To get around the shutdown, SNAP benefits will be paid nearly two weeks early

The Trump administration will release an estimated $4.8 billion to SNAP recipients on January 20, nearly two weeks early, to ensure they get their February food stamps despite the partial government shutdown, announced Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Tuesday. The USDA said its other public nutrition programs, including WIC, school lunch and food donations, are funded through February, alleviating concerns of hunger among millions of Americans during a protracted shutdown.

NAFTA is mutually beneficial, say ag ministers, but needs to be ‘modernized’

President Trump calls NAFTA a bad deal for the United States and insists it needs a major overhaul. But today the agriculture ministers of Canada, Mexico, and the United States said that while the agreement should get an update, it has been beneficial for North America’s farmers and ranchers.

Trump tabs Stump for CFTC, Gerrish as USTR

President Trump will nominate Dawn Stump, a former vice president of NYSE Euronext, as a commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. He has also selected Jeffrey Gerrish to be a deputy U.S. trade representative.

Field of candidates for USDA posts becoming clearer

The White House has settled on Steve Censky, a top foreign trade official at the USDA before becoming a farm group executive, for the No. 2 job at the department, according to published reports.

Scientists plan march on Washington, but some think they should stay in the lab

Inspired by the Million Woman March on Washington, D.C., scientists are planning their own march to urge policymakers to base their rules on sound research. “There's been a lot of concern about the fate of science under President Trump. His appointees include climate change skeptics; he's met with an anti-vaccination campaigner. He regularly cites false numbers on things like voter fraud and crime rates, while his surrogates defend the use of "alternative facts," says NPR.