The template for climate mitigation is soil conservation, says farm-enviro alliance

The new era of climate mitigation on the farm would look like a beefed-up version of longstanding USDA conservation programs, augmented by a carbon bank that sets a floor price for carbon sequestration and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, said leaders of the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance on Wednesday.

Vilsack takes office as agriculture secretary via Zoom

Vice President Kamala Harris administered the oath of office to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack through a Zoom link on Wednesday, the first virtual swearing-in performed by Harris.

U.S. to donate masks to food banks and pantries

The government will distribute more than 25 million washable face masks through community health centers and the food bank network over the next three months, announced the White House on Wednesday.

Today’s quick hits, Feb. 25, 2021

Decision in autumn: Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, 87, a leading congressional advocate of biofuels and a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said he will decide “sometime in September, October, or November” whether to run for an eighth term in 2022. A Republican state …

Vilsack brings to-do list as he starts new stint as agriculture secretary

Boosted by a landslide confirmation vote in the Senate, Tom Vilsack will begin his second stint as agriculture secretary on Wednesday facing problems from the pandemic and climate change to rising hunger rates in America. His own list of goals is much longer and each item on it is a blockbuster.

Pilgrim’s Pride pleads guilty to price-fixing in chicken

The second-largest U.S. poultry processor, Pilgrim's Pride, pleaded guilty in federal court in Denver to conspiring to fix prices of broiler meat and was sentenced to pay a criminal fine of $108 million, said the Justice Department on Tuesday. Pilgrim's was the first company to settle charges in an alleged conspiracy that involved 10 officials from five processors.

Today’s quick hits, Feb. 24, 2021

H-2A wages up modestly: Wages for H-2A guestworkers this year will be about 5 percent higher than in 2020, according to the Labor Department, after a legal battle over the former administration’s proposals to change the formula. (Farmworker Justice) Strain of avian influenza infects …

Debt relief for minority farmers needs more thought, say critics

The House Budget Committee approved an estimated $4 billion of debt relief for minority farmers on Monday as part of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Monday, with one member protesting that the aid was unfair. The CBO said due to incomplete data, the cost of paying off USDA loans …

More adherents to voluntary climate mitigation

The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance said on Monday that 34 additional trade groups have joined the coalition of farm, environmental and food retail groups that endorses voluntary, incentive-based and market-driven action to mitigate climate change. President Zippy Duvall of the American …