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Passage of the 2014 farm bill ends a frustrating two-year legislative journey, largely driven by a search for significant budget reductions, and often fueled by polarizing rhetoric on how to make those cuts a reality.
A Congress known for epic dysfunction and expected to be a foil for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address is starting to creak to life — this time with an agreement on a five-year farm bill announced Monday.
Farmers no longer just have to worry about whether it will rain too much or too little, or whether prices for their crops will be high enough to cover their costs. Now, growers increasingly are on edge about big data.
Even as they raise concerns about corporate use of farm data, farm groups are turning to Congress to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from releasing information that it compiles on agricultural operations it regulates.
Just a couple of months ago, Republicans viewed Thad Cochran as the most likely senator to retire in 2014. But now that he’s seeking a seventh term, the Mississippi senator has more work to do than any other Republican in his chamber.
In what has become a familiar scenario, the House and Senate have a full legislative plate and only until Jan. 18 to clean it, with a potential government shutdown on the line.
The aim of scientific research is to increase our understanding beyond what is already known. When scientific research is used to shape government policy, it assumes a special obligation — it becomes the glue of a contract between the public, the research community and government.
The superstar duo of Beyonce and Jay-Z is on to something, and Washington should be paying attention: Their new plant-based diet can teach us about revamping our health and, believe it or not, repairing the broken farm bill.
America is a nation struggling with the issue of weight and the consequences of obesity.
The United States recently hit the pause button on rising obesity levels among adults after nearly a generation of ever-expanding waistlines, research indicates.
Just a few weeks before Election Day in Washington state this year, polls showed voters were solidly behind a measure calling for labels on genetically modified food. Proponents, from state farming coalitions to D.C.-based advocacy groups, felt optimistic.
As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration prepares to release its final ruling on whether a genetically engineered salmon will end up in grocery stores, a handful of northwestern lawmakers are watching especially closely.
The principal farm bill negotiators conceded Tuesday that there won’t be a final bill ready for either chamber before the new year — and the chambers appear split on whether there needs to be an extension of existing farm programs.
Despite a rocky journey that’s taken more than two years, the principal negotiators in a farm bill conference showed new signs of optimism Wednesday — but not for passing a final bill before January.
Wading into a dispute over federal land use that dates back to the days of homesteaders and miners, Congress is looking to overhaul the process of assessing fees for private vacation cabins and houses on national forest land.
Here are some of the milestones in development of the Forest Service’s recreation residence program, which allows private cabins on forest lands:
During a time when partisan politics rule the day, it is sometimes hard for pragmatic bipartisan efforts to cut through the clutter and get the attention they deserve. American workers in the emerging field of renewable chemicals are seeking a level playing field in federal policy, and they’re getting backing from a Democrat from New Jersey and a Republican from Texas.
Hugh Hammond Bennett, the father of the modern soil conservation movement, wrote in 1943: “Conservation farming put first things first by attending to the needs of the soil — by seeing to it that the starting-off place, the base, is put into sound health and kept that way. Any other approach, no matter what it may be, always has and always must lead eventually to agricultural disaster.”
You recall the great American famine of 2010, don’t you? Neither do I, but the outcry surrounding proposals by House Republicans to cut spending on food stamps back to slightly higher than 2010 levels suggests that there surely must have been one.
Clean your plate. It could save the planet.