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Ellyn Ferguson reports on agriculture and food issues for CQ Roll Call. For nearly 20 years she worked as a Washington-based reporter for Gannett covering the overhaul of federal welfare programs and the writing of several farm policy bills, including the 1996 overhaul. She is a member of the North American Agricultural Journalists and the National Press Club and is former president of the Regional Reporters Association. Ellyn graduated from the University of Florida in Gainesville with a degree in journalism.
The Environmental Protection Agency sought to find a middle ground on May 29 with a package of renewable fuel mandates through 2016, but the agency did little to pacify the two sides that think it is doing too little, or too much to support renewable fuels.
Senate Democrats threatened to block Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts to start debate on a contentious Trade Promotion Authority bill unless the Kentucky Republican guarantees that a customs bill with currency manipulation provisions gets a vote.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pushed back against an emerging “fast-track” trade deal at her weekly news conference Thursday, calling the legislation a “pothole” and saying Republicans had a responsibility to work with Democrats to develop a better framework.
“[If] they have 218 Republican votes … I don’t think they’ll pay too much attention to many of our concerns. I don’t know if they have that,” Pelosi said. “If they don’t have 218 votes, we have a further opportunity to say, ‘Where are some areas that we can come together.’”
Sens. Orrin G. Hatch and Ron Wyden along with Rep. Paul D. Ryan negotiated the trade framework, which the Ways and Means Committee marked up earlier today after the Senate Finance Committee approved a similar measure 20-6 on Wednesday.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he “hoped” to move a Trade Promotion Authority bill through the Senate ahead of the Memorial Day recess, less than 24 hours after the Senate Finance Committee approved the legislation, 20-6.
The bill would enable the president to bring a negotiated trade agreement to Congress for an up-or-down vote. Lawmakers would not be able to amend the trade pact.
Nutrition standards for school lunches have turned into one of the most contentious issues in this year’s appropriations debate.
Supporters of the new agriculture research foundation created by this year’s farm bill often point to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health as a model.
Agriculture officials will soon name a board of directors for the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research that Congress created in this year’s farm bill and launch a program they hope will draw more money into the kind of basic scientific study that made the United States an agriculture powerhouse.
Supporters of a generous federal tax deduction for landowners who, in essence, donate property for conservation or preservation are trying to persuade Congress to make the tax break permanent. First, though, they have to get it back on the books; it expired at the end of 2013.
Ducks Unlimited, as its name suggests, is all about ducks and other waterfowl.
Large-scale farming and agribusiness, derisively dubbed Big Ag by critics, look to polish their image this week with a Statuary Hall ceremony for a hero in the field and a screening of a documentary about young farmers and ranchers.
The Obama administration gained some ground during this Congress in its bid to change the way the United States buys and delivers emergency food aid to hungry people around the globe.
Shipping companies and sailors united to fight the Obama administration’s proposal to nearly halve the amount the federal government spends on transporting food aid from the United States to regions in need.
The United States recently hit the pause button on rising obesity levels among adults after nearly a generation of ever-expanding waistlines, research indicates.
America is a nation struggling with the issue of weight and the consequences of obesity.
More than 20 percent of the population in seven states and the District of Columbia received some form of food aid in 2013 under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, according to a recent Department of Agriculture report.
Millions of low-income people will see their purchasing power fall Nov. 1, regardless of the outcome of a larger fight between Democrats and Republicans over future policies and spending levels for the nation’s largest domestic food aid program.
Cranberry farmers turned part of Union Station into a bog Tuesday in a bid by a growers’ cooperative to draw congressional attention to the tart fruit.
One thing’s certain on Oct. 1: Congress will have allowed the nine-month extension of the 2008 farm bill to expire.
Lawmakers can be expected to engage in a battle of images over deserving and undeserving food aid recipients when the revised nutrition title of the House farm bill comes to the floor, perhaps as soon as this week.
Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration assured consumers they could continue to eat rice cakes, rice pasta, brown rice dishes and other popular products in moderation, with no immediate effects from arsenic in the grain.
We are what we eat, and rice increasingly is a part of the American diet. About half of the U.S. rice crop goes into foods eaten by Americans. Domestic demand for homegrown rice has steadily risen by about 1 percent each year since the 1980s.
Sen. Jeff Flake in a colloquy before lawmakers adjourned for their August recess helped Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow lay down her markers for shaping a final farm bill, or, failing that, another extension of the 2008 farm bill, by questioning continued payments for cotton farmers.
The chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee said Monday that she is worried lawmakers could run out of time to produce a final farm bill if House leaders do not quickly send their chamber’s agriculture-only version to the Senate.
Smithfield Foods is the world’s largest pork producer and processor, an operation that has grown and thrived over the years as the meat industry consolidated into a handful of powerful companies controlling U.S. pork, chicken and beef output.
House leaders must determine how they can pick up the pieces after a bipartisan rejection of a five-year farm bill backed by Speaker John A. Boehner.