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  • USDA meets with Mexico, ‘slow-walking’ Congress on food stamp outreach to immigrants

    07/26/2012 11:36:53 AM PDT · by moonshinner_09 · 8 replies
    The Daily Caller ^ | 07/26/2012 | Caroline May
    While it is already known that personnel from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) met with Mexican embassy officials this year to discuss nutrition assistance outreach efforts to immigrants, the agency is “slow-walking” a U.S. Senate effort to obtain information about the USDA’s partnership with Mexico to get more people enrolled in nutrition assistance programs. According to both the USDA and the Mexican embassy, USDA personnel meet “periodically” with officials from the Mexican embassy to discuss nutrition “assistance and education” pertaining to 15 domestic nutrition assistance programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps. The most...
  • USDA Encourages "Meatless Monday"

    07/26/2012 1:51:17 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 23 replies
    Rush ^ | July 26, 2012 | Rush Limbaugh
    BEGIN TRANSCRIPT RUSH: "USDA Newsletter Encourages Employees Not to Eat Meat." This story has been unearthed by Caroline May at the Daily Caller. And, you know, she deserves a shout-out. Caroline May at the Daily Caller seems to be making a career out of exposing the information being put out on the USDA website. Caroline May is the reporter who broke all the stories about the USDA's various campaigns to enroll more people in food stamps. She's the one that found that. And in this report today, she tells us that the USDA has been telling its employees via their...
  • USDA moves to end questionable food stamps ads after criticism

    07/13/2012 3:12:40 PM PDT · by RitaOK · 13 replies ^ | 13 July, 2012 | Judson Berger
    The Spanish-language radio ads composed a 10-part miniseries called "Hope Park." In it, the characters were shown persistently trying to convince a character named "Diana" to go on food stamps -- known these days as SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program -- even though her husband works and she doesn't think she needs it. "I don't need help from anyone," Diana says in Episode 4. "My husband makes enough to take care of us." But her friends are persistent, and by Episode 10 Diana is enrolled and singing the program's praises.
  • Jim DeMint Explains Obama's Brand New Christmas Tree Tax

    11/09/2011 10:50:38 AM PST · by Zakeet · 49 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | November 9, 2011 | Tyler Durden
    No, it’s not a joke. President Obama really is imposing a special new tax on Christmas trees. And while the policy seems a ludicrous political misstep – and possibly an unconstitutional one at that – in truth, the Obama Christmas Tree Tax is much worse than that. The $2 million the Obama Administration expects the tax to raise will not reduce the deficit or cover needed government services. Instead, it will serve as a marketing slush fund for the Christmas tree industry. The money will set up a brand new government agency called (no, seriously) the Christmas Tree Promotion Board....
  • Obama creates new Christmas tree tax

    11/09/2011 10:24:45 AM PST · by Slambat · 34 replies · 1+ views ^ | November 9, 2011 | Federal Register
    President Obama’s Agriculture Department today announced that it will impose a new 15-cent charge on all fresh Christmas trees—the Christmas Tree Tax—to support a new Federal program to improve the image and marketing of Christmas trees.
  • Obama Wants $1.25 B to Compensate up to 66,000 African American Farmers for USDA Discrimination

    10/14/2010 10:37:23 AM PDT · by Conservative Coulter Fan · 13 replies ^ | October 14, 2010 | Nicholas Ballasy
    President Barack Obama speaks at a rally in Philadelphia, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ( - President Barack Obama is requesting $1.15 billion from Congress—to add to a $100-million earmark he pushed through Congress in 2008 when he was a senator—to create a $1.25 billion federal fund to settle discrimination claims by what the Justice Department says is 66,000 African Americans who “farmed or attempted to farm” and were allegedly the victims of discrimination committed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) during the period from Jan. 1, 1981 to Dec. 31, 1996.During that 16-year period,...
  • Obama team's panic over losing whites (digging out of Sherrod slime)

