Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 2.11

Monday, February 11th, 2019


February 11, 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

  • Government Funding Negotiations Nearing Deadline- There are four days remaining for lawmakers to reach an agreement on border security and government funding. If they do not reach a deal by February 15, the government will shut down for the second time this year. At this point in time, the negotiations revolve around a limit on the number of beds that Immigration and Customs Enforcement can use for detainees. Reports have also said that lawmakers are considering a year-long continuing resolution bill.
  • “Green New Deal” Peripherally Mentions Agriculture-  Last Thursday, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) unveiled a resolution for the “Green New Deal”. The non-binding resolution urges Congress to expand renewable energy, shift natural resources, and make the US carbon-neutral by 2030. The resolution is 140 pages and mentions agriculture only a handful of times, calling the federal government in “working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers (…) to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible.” Two ways to support this goal are listed as “supporting family farming” and “investing in sustainable farming and land use practices that increase soil health.” The agriculture industry produces about 9 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Nominations & Confirmations

The Senate has not made any confirmations in this session yet.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to be administrator of the EPA last week. The vote was 11-10, and along party lines. Wheeler is currently the deputy administrator of the EPA and has been leading interim, after the resignation of Scott Pruitt.

The Week Ahead

Wednesday, February 13
  • The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will hold a hearing entitled, “The Invasive Species Threat: Protecting Wildlife, Public Health, and Infrastructure”.

MTA In Action

MTA’s Executive Vice President, Tara Smith, shared her experience and insight at a Farm Foundation Forum entitled, ” The Realities of Implementing the 2018 Farm Bill“. Smith, a farm bill veteran and crop insurance specialist, explained what the new law means for the farm safety net. “A lot of folks have talked about the Farm Bill being evolutionary, not revolutionary, and that’s very much true for crop insurance,” she said. Smith was joined by two other expert panelists: Barry Flinchbaugh of Kansas State University and Alan Bjerga of the National Milk Producers Federation. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Roberts (R-KS) and USDA Deputy Secretary Censky made opening remarks at the event. A number of farm media groups covered the forum.
Cocktails with the Crop Insurance Coalition– Are you attending the Commodity Classic in Orlando, Florida? If so, join MTA for “Cocktails with the Crop Insurance Coalition”. The reception is co-hosted by the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau (managed by MTA) and the Association of Equipment Manufactures. The event will be Friday, March 1 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. at AEM’s Booth (2649). Contact Marissa Dake to RSVP.

A Quick Look Back

Pertinent Timing Ticker