USDA Strengthens Partnerships and Protections to Keep African Swine Fever Out of the Country

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced additional steps to keep African swine fever (ASF) from entering the United States, even as the disease spreads internationally. These steps strengthen the protections announced last fall after the deadly swine disease reached China. The goal remains to protect our nation's swine industry from this disease. ASF does not affect people, nor is it a food safety issue.

The air they breathe
The Trump administration bowed to livestock-industry pressure, and made it harder for neighbors of CAFOs to learn what pollutants they're inhaling.

Recent actions by the GOP-controlled Congress and the Trump administration have exempted big livestock farms from reporting air emissions. The moves follow a decade-long push by the livestock industry for exemption and leave neighbors of large-scale operations in the dark about what they’re inhaling. If that weren’t enough, environmental advocates warn that the failure to monitor those emissions makes it even harder to assess the climate effects of large-scale agriculture.

When workers are killed on small farms, OSHA’s hands are tied

Over the last four decades, many hundreds of employees have been killed or seriously injured without follow-up investigations by OSHA because small farms are exempt from agency scrutiny.
What’s more, because the exemption applies to all OSHA activities, agency inspectors also are barred from checking for hazards before injuries or deaths occur, and from responding to employee complaints about unsafe conditions.

Opinion: California Prop 12 could reshape nation’s commerce of eggs, veal and pork

I expect an increase in retail prices for pork, veal and eggs until enough farmers in California change animal housing systems.  The big question is whether the courts will require that out-of-state ag-giants comply with Prop 12 in order to trade with California ... and if so, what will the Smithfield Foods of the world do?

Cargill to pay $1.5 million to settle discrimination charges

Cargill Meat Solutions, headquartered in Wichita, Kan., has agreed to pay $1.5 million to resolve charges of discrimination investigated by the Denver Field Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency announced today.

Twelve things to know about the 2018 Farm Bill

Congressional leaders from the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives are continuing to reconcile their versions of the 2018 Farm Bill, a nearly $870 billion spending plan for programs such as trade, commodities, food stamps and conservation. Here’s a look at what's in the proposed 2018 Farm Bill