    07/22/2010 5:42:06 PM PDT · by Liz · 22 replies · 2+ views
    On Monday, the Dept of Agriculture demanded the resignation of Shirley Sherrod where she appeared to describe to a cheering crowd of the Georgia NAACP how she denied assistance to a poor white farmer about to lose his land. Declaring itself "appalled" at this "shameful" act of racism, the NAACP said it would investigate the Georgia crowd that cheered her and praised the Dept of Agriculture for firing her. On Wednesday, Agriculture Secy Tom Vilsack was begging for Sherrod's forgiveness, and the NAACP was burbling apologies.
  • President Obama Said Sec Tom Vilsack Jumped the Gun on Shirley Sherrod’s Ouster (Tom under the bus!)

    07/22/2010 4:33:43 PM PDT · by jimbo123 · 35 replies · 1+ views
    ABC News ^ | 7/22/10 | George Stephanopoulos
    President Obama said Secretary Tom Vilsack rushed to judgment when he dismissed Shirley Sherrod from the Department of Agriculture amid charges of racism. "He jumped the gun, partly because we now live in this media culture where something goes up on YouTube or a blog and everybody scrambles," Obama told consumer correspondent Elisabeth Leamy in an exclusive “GMA” interview.
  • The Curious Case of Shirley Sherrod (Grab a bucket!)

    07/21/2010 1:04:01 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 27 replies
    A USDA worker became the first innocent causality in the verbal race war being played out in the media between conservative entities and the NAACP. Yesterday, the mainstream media was buzzing about a Shirley Sherrod, former agriculture director of rural development in Georgia and virtual unknown, who was forced to resign after a video surfaced on conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government website (and replayed over and over again on Fox News) of Sherrod supposedly expressing racist intent and remarks before an NAACP banquet. Sherrod, who was condemned by the NAACP, was taped speaking about an encounter she had with...
  • USDA to reconsider ouster of official Shirley Sherrod over race comments

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said early Wednesday that his department will reconsider the ouster of an employee who resigned over alleged race comments. His statement came after civil rights leaders said they were "snookered" into believing a conservative website's charges of racism against employee Shirley Sherrod were true.
  • Shirley Sherrod was hired by Ag Secy Tom Vilsack shortly after shakedown for $13M

    07/20/2010 10:55:17 AM PDT · by STARWISE · 77 replies · 1+ views
    That's right. She doesn't know her a$$ from a hole in the ground about agriculture, and she said as much on tape. She's a racial set-aside queen. Read below. Successful and Unsuccessful Claims Must Be "Interrelated" to Recover Attorney Fees for Unsuccessful Claims Shirley Sherrod named Georgia Director of Rural Development Quote: RDLN Graduate and Board Vice Chair Shirley Sherrod was appointed Georgia Director for Rural Development by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on July 25. Only days earlier, she learned that New Communities, a group she founded with her husband and other families (see below) has won a thirteen...
  • Video Shows (Racist) USDA Official Saying She Didn't Give 'Full Force' of Help to White Farmer

    07/19/2010 4:34:04 PM PDT · by tobyhill · 36 replies
    fox news ^ | 7/19/2010 | fox news
    Days after the NAACP clashed with Tea Party members over allegations of racism, a video has surfaced showing an Agriculture Department official regaling an NAACP audience with a story about how she withheld help to a white farmer facing bankruptcy. Shirley Sherrod, the department's Georgia director of Rural Development, is shown in the clip describing "the first time I was faced with having to help a white farmer save his farm." Sherrod, who is black, claimed the farmer took a long time trying to show he was "superior" to her. The audience laughed as she described how she determined his...
  • News Media Blackout of Firing of Racist Obama Agriculture Appointee

    07/19/2010 7:08:25 PM PDT · by kristinn · 166 replies
    Monday, July 19, 2010 | Kristinn
    As of 10:00 p.m. EDT, hours after Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack fired Shirley Sherrod for racism in her official duties after being exposed by there is a near total blackout by the mainstream news media on the scandal.Sherrod was appointed a year ago by Vilsack to be the Georgia director of Rural Development where she doled out millions of dollars in federal funds.Just days before her appointment, the Obama Justice Department settled a lawsuit by Sherrod and her husband claiming discrimination against their farm cooperative for a reported $13 million. A search of Google News and Google Blogs...

