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Winegrape Growers of America – May 2 Food and Agriculture Regulatory and Policy Roundup
Home » Winegrape Growers of America – May 2 Food and Agriculture Regulatory and Policy Roundup
Food and Agriculture
Regulatory and Policy Roundup
May 2, 2022
Wednesday, May 4: Hearing: Senate Approps. FY23 Forest Service Budget. Hearing Info
Tuesday, May 10: Meeting: USDA. Agriculture Equity. Meeting Info
Thursday, May 12: Meeting: Farm Credit Administration. Farm Credit Financial Audit Review. Meeting Info
CONGRESS / ADMINISTRATION / COURTS Senate Ag Committee holds contentious hearing on cattle market legislation: On Tuesday, April 26, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held a legislative hearing to review the recently proposed Cattle Price and Transparency Act of 2022, and the Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act of 2022. The hearing focused on reviewing the frameworks of the two bills that aim to address the alleged negative effects that mass consolidation in the cattle industry has had on producers, bolster cost transparency in the markets, and work to solve supply chain management issues. The witness panels consisted of representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, farmers and producers, and an agriculture economist. Democrats and Republicans had mixed opinions on the two bills, but both sides agreed in wanting to further understand how Congress can work to address the challenges that cattle farmers are facing.
House Approps Subcommittee holds hearing on FY23 Forest Service Budget: This past week, the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies met to discuss the FY23 Budget Request for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). Chief Moore shared his insights into the Forest Service’s needs, challenges, and expected outcomes from the funding proposed in the budget. The primary points of discussion were wildfires, invasive plant species, and the forest management workforce.
Biden Administration draws funding for global food aid: Last Wednesday, the Biden Administration announced USDA and USAID are making an effort to provide $670 million through the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust (BEHT) for food assistance to countries in need after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This marks the first time since 2014 that the U.S. government has utilized this type of emergency funding authority.
House Ag Committee holds hearing discussing current cattle industry concerns: On Wednesday, April 27, the House Committee on Agriculture held a hearing to discuss current trends in the cattle market that some producers feel have led to price discrepancies, lack of transparency, and unfair practices. The hearing focused on examining the current economic pressures that cattle ranchers are facing and discussing ways to alleviate those pressures; moreover, the hearing also focused on understanding the impact that the four major beef packing companies have had on the cattle industry and what ways congress can provide effective oversight and support.
House Approps Subcommittee holds hearing on FY23 USDA Budget: This past Thursday, April 28, the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Related Agencies met to discuss the FY23 Budget Request for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The primary topics of discussion were challenges with the global supply chain crisis, domestic agricultural supply, and investing in small farmers and producers.
House Approps Subcommittee holds hearing on FY23 Department of the Interior Budget: On April 28, the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies held a hearing to discuss the Department of Interior’s budget request for FY23. Main themes include the impact of climate change, oil leasing, and programs for tribal communities. There was a consensus among members that actions should be taken to help the environment, but some there were some concerns around oil leasing.
House Approps Subcommittee holds hearing on FY23 EPA Budget: Last week, the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies held a hearing to discuss the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The purpose of the hearing was to review the most current version of the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget. Most of the hearing centered around EPA’s intention to maintain and grow partnerships with state, local, and tribal governments in order to accomplish their budgetary goals. The hearing featured topics on water quality, environmental justice, abandoned land sites, and agricultural necessities.
Senate Ag Committee holds first Farm Bill Field Hearing: On Friday, April 29, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held a hearing to discuss the economic opportunities that farmers can gain from the 2023 Farm Bill Programs. The hearing focused on understanding how Congress can better support producers through different funding opportunities, resources, and future legislation that addresses the current problems farmers around the country are facing. The witness panels consisted of a variety of different farmers from the state of Michigan, tribal leaders, and university representatives.
LEGISLATION H.R. 7606 – Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act. Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) H.R.7614 – To provide for orderly and secure digital commodity exchange markets, and for other purposes. Rep. Glenn (GT) Thompson (R-PA) S. 4081 – Healthy H2O Act. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) S. 4111 – A bill to support research and State management efforts relating to chronic wasting disease, and for other purposes. Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) S. 4118 – A bill to amend the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 to provide States and communities with additional assistance to plant and maintain trees, and for other purposes. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Vaccine for African Swine Fever passes important safety test: On April 25, researchers with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) announced that a vaccine candidate for African Swine Fever (ASF) has passed a critical safety test required for regulatory approval. The results of the test bring the vaccine another step closer to being available on the market.
USDA announces competitive grants to improve SNAP: On April 26, USDA announced $5 million in competitive grants for improving efficiency and access in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) via process and technology improvements. Eligible entities include state and local agencies that administer SNAP, state or local governments, agencies providing health or welfare services, public health or educational entities, and private or non-profit entities. Applications must be submitted by June 27, 2022. More information can be found here.
USDA funds efforts to curb spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza: Given the large outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) across the, USDA has allocated $263 million from the Commodity Credit Corporation to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), who have been leading the response to the outbreak. These funds will allow APHIS to continue their rapid responses to emergency outbreaks.
Deadline for Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities this Friday: The deadline for proposals for the first round of funding for the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities is this Friday, May 6, at 11:59 PM ET. The proposals are to focus on greenhouse gas benefits of climate-smart commodity production, and a range of public and private entities may apply. Applicants for the second funding pool have until June 10 to submit their applications. Instructions on applying can be found here.
EPA issues waiver to permit summer E15 sales: Following President Biden’s announcement, EPA is issuing an emergency fuel waiver to allow E15 gasoline, a blend of gasoline and 15% ethanol, to be sold during the summer. This announcement comes as the Biden administration works to soften the blow of market supply issues created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The waiver will go into effect on May 1 and will last 20 days. KEY DATES FOR AGRICULTURE AND TRADE June: Biden administration hosts the Summit of Americas meeting June 26-28: Germany hosts the annual G-7 leaders summit November 10: U.S. midterm elections October 30-31: Indonesia hosts the annual G-20 summit