Women dominate list of potential nominees for agriculture secretary

Obama-era officials and lawmakers top the list of potential nominees for agriculture secretary in the Biden administration, and, for the first time, most of the contenders are women. Former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, co-founder of the One Country Project to boost Democratic support in rural America, was the most frequently mentioned name.

Women break into Maine’s mostly male lobster fleet

More women are joining Maine’s lobster fleet, breaking down the old stereotype that women are just the fisherman’s wife. Last year, women held 434 of the state's 5,500-plus lobster licenses, hauling in a catch so physically demanding it has long been considered man's work, says NPR.

Bipartisan criticism of Trump nutrition cuts at House hearing

Two senior Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee said President Trump's proposals to cut public feeding programs at home and abroad would increase hunger in the world. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said a high-ranking Republican's defense of the Food for Peace program — targeted for elimination — was "essentially irrefutable" without suggesting the program would be saved.

Researchers find glyphosate in pregnant women, worry about impact on infants

A team of scientists this week released early results of an ongoing study spotlighting concerns about the rising use of pesticides and reproductive risks to women and children. The researchers tested and tracked, over a period of two years, the presence of the common herbicide glyphosate in the urine of 69 expectant mothers in Indiana.

Survey: Female fast-food workers are frequent victims of sexual harassment

Forty percent of women working in fast food said they had experienced sexual harassment on the job, and 42 percent of those said they felt they had to accept the inappropriate treatment or else lose their jobs, according to a survey by Hart Research Associates.

USDA revamps supplemental food program

USDA published a final rule, effective in 30 days, in the Federal Register to "phase out the participation of women, infants, and children in CSFP (Commodity Supplemental Food Program) and transition it to a low-income, elderly-only program," as required by the 2014 farm policy law. Women and children will be served by WIC in coming years. A small portion of CSFP enrollment is women and children. They will remain in the program until the children exceed the age of eligibility.

Maps and graphs and an infographic

For those who like their food and ag statistics in graphical or map format, here is a trio:

Women are getting counted as farmers

Sondra Pierce, who grows sugar beets, hay and sunflowers on a Colorado farm, "doesn't look like the average American principal (farm) operator," says Harvest Public Media, but she is emblematic of a change in agriculture and its data-keeping.

WIC foods cost more at smaller stores

Participants in the Women, Infants and Children food program face notably higher prices at small grocery stores than at supermarkets, says a study by USDA and UC-Davis. Researchers looked at prices charged by retailers in California from 2009-12. A package of milk, eggs, cheese and peanut butter or beans was likely to cost $20.05 at a store with one or two registers while it would be $12.95 at a store with at least 10 check-out lanes.