AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Jerry Hagstrom

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Agriculture chief disputes USDA climate bill study

December 18, 2009 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Friday took issue with a report his own agency has issued on the impact of the House-passed climate change bill, which concluded there will be a large-scale conversion of cropland to forestland. The study, authored by USDA Chief Economist Joe Glauber, said the bill would help...

Fund proposed for female farmers in USDA bias cases

December 11, 2009 In what may be the beginning of a multibillion-dollar congressional effort to settle discrimination suits against the Agriculture Department, two key House members introduced legislation Thursday to establish a $4.6 billion compensation fund for female farmers who have been denied loans since 1981. House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro,...

USAID nomination raises agency questions

November 13, 2009 President Obama's nomination of Agriculture Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics Rajiv Shah to be administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development has won praise but is raising questions about the future of USDA agricultural research programs and USAID's relationship with the State Department and other agencies. Officials at...

Officials envision broader nutrition program

November 6, 2009 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Education Secretary Arne Duncan said on Friday they and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius have pledged to work together to develop a comprehensive approach toward improving school nutrition and reducing child obesity. "This is not just a nutrition program. It is an education and health program,"...

Draft climate change bill puts USDA in lead on emissions

October 26, 2009 A discussion draft of the agriculture and forestry title of the Senate's climate change bill would order the Agriculture secretary and Environmental Protection Agency administrator to establish a program to create credits for carbon emission reductions but make USDA the lead agency in key aspects of the program -- a...

Deputy secretary asserts control over Agriculture budget

October 19, 2009 Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan is planning to continue running the USDA budget, despite an organizational revamp that has placed the budget office under Assistant Secretary for Administration Pearlie Reed. Click here to view a chart of the reorganization. "I will be running the budget process at USDA," Merrigan told...

SEC, Commodity Futures Trading Commission issue oversight recommendations

October 16, 2009 The SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Friday issued a report recommending 20 steps to expand their oversight over exchanges to bolster the nation's financial system, including some that would require congressional action. The two agencies worked on the report to better coordinate their oversight of securities and...

Interagency debate over FAS role heats up

October 9, 2009 USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service is drawing the involvement of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack amid an escalating debate over whether the agency is expanding beyond its traditional role of analyzing foreign production, promoting U.S. agricultural exports and helping U.S. farmers on trade issues. Senate Foreign...

New USDA research agency already wants more money

October 9, 2009 The Obama administration launched a new agricultural research institute Thursday, but farm lobbyists and others warned that its success depends on whether Congress agrees to substantially increase funding for farm research. Otherwise, the observers say, the new National Institute of Food and Agriculture will become mired in decades-old battles over...

Timing of Senate food safety bill is uncertain

August 19, 2009 Whether the Senate takes up food safety legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., this fall depends on whether the Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee finishes health care reform and has time to take it up, a Senate Democratic aide said on Tuesday. After the House passed...