Daybreak September 8: Ag, food unions use Labor Day to press for Biden | 2020-09-08

Union leaders are on the lookout to Joe Biden to guide the way for new protections for workforce in the ag and food sector, like overtime for farmworkers. 

Biden is “going to prioritize everyone’s health and safety,” United Farm Employees President Teresa Romero explained Monday on a webinar arranged by the Biden marketing campaign. She said farmworkers are as well usually “excluded from primary legal rights like extra time, hazard shell out, the suitable to manage.”

Maintain in brain: Biden has known as for earning farmworkers qualified for overtime nationwide and promised to increase protections from pesticide and warmth publicity. He also has pledged to press for giving legal standing to undocumented farmworkers. 

Marc Perrone, president of the United Food items and Industrial Employees Intercontinental, supports Biden’s phone for a countrywide mask mandate and praised his working mate, Kamala Harris, for backing hazard spend for important staff. 

Biden and Harris “would stand in assistance of individuals staff and they would stand in support of building confident that people had been secure at perform,” Perrone said.  

By the way: The National Milk Producers Federation posted a assertion on Monday noting the industry’s necessary personnel couldn’t consider Labor Day off. “Wholesome nutrition is a by no means-ending want. Cows never halt creating milk for the reason that it’s a holiday break. Dairy in no way stops, and neither will its workforce,” the statement said. 

New round of US-Uk trade kicks off

U.S. and British negotiators are owing to restart trade talks currently as the Dec. 31 deadline for the U.K. to crack absent from the European Union strategies.

British trade minister and lawmaker Greg Fingers confirmed the resumption of talks, but he also instructed agricultural trade problems will keep on to be a divide in between negotiators. “As (British Worldwide Trade Secretary Elizabeth Truss) and I said … the governing administration is unquestionably committed to no compromise on our food stuff security, animal welfare and the setting when it arrives to trade agreements,” he explained in a Friday tweet.

British claims that U.S. foodstuff is unsafe or unsanitary for the reason that of beef, pork and poultry production techniques continue on to chafe U.S. negotiators and U.S. Trade Consultant Robert Lighthizer lately referred to as the criticisms thinly-veiled protectionism.

“We will have agricultural complications in negotiations, I can warranty you. I’m hopeful that we’ll function our way via them,” Lighthizer explained in a June hearing on Capitol Hill.

US beef exports rebound in July

U.S. beef exports shot upward in July, buoyed by enhanced revenue to China, Taiwan, Canada and Hong Kong, but shipments are still appreciably reduced than what they have been final yr as the U.S. sector recovers from the current influence of the COVID-19 pandemic, in accordance to a new examination from the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

“With generation returning to in close proximity to-normal concentrations, we definitely noticed an improvement in beef exports, however the recovery was not fairly as potent as anticipated,” reported USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom.

The U.S. exported 107,298 metric tons of beef in July. That was a 36% improve from June, but also 9% much less than in July of 2019, USMEF reported in the report. The group pointed to decrease demand from customers from Japan, Mexico and South Korea for the drop from final year.

Hemp sector hopes for delay of regs

The hemp market is hoping USDA’s request for opinions on various aspects of its pending hemp polices is a sign that the section will suspend the needs just before they grow to be powerful Oct. 31.

The Agricultural Marketing and advertising Company is opening a 30-working day comment period now inquiring for enter on how plants are wrecked, hemp study, and allowable THC amounts and tests — equally the methods made use of and the necessity that vegetation be harvested for testing in a 15-working day harvest window. A lot of have recommended a 30-day window.

Patrick Atagi, board chairman of the Nationwide Industrial Hemp Council, stated he hoped the comment extension signifies USDA is leaning toward extending the hemp pilot program from the 2014 farm monthly bill for a different calendar year. That is a thing NIHC and the Nationwide Association of Condition Departments of Agriculture asked USDA to do final month.

