Today’s quick hits, July 30, 2019

Who’s getting trade aid? Rich white men. (New Food Economy): The vast majority of aid distributed through the USDA’s Market Facilitation Program has gone to white male farmers, and payments skew toward supporting upper middle-class or wealthy farmers.

Gender diversity on the farm (Reuters): Women and non-binary people are running some of Long Island’s best-known organic farms, contributing to a trend of increased gender diversity among organic farm owners.

EPA to decide soon on RFS waivers (Reuters): While touring an oil refinery, EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler said the agency hopes to be “making decisions in the next few weeks and month at the most” on requests by refiners for waivers from having to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Toxic algae poisons California’s sea lions (San Luis Obispo Tribune): Algal blooms are appearing earlier than usual and contain a toxin that, in low doses, causes intestinal distress in sea lions and that, in high doses, can lead to seizures and even brain damage in the animals.

Soybeans burn at flood-stranded elevator (DTN/Progressive Farmer): A pile of soybeans estimated in the hundreds of thousands of bushels has been burning for two weeks in northwest Missouri outside of a grain elevator surrounded by floodwater from the Missouri River.

Pet food maker sues over salmonella (Food Safety News): The pet food company Lystn LLC sued the FDA, saying its absolute ban on salmonella bacteria violated the Constitution and “deprives the people of freedom of food choice for their pets.”