    07/19/2010 4:51:07 PM PDT · by tsmith130 · 235 replies · 7+ views
    Big Government ^ | 7/17/2010 | Andrew Breitbart
  • Black farmers still waiting for justice

    05/19/2010 11:30:18 AM PDT · by ConservativeStatement · 24 replies · 755+ views
    CNN ^ | May 19, 2010 | Shawna Shepherd
    Mecklenburg County, Virginia (CNN) -- On his southern Virginia farm on a recent warm Saturday, John Boyd Jr. needs a dose of rain before he can plant soybeans. More than 200 miles away in Washington, Boyd has a bigger problem on his hands. President Obama has promised to help black farmers who have not received the $1.25 billion settlement owed to them after years of being denied government farm loans and support from federal programs because of the color of their skin. "This is not about us complaining, this is about the government not doing what they promised they were...
  • USDA downplays own scientist’s research on ill effects of Monsanto herbicide

    05/10/2010 9:25:54 AM PDT · by Scythian · 30 replies · 749+ views
    What would happen if a USDA scientist discovered that one of the most commonly used pesticides on the planet with a reputation for having saved millions of tons of US soil from erosion was -- rather than a soil savior -- a soil killer? That, to quote a certain paranormal expert, would be bad. And yet, it's true. This news came to the fore thanks to a recently published must-read article from Reuters on how government regulators are “dropping the ball” on agricultural biotechnology. It begins with the story of USDA scientist Dr. Robert Kremer. Kremer has spent the last...
  • Lawyers, 'Black Farmers' Shake Down Taxpayers

    03/08/2010 5:49:25 PM PST · by jazusamo · 16 replies · 190+ views
    NLPC ^ | March 8, 2010 | Carl Horowitz
    Blacks account for about 1.5 percent of all farm operators in this country - and apparently a lot higher share of the civil rights lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). On February 18, lawyers for the USDA and thousands of black farmers reached a $1.25 billion class-action agreement resolving, for now, claims that the department had engaged in willful racial discrimination in managing its loan and other aid programs.  Think you've seen this headline before? You have. Back in 1999, black farmers, armed with similar claims of racial bias, snagged a federal guarantee of $50,000 per plaintiff plus...
  • The ‘Black Farmer’ Shakedown: Round Two

    03/06/2010 4:35:54 AM PST · by Kaslin · 26 replies · 891+ views ^ | March 16, 2010 | Carl Horowitz
    Blacks account for about 1.5 percent of all farm operators in this country – and apparently a lot higher share of the civil rights lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). On February 18, lawyers for the USDA and thousands of black farmers reached a $1.25 billion class-action agreement resolving, for now, claims that the department had engaged in willful racial discrimination in managing its loan and other aid programs. Think you’ve seen this headline before? You have. Back in 1999, black farmers, armed with similar claims of racial bias, snagged a federal guarantee of $50,000 per plaintiff plus...
  • Here it comes - Obama to Give Black Farmers $1.25B in Reparations (more redistribution)

    02/21/2010 11:25:08 PM PST · by BP2 · 161 replies · 6,821+ views
    NewsMax ^ | Sunday, 21 Feb 2010 09:55 PM | Theodore Kettle
    Black farmers – possibly over 70,000 of them – will get cash payments and debt relief from the federal government totaling $1.25 billion, in reparation for alleged racial discrimination suffered under the Department of Agriculture’s loan programs, the Obama Administration has agreed. The president announced the deal on Thursday, applauding Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Attorney General Eric Holder for “bringing these long-ignored claims of African American farmers to a rightful conclusion.” The Washington Post called the settlement “part of a wider effort by Obama and senior officials to dispense with lawsuits stemming from America’s checkered civil rights legacy.”...
  • USDA reaches new settlement with black farmers