Twenty-two states and 34 tribes have acquired acceptance for strategies to employ the department’s 2019 rule, but the business argues that the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed other states’ endeavours to submit ideas. 


Lawmakers cite FNS study in questioning USDA reopening

Members of Congress from the Washington, D.C., place are urging Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to suspend what they identified as “a rushed and flawed plan” for reopening the department. A letter the lawmakers despatched to Perdue cites a study of employees of USDA’s Food items and Nutrition Service.

Eighty-8 p.c of the approximately 400 bargaining unit staff members in Northern Virginia explained after reading plans for reopening places of work offered by USDA, they were not comfortable bodily reporting, mentioned Daniel Cline, who sales opportunities the bargaining device for the Nationwide Treasury Staff Union.

The study also confirmed that 84% said they had been concerned to report to the business due to the fact they were being concerned they could expose family and mates. About fifty percent the personnel mentioned they rely on public transportation to commute, and 57% mentioned they would be anxious about employing it.

Highly developed vitality grant going toward soil health and fitness

The Soil Overall health Institute will use $3.25 million from the Electricity Section to acquire “an integrated soil carbon measurement and monitoring system” that will supply “standardized carbon sequestration monitoring needs for carbon markets in agriculture,” the institute stated Thursday.

The know-how will reduce each the time and charge of acquiring soil carbon measurements, enabling farmers to additional conveniently take part in carbon marketplaces.

“The integrated DeepC System combines sampling style, proximal sensing, and equipment learning to acquire swift, non-damaging measurements of soil carbon stock and flux,” SHI Chief Scientific Officer Cristine Morgan stated.

The cash arrive from the department’s Sophisticated Investigate Jobs Company-Power (ARPA-E).

She said it. “We have normally known that farmworkers are critical. Now, the federal govt has acknowledged that farmworkers are essential. We need to have to get started managing them like every other worker in this place.” – UFW President Teresa Romero. 

Thoughts? Strategies? Call Philip Brasher at


Western ag leaders tension significance of trade amidst pandemic

Ag ministers from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the US banded together to stress the importance of maintaining trade flows 
 and their commitment to remaining reliable suppliers to food and ag products to the world during the pandemic.

Prime agricultural officers symbolizing Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States joined alongside one another in underscoring the value of maintaining trade flows during the pandemic.

The assertion was issued following the virtual G-20 Agriculture and Water Ministers Conference hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Sept. 12. The countries also emphasised their determination to remaining trustworthy suppliers to foodstuff and ag goods to the world.

“We, the Agriculture Ministers of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States, express our deepest condolences for the tragic loss of life remaining endured about the entire world as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic and express our solid appreciation for all workers in the well being, agricultural and other front-line sectors, who selflessly dedicate their efforts to the gain of other people.”


USDA System Served But Greater Techniques to Fulfill Will need

“Everyone sees we are assembly the require and thinks probably we will not have to occur up with these other alternatives, the nonprofit sector will take treatment of it,” stated Mutt Unger, CEO of the Des Moines Location Religious Council, which operates 14 pantries and cell functions. “But that is not what we are meant to be. We are not meant to be below in area of resolving problems. We’re a stopgap evaluate.”

Feeding The usa, a Chicago-primarily based community of extra than 200 food stuff banks, expects a 10 billion pound hole among demand from customers and offer of meals this calendar year, manufactured even worse by the drop in unemployment rewards. That is about double the gap the group observed very last yr.

“Increasing SNAP positive aspects is just the most productive way we can make absolutely sure men and women have the foods they have to have and decrease need at food stuff banking companies,” explained Kate Leone, Feeding America’s chief governing administration relations officer. “That form of intervention is the only way to bend the demand from customers curve down in a significant way.”

Despite all those issues, officials at foodstuff banking companies stated the federal food box method has certainly served.

Brian Barks, CEO of the Food stuff Lender of the Heartland in Omaha, Nebraska, said at instances this summer season, his meals bank was providing absent nearly 2 times as much food as regular, and the food box system accounted for about 20% of its source.

