Lessons from the pandemic: Broaden child nutrition, be flexible on rules

The government should permanently adopt the innovations of the pandemic that made school meals available when classrooms were idle and allowed WIC interviews by phone and video rather than requiring applicants to appear in person, said Senate Agriculture chairwoman Debbie Stabenow on Thursday.

Newcomer Warnock will chair Senate Agriculture subcommittee

One of the newest members of the Senate, Democrat Raphael Warnock of Georgia, who won a special election on Jan. 5, was named chairman of a Senate Agriculture subcommittee, announced committee leaders on Monday. Warnock, who faces re-election in 2022, will chair the subcommittee that oversees …

Justice for Black Farmers bill introduced in Senate

Six Democratic senators announced legislation on Monday to end discrimination at USDA and to expand Black-owned farmland by up to 32 million acres through land grants over 10 years. Sponsors include five members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, which would handle the bill. “The Justice for …

New Senate Ag members include farm reformer and election deniers

New Jersey's Cory Booker, sponsor of bills to place a moratorium on large livestock farms and to expand Black ownership of farmland, is among five newcomers to the Senate Agriculture Committee, said panel leaders. The new members also include Republicans Roger Marshall and Tommy Tuberville, both of whom challenged President Biden's election on the same day a mob attacked the Capitol.

Voluntary mitigation is agriculture’s preference on climate change

The incoming chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee said she will pursue "voluntary, producer-led" solutions, such as carbon markets, for agriculture's contribution to fighting climate change, with the USDA providing expert advice to producers. Sen. Debbie Stabenow also said the USDA could need additional funding to pay for climate change programs.

Confirmation hearing Feb. 2 for Vilsack

The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a confirmation hearing on Feb. 2 for Tom Vilsack, President Biden's nominee for agriculture secretary, said the panel's Democratic and Republican leaders on Wednesday.

With Democrats in charge, Stabenow to lead Senate Agriculture Committee

Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who last year sponsored legislation to encourage farmer participation in carbon markets, is expected to chair the Senate Agriculture Committee for the second time in a decade now that the Democrats will control the Senate. Stabenow's return to power was aided by the defeat of a fellow committee member, appointed Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler, in a runoff election on Tuesday.

Pro-Trump mob ‘was an attack on American democracy’

The invasion of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob was an assault on U.S. democracy, said farm state lawmakers on Wednesday. Rioters interrupted the certification of Joe Biden's election as president over President Trump, who told protesters that he would never concede defeat. Biden and former president George W. Bush called the invasion an insurrection.

In farewell speech, Roberts regrets gridlock, salutes Freedom to Farm

Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts, retiring after 40 years in Congress, urged more civility and friendship among lawmakers in a farewell speech on Thursday that touched on his prominent role in passing the 1996 farm bill that, for the most part, ended federal control over what crops farmers grow.

Coronavirus infection ends Grassley’s 27-year voting streak

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said on Tuesday that he was quarantining himself at home while awaiting results of a test for Covid-19. The quarantine ended a 27-year streak, dating voting in every Senate roll call — a record 8,927 in all — since 1993.