cuts in the crop insurance program are sending alarms through the insurance industry for both underwriters and agents, according to National Underwriter. Under a proposal unveiled earlier this month, the Obama administration wants new cutbacks in the program that in addition to other...

Kentucky Grilled Chicken Most Memorable Product Launched

Published Jan. 4, 2010

A poll of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers asking them to name the most memorable product launched in 2009 placed five fast-food products among the top 10 spots.

Russia Blocks Import of U.S. Poultry

Published Jan. 4, 2010

Russia began blocking imports of U.S. poultry as of Jan. 1 because of concerns about a commonly used chlorine treatment, USDA and a Russian news agency reported last week. Russia plans to proceed, over U.S. objections, with a new law prohibiting chlorine as an anti-microbial treatment in...

State of State Set for January 27th

Published Jan. 4, 2010

Governor Ted Strickland will deliver his "State of the State" address at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 27 before a joint session of the General Assembly.

Pension Costs Rising for Local Governments, Schools

Published Jan. 4, 2010

Ohio newspapers reported Sunday on the rising cost of the state's five pension plans and its effect on local governments and school districts.

House, Senate Leaders Pledge More Cooperation

Published Jan. 4, 2010

The Plain Dealer reports that the House and Senate are set to return this month after a contentious 2009, with Senate President Bill Harris (R-Ashland) and House Speaker Armond Budish (D-Beachwood) pledging better cooperation between the two chambers.

USDA Partners With IRS to Reduce Farm Program Fraud

Published Jan. 5, 2010

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on New Year’s Eve that the Agriculture Department is partnering with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to reduce fraud in farm programs and streamline payment limits for family farmers.

Estate Tax Viewed as Big Ag Issue in 2010

Published Jan. 5, 2010

The estate tax will be one of the big issues in Congress for farmers and ranchers in 2010, according to Mark Maslyn, executive director of public policy for the American Farm Bureau Federation. “The exemption levels at the end of 2009 were $3.5 million per household. In 2010 that has gone away...

Hog Producers Should Break Even in 2010

Published Jan. 5, 2010

U.S. hog producers should break even in 2010 as both the average price received and the total cost of production are expected be around $50 per hundredweight, according to Purdue University Extension Economist Chris Hurt.

Mother Nature Wreaks Havoc on Ag in 2009, Giving Food Market a Jolt

Published Jan. 5, 2010

Mother Nature wreaked havoc on producers of agricultural commodities in 2009 and gave the food market a jolt, sending prices for staples like corn and soybeans on a wild ride only to end the year close to where they started, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Taiwan Votes to Ban Some U.S. Beef Exports

Published Jan. 5, 2010

The Taiwanese Legislature has voted to ban some U.S. beef imports, which the U.S. government says undermines Taiwan’s credibility as a trading partner. The move reverses an earlier deal the government had negotiated with Washington.

IRS-USDA Partnership May Make Farmers’ Lives Easier

Published Jan. 5, 2010

A new partnership between the Agriculture Department and Internal Revenue Service to reduce fraud by verifying which farmers are eligible for farm program payments may make farmers’ lives easier, according to Tara Smith, American Farm Bureau Federation farm policy specialist. Smith said the...

Taiwan Beef Ban Draws Ire of U.S. Officials

Published Jan. 7, 2010

The Office of the United States Trade Representative and the Agriculture Department on Tuesday released a statement regarding a recent decision by Taiwan officials to bar import of some U.S. beef and beef products by amending the country’s Food Sanitation Act (FSA).

Staple Food Prices Trend Down for 5th Straight Quarter

Published Jan. 7, 2010

Retail food prices at the supermarket decreased for the fifth consecutive quarter and are significantly lower than one year ago, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey.

Vote of Confidence: Engaging Ohioans in Support of Issue 2

Published Jan. 29, 2010

Ohio Farm Bureau and Ohio's six major commodity organizations along with a coalition of over 500 local, state, and national elected officials, businesses, organizations, and farm-families secured the support of Ohioans by a margin of 2 to 1 in support of amending the Ohio Constitution to establish the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board during the November 2009 election.

Ohioans for Livestock Care Coalition Statement on HSUS Ballot Initiative

Published Feb. 2, 2010

Leaders of Ohioans for Livestock Care, which includes OCA, released the following statement in response to their announcement.
“Ohio farmers, first and foremost, are committed to caring for the animals we raise. It’s the right thing to do, and it means we can continue to provide Ohioans...

OFBF Responds to HSUS Power Grab

Published Feb. 2, 2010

Out-of-state activists have begun their efforts to undo Ohioans’ overwhelming passage of Issue 2. Less than three months after Ohioans approved Issue 2 to create the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board (OLCSB), lobbyists from Washington, D.C. have declared they know better than Ohio voters...

Ohio Farm Bureau Announces 2010 State and Federal Priority Issues

Published Feb. 2, 2010

Animal Care Issues, Climate Change, Business Climate and Taxes, Environment and Land Use, Food Safety, Transportation and Infrastructure, Education Reform, and more are among the top public policy priorities for the Ohio Farm Bureau in 2010.

New Renewable Fuel Standard will Boost Ethanol

Published Feb. 4, 2010

The new renewable fuel standard (RFS) announced Wednesday by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will give a boost to the production of ethanol. According to EPA, new data showed that ethanol delivers significant climate benefits by displacing conventional gasoline.

"Don't Cap Our Future" Goes to the Hill

Published Mar. 16, 2010

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s six-month campaign to oppose cap-and-trade climate change legislation, “Don’t CAP Our Future,” culminated Wednesday when farmer and rancher members from across the country presented key lawmakers with some of the 100,000 grassroots calls to action gathered in opposition to the issue.