“It’s been magnificent,” Barks stated. “The amount of money we have been acquiring has been really, very helpful.”

At the Uncover Food items Financial institution in the Palm Springs, California, region, the 2 million kilos of food stuff staying distributed month-to-month is approximately double the demand just before the coronavirus pandemic struck. Given that March, the foodstuff lender has dispersed a complete of 11.8 million lbs . of food items, and the food stuff box method delivered 2.7 million pounds of that, claimed Debbie Espinosa, president and CEO of the foodstuff financial institution.

“We’re extremely grateful the bins came when they did due to the fact we desired the added food assistance,” Espinosa explained.

The federal foodstuff box software in the beginning confronted queries for the reason that some of the corporations that received contracts weren’t food items distributors and the contracts did not normally cover the ultimate shipping expenditures that foodstuff banking institutions incurred.

Inspite of coming alongside one another rapidly, Greg Ibach, the USDA beneath secretary overseeing the effort and hard work, mentioned its contractors “delivered all or over 90% of the packing containers that they had proposed to deliver.”

Despite the fact that meals financial institutions experienced to take up the cost of providing the prepackaged foodstuff bins the system furnished, they were being ready to use money they would have expended acquiring the produce and other products.

“It was a bit of a scramble to get it going and get it out. But we had been certainly extremely satisfied to have it, and we built it all operate in the close,” said Rachelle Mesheau with the Redwood Empire Food stuff Bank in northern California.

The USDA is tweaking the application in the 3rd spherical of bidding to check out to tackle some of the worries that have been elevated.

“The USDA surely acquired a good deal from section just one and period two, so in stage three they are definitely tightening up some features of it,” reported Robin Safley with Feeding Florida foods banking companies.

The new contracts will put bigger emphasis on accountability and guaranteeing foodstuff bins are shipped to underserved rural regions. For example, the West Texas Foodstuff Bank in Odessa did not obtain any food packing containers through the to start with two rounds of contracts due to the fact no distributors close by gained contracts.

Michelle Book, CEO of the Food items Lender of Iowa, welcomed the software but hopes for far more distributors. “We would take a lot more if we could get a lot more.”


State ag departments deal with foods system strengths, stresses | Agriculture

The U.S. food stuff offer in the wake of COVID-19 is the hottest matter for state agriculture officers, the new president of the Countrywide Affiliation of Point out Departments of Agriculture suggests.

“The pandemic highlighted some strengths but also some stresses that the meals technique endured this past 12 months,” stated NASDA president Ryan Quarles. He is commissioner of the Kentucky Section of Agriculture. “There’s a surge in regional agriculture, so we’re beginning to see increased enthusiasm for ‘buying local’ plans. There is also issue about stresses in the meat processing units.”

NASDA supports “significant funding and economic incentives” for compact and mid-sized meat processors to safely and securely enhance potential, Quarles stated.

“For a lot of states, there is a lack of processing,” he stated. “There could be some prospects for little and medium-sized expansions as additional Individuals are picking to acquire community.”

NASDA will be lively on worldwide trade and domestic coverage, rural broadband net enlargement, the consequences of COVID-19 and meals insecurity.

“This could be a silver lining for agriculture as we align farmers’ demands with these significantly less fortuitous,” Quarles explained, pointing to the file amount of People making use of food financial institutions.

NASDA also introduced its new strategic prepare for the yrs 2020 by 2025. The system incorporates symbolizing the business before lawmakers and governing administration businesses, elevated conversation with customers and associates and boosting assist and recognition of agriculture and the corporation.

“NASDA has generally excelled at cooperative federalism, in which we have formal settlement with quite a few unique agencies, especially USDA,” Quarles explained. “I think COVID-19 has only amplified the need to have for more cooperation.”

Washington State Department of Agriculture Director Derek Sandison will go on to direct NASDA’s marketing and international trade committee. California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross will go on to lead the food stuff systems and nutrition committee.

