EPA Officials to Visit Iowa Farm

In Administration, Ethanol, Farming, government by Cindy

You may recall that the Environmental Protection Agency official in charge of regulating emissions admitted during a Congressional hearing a few months ago that she had never been to a farm in the United States. Well, that is going to be rectified this week when Margo Oge, director of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, pays a visit to …

Bringing Hope to Africa

In Administration, Farming, International, USDA by Cindy

Earlier this month, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton paid a visit to Nairobi, Kenya where they met with agricultural officials and visited the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI). “We must help Africa produce enough food to feed its people and create economic opportunities for this continent,” Vilsack said during the appearance. “We can provide seed …

Obama Cabinet Kicks Off Rural Road Tour

In Administration, Audio, Ethanol, General by Cindy

President Obama announced his National Rural Tour yesterday during an interview with National Association of Farm Broadcasting past president Michelle Rook with WNAX Radio in Yankton, SD. “Over the next few weeks and months, top officials from my administration will fan out across the country to hold a series of discussions on how we can strengthen rural America,” Obama said. …

Peterson Agrees to Climate Bill Deal

In Administration, Environmental, government by Cindy

The American Clean Energy and Security Act – better known as the climate change bill – is heading for a vote on the floor this week after all, now that leadership has struck a deal with farm state opponents led by Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN). “We have something that I think works for agriculture. We still have a couple little …

Keep Those Comments Coming

In Administration, Current News, Ethanol, government by Cindy

The Environmental Protection Agency is allowing another 60 days for comments on the proposal to allow an increase in the amount of ethanol that can be blended into regular gasoline. The original public comment period was to end on May 21 and will now end on July 20, giving farmers behind on planting more time to get comments submitted. National …

Concerns Continue Over Ag Budget Cuts

In Administration, Farming, government, USDA by Cindy

The administration’s budget for USDA in 2010 is kind of like a good news, bad news scenario for agriculture. The good news is that President Obama has proposed an increase in overall spending for USDA. The bad news is that it cuts spending for farm programs, placing a hard cap of commodity program payments of $250,000, phasing out direct payments …

Indirect Land Use Frustrates House Ag Chair

In Administration, Audio, Environmental, Ethanol, government by Cindy

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) expressed frustration over indirect land use change penalties against biofuels in the EPA’s proposed rulemaking for the Renewable Fuels Standard during a hearing Wednesday on Capitol Hill. “You are going to kill off the biofuels industry before it ever gets started. You’re in bed with the oil companies,” Peterson said to Margo Oge, …

Administration Commends Agriculture

In Administration, Audio, Ethanol, Farming, Food vs Fuel, government by Cindy

Yesterday’s press conference with three members of the Obama cabinet about the administration’s commitment to biofuels offered some refreshingly encouraging words for our nation’s agricultural industry. Probably the best words of praise came from Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who noted that agriculture is one of the nation’s greatest resources for energy. “We have incredible capacity not only to grow the …

Concern Over Proposed Obama Budget

In Administration, Classic, Policy, Politics by Cindy

The first Obama budget announced today would end direct payments for farms with large sales and incomes that receive a disproportionate amount of the payments, according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack speaking at USDA’s Annual Ag Outlook Forum. According to Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag, the president is “proposing to phase out those payments over time for …

Secretary Vilsack Speaks To The Press

In Administration, Audio, Current News, Ethanol, government, USDA by Chuck

Our new U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, just completed his inaugural teleconference with the media. With opening and closing statements and Q&A, it’s about 50 minutes long. I’m betting we’ll hear a lot about it over the next couple days. Of course there is a lot in it for corn growers and anyone involved in agriculture to be interested …