    02/18/2010 11:48:46 AM PST · by Nachum · 40 replies · 1,455+ views
    breitbart ^ | 2/18/10 | BEN EVANS
    <p>WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration has reached a deal with black farmers....</p>
  • [Article dated August 28, 2002] Media Miss Black Farmer Fraud (Obama gives em another $1.25 billion

    02/18/2010 3:06:26 PM PST · by milwguy · 7 replies · 489+ views
    aim ^ | August 28, 2002 | Reed Irvine
    The news media have recently discovered a big story that has been around since January 1999, when the Washington Post reported that the government had agreed to a consent decree in a class-action lawsuit filed against the Department of Agriculture by black farmers seeking compensation for discrimination they allegedly suffered when they applied for government farm loans. When the government signed the consent decree to allow the case to go forward, it was expected that about 2,500 plaintiffs would join in the suit. By the closing date of October 1999, over 20,000 had joined, and to date 21,325 cases have...
  • Black Farmers Rally For Discrimination Settlement

    02/15/2010 7:22:07 AM PST · by Rebelbase · 22 replies · 730+ views
    NPR ^ | February 15, 2010 | Julie Rose
    After rallying across the South last week, black farmers plan to be in Washington, D.C., on Monday to call on the government to “pay up” on its more than 10-year-old promise to compensate for discrimination. Despite the conditions of the 1999 civil rights settlement, more than 70,000 black farmers have yet to see a penny. ‘A Dying Breed’ Vern Switzer is 63 years old, but he still single-handedly farms 19 acres of land along a busy country road just outside Winston Salem, N.C. He is one of only about 30,000 black farmers in America today. These farmers are mostly in...

    08/01/2009 6:42:10 AM PDT · by snowsislander · 9 replies · 563+ views
    United States Department of Agriculture ^ | February 12, 2009 | Angela Harless
    Announces goal of creating community gardens at each USDA facility worldwide WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2009 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today "broke pavement" on the inaugural USDA The People's Garden during a ceremony on the grounds of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) commemorating the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln. The Secretary declared the stretch of pavement permanently closed and returned back to green, and encouraged other Administration officials and the general public to join in to protect the Chesapeake watershed. "It is essential for the federal government to lead the way in enhancing and conserving our land and water...
  • House passes far-reaching food safety bill

    07/31/2009 1:03:55 AM PDT · by Jet Jaguar · 99 replies · 4,571+ views
    AP via Breitbart ^ | July 31, 2009 | MARY CLARE JALONICK
    The House has passed a far-reaching food safety bill requiring more government inspections and imposing new penalties on those who violate the law, reacting strongly to an outbreak of salmonella in peanuts that killed at least nine people. The legislation would require greater oversight of food manufacturers and give the Food and Drug Administration new authority to order recalls. It also would require the FDA to develop a system for better tracing food-borne illnesses. Food companies would be required to create detailed food safety plans. President Barack Obama praised the bill soon after it was passed, calling it "a major...
  • Drudge Story on Pork Draws Ire from President Obama's Agriculture Chief

    07/22/2009 11:34:13 AM PDT · by kellynla · 18 replies · 1,080+ views ^ | July 21st 2009 | David Saltonstall
    Sometimes, federal pork is just that - pork. Internet newsman Matt Drudge drew squeals of anger from President Obama's agriculture chief on Monday after his Drudge Report Web site revealed the feds spent millions of stimulus dollars on piglet-sized pork products. One contract, listed on the government's Web site, indicated that federal bean counters had spent $1.19 million for "2 pound frozen ham sliced." An additional $16.7 million contract was earmarked simply for "canned pork." But Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack insisted Monday that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contracts were all, er, kosher, and dismissed Drudge's take as...
  • Governor: feds stiff Wyoming again on Forest funds