The group fulfilled on the net this week.


Ag secretary visits Omaha, announces second round of the Coronavirus Foodstuff Help Program | Omaha Condition and Regional News

“As a lot of equipment that we can get in our instrument box, we require it all,” he stated.


Gov. Pete Ricketts, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and U.S. Rep. Don Bacon converse to the press immediately after touring the Foods Financial institution of the Heartland Friday afternoon. 

Jessica Wade

Following the tour, Perdue said the $4 billion third spherical of the Farmers to Family members Foodstuff Box Application started Tuesday with no delays. The method delivers contemporary develop, dairy and meat goods to those people in want.

“Early on, we had to have all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed it was fairly a cumbersome application,” Perdue reported. “We realized to support men and women who want to support us. Help them get as a result of all those federal rules in the programs.”

Ricketts’ spokesman reported Friday that the governor stands by his conclusion to not increase crisis supplemental meals support outside of July.

A federal coronavirus aid invoice permitted states to increase SNAP positive aspects to the utmost level for all recipients. Nebraska did so for March by way of July but did not be a part of the other 49 states in giving the additional support for August. 13 states, such as Iowa, have already used to keep on by means of September.

Khalilah LeGrand, an HHS spokeswoman, stated Wednesday that the supplemental aid was a momentary means to enable Nebraskans who dropped work simply because of the pandemic.

“State applications will continue to return to their usual operations as we continue on to return to a higher location of normalcy and do the job to get Nebraska escalating,” she mentioned.


Their See: With higher-tech farming, we can usher in a rural renaissance | Belief

Ag and foodstuff tech business people are producing and making use of improvements to deliver wholesome foodstuff while preserving all-natural resources. For case in point, cloud-based mostly irrigation software program can raise crop yields and preserve drinking water and power by connecting to in-industry sensors to supply the correct amount of drinking water to every single plant.

A further startup is operating to conclude the annual U.S. waste of 20 billion kilos of “ugly” generate with a small business-to-small business marketplace that enables growers to connect with foodstuff firms to offload surplus or imperfect food stuff.

In accordance to Finistere Ventures, $25 billion has been invested into the ag-foodstuff sector considering the fact that 2012, as business people provide extra overall health, environmental and customer gains to the market.

A whole lot of this get the job done is staying driven by young leaders. As fifth-generation farmer and co-founder of Very clear Frontier Ag Administration in Omaha, Nebraska, Justin Bruch suggests: “It is fulfilling to create new technological innovation to aid … go away the farming breadbasket in improved form for long run generations.”

Innovation begins with schooling, which includes plans like Iowa State University’s “Science Bound,” which conjures up younger minority students to go after STEM-based occupations in meals. Michigan State research is revolutionary city food items techniques and sustainable global agricultural tactics. The World Food stuff Prize hosts youth institutes to interact students and educators to resolve worldwide meals security challenges.


Moments are just about anything but uninteresting at Utah’s Office of Agriculture

SALT LAKE Town — When Jack Wilbur packed up his box and backed out of the place of work he was bequeathing to Bradie Jill Jones this past May, he smiled, gave his substitution a conspiratorial wink and mentioned, “Good luck. It is gonna be outrageous.”

She experienced no strategy.

Taking more than as spokeswoman for the Utah Point out Division of Agriculture and Food stuff in the course of a pandemic does appear with its curveballs. Take, for occasion, the two push conferences Bradie Jill hosted above a modern a few-7 days extend.

Just one was to deal with the difficulty of folks getting unsolicited seed packets from China and other Asian nations that ended up seemingly portion of a social networking scam known as brushing. Never Plant the Seeds! was the fundamental gist of the push meeting that was held Tuesday, July 28, in the foyer of the Section of Ag’s headquarters on Redwood Street.

The second press convention, held just 20 times afterwards on Aug. 17, dealt with the information that five mink from two Utah mink farms experienced been observed to be infected with COVID-19. The farms were in quarantine, it was uncovered, although checks had been underway to see if individuals gave the virus to the mink or vice versa. (Subsequent investigations propose it is in all probability the former, not the latter.)

