Agriculture & Agribusiness

USDA to Provide Overtime Fee Relief to Small and Very-Small Establishments

One of the major complaints of smaller meat and poultry establishments is the cost of USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) overtime and holiday inspection services. Meat and poultry establishments that are subject to mandatory inspection receive FSIS inspection services free of charge for each 8-hour shift the plant normally operates. Many plants only …

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Bob Dole and George McGovern: A Nutrition Legacy that Continues

For many years in the Senate, Senator Bob Dole (R-KS) teamed up with Senator George McGovern (D-SD) to create a legacy of bipartisan leadership on nutrition.  Working together in the 1970s, they completely reformed the Food Stamp Program (now SNAP); established the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations; with Senator Humphrey, created the Women’s Infants …

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chicken breasts being cut

CSPI petitions FSIS to implement enforceable Salmonella controls, supply chain requirements

John Dillard, a principal attorney in the USDA – FSIS Practice Group, authored the following article on a recent citizen’s petition to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The article appears in The National Provisioner’s March issue. On Jan. 25, 2021, a coalition of food safety activist groups and individuals led by Center …

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The UN FOOD SYSTEM SUMMIT: Upside and Downside for US Agriculture

The UN Food System Summit (FSS), to be hosted by Secretary-General António Guterres as a part of the UN General Assembly this September, is generating increased attention for several reasons:   It’s fast approaching. Hunger is on the rise. The new Biden/Harris Administration is committed to international engagement and hunger reduction. US agriculture has much …

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three cows standing in a line

Packers and Stockyards Act: Cattle Sellers Gain New Protections with the Statutory Dealer Trust

John Dillard, a principal attorney in the USDA – Packers and Stockyards group, authored the following article on recent amendments to the Packers and Stockyards Act establishing a Statutory Dealer Trust. The article appears in Farm Journal’s mid-February issue.   Cattle dealers play an integral role of the movement of livestock by buying cattle, creating …

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Carbon Labeling: Who is Ahead of the Game?

With climate change discussions being elevated on a local, regional, and global scale, many individuals are considering how their personal choices, including foods they consume, impact the environment. This has translated to a resurgence of interest in carbon labeling food products. Now that we understand the basics of carbon labeling and what it means for …

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How Does Buying American Benefit U.S. Food, Agriculture, and Medical Products?

President Biden recently issued an Executive Order (EO) to harness the federal government’s purchasing power to bolster domestic manufacturing. The “Strengthening Buy American Provisions, Ensuring Future of America is Made in America by All of America’s Workers” intends to support American industry and American workers. Overall, this EO looks to close loopholes in existing “Buy American” policies …

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employees cutting meat at a processing facility

CDC to Host Webinar on COVID-19 Vaccination for Food and Agriculture Workers – January 21st

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will host a webinar to provide updates on COVID-19 vaccine implementation for food and agriculture workers on Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 3:00 PM Eastern. The webinar will also discuss vaccine safety and confidence as well as recommendations for vaccine prioritization. The panelists for the webinar …

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NIAA: What to Expect for Animal Agriculture in a Biden Administration

The National Institute of Animal Agriculture invited Chelsea Good, Vice President of Government & Industry Affairs at Livestock Marketing Association and John Dillard, Principal Attorney in the USDA Practice Group at OFW Law to provide insight on the incoming Biden Administration and what it will mean for the animal agriculture industry. From the Barn to …

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John Block Reports: Using Farmers to Fight Global Warming

By Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, John R. Block. We have our federal government funding bill passed and signed by President Trump and a generous relief package also.  Now is the time to give up on the election challenges.  However, I would stress that we need to make sure that future elections are fair and honest.  …

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John Block Reports: Christmas Time… Definitely – Pandemic Relief… Maybe

By Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, John R. Block. It’s Christmas.  And the New Year is almost upon us.  This year has been one for the books.  The Coronavirus has upset everything.  Millions of jobs have been lost.  Some families can’t pay their rent.  Small businesses are going bankrupt.  New virus cases are surging.  One piece …

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John Block Reports: Biden Picks Tom Vilsack to Return to USDA

By Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, John R. Block. After the election we all read about President Trump challenging the results.  However, we also are reading about President-Elect Biden’s possible nominees for his cabinet.  We know they are all important, but for agriculture and rural America, the choice for Secretary of Agriculture has been at the …

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John Block Reports: Thanksgiving Dinner in America During COVID-19

Home » Agriculture & Agribusiness » Election and More By Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, John R. Block. We just celebrated another Thanksgiving.  At least, I hope we celebrated it.  I know these are chaotic times.  The worst problem is that the coronavirus has us isolated and shut down.  Also, it may not be on your mind right now but …

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crops ruined by water damage

John Block Reports: Climate Change Policy from the US to the EU

By Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, John R. Block. With the Biden Presidency approaching, climate change has been elevated to talk and perhaps even action which will affect agriculture and rural America.  Powerful voices in our ag industry are forming the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance.  The groups involved include the American Farm Bureau Federation, Environmental …

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John Block Reports: A Democratic President – What Happens Next?

By Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, John R. Block. The election is behind us.  There was no “blue wave.”  After the Courts review the election process to see if it was fraud free – no corruption — then the winner will be formally declared.  As of now, it looks like Joe Biden will get the job.  …

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The Future of SNAP (Food Stamps)

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides valuable assistance to millions of Americans who need help because they have lost their jobs, do not earn sufficient money to meet their needs, or have been emergency victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.  A study by USDA’s Economic Research Service found that a hypothetical $1 billion increase in …

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John Block Reports: World Food Program Wins the Nobel Peace Prize

By Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, John R. Block. The Presidential election battle rages on.  Biden leads in the polls.  But don’t forget that four years ago Hillary Clinton was leading, and the Trump victory shocked the world.  Think about this – in one respect, whoever wins, rural America and Agriculture will come out on …

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2020 Dietary Guidelines Near the End of Stage One

On Wednesday, June 16, 2020, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) hosted a public meeting to review their draft scientific report. A new edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is published every 5-years and developed in three stages: (I) Reviewing the science; (II) developing the guidelines; (III) implementation. The most recent meeting marks the …

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QHC for Cranberry Products and Reduced Risk of Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection in Healthy Women

FDA has published a letter of enforcement discretion, which it sent to legal counsel for Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., that authorizes a qualified health claim (QHC) for specific cranberry products when consumed in specific amounts by specific people. The substantiation for the diet-disease relationship warranted a “limited and inconsistent” or “limited” scientific evidence qualifier. Based on …

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Policy Solutions to Climate Change through Agriculture and Forestry

The coronavirus has dominated the news cycle over the last five months and has disrupted nearly every industry, particularly agriculture and forestry. Leaders, innovators, and policymakers in these fields are looking for solutions that will mitigate future supply chain disruptions like the ones experienced due to the coronavirus. Therefore, it is not surprising that climate …

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