    07/22/2009 5:39:49 PM PDT · by george76 · 6 replies · 731+ views
    Associated Press ^ | July 22, 2009 | BEN NEARY
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture again has excluded national forests in Wyoming from receiving federal economic stimulus program money. The federal agency on Tuesday announced nearly $275 million in new federal funds for improvements to U.S. Forest Service trails and facilities in 32 states. It included none for Wyoming.
  • HR 2749 - The Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009

    06/28/2009 4:56:19 AM PDT · by arthurus · 42 replies · 1,691+ views
    * HR 2749 would empower FDA to regulate how crops are raised and harvested. It puts the federal government right on the farm, dictating to our farmers. * HR 2749 would give FDA the power to order a quarantine of a geographic area, including "prohibiting or restricting the movement of food or of any vehicle being used or that has been used to transport or hold such food within the geographic area." Under this provision, farmers markets and local food sources could be shut down, even if they are not the source of the contamination. The agency can halt all...
  • Climate Bill Set for Vote After Deal Is Reached

    06/23/2009 6:32:18 PM PDT · by balls · 9 replies · 658+ views
    Drudge ^ | JUNE 24, 200 | IAN TALLEY and SIOBHAN HUGHES
    WASHINGTON -- A deal on the climate bill has been reached with the head of the House Agriculture Committee, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi scheduled a vote on the legislation for Friday. Late Tuesday, Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D., Minn.) said the accord with House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D., Calif.) would allay the concerns of many Farm Belt lawmakers. Nancy Pelosi . The legislation had stalled last week because of opposition from Farm Belt Democrats who were concerned their states will face heavier costs under the proposed law to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. Under the agreement,...
  • Obama forest nominee surprises conservationists

    05/08/2009 4:30:57 AM PDT · by chambley1 · 32 replies · 1,069+ views
    Vail Daily ^ | May 6, 2009 | JEFF BARNARD
    GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The Obama administration's pick to be the new undersecretary of Agriculture in charge of the U.S. Forest Service has surprised conservation groups. The White House announced late Tuesday that Mississippi state conservationist Homer Lee Wilkes, a 28-year veteran of the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service, is being nominated as the new undersecretary of Agriculture for natural resources and environment. Andy Stahl of Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics says Wilkes is the first person in at least 30 years to be tapped for the job without any background in forest policy, indicating the Obama administration has...
  • Promises, Promises: Obama and Black Farmers

    04/21/2009 5:03:31 AM PDT · by Abathar · 12 replies · 721+ views
    Foxnews - AP ^ | 04/21/09 | unknown
    WASHINGTON -- As a senator, Barack Obama led the charge last year to pass a bill allowing black farmers to seek new discrimination claims against the Agriculture Department. Now he is president, and his administration so far is acting like it wants the potentially budget-busting lawsuits to go away. The change isn't sitting well with black farmers who thought they'd get a friendlier reception from Obama after years of resistance from President George W. Bush. "You can't blame it on the Bush administration anymore," said John Boyd, head of the National Black Farmers Association, which has organized the lawsuits. "I...
  • Obama Backs Off Support for Black Farmers Suing USDA for Discrimination

    04/21/2009 8:58:33 AM PDT · by Nachum · 13 replies · 622+ views
    ABC ^ | 4/21/09 | AP
    WASHINGTON -- As a senator, Barack Obama led the charge last year to pass a bill allowing black farmers to seek new discrimination claims against the Agriculture Department. Now he is president, and his administration so far is acting like it wants the potentially budget-busting lawsuits to go away. The change isn't sitting well with black farmers who thought they'd get a friendlier reception from Obama after years of resistance from President George W. Bush.
  • Obama names USDA chiefs for research, nutrition

