U.S. Department of Agriculture

White House says executive order coming on labeling beef as a ‘Product of USA’

BY: - July 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — The White House will unveil an executive order in the coming days that directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to clarify that meat can only receive a “Product of USA” label if that livestock is raised in the U.S. rather than abroad, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday afternoon. She said the […]

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 […]

House Agriculture panel probes ‘systemic’ USDA discrimination against Black farmers

BY: - March 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — The House Agriculture Committee on Thursday heard about how Black farmers have faced decades of racial discrimination in their dealings with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The committee’s chairman, Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., said the testimony at the virtual hearing would help the panel craft legislation that aims to increase the number of […]

Second gentleman Douglas Emhoff to visit Iowa

BY: - March 19, 2021

Second gentleman Douglas Emhoff will visit Iowa on Monday, the White House announced Friday. Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, is scheduled to join U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for an event in Des Moines. Vilsack, the former Iowa governor, was confirmed last month for his second tenure as head of the […]

Iowa’s Vilsack is sworn in as USDA secretary — virtually

BY: - February 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday swore in former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a second time around for Vilsack in the post. “Congratulations Mr. Secretary and to the whole family,” Harris said. “The president is so excited. We’ve got a lot of work to do and […]

U.S. Senate confirms Vilsack for a second stint as secretary of Agriculture

BY: - February 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday in a 92-7 vote confirmed former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack to run the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a second time. Vilsack, 70, also headed the $151 billion agency under the Obama administration, for eight years. But he has garnered criticism from Black and minority farmers for his treatment […]

Ag nominee Vilsack battles skepticism from Black farmers ahead of confirmation hearing

BY: - February 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — Tom Vilsack, the president’s pick to lead the Agriculture Department, will likely face questions about his treatment of Black farmers and his record on civil rights at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday. President Joe Biden’s decision to tap the former Iowa governor, who also served as USDA chief […]

Climate experts: Iowa drought likely to extend into spring planting season

BY: - January 18, 2021

Iowa has a slightly elevated risk of the drought in western counties pushing into spring planting season, a top federal climate official said. Dennis Todey, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Midwest Climate Hub in Ames, told 50 regional climate and natural resources officials last week that the lingering La Niña conditions in the […]

Ag groups praise $33B in farm-related pandemic relief aid

BY: - December 22, 2020

The $900 billion pandemic relief legislation passed by Congress late Monday includes $33 billion in aid for farms, broadband, biofuels and nutrition programs. Agriculture groups were quick to praise the bipartisan package, months in the making. The aid includes $11.2 billion Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will use to “support producers, processors and contract growers,” the […]

Georgia congressman to be first African American chairman of the House Agriculture Committee

BY: - December 3, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Democratic caucus on Thursday ratified Rep. David Scott’s selection to chair the Agriculture Committee, making him the first African American and the first Georgian to lead the panel. “I was born on my grandparents’ farm in rural Aynor, South Carolina, during the days of segregation, and the hardships, of those, […]

15 Iowa companies get USDA grants to expand ethanol sales

BY: - October 8, 2020

Fifteen Iowa companies were among those receiving grants Thursday to improve ethanol and biodiesel facilities to handle higher grades of the renewable fuels. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has invested $22 million in the grants, from a pot of $100 million in the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced.  Iowa received […]

Iowa lawmakers blast USDA secretary after reports of Southern advantage in trade-deal aid payments

BY: - September 16, 2020

Iowa politicians from both parties blasted the U.S. Department of Agriculture after it reportedly favored Southern states in 2019 trade-war aid payments. The nonpartisan U.S. Government Accountability Office this week reported that eight of the nine states receiving the highest payments per acre were in the South. GAO launched an investigation at the request of […]