Student Series: The Farm Workforce Modernization Act Proposal

Note: This post summarizes the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, but does not comprehensively outline the terms of its provisions. This summary does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon for determining one’s eligibility for the certification described herein. The proposed Act has not been signed into law. On Wednesday, December 11, 2019, the House passed a bipartisan…

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Student Series: Investigation into USDA’s Handling of Climate Research

The USDA has come under scrutiny recently over whether the agency withheld various climate change reports from the public. On September 19, 2019, Senate Democrats released a report (the DPCC report) citing more than 1,400 climate studies from USDA that the agency failed to publicize. According to the report, the USDA did not issue announcements or press releases on more…

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Student Series: The USDA’s Interim Rule for Hemp Regulation

The USDA recently released its interim final rule regulating the production of hemp. Hemp, a resurging commodity, has recently found its way back into the hearts of Americans and has a wide variety of uses. Hemp is a cannabis plant that can be found in fabric, paper, construction materials, food products, cosmetics, the production of cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), and…

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Student Series: FDA Approves Genetically Modified Cotton for Human Consumption

If asked to imagine “cotton,” most people would envision the fluffy, white bulbs that are turned into fibers to create clothing. Cotton is seen as a material used to create physical items for human use, not consumption. In the United States alone, 9.6 billion pounds of cotton, valued at $7 billion, are produced a year. Cotton is grown in nearly eighty…

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Student Series: A Blow to Farmers? Trump Administration’s Proposed Biofuel Policy

On October 15, 2019, the Trump Administration EPA proposed a new method of estimating the amount of gasoline and diesel that would be exempt from biofuel blending requirements due to exemptions for certain refineries. Offered through a Supplemental Notice, the calculation would be used to increase the amount of biofuel that is blended into transportation fuel by accounting for and…

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Student Series: USDA Poised to Reduce SNAP Benefits for Thousands in Third Proposed Rulemaking

Today is the last day to submit comments to USDA for its proposed changes to utilities calculations for SNAP benefits. The below student post describes the changes contemplated by USDA. Following the Senate’s rejection of the House’s proposed restrictions on enrollment to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS),…

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Encouraging Risky CAFOs in the Age of Climate Change

Cover Photo: Hogs swimming through floods in Duplin County, NC. NPR | Kelly Guerin   Earlier this month Hurricane Dorian tore through the Southeast United States and the Bahamas. It devastated the Carolinas, spawning nearly two dozen tornadoes and leaving 418,000 people without power in the region. Of particular concern is the massive flooding in North Carolina, a state which…

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USDA gave almost 100 percent of Trump’s trade war bailout to white farmers

Nathan Rosenberg is a visiting scholar at the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic and Bryce Wilson Stucki is an independent researcher and journalist focusing on food and agriculture. Last July, the Trump administration announced a major new subsidy program designed to help farmers weather America’s ongoing trade war with China. That initiative—dubbed the Market Facilitation Program (MFP)—has become the…

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A Great Tablecloth: Farm Bill Can Help the U.S. Feed More, Faster

For now I ask no more / than the justice of eating.”—from the poem “The Great Tablecloth” by Pablo Neruda The United States plays a key role in the fight against global hunger with its many international food assistance programs under the Farm Bill. The Food for Peace Act, which Congress reauthorizes in the Farm Bill, directs the most prominent…

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