    04/17/2009 8:38:13 PM PDT · by FromLori · 4 replies · 336+ views
    Reuters ^ | 4/17/09
    1 of 1Full Size WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama has selected Kevin Concannon to run the government's public nutrition programs and Rajiv Shah to oversee agricultural research and education, the White House said on Friday. Both posts, as undersecretary at the Agriculture Department, require Senate confirmation. USDA is expected to spend more than $65 billion this fiscal year on nutrition programs such as school lunch and food stamps. Concannon is director of the Iowa Department of Human Services, which is responsible for Medicaid, food assistance and low-income programs. He held similar positions in Maine and Oregon before appointment...
  • Change We Can Believe In: How About the End of Farmers Markets?

    03/20/2009 2:32:07 PM PDT · by truthfinder9 · 59 replies · 1,729+ views
    What this will do is force anyone who produces food of any kind, and then transports it to a different location for sale, to register with a new federal agency called the “Food Safety Administration.” Even growers who sell just fruit and/or vegetables at farmers markets would not only have to register, but they would be subject inspections by federal agents of their property and all records related to food production. The frequency of these inspections will be determined by the whim of the Food Safety Administration. Mandatory “safety” records would have to be kept. Anyone who fails to register...
  • USDA approves shot for cows aimed at E. coli (YOUR FOOD)

    03/14/2009 2:07:48 PM PDT · by rgr · 27 replies · 1,325+ views ^ | 03/12/09 | STEVE KARNOWSKI –
    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota company has won federal approval to become the first in the U.S. to market an E. coli vaccine for cattle, a new weapon against a foodborne disease that can cause serious illness in people and even death. Epitopix LLC was given a conditional license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to sell its vaccine. Nayyera Haq, a USDA spokeswoman, called it "an important step toward improving food safety in this country," and a major beef group agreed. "It really is a major milestone for our industry," Michelle Rossman, director of beef safety research for the...
  • And the Next Shortage Is... (Seeds for growing food)

    03/12/2009 6:46:07 PM PDT · by Bhoy · 12 replies · 1,715+ views
    UrbanSurvival ^ | 3/12/2009 | George Ure
    Mr Ure writes: "...I am really ragging on folks to get - plant - and begin harvesting their own seed supplies for future food crops from open-pollinated, heritage (non-genetically modified) vegetable seeds. would be prudent to buy a large supply of open pollinated seed now, before these seeds become is short supply. ... ...'terminator seed technology' and at the core of that monstrosity are seeds which would only live once and yield nothing edible in future crops. Sort of like fields of eunuchs.... ...The problem which always faces those at the top of the socioeconomic heap is that they...
  • Agriculture secretary wants more ethanol in gas

    03/11/2009 12:45:49 PM PDT · by AT7Saluki · 65 replies · 1,865+ views
    pMSNBC ^ | 3/9/2009 | AP via pMSNBC
    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the government should move quickly to increase the amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline. Ethanol producers asked the Environmental Protection Agency last week to increase the amount of ethanol that refiners can blend with gasoline from a maximum of 10 percent to 15 percent, which could boost the demand for the renewable fuel additive by as much as 6 billion gallons a year. However, automobile and small engine manufacturers have said there's no certainty yet that such an increase will not harm engines and fuel lines.
  • OPINION: We Expected Sarah Palin to Treat Wolves Like this, Not Obama

    03/11/2009 6:17:50 AM PDT · by curth · 9 replies · 1,299+ views
    Opposing Views ^ | 3/10/2009 | The Humane Society of the United States
    We knew Sarah Palin would be murder on wolves had she been elected, but we expected more of the Obama Administration and its political appointees. While we have had some strong pronouncements for animal protection from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and there are many signs that positive changes are afoot more broadly within the Obama Administration, we’ve got our very first dose of awful news from the newly installed leaders in the executive branch. On Friday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that his agency would proceed with the delisting of both the Great Lakes and Northern Rockies wolf populations. I...
  • Mr. President, End this Farm Subsidy Boondoggle