Not only was the subject subject of the pressers without having precedent, the two press conferences had been the to start with hosted by the Utah Department of Agriculture in its 99-calendar year record.

Formerly, every time ag challenges arose that demanded push briefings, which wasn’t normally, they would be dealt with by the governor’s place of work.

But in the chaos of 2020, things really do not often function like they applied to.

The seeds from China tale afflicted only a hundred or so unsuspecting victims of online trollers, apparently picked randomly. But in a condition with a substantial mink field, the mink story was a larger, scarier offer.

At the rear of the scenes, the mink drama escalated immediately. On Wednesday, a veterinarian frequented the two mink farms in question to assemble samples from the contaminated animals. The vet sent the samples to Utah’s ag office, exactly where the COVID-19 infection was verified, and had been then forwarded to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, exactly where the analysis was also verified. By now it was late Friday afternoon, too late to release the information ahead of the weekend.

Bradie scheduled her press meeting for Monday on the ways of the point out Capitol. Then she sat down to hold out out the 48 several hours, hoping the lid would stay on the story.

“Utah is a single of the best five mink producers in the nation and we nervous about what type of an affect this could have on the mink farmers,” she says. “So it was a prolonged weekend, but we received through it and had been capable to tackle the announcement perfectly, I sense, and stay in control of the condition.”

Hrs later, she was fielding calls from the Washington Article and New York Instances.

When she took the spokeswoman position, Bradie Jill believed her major difficulty would be to get the media to fork out interest to her press releases — not turn into the head of disaster management and have her cellular phone “ring off the hook.”

The similar goes for her boss, Logan Wilde, the new Department of Ag commissioner who stepped down as a legislator and took command of the condition company at the governor’s behest the 1st of April.

“It’s been kinda outrageous. There has undoubtedly been some turmoil,” understates Wilde, a sixth-generation sheep rancher from the Morgan County farm city of Croydon. “Usually this isn’t a location that is all that excessive. I hope we before long get again to what we do most effective, just help producers to triumph.”

A single of Wilde’s to start with hires as commissioner was Bradie Jill, who was brought in to change Jack Wilbur, the veteran community facts officer who experienced picked to retire, rather coincidentally, at precisely the very same time the virus was commencing to choose hold.

He explained to her what to hope, she conveniently attests.

“Jack experienced gotten a flavor of it, and he warned me as he went out the door,” she suggests. “He’s a hobby farmer and he’s up in Davis County now, just pastime-farming his coronary heart out when all this is likely on. I get in touch with him from time to time, just to test in, and to say, ‘How dare you, Jack!”

Nevertheless and all, “I’m glad I took the work,” claims Bradie Jill fantastic-naturedly. “It’s been definitely consuming, and I experience like everyone’s pressured, but it hasn’t been dull. And the good news is, the troubles we’ve had to tackle aren’t going to stop the planet.”


Powerful Need for Domestically-Developed Food

Powerful Need for Domestically-Grown Foods

Tim Hammerich

Tim Hammerich
Information Reporter

I’m Tim Hammerich with your Southeast Regional Ag Report.

Kyle and Caroline Lewallen established TexGa Farms in Northeast Georgia with the thought that they would elevate beef cattle and hogs for local dining establishments. Like a lot of, 2020 has pressured them to modify their options. The restaurant business has dried up but the demand from customers from folks has skyrocketed.

Here’s Lead Steakholder (which is S-T-E-A-K of class) Caroline Lewallan.

Lewallen…. “Our retail aspect has certainly picked up the place individuals that want 10 steaks and 10 lbs of ground beef at a time – that has stayed pretty continuous. But I never see that really heading backwards, but then the individuals that want a half or a entire, that has picked up considerably. And I do feel individuals folks are stocking up. But at the exact same time, I have never viewed a nearby grown for food movement like I have viewed in the previous six months, and I’ve invested the earlier seven a long time in the develop sector. So I consider due to current situations, the concept of local is extra popular than at any time in advance of. And people have woken up to the realization that we’ve obtained to guidance nearby a lot more than just store modest Saturday in November, a few of moments a yr.”

