Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 6.17

Monday, June 17th, 2019


June 17, 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

  • Appropriations Update- Last week, the House officially took up the first package of five spending bills as part of the first minibus package. Work will continue into this week. House Majority Leader Hoyer says the goal of the chamber is to pass all spending bills before the July 4th recess. The Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA Funding Bill will be part of the next minibus package to be considered on the floor sometime this week, which will also include funding for Commerce-Justice-Science, Interior-Environment, Military Construction-VA and Transportation-HUD. Congress faces an October 1 deadline to pass their appropriations bills in order to keep the government open.
  • Perdue Announces New ERS, NIFA Location- On Thursday, Agriculture Secretary Perdue announced that the Kansas City region will be the new home of USDA’s Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Some employees at the two agencies are opposed to relocation and believe it may be politically motivated. Perdue said the move will bring the agencies closer to farmers, improve customer service and save the federal government money. In his announcement, Perdue also said, “The Kansas City Region will allow ERS and NIFA to increase efficiencies and effectiveness and bring important resources and manpower closer to all of our customers.”
  • Enrollment for Dairy Margin Program Starts Today- Today, dairy farmers can begin signing up for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program. This program, which is the first component of the 2018 Farm Bill to be implemented, replaces the Dairy Margin Protection Program. DMC gives producers protection when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost falls below a certain dollar amount. Producers are able to select their level of margin coverage.

Nominations & Confirmations

  • There were no nominations or confirmations relating to agriculture or food this week.

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, June 18
  • The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on “The President’s 2019 Trade Policy Agenda and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement”.
Wednesday, June 19
  • House Ways and Means will hold a hearing on “The 2019 Trade Policy Agenda: Negotiations with China, Japan, the EU, and UK; New NAFTA/USMCA; U.S. Participation in the WTO; and Other Matters”.
Thursday, June 20
  • The House Ag Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management will hold a hearing on “How Farm Policy Helps Farmers in Adverse Conditions”.
  • The House Ag Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight and Department Operations will hold a hearing on “The Potential Implications of Eliminating Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility for SNAP Households”.

MTA In Action

On Tuesday, Tara Smith and Kerry Lynch, attended the Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA) Dinner. FONA provides financial support to the Arboretum, funds horticultural and research internships and provides visitor and educational programs.
From left, seated: Carlton Bridgeforth of the House Agriculture Committee and Ariel Wiegard of Syngenta; from left, standing: Christina Lafontant-Bridgeforth, Dana Brooks of the Pet Food Institute, Kerry Lynch and Tara Smith of Michael Torrey Associates, and Mary Kay Thatcher of Syngenta. (Photo from Jerry Hagstrom/The Hagstrom Report).
On Wednesday, team members Michael Torrey, Barbara Patterson, Andrew Jerome, Marissa Dake and Brooke Schafer attended the Food Action and Resource Center (FRAC) Benefit Dinner. Proceeds of the dinner go towards FRAC’s Campaign to End Childhood Hunger.

A Quick Look Back