Farm bill to help hemp grow into a multibillion-dollar industry

In a flourish of political pomp, Sen. Mitch McConnell signed the final draft of the farm bill Monday with a hemp pen, grown and made in Kentucky. It wasn’t accidental. The legislation legalizes the production of industrial hemp, a multipurpose, quick-growing plant that farmers in …

Senate names high-power team for farm bill negotiations

When farm bill negotiators get down to business, the 47 House "conferees" will face an unusually big-caliber Senate team, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as one of its members, a rare role for the leader. Senate Agriculture Committee leaders, in cheering the formal appointment of their nine negotiators, used "bipartisan" to describe their approach and take a swipe at the Republican-written House farm bill and its proposal to require more people to work 20 hours a week to qualify for food stamps.

McConnell quashes objections to industrial hemp

Industrial hemp, used in products from clothes to health aids, could be the new cash crop for small farms, perhaps the successor to tobacco for making money on limited acreage, said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday.

Senate will vote on farm bill before end of June, says McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put the farm bill and a defense bill at the top of his list for Senate passage before the Independence Day recess three weeks from now.

Uncertain future for GMO-disclosure bill when Senate votes

After the showdown vote scheduled for Wednesday in the Senate, the outlook for a GMO-disclosure bill may darken. The Senate bill, which preempts state GMO food-labeling laws along with allowing foodmakers to use a symbol, a digital code or wording on a package to disclose GMO ingredients, has few friends in the House, which has voted against mandatory labeling.

Obama: ‘The longer we wait, the harder it will be to pass the TPP’

China is trying to outmaneuver the United States in the Asian market, President Obama said, in pressing for approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.

‘A major part of the food business’ is hostile to GMOs, says McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he hasn't given up on passing a bill to pre-empt states from requiring special labels on food made with genetically modified organisms.

Timing of tax ‘extenders’ bill uncertain, says Senate leader

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he wants to enact a tax "extenders" bill in a timely way, but did not suggest a likely course of action during a news conference, reports Agri-Pulse.

Another Ag panelist joins Senate leadership

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, an Agriculture Committee, member will be part of Democratic leadership in the next session. She was elected to chair the Democratic Steering and Outreach committee.

Rural voters shifted toward Republicans, like rest of US

Rural Americans, often socially and fiscally conservative, tend to vote at higher rates for Republicans than the nation overall. This year, when the country leaned Republican, the rate went up in rural areas too, says the Daily Yonder.