federal government

USDA reopens offices in farm country, as anxiety about nutrition programs rises

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue set a new deadline of February 14 for producers to apply for Trump tariff payments, while announcing on Tuesday that USDA’s so-called county offices will be open for many, but not all, services during the partial government shutdown. Meanwhile, concern rose …

Potential BLM chief has fought the agency for years

Karen Budd-Fallen, a Wyoming-based lawyer with a history of representing ranchers against the Bureau of Land Management, has announced that she’s in the running to be the BLM’s next director. With a long career of protecting private-property rights, Budd-Fallen, “has challenged grazing regulations and endangered species protections, and in a landmark case attempted to sue individual BLM employees under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO.

Perdue unveils plan to reorganize USDA’s rural, farm and trade wings

Two weeks into the job, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue proposed today the first reorganization of USDA since 1994, a rapid start to President Trump's instructions to the cabinet to increase federal efficiency. The Perdue package creates a new position, undersecretary for trade; abolishes the undersecretary for rural development so Perdue would directly oversee economic development programs; and puts one undersecretary in charge of farm subsidies and land stewardship, responsibilities now split between two undersecretaries.

EPA and Interior overhaul scientific advisory boards to favor industry

In a move meant to stem government regulation, the EPA is cutting academic scientists from its scientific review board and replacing them with industry representatives, while the Interior Department prepares for a review of the scientists on its own advisory council.