Introducing his climate team, President-elect Biden said his administration would respond to the existential threat of climate change "by building a modern, climate-resilient infrastructure and a clean energy future" that would put millions of Americans to work. "And we are committed to facing climate change by delivering environmental justice."
The coronavirus "dealt an economically devastating hand to nearly the whole country," but job losses were smaller and shutdowns were shorter in rural America, said rural lender CoBank in a quarterly report. "Economic recovery may now favor rural communities for the first time in many years."(No paywall)
Second-term Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback will be named U.S. ambassador to UN agencies on food and agriculture in Rome, says Kansas Public Radio, based on information from "a former high-ranking government official." There was no immediate comment from the governor's office and KPR quoted an unnamed source as saying the appointment was "a done deal."
President Obama signed the bipartisan Global Food Security Act of 2016 yesterday, steering $7 billion toward agricultural development and hunger-relief efforts around the world, and ensuring that both public and private operations would continue to work together to fund these efforts in Africa and other food-insecure regions.
A white paper commissioned by the Organic Trade Association says organic "hot spots" have higher household incomes and lower poverty rates than rural counties in general. The author of the white paper, Penn State economist Edward Jaenicke, says, "The growing market interest in organic agriculture can be leveraged into effective policy for economic development."