Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 10.28

Monday, October 28th, 2019


October 28, 2019

A quick look at what’s happening in Washington, D.C. that’s impacting food and agriculture. If you would like to subscribe to the receive the updates right to your inbox, please contact Marissa Dake

Big Picture Outlook

Ag Appropriations Nearing Passage in the Senate– Today, the Senate will continue consideration of an appropriations minibus package, which includes funding for USDA, FDA, EPA and the Interior Department. The chamber will begin by considering three amendments and could approve the package yet this week. While the House passed the majority of their appropriations bills earlier this year, the two chambers will still need to reconcile differences between their bills. For example, the House version of the USDA’s 2020 budget blocks further funding for the relocation of the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture from Washington, DC to Kansas City. The Senate version, on the other hand, provides $25 million in funding to aid in the transition of the two agencies. Federal agencies are currently operating under a stopgap “continuing resolution,” which expires on November 21.

Committee Continues Work on 2020 Dietary Guidelines– The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee held it’s third in-person meeting last week, considering new questions on the relationship between dietary patterns and health outcomes. Questions added for review evaluate the relationship between added sugars consumption and the risk of becoming overweight and obese, as well as risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The Committee will also analyze questions relating to pregnancy and lactation, including the relationship between beverage consumption during lactation and human milk composition and quantity. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is responsible for reviewing scientific evidence on a list of pre-determined questions from USDA and HHS in order to update the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The Committee will reconvene January 23-24, 2020 in Houston, Texas and have their final meeting March 12-13, 2020 in Washington, DC.

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, October 29, 2019
  • The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change will discuss, “Protecting the RFS: The Trump Administration’s Abuse of Secret Waivers.”
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
  • The EPA will host a hearing to kick off its 30-day public comment period on the “Renewable Fuel Standard and Proposed Volumes for 2020 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021.”
  • The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research will hold a hearing to discuss, “Reviewing the State of Organic Agriculture – Producer Perspectives.”
  • The House Select Climate Crisis Committee will discuss, “Solving the Climate Crisis: Opportunities in Agriculture.”


MTA Seeks Spring Intern

Michael Torrey Associates is seeking current students or recent graduates with an interest in agriculture policy for its internship program. The ideal intern will bring an enthusiasm for learning, strong work ethic, and excellent oral and written communication skills. This paid position will interact with the firm’s other team members to provide support on various legislative and communications projects. Click here for more information.

Left: Interns from across the food and agriculture sector at MTA’s Food & Ag Intern Ice Cream Social.

Right: Summer ’19 Intern Brooke Schafer with the MTA team at the Congressional Hunger Center’s 2019 Hunger Leadership Awards.

file-5MTA at CHC

A Quick Look Back