Latest U.S. Department of Agriculture News

FILE - In this Thursday, May 4, 2017 file photo, a third-grader punches in her student identification to pay for a meal at Gonzales Community School in Santa Fe, N.M. The Trump administration is proposing a rollback of nutrition guidelines for federal school meals programs that had been promoted by Michelle Obama as part of her campaign to combat child obesity. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee, file)

Rollback proposed for Michelle Obama school lunch guidelines

Jan. 17, 2020 8:27 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Friday took another step toward dismantling Michelle Obama's school nutrition guidelines, proposing a new rule that could lead to more pizza and fries and less fruit and a smaller variety of vegetables on school menus. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who...

FILE - In this April 23, 2018, file photo, Trevor Eubanks, plant manager for Big Top Farms, shovels dried hemp as branches hang drying in barn rafters overhead at their production facility near Sisters, Ore. Draft rules released by the United States Department of Agriculture for a new and booming agricultural hemp industry have alarmed farmers, processors and retailers across the country, who say the provisions will be crippling if they are not significantly overhauled before they become final. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

High anxiety: Proposed US hemp rules worry industry

Jan. 13, 2020 7:23 PM EST

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Hemp growers and entrepreneurs who were joyous a year ago after U.S. lawmakers reclassified the plant as a legal agricultural crop now are worried their businesses could be crippled if federal policymakers move ahead with draft regulations. Licenses for hemp cultivation topped a...

FILE - In this April 23, 2018, file photo, Trevor Eubanks, plant manager for Big Top Farms, readies a field for another hemp crop near Sisters, Ore. Draft rules released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a new and booming agricultural hemp industry have alarmed farmers, processors and retailers across the country, who say the provisions will be crippling if they are not significantly overhauled before they become final. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

High anxiety: Proposed US hemp rules worry industry

Jan. 13, 2020 1:06 PM EST

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Hemp growers and entrepreneurs who were joyous a year ago after U.S. lawmakers reclassified the plant as a legal agricultural crop now are worried their businesses could be crippled if federal policymakers move ahead with draft regulations. Licenses for hemp cultivation topped a...

USDA OKs hemp plans for Louisiana, Ohio, New Jersey

Dec. 27, 2019 4:56 PM EST

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved industrial hemp licensing plans for Louisiana,Ohio and New Jersey, the department announced Friday. The states are the first to get such approval, though 34 other states have hemp research or pilot projects under a 2014 law. “This is exciting," said Eric...

This Sept. 19, 2018 photo shows the last standing building above the Yellow Pine Pit open-pit gold mine in the Stibnite Mining District in central Idaho, where a company hopes to start mining again. Documents show the Trump administration intervening in a U.S. Forest Service decision so that a Canadian company could write a key environmental report on its proposed open-pit gold mines in central Idaho. (Riley Bunch/Idaho Press-Tribune via AP)

Documents: Mining company writing own environmental report

Dec. 13, 2019 6:40 PM EST

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Documents show the U.S. Forest Service allowing a Canadian company to write a key environmental report on its proposed open-pit gold mines in central Idaho after the Trump administration became involved. The documents obtained by conservation group Earthworks show British...

FILE - This May 20, 2019, file photo shows a Mexican gray wolf. The Trump administration says it will allow trappers to continue using controversial sodium cyanide bombs to kill coyotes and other livestock predators. Conservation groups called for a ban after repeated instances of the devices also poisoning pets, people and nontargeted wildlife. The Environmental Protection Agency's interim decision imposes new restrictions that it says will guard against accidental poisonings.  (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

EPA rejects ban on poison bombs against cattle predators

Dec. 5, 2019 1:27 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Trappers can keep using sodium cyanide bombs to kill coyotes and other livestock predators, the Trump administration said Thursday, rejecting calls for a ban despite repeated instances of the devices also poisoning other wildlife, pets and people. The Environmental Protection...

Senator: Trade hurting Maine blueberries, farmers need help

Dec. 4, 2019 5:04 PM EST

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine's independent senator says the state's blueberry growers need help from the federal government to survive the Trump administration's trade battle with China. Sen. Angus King said Wednesday the value of Maine's wild blueberry exports to China are on pace to drop by nearly 97%...

FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2019 file photo, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue testifies during a House Agriculture Committee hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington.  The Trump administration is tightening work requirements for the federal food stamp program in a move that will slash benefits for hundreds of thousands of people.  The finalized rule, announced Wednesday, will restrict states from exempting work-eligible adults from having to obtain steady employment in order to receive benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which helps feed more than 36 million Americans. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

668,000 will lose food stamp benefits under new work rules

Dec. 4, 2019 2:27 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of Americans who rely on the federal food stamp program will lose their benefits under a new Trump administration rule that will tighten work requirements for recipients. The move by the administration is the latest in its attempt to scale back the social safety net...

FILE - This Nov. 2, 2009, file photo shows a Thanksgiving turkey in Concord, N.H. Food safety experts say raw turkeys shouldn’t be rinsed, since that can spread harmful bacteria. Cooking should kill any germs. But bacteria can still spread in other ways, so washing and sanitizing hands and surfaces is still important. (AP Photo/Larry Crowe, File)

Stop! Washing your Thanksgiving turkey could spread germs

Nov. 27, 2019 12:21 PM EST

NEW YORK (AP) — Go ahead and rinse your cranberries, potatoes and green beans. But food experts say don’t — repeat don’t — wash the turkey before popping it in the oven on Thanksgiving Day. They say that could spread the germs lurking on your turkey in the kitchen sink or nearby...

In this Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, photo, cranberry grower Dick Ward, of Carver, Mass., stands near a solar array in a cranberry bog on his farm, in Carver. The revenue that solar power offers has been helpful to farmers as the price of cranberries has dipped in recent years. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Cranberry farmers want to build solar panels over their bogs

Nov. 27, 2019 5:55 AM EST

CARVER, Mass. (AP) — Plummeting cranberry prices and the country's ongoing trade wars have America's cranberry industry eyeing a possible new savior: solar power. Some cranberry farmers in Massachusetts, the nation's second largest grower after Wisconsin, are proposing to build solar panels above the bogs...