First 100 days: From targeted assistance to SNAP reform, how Biden should tackle the hunger crisis

Two days before he was inaugurated, President-elect Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, spent Martin Luther King Jr. Day in a parking lot in Philadelphia, volunteering with Philabundance, a nonprofit that provides food to families in need. Their show of support for food-distribution efforts reflects what advocates say is a promising new start when it comes to curbing America’s hunger crisis.(No paywall)

First 100 days: Advocates say Biden should act quickly to boost workplace safety

As a candidate, President-elect Joe Biden ripped into the Trump administration’s handling of workplace inspections during the Covid-19 pandemic. And he endorsed a range of policies that would aid food system workers, from raising raising frontline worker wages to  releasing enforceable workplace standards from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Now, within his first 100 days in office, Biden should make good on his promises, workplace advocates say. (No paywall)

Biden chooses Virginia ag commissioner for deputy secretary at USDA

Two days before his inauguration, President-elect Biden selected Jewel Bronaugh, the Virginia state agriculture commissioner, as his nominee for deputy agriculture secretary, the No. 2 post at USDA. Bronaugh was among five women who were announced on Monday for deputy secretaries of federal …

Biden: Higher SNAP benefits for the rest of the year

As part of his $1.9 trillion coronavirus package, President-elect Joe Biden said on Thursday that the 15 percent increase in SNAP benefits approved last month should be extended through the end of this year. Biden, announcing his American Rescue Plan, vowed his administration would "tackle the growing hunger crisis in America."

Agriculture must be part of climate change negotiations, says Farm Bureau

Although blamed for 10 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, agriculture has a "great track record" through land stewardship and biofuels in mitigating climate change, says Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, in looking ahead to the Biden administration. "We must make sure we are at the table for discussions around climate change." (No paywall)

Biden: U.S. will consider emergency rule to protect workers from coronavirus

The government's worker-safety agency "has been prevented from using its full range of tools to protect workers from Covid-19," said President-elect Biden on the 50th anniversary of creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. "The number of OSHA inspectors is at its lowest level since 1975, while millions of essential workers are working to keep the country functioning through the pandemic."

Biden’s EPA nominee navigated diverse interests in North Carolina

In nominating North Carolina’s Michael Regan to head the Environmental Protection Agency, President-elect Joseph Biden has tapped a state regulator who for the past four years has navigated a political divide as contentious as the one he’ll face in Washington, D.C.(No paywall)

Biden makes it official: Vilsack for agriculture secretary

Two days after the news leaked, President-elect Joe Biden formally announced Tom Vilsack as his nominee for agriculture secretary on Thursday. The Vilsack nomination was one of five announced for officials in charge of domestic programs.

Farm groups cheer, progressives lament return of Vilsack to USDA

President-elect Joe Biden's selection of Tom Vilsack as agriculture secretary angered farm and food activists who feuded with Vilsack during the Obama years and had hoped for a progressive agenda under Biden. The largest U.S. farm groups welcomed Vilsack on Wednesday as an experienced leader for the recovery from the trade war and the pandemic.

Not looking to run USDA, says Peterson

House Agriculture chairman Collin Peterson threw cold water Thursday on suggestions that he should be agriculture secretary in the Biden administration. "There's plenty of people out there that want the job," he told reporters, adding that he was "not looking for a full-time, four-year job" after 30 years in Congress.