Weekly Food and Agriculture Update – 11.14

November 14, 2022


  • A Note from Michael Torrey 
  • Big Picture Overview 
  • The Week Ahead 
  • A Quick Look Back 
  • Contact the Team 

A Note from Michael Torrey 

While I no longer live on my family’s farm in Kansas, I’ve used the lessons I’ve learned about transformation and adapting to the changing times as the foundation of my business in Washington, D.C. When I stated Michael Torrey Associates in 2005, I had one client and a vision to serve the food and agricultural industry with honesty and dedication. While that sentiment holds true today, the firm has expanded to reflect the growth of the industry and the diversity of the supply chain. I believe that it’s time for our brand to represent our commitment to continued growth, and that’s why I am proud to announce our new name – The Torrey Advisory Group. ” 

“Growing up as part of the agricultural industry, I’ve always had a deep-rooted appreciation for how things can transform over time. On my family’s farm in Kansas, that looked like planting a crop in the spring and watching it grow throughout the seasons — starting as a single seed and transforming into part of a bountiful harvest. However, farming today looks a lot different than it did in my grandfather’s generation — as we’ve learned more, we’ve done better. We’ve made significant investments in technology, conservation, and efficiency. 

To read the full message, click here

Big Picture Overview

Election Update 

Over the weekend, Democrats Mark Kelly and Catherine Cortez Masto were re-elected to their Arizona and Nevada Senate seats securing Democrat control of the U.S. Senate in the 118th Congress.  The final outcome in the Alaska Senate race will depend on the ranked-choice ballot count, and the last seat will be decided in Georgia’s runoff early next month between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker.  As of today, the House sits at 212 Republican seats and 203 Democratic seats with results still coming in from New York, Maine, Colorado, Arizona, California, and Oregon. 

Railroad Update 

The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division (BMWED) and the Brotherhood of Signalmen Union (BRS) have extended their ‘status quo’ period delaying the threat of strike to December 4. The two largest rail unions, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) union will vote by November 21. If either union refuses to ratify the agreement, the nation could see a railroad strike beginning December 9. Earlier this month, around 200 organizations representing the food and agriculture value-chain sent a letter to both House and Senate leadership urging them to act quickly when they return from recess to prevent a rail shutdown. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh recently called on the need for a negotiated solution to prevent a strike and pointed out that Congress should act if negotiations are not successful.   

2023 Renewable Fuel Standard 

EPA has sent the proposed 2023 and beyond RVO rule (the “Set Rule”) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. OMB will need to finalize the proposal within the next two weeks to meet the November 30 consent decree deadline for releasing the proposal for public comment. The deadline for finalizing the 2023 RVOs is June 14, 2023. It is anticipated that the proposal will include RVOs for at least 2023 and 2024. EPA has repeatedly signaled plans to build on the volumes and momentum from the 2020-22 RVOs.  

COP 27 

In a Friday speech at the UN Climate Conference, President Biden highlighted his “whole of government” regulatory approach on climate change and touted the $370 billion that will be provided because of passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. Developing nations have criticized the U.S. and other developed countries for failing to follow through on past pledges to help with the transition to greener energy sources and adaptation to conditions. In his comments, the President made several announcements, including U.S. capacity building commitments in Africa and elsewhere, updates to the U.S. methane emissions reduction action plan, an international climate hub for agriculture modeled on existing USDA efforts, a proposed rule to require major Federal contractors to publicly disclose GHG emissions and climate-related financial risks and set reduction targets.  

The Week Ahead

Monday, November 14 

  • 2:00PM: House Committee on Rule markup on Speak Out Act: Ending Hunger in America: Challenges Opportunities and the Political Will to Succeed 

Tuesday, November 15 

  • 10:00AM: Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry hearing on Farm Bill 2023: Rural Development and Energy Programs 

A Quick Look Back

Contact the Team

Feel free to contact Michael Torrey, Tara Smith, Cassandra Kuball, James Glueck, Barbara Patterson, Katie Naessens, Caroline Snell, Danielle Nelson, Julie McClure, Ashley Willits, Perry Harlow, or Tracy Boyle with any questions or comments. 

Food and agricultural organizations that need the right results in Washington, D.C. can trust Torrey Advisory Group to put its relationships, reputation, and expertise to work on your issue. Since 2005, the firm has successfully provided legislative and regulatory guidance, issues management, and association management services to a wide variety of clients. Learn more about us at torreydc.com. 

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