Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 4.19

Monday, April 19th, 2021


April 19, 2021

  • Big Picture Outlook
  • The Week Ahead
  • MTA In Action
  • A Quick Look Back
  • Contact the Team

Big Picture Outlook

House Agriculture Committee GOP Lawmakers Introduce Climate Change Legislative Package – House Agriculture Committee Republicans introduced a package of bills that vary in focus and aim to be an alternative to the bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act expected to be introduced in the Senate by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) in the upcoming weeks. Ranking Member G.T. Thompson (R-PA), when discussing the package, acknowledged the threat of climate change and stressed the need for “natural solutions” but also noted that he sees this package as a way to begin discussions rather than immediately passing climate-smart agriculture legislation. Other climate-focused agriculture legislation introduced recently include Reps. Lauren Underwood (D-IL) and Mike Gallagher’s (R-WI) Farmers Fighting Climate Change Act, which directs the NRCS to create “climate change mitigation bundles” within the Conservation Stewardship Program.

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture Holds Hearing on USDA’s Year Ahead – The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies held a hearing on April 14 on the USDA’s year ahead that focused on climate strategy, nutrition, infrastructure, trade, and research.

USDA Announces Nominee for Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation – Robert Bonnie, the current Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor for Climate at USDA, has been nominated to serve in this Under Secretary role. He previously led the USDA Transition Team for then President-elect Biden and served during the Obama Administration as Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment.

The Week Ahead 

Tuesday, April 20

  • 10:00 AM EST: House Agriculture Committee holds a hearing on “Rural Broadband – Examining Internet Connectivity Needs and Opportunities in Rural America”
  • 10:00 AM EST: House Appropriations Ag-FDA Subcommittee holds a hearing on the fiscal 2022 budget request for USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service
  • 10:00 AM EST: House Appropriations Interior-Environment Subcommittee holds a hearing on the fiscal 2022 budget request for the Interior Department
  • 10:00 AM EST: Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee holds a hearing to examine investing in rural communities

Thursday, April 22

  • 9:30 AM EST: Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee holds a hearing to examine the nomination of Jewel Bronaugh to be Deputy Secretary of Agriculture
  • 10:00 AM EST: Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing on “U.S.-China Relations: Improving Competitiveness Through Trade”

To see a full list of House and Senate Committee business, visit here.

MTA In Action

MTA Welcomes Danielle Nelson to Staff — Michael Torrey Associates is pleased to welcome Danielle Nelson as a Director of Government Affairs, where she will provide strategic guidance to clients on a wide array of agriculture and food policy issues. A California native, Nelson comes to MTA from a Director of Public Policy role at the Agricultural Retailers Association. She has also previously worked as a Director of Congressional Relations for the National Pork Producers Council and as a Legislative Assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives. Nelson earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from California State University, Fullerton.

A Quick Look Back 

“Biden Could Unveil his “30 by 30” land and water plan this week” Ag Web

“U.S. and China Pledge to Tackle Climate Change with ‘Urgency’” Politico

“USDA Announces Plan to Implement Dairy Donation Program” The Hagstrom Report

“House-Passed Legislation Would Add Sesame to Official Major Allergen List” Politico

“D.C. Circuit Weighs Challenge to EPA’s E15 Rule” Politico

“Proposed Transfer Tax, Basis Change Could Bite Farm Heirs” Industry Update

“The Big Export Backlog: US Ag Products Stack Up at Western Ports” AgWeek

“Biden Taps Tucson Police Chief to Lead CBP” Politico

USDA Releases State-By-State Fact Sheets on Infrastructure Plan” The Hagstrom Report

“Expected Increase in Demand for Feedstocks from Renewable Fuel Producers” Politico

Contact the Team 

Feel free to contact Michael TorreyTara Smith, Danielle Nelson, Cassandra KuballJessica KuneyBarbara Patterson, Trey Forsyth, Perry Harlow, or Brandon Barnett with any questions or comments.