Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis says the livestock groups who petitioned EPA last week for a drought-related waiver of the nation’s Renewable Fuel Standard may lack the same standing as others before the Agency. He claims there is some question over the standing of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council and others to bring a formal EPA petition to waive the RFS…
“There is some question as to whether or not what the livestock groups asked for was an actual petition because the law says ‘obligated parties are state governors and obligated parties are the refiners.”
Leaving some ambiguity – Buis says – about the process used and whether EPA must still decide an RFS waiver within the statutory 90 days. Barring that – Buis says it might then just be up to the Administrator to decide.
Students Turning to Agriculture
Enrollment at many colleges of agriculture is reportedly booming as students look to study subjects that offer a path to a job upon graduation. DuPont Pioneer Senior Human Resources Manager Cindy Heser says her company has been a top employer of College of Agriculture graduates for the past two years – and she says demand for skilled workers in the industry shows no signs of letting up. That’s due in part to the challenge of feeding the world’s growing population. Some predict ag productivity will need to increase 70-percent by 2050 to keep up.
Ag Secretary Talks Meatless Mondays Incident
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack explained recently regarding the Meatless Monday memorandum – two engineers – whose job is to make the USDA facility more green – got carried away. When he found out about it – Vilsack worked to correct the mistake. He says it wasn’t approved or sanctioned – but just the opinion of two men who decided to put that opinion into a newsletter…
“It was inappropriate and certainly poorly timed. Livestock producers are stressed and the last thing they need is the USDA not supporting them. I have had conversations with the folks at the Cattlemen’s Association to express my apologies for this.”
Vilsack says he took care of the matter personally. While no one lost their job over the incident – he says the two men who came into his office walked out a little shaky.
South Carolina to Host New Ag Expo in early 2013
With farming booming in South Carolina, a new agriculture event is being staged in Florence this winter. the South Carolina AgriBiz and Farm Expo will be held at the Florence Civic Center in January. The event is backed by the state Department of Agriculture and will bring farmers, businessmen, vendors and suppliers together for a three-day agriculture show.
Restaurateurs Trying to Hold Menu Prices
The restaurant industry has taken quite a beating over the past several years as cost-conscious, recession-weary consumers pulled back on dining out. Now, after regaining some steam as the economy improves, restaurateurs face another challenge, this time from Mother Nature.
Drought-driven food price increases are already starting to trickle down to restaurant buyers, who are seeing revised reports for prices and availability.
For the time being, it looks like consumers will dodge a bullet, especially since restaurateurs are loath to raise prices in such an ultra-competitive environment.