The largest U.S. student farm organization faces a reckoning on race

A racist incident involving a leader of the 700,000-member FFA spurred a backlash and revealed a long history of inequity at the student farm organization, says FERN's latest story by staff writer and associate editor Leah Douglas. (No paywall)

As #MeToo gains momentum, James Beard Foundation seeks greater diversity

With the restaurant industry under fire for allegations of sexual misconduct and other gender-related problems, the James Beard Foundation, a leading supporter of the culinary arts, is overhauling its awards program to increase the diversity of the people and organizations it honors and the transparency of how it makes those decisions. 

California bill would protect ‘socially disadvantaged’ farmers

A new bill in California aims to better support the state’s minority and female farmers. The Farmer Equity Act of 2017 “applies to producers that have been federally classified as ‘socially disadvantaged,’ which includes people in groups whose members have been subject to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice,” says Civil Eats.

USDA nominee Clovis blogged about ‘race traders’ and called Obama a ‘Maoist’

President Trump’s nominee for USDA chief scientist described black leaders as “race traders” and called President Obama a “Maoist” in blogs produced a few years ago in conjunction with a radio talk show aimed at conservatives, said CNN. Clovis was co-chair of Trump’s presidential campaign, Trump’s liaison with farm groups and, since January, the White House’s chief political operative at USDA.