Conaway sets precedent with Agriculture Committee prayers

House Agriculture chairman Mike Conaway has decided that every hearing or markup at his committee will begin with a prayer, says Roll Call.

Vulnerable list includes one-third of House Ag Democrats

The Frontline Program to assist Democrats in competitive House districts includes one-third of the Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee.

Moran, overseer of USDA funds, has $1.4 mln for campaign

Kansas Republican Jerry Moran, chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on agriculture, has $1.4 million in cash in his campaign fund, said Roll Call.

Sessions may chair Senate Judiciary panel on immigration

Alabama Sen Jeff Sessions, a vocal critic of the administration's immigration policies, "is in line to become chairman of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee with authority over immigration law," says Roll Call.

Johanns joins Deere board, Nelson become Illinois ag director

Mike Johanns, who completed a term as senator early this month, was elected to the board of directors of Deere and Co, the world's largest farm equipment manufacturer.

Incoming House Ag chair calls for vigorous USDA oversight

Texas Republican Mike Conaway, the incoming chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, said he expects "vigorous oversight" of federal programs from crop insurance and food stamps to farm subsidies and the futures markets in the new session of Congress. Conaway redrew the jurisdiction of the Agriculture subcommittees and said, "All six subcommittees will be expected to carry out vigorous oversight of their mission areas." At present, there are five subcommittees.

Four Republicans on House Ag oppose Boehner as speaker

Ted Yoho, the only Florida Republican on the House Agriculture Committee, got two votes for House speaker on the opening day of the 114th session of Congress. Yoho voted for himself and also got the support of Thomas Massie of Kentucky.

School lunch, EPA scale-backs ride on gov’t funding bill

The government-wide funding bill being assembled in private on Capitol Hill would scale back school lunch reforms approved in 2010 and "curtail some clean-water regulations," says the New York Times.

Algae blooms in Lake Erie put spotlight on agricultural runoff

The algae bloom that shut down Toledo's drinking-water supply for two days this summer has put the spotlight on agricultural runoff, although farmland is not the only source of the pollutants that cause the explosive growth of the cyanobacteria, says...