Congress could achieve significant savings in the crop insurance program by reducing guaranteed payments to insurers and requiring wealthy operators to pay more for taxpayer-subsidized coverage, said the Government Accountability Office on Monday. The reforms could save billions of dollars on a program estimated to cost $101 billion over the next decade.
With the farm bill in mind, two Midwestern senators called for a "hard cap" of $250,000 in crop subsidies per farm, coupled with rules to limit the money to working farmers on Thursday. It would be an about-face in policy from recent years of easier access to USDA supports and emergency programs that paid up to $750,000 to corporate entities.
Congress should expand SNAP, the premiere U.S. anti-hunger program, to all American territories in the new farm bill and test whether benefits tied to the purchase of fruits and vegetables would improve the diets of SNAP households, a high-powered task force proposed on Tuesday. The recommendations could add billions of dollars a year to SNAP outlays at a time when conservative Republicans want to cut its cost.
Congress should "substantially scale up" programs like a produce prescription and nutrition incentive program at USDA and create a food box program to provide locally grown produce to Medicaid participants, said Sen. Cory Booker on Tuesday. "Food as medicine programs can be transformative," said the New Jersey Democrat during a Senate Agriculture subcommittee hearing on the issue.
With varying perspectives, the pharmaceutical industry, the Canadian Pork Council and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker hope to influence the Supreme Court in deciding whether an animal welfare law approved by California voters is an unconstitutional burden on the rest of America. The pork industry and the Justice Department say it is.
Addressing the interlinked crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and diet-related disease will require coordinated action, systems thinking, and much more public funding, a panel of scientists, farmers, and advocates told Congress on Wednesday.(No paywall)
The United States would ban the use of two classes of insecticides—organophosphates and neonicotinoids—and the herbicide paraquat under a bill unveiled by Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey on Monday. More than 100 pesticides would be affected, including chlorpyrifos, recently slated by the EPA for termination as an agricultural aid.
Poor-quality diets are driving an expensive epidemic of obesity, diabetes and heart disease in America, a panel of physicians, researchers and policy experts told senators on Tuesday, calling for a national strategy to replace the mishmash of federal nutrition programs. "We are on a path to disaster," said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Tufts School of Nutrition.
Sen. Cory Booker, the new chairman of the Senate nutrition subcommittee called for a permanent food box program to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to communities "in desperate need for healthy produce." Booker also said $20 billion a year should be devoted to USDA climate mitigation programs and that a moratorium should be imposed on mergers in the agricultural sector.(No paywall)
The USDA would double the size of the Conservation Reserve, the government’s largest land-idling program, as part of supporting land stewardship on 100 million acres of farmland under companion bills filed in the House and Senate on Monday. Democrats Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Abigail …
The federal promise of $4 billion in debt relief for minority farmers, part of the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package, is a step toward justice, said three Democratic senators on Monday. They said the next step should be passage of legislation to root out …
One of the newest members of the Senate, Democrat Raphael Warnock of Georgia, who won a special election on Jan. 5, was named chairman of a Senate Agriculture subcommittee, announced committee leaders on Monday. Warnock, who faces re-election in 2022, will chair the subcommittee that oversees …
Black-owned farmland could expand sevenfold under a bill filed by three Democratic senators on Thursday to reverse decades of discriminatory practices by the Agriculture Department, sometimes called "the last plantation." The Justice for Black Farmers Act would enable Black farmers to acquire up to 160 acres apiece at no charge through a USDA system of land grants. (No paywall)
In the name of worker safety, seven Democratic senators introduced a bill on Tuesday to block the USDA from allowing faster line speeds at meat plants during the pandemic and to suspend line-speed waivers it already has issued. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey said workers “are crowded into …
Sen. Cory Booker, who's seeking the Democratic nomination for president, today introduced new legislation that would reshape how livestock farming operates in the U.S. The Farm System Reform Act includes some changes that Booker and other legislators have proposed in the past, like a moratorium on new concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Other elements of the bill are new, like a plan to phase out large CAFOs in the next 20 years.(No paywall)
Presidential aspirant Sen. Cory Booker proposed a climate change program on Thursday on the scale of FDR’s New Deal to underwrite voluntary soil and water conservation on more than 100 million acres of farmland and the planting of 15 billion trees across the country.
While the growing list of Democratic candidates for president is dominated by politicians from predominantly urban settings, some still have decent track records on agriculture and food issues. This policy experience could help them in rural communities, a weak spot for the party in 2016. But rural advocates caution that the candidates need to build on past proposals if they hope to steer rural voters away from Donald Trump and the GOP.
Sen. Cory Booker introduced legislation yesterday that would require more transparency and oversight of how poultry loans are allocated by the Small Business Administration. The proposal comes just a week after a report from the Office of the Inspector General questioned nearly $2 billion in loans from the SBA to poultry farmers. (No paywall)