Two ‘Blue Dog’ Democrats vote against House impeachment inquiry

House Agriculture chairman Collin Peterson and committee member Jeff Van Drew voted against the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry of President Trump on Thursday, though both men said they are reserving judgment on impeachment itself.

Ahead of trade talks, Trump asks China to investigate Biden family

With Sino-U.S. trade talks scheduled to resume next week, President Trump said on Thursday that “China should start an investigation into the Bidens.” He also said his administration was “looking at a lot of different things” to increase pressure on China to resolve the trade war.

Trump acolyte presses ahead in Mississippi Senate race

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, a member of President Trump’s agriculture advisory committee in 2016, is following the president’s no-apology campaign style in the Senate runoff election against former U.S. agriculture secretary Mike Espy, a Democrat. Hyde-Smith is the front-runner in strongly Republican Mississippi.

Though outnumbered, the ‘farm vote’ has a lot of friends

Even in the most agricultural districts of America, farmers are hardly thick on the ground, the result of decades of mechanization and consolidation, which has driven down farm numbers, as well as the United States becoming ever more urban. Nonetheless, the “farm vote,” while small in numbers, is a mighty force in U.S. politics.

Pawlenty won’t run against Senate Ag panelist Smith

Former two-term Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he will not run for the Senate this year, “dashing Republican hopes that he would mount a strong bid for Al Franken’s old seat,” said the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Bustos recipe for Democratic success in the Midwest: Bread-and-butter issues

A report co-authored by Rep. Cheri Bustos of Illinois says that “national Democrats must acknowledge and stay focused on the bread-and-butter challenges facing hardworking families” to gain the rural and working-class support vital to winning elections in the Midwest.

With Hatch retiring, will Grassley take the Finance Committee gavel?

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, who lists his occupation as farmer, could make a return appearance as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee with the retirement of the current chairman, Orrin Hatch of Utah, says Roll Call.

Trump to be first president to speak at Farm Bureau meeting in 26 years

Breaking a quarter-century gap, President Trump will be the first U.S. chief executive since George H.W. Bush to address the annual convention of the nation’s largest farm organization, the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Pingree mulls run for governor of Maine

Fifth-term Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine, a leading advocate in the House for small farmers and farmers’ markets, is considering a run for governor of Maine in 2018, says the Portland Press Herald.

Two Ag panelists among most vulnerable House incumbents

Freshman Republican John Faso and veteran Democrat Rick Nolan, both of whom serve on the House Agriculture Committee, are among the 10 most vulnerable House incumbents a year ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, says Roll Call.