James Hubbard, who retired as deputy chief of the Forest Service in 2017, is President Trump's choice to become agriculture undersecretary for natural resources, announced the White House. His primary job will be oversight of the Forest Service, with its 154 national forests and 20 grasslands on 193 million acres in 43 states and Puerto Rico.
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke told the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources that he supports the White House's proposal to cut his department's budget by $1.6 billion, saying "this is what a balanced budget looks like."
There will be nearly two open jobs for every qualified graduate in the agriculture, food and natural resources sector in the next few years, says Harvest Public Media in summarizing a report by Purdue and the USDA. The gap between graduates and the estimated 60,000 jobs open annually for the next five years has "left the USDA, land grant universities and private industry scrambling to try and bridge the gap."
A rainy December is putting water into California's depleted reservoirs and snowpack on the Sierra Nevada, says the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Agriculture Department announced $35 million in grants to the historically black 1890 land grant colleges and universities.