Today’s quick hits, Jan. 20, 2021

Jobs recovery sputters: Rural counties led the nation in recovery from jobs lost during the pandemic but the growth rate is slowing, showing “the recovery may be sputtering.” (Daily Yonder)

Stacy Dean to USDA: Public nutrition expert Stacy Dean, now at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, will become deputy agriculture undersecretary for food in the Biden administration. Kumar Chandran will be USDA senior adviser on nutrition. (Politico)

Meat consumption dips: Americans will consume slightly less meat this year than last — 224 pounds per person vs. 225 in 2020 — because more beef and poultry meat is being exported, leaving less for the domestic market, said the Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook. (USDA)

Payments for tree thinning: Landowners can qualify for a share of $12 million in incentive payments if they carry out tree thinning, prescribed burns or other “healthy forest management practices” on land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve. (USDA)

High farm income? Federal payments to farmers will remain historically high this year, creating the possibility of high farm income when combined with the ongoing rally in commodity prices, say economists Brent Gloy and David Widmar. (Agricultual Economic Insights)