Biden’s ‘30 by 30’ conservation plan urges collaboration with private landowners

BY: - May 6, 2021

The Biden administration plans to broadly define conservation and encourage private landowners to adopt sustainable practices to meet a goal of protecting 30% of the land and water in the U.S. by 2030, according to a multi-agency report published Thursday. The recommendations are short of the most aggressive federal directives congressional Republicans feared would be central […]

Warnock works to remedy decades of USDA discrimination against Black farmers

BY: - May 2, 2021

WASHINGTON — The arrival of U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock in Congress earlier this year coincided with an overdue recognition of the historic discrimination inflicted on Black farmers by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The farmers’ plight has emerged as a major priority for Warnock, a Georgia Democrat whose victory in a January special election runoff handed his […]

Poll: Many farmers still doubt that humans drive climate change

BY: - April 22, 2021

Farmers continue to question whether climate change is driven by humans, the consensus of scientists worldwide, an Iowa State University researcher said Wednesday.  ISU sociology professor J. Arbuckle, drawing largely from ISU’s Farm and Rural Life Poll, said farmers have become more open to conversations about carbon emissions and climate change. “Farmers are diverse in […]

Vilsack keys in on food insecurity and nutrition in USDA budget request

BY: - April 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday laid out USDA’s goals to expand food insecurity and nutrition programs in the president’s budget request, as well as the agency’s focus on programs to address longtime racial discrimination. “Normally I would talk to you all about numbers in the budget,” Vilsack, the former governor of Iowa, […]

Biden’s budget aims to fight climate change, promote conservation, aid Native Americans

BY: - April 10, 2021

President Joe Biden’s first budget request laid out this week reflects the administration’s commitments to advancing conservation and combating climate change, proposing new money across federal agencies to address those issues. Like most domestic programs in Biden’s overall $1.5 trillion budget proposal for fiscal 2022, the recommendations for increased spending on conservation and climate goals […]

Lawmakers work to soften governor’s controversial biofuels bill

BY: - March 31, 2021

An Iowa House committee approved a retooled version of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ controversial biofuels mandate proposal on Wednesday. Fuel retailers rallied against Reynolds’ initial proposal, arguing that making the changes required under the bill could cost gas stations up to $1 billion in upgrades. CEO Ronald Langston of FUELIowa said his group was not consulted […]

It’s official: Biden announces he will tap Vilsack for secretary of agriculture

BY: - December 10, 2020

WASHINGTON—President-elect Joe Biden said Thursday he will nominate U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio, former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and Minnesota native Denis McDonough to join his Cabinet.  If confirmed by the Senate, Fudge will lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the second Black woman to head the $50 billion agency, and Vilsack […]

Reports: Biden to pick Tom Vilsack as secretary of agriculture

BY: - December 8, 2020

WASHINGTON—Media reports on Tuesday night said President-elect Joe Biden will nominate U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio to be his secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack to be secretary of agriculture. This would be a second stint as Agriculture secretary for Vilsack, a Democrat who also served in that […]

Georgia congressman launches bid to lead U.S. House Agriculture Committee

BY: - November 9, 2020

WASHINGTON — A longtime congressman’s reelection defeat is opening up a contest among Democrats for the chairmanship of the House Agriculture Committee, and U.S. Rep. David Scott of Georgia is a leading candidate. Scott has announced that he’s seeking to run the influential panel after the current chair, Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, lost Tuesday […]

In Iowa’s 4th District, prioritizing ethanol is focus for Feenstra and Scholten

BY: - October 31, 2020

Iowa’s ethanol industry is suffering worse losses than economists originally predicted, increasing pressure on Congress and President Donald Trump’s administration to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard and provide aid to struggling farmers and ethanol producers. In northwest Iowa, where the agricultural economy is of prime importance, both Randy Feenstra and J.D. Scholten said they want […]

As Iowa farmers struggle, fighting for ethanol industry becomes a key issue in Iowa’s Senate race

BY: - October 26, 2020

Iowa’s ethanol industry is suffering worse losses than economists originally predicted, increasing pressure on Congress and President Donald Trump’s administration to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard and provide aid to struggling farmers and ethanol producers. While both U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst and Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield have condemned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for providing […]

Proposal would overhaul federal pesticide rules

BY: - August 14, 2020

Legislation has been introduced in Congress that marks the first attempt in decades to overhaul national pesticide regulations. U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, a Colorado Democrat, is sponsoring a bill in the House that would ban three common chemicals, revamp the process for approving new products and allow cities to adopt stricter standards. While it’s unlikely that […]