The Agricultural Guest Worker Act has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 20 to 16. The measure is expected to be part of immigration reform in the House. Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte – chief sponsor of the bill – said the passage of the AG Act takes us one step closer to providing American farmers with a workable and reliable guest worker program.
Farm Bill Fails in the House
The House has rejected the half-trillion-dollar farm bill that would have cut $2 billion annually from food stamps and let states impose broad new work requirements on those who receive them. Many Republicans say the cuts are not enough. The food stamp program has doubled in cost over the last five years to almost $80 billion a year and now helps to feed 1 in 7 Americans. Most democrats plus 60 republicans voted against the five-year bill which was rejected by a vote of 195-234.
Study of Decline of Dairy Industry in the Southeast
A six-state study will attempt to pinpoint the causes of the decline in the Southeastern U.S. dairy industry.
Assistant Dean Steve Oliver of UT AgResearch said the Southeastern dairy industry is in serious trouble. Despite a surge in consumer demand for dairy products, the region's milk output has declined by more than 37 percent and more than two-thirds of the region's dairies have closed since 1995.
The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture is the lead institution for the study, funded by a $3 million grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Michael Froman Confirmed as U.S. Trade Representative
The Senate has voted to confirm Michael Froman as the United States Trade Representative. President Obama says Froman has been his closest advisor on a broad range of international economic issues and will continue to play a key role on his economic team.
Farming Not Just Man’s Work Anymore
Many American women are escaping the glass ceiling by working under the clear blue sky. USDA recently published a study on female farmers using data from the Census of Agriculture and discovered that, between 1978 and 2007, the amount of women in the agriculture industry nearly tripled, rising from 5 to 14 percent.