Lewallen hopes this interest in supporting area farmers will continue on. You can take a look at their website at


Agri-Pulse Foods & Ag Coverage Summit West

Agri-Pulse Foodstuff & Ag Plan Summit West

Tim Hammerich

Tim Hammerich
Information Reporter

With California Ag Currently, I’m Tim Hammerich.

Agri-Pulse, which has for several a long time been the go-to information source for agricultural coverage and laws in Washington D.C., opened a Sacramento workplace in 2019. Now they are hosting the Agri-Pulse Foods & Ag Coverage Summit West on Wednesday, September 9th.

The digital occasion is modeled immediately after identical summits they’ve hosted in D.C. says Agri-Pulse Editor Sara Wyant.

Wyant… “We just needed to make absolutely sure that we were being performing a superior job covering California agriculture with that, we also needed to carry our brand name of in depth emphasis on legislative and regulatory challenges into a significant structure. And so we considered, ok, we have been carrying out this in Washington DC for a whilst, bringing lawmakers alongside one another and bringing newsmakers alongside one another, policy.-focused individuals. And let us see what we could come up with and test to educate much more folks about not only what is taking place on farms and ranches, due to the fact you will find a great deal of innovation, there is certainly a ton of function to secure the ecosystem. So how does that intersect with the folks who are hoping to make new guidelines and restrictions?”

The digital event will be a moderated panel structure with a wide range of specialists including CDFA Secretary Karen Ross, California Point out Board of Food items and Agriculture Chairman Don Cameron, California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson, and several many others.

The party is totally free for Agri-Pulse subscribers, but if you’re not a subscriber and would like to attend, you can order a six thirty day period subscription for $149 at


Point out board of meals and ag to examine want for workforce advancement and instruction

The California State Board of Foods and Agriculture will listen to from reps of California Local community Faculties, point out officers and neighborhood businesses concerning agriculture workforce development and schooling needs. The conference will be held Tuesday, September 1, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. by way of GoToWebinar.
Conference connection: up/4436880571363535375 
Webinar ID: 754-254-139
“Our farms and ranches prosper on utilizing a expert and properly trained workforce,” claimed CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Farming necessitates a one of a kind ability established that is regularly advancing to embrace new technologies even though also protecting know-how in irrigation, farm mechanics and foodstuff safety. When we glance at agricultural workforce growth and coaching – we are hopeful to offer not only a occupation pathway for current farm employees, but certifications and apprenticeships for individuals entering and leading the business into the foreseeable future.” 
Invited speakers incorporate: Ed Rood, California Office of Industrial Relations Nancy Gutierrez, Reedley Faculty Holly Correa, Ventura School Zachary Zweigle, Shasta Faculty Glenda Humiston, UC Agriculture and Purely natural Sources Elliott Balch, Central Valley Community Basis and Rick Tomlinson, California Strawberry Commission.
“As a farmer in the Central Valley, I see the have to have for workforce instruction firsthand,” stated President Don Cameron, California State Board of Foodstuff and Agriculture. “Agriculture is the livelihood for several rural communities and the positions we have readily available are great, increased shelling out work opportunities. The technologies and gear we are making use of needs a new emphasis on agricultural schooling. We want enhanced agricultural workforce growth and teaching so that these of us living in rural communities can directly reward from the agricultural technologies positions that are right here.”
The California Point out Board of Foods and Agriculture advises the governor and CDFA secretary on agricultural concerns and purchaser desires. The Board conducts boards that bring with each other community, point out and federal federal government officials agricultural associates and citizens to talk about latest troubles and issues to California agriculture.

Supply: California Department of Food stuff and Agriculture.