    02/28/2009 6:51:12 AM PST · by steelyourfaith · 15 replies · 1,073+ views
    TCSDaily ^ | February 27, 2009 | Amanda France
    Before taking office, President Barack Obama pledged to cut government waste: "We cannot sustain a system that bleeds billions of taxpayer dollars on programs that have outlived their usefulness." Yet after signing the $410 billion omnibus (the largest annual increase in 30 years) on top of the gargantuan $787 billion spending package with questionable items to "stimulate" the economy, it seems like what is bleeding is that promise's credibility.
  • Vilsack says USDA must sharpen focus on civil rights

    02/25/2009 5:12:13 AM PST · by chambley1 · 38 replies · 1,258+ views
    Government Executive Magazine ^ | February 23, 2009 | Jerry Hagstrom
    ALBANY, Ga. -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced he intends to place civil rights front and center at USDA, including calling on Congress to elevate the position of assistant secretary for administration to the undersecretary level and making sure civil rights get as much attention as other program areas headed by undersecretaries. He also said USDA will hire a consulting firm to work with agency offices to make sure procedures are fair to minorities and women. "Some folks refer to USDA as the last plantation, and it has a pretty poor history of taking care of people of color,"...
  • Vilsack: More Than $6 Million To Train 'Socially Disadvantaged' Farmers & Ranches

    02/01/2009 6:19:14 AM PST · by Diana in Wisconsin · 70 replies · 1,639+ views
    AG Network ^ | January 29, 2009 | Press Release
    WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced more than $6 million in grants to institutions and organizations who conduct training, outreach and technical assistance for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers."These programs are designed to help producers develop new profitable farming practices and increase their farm or ranch income," Vilsack said. "President Obama has pledged to ensure that government is inclusive and USDA is committed to that pledge and to opportunities that support a diverse population of producers who might not otherwise seek our support."These grants enable organizations to help farmers and ranchers successfully acquire, own, operate...
  • HSUS Maps Agenda For President

    01/29/2009 1:40:34 PM PST · by wndycndy · 26 replies · 638+ views
    American Sporting Dog Alliance ^ | 01-29-2009 | JOHN YATES
    WASHINGTON – The Humane Society of the United States is asking President Barack Obama and Congress to require everyone who raises dogs and cats to be regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, documents show. HSUS also is asking for the creation of an animal protection division within the U.S. Department of Justice that is “similar to the Civil Rights Division, to ensure strong enforcement of federal animal protection laws,” thus granting animals rights similar to humans. HSUS also calls for a new position of animal protection liaison in the White House. A fourth provision calls for a ban on...
  • Calif farmers idle crops, veggie prices may rise

    01/26/2009 12:56:48 AM PST · by blueplum · 4 replies · 539+ views
    AP ^ | Jan 25th, '09 | TRACIE CONE and GARANCE BURKE
    MENDOTA, Calif. -- Consumers may pay more for spring lettuce and summer melons in grocery stores across the country now that California farmers have started abandoning their fields in response to a crippling drought. California's sweeping Central Valley grows most of the country's fruits and vegetables in normal years, but this winter thousands of acres are turning to dust as the state hurtles into the worst drought in nearly two decades. Federal officials' recent announcement that the water supply they pump through the nation's largest farm state would drop further was enough to move John "Dusty" Giacone to forego growing...
  • November 4 consequences

    01/17/2009 11:25:02 AM PST · by ElKafir · 12 replies · 654+ views
    Transsylvania Phoenix ^ | Transsylvania Phoenix
    The next 8 years will be extremely rough for American hunters and livestock farmers. Cass Sunstein, Barack Obama’s pick for “regulatory czar,” : “[A]nimals should be permitted to bring suit, with human beings as their representatives, to prevent violations of current law … Any animals that are entitled to bring suit would be represented by (human) counsel, who would owe guardian like obligations and make decisions, subject to those obligations, on their clients’ behalf.” “We ought to ban hunting, I suggest, if there isn’t a purpose other than sport and fun. That should be against the law. It’s time now.”...
  • Exposed: The Secret Animal Rights Agenda Of America’s Next Regulatory Czar (FOR animal lawsuits)

    01/16/2009 1:23:32 PM PST · by raybbr · 14 replies · 914+ views
    The Center For Consumer Freedom ^ | January 15, 2009 | NA
    Barack Obama’s pick for “regulatory czar,” Harvard Law School Professor Cass Sunstein, may be the incoming president’s most popular appointment so far. Judging from his resume -- best-selling author, “pre-eminent legal scholar of our time,” and an endorsement from The Wall Street Journal -- we can almost understand why. Almost. Because as we’re telling the media today, there’s one troubling portion of the new Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) Administrator’s C.V. that has seems to have flown under everyone’s radar: Cass Sunstein is a radical animal rights activist. Don’t believe us? Sunstein has made no secret of his...
  • Targeting Obesity Alongside Hunger (Obamas get tough on Fatties)

    12/24/2008 7:31:23 AM PST · by jessduntno · 41 replies · 1,103+ views
    WaPo Whopper ^ | Today | Katherine Frey
    Targeting Obesity Alongside Hunger Obama Administration May Look to Tie Food Assistance to Improved Nutrition In many areas where lots of people receive aid, good, nutritious food can be scarce. The District's Ward 8 went nine years without a full-service grocer. By Jane Black Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, December 24, 2008; Page A02 The worsening economic crunch is causing the tab for food assistance programs to balloon, and with the rising costs has come an intensifying debate over whether -- and how -- the U.S. government can tackle simultaneously the paradoxically linked problems of hunger and obesity. The statistics...
  • Sources: Obama selects (Former Iowa Democratic Governor)Vilsack for ag post

    12/16/2008 5:19:01 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 14 replies · 754+ views
    The Prairie Star / The Associated Press ^ | December 16, 2008 | Mike Glover
    DES MOINES, Iowa - President-elect Barack Obama has selected former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack as agriculture secretary, according to Democratic sources familiar with the selection process. Obama will announce the appointment of Vilsack on Wednesday, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the selection before the announcement. Vilsack will be the fourth former opponent of Obama in the 2008 Democratic primaries to join his new administration. Others include Vice President-elect Joe Biden, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has been tapped for secretary of state, and New Mexico Gov. Bill...
  • The President-elect's Views on Raw Milk, and Regulation

    12/11/2008 5:28:54 AM PST · by davidgumpert · 9 replies · 588+ views
    The Complete Patient ^ | December 11, 2008 | David E. Gumpert
    The movement to convince President-elect Barack Obama to name a reformer as secretary of agriculture (or a re-named “secretary of food”) just got some clout, with a New York Times columnist now pushing it. It could be he will—-he seems very much the pragmatist. At the same time, though, many raw milk consumers and producers alike have been wondering how the President-elect feels about raw milk, one of the more contentious food/agriculture issues around. And in this arena, I’m afraid I have bad news.
  • Time to re-examine, re-invent the ag department

    11/23/2008 5:32:31 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 7 replies · 569+ views
    The Land ^ | November 23, 2008 | Alan Guebert
    One of the more astute observations on the role of government in farm policy ever uttered was offered by then-congressman, later (from 1991-93) secretary of agriculture, Ed Madigan. “The majority of farmers,” Madigan, a moderate Republican, told me in a September 1984 interview between campaigning around his central Illinois district, “just want to be left alone.” So, added the Ranking Member of the House ag committee, “I leave ’em alone.” Twenty-five years and hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars later, Madigan’s leave-’em-alone admonition remains as true as it is unheeded. A generation of expensive, expansive policy has delivered a corporate...