Latest U.S. Department of Agriculture News

Des Moines Area Religious Council Food Pantry worker Patrick Minor pulls a package of ground pork out of a cooler during a pantry stop, Wednesday, May 20, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. As food banks have struggled to meet soaring demand from people suddenly out of work because of the coronavirus outbreak, it has been especially troubling to see farmers have to bury produce, dump milk and euthanize hogs. Now some states are spending more money to help pay for food that might otherwise go to waste, the U.S. Agriculture Department is spending $3 billion to help get farm products to food banks, and U.S. senator is seeking $8 billion more to buy farm produce for food banks. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Efforts underway to get food from US farms to the needy

May. 25, 2020 11:03 AM EDT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — As food banks have struggled to meet soaring demand from people suddenly out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic, it has been especially troubling to see farmers have to bury produce, dump milk and euthanize hogs. Now some states are providing more money to help pay for food that...

FILE - In this April 20, 2020, file photo, a farmer is silhouetted by the setting sun as a field is planted near Walford, Iowa. U.S. farmers across the nation leaned more heavily upon the federal government last year to finance their agricultural operations amid low commodity prices and trade disputes, and more of the money they borrowed from taxpayers is now delinquent. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette via AP, File)

US farmers leaning more heavily on government loan programs

May. 21, 2020 8:35 PM EDT

BELLE PLAINE, Kan. (AP) — Farmers across the nation leaned more heavily upon the federal government last year to finance their agricultural operations amid low commodity prices and trade disputes, and more of the money they borrowed is now delinquent. Although the U.S. Agriculture Department said it has...

FILE - In this May 7, 2020, file photo, workers leave the Tyson Foods pork processing plant in Logansport, Ind. Federal recommendations meant to keep meatpacking workers safe as they return to plants that were shuttered by the coronavirus have little enforcement muscle behind them, fueling anxiety that working conditions could put employees' lives at risk. Major meatpackers JBS, Smithfield and Tyson have said worker safety is their highest priority. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

Meatpacking safety recommendations are largely unenforceable

May. 21, 2020 9:38 AM EDT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Federal recommendations meant to keep meatpacking workers safe as they return to plants that were shuttered by the coronavirus have little enforcement muscle behind them, fueling anxiety that working conditions could put employees' lives at risk. Extensive guidance issued last month by...

Ivanka Trump, the daughter of President Donald Trump, wears a mask as she speaks with employees following a tour of Coastal Sunbelt Produce, Friday, May 15, 2020, in Laurel, Md. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Ivanka Trump tours launch of USDA's family food box program

May. 15, 2020 3:27 PM EDT

LAUREL, Md. (AP) — Billions of dollars worth of fruit, vegetables and other farm products that might have gone to waste because of the coronavirus pandemic will instead be delivered to food banks and nonprofit organizations that help the needy under a new Agriculture Department program. Agriculture...

FILE - In this Feb. 18, 2012, file photo, Roy Horn, of Siegfried & Roy, arrives at the Keep Memory Alive 16th Annual

Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy dies from coronavirus at 75

May. 9, 2020 3:24 AM EDT

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy, the duo whose extraordinary magic tricks astonished millions until Horn was critically injured in 2003 by one of the act’s famed white tigers, has died. He was 75. Horn died of complications from the coronavirus on Friday in a Las Vegas hospital,...

Judge dismisses Missouri lawsuit over meat worker safety

May. 6, 2020 7:28 PM EDT

O'FALLON, Mo. (AP) — A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed on behalf of employees at a rural Missouri meatpacking facility, ruling that oversight of how the plant adheres to guidance aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus falls to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, not the...

FILE - This April 8, 2020, file photo shows the Smithfield pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, S.D., where health officials reported dozens employees have confirmed cases of the coronavirus infection. Meat isn't going to disappear from supermarket shelves because of outbreaks of the coronavirus among workers at massive slaughterhouses, but there could be less selection and higher prices as plants struggle to stay open. Smithfield Foods has halted work at the plant, as of Monday, April 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves, File)

Virus is expected to reduce meat selection and raise prices

Apr. 27, 2020 3:23 PM EDT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Meat isn't going to disappear from supermarkets because of outbreaks of the coronavirus among workers at U.S. slaughterhouses. But as the meat plants struggle to remain open, consumers could face less selection and slightly higher prices. Industry leaders acknowledge that the U.S....

FILE - This undated file photo provided by NerdWallet shows Liz Weston, a columnist for personal finance website NerdWallet.com. (NerdWallet via AP, File)

Liz Weston: How to ask your bank or lender for help

Apr. 27, 2020 7:53 AM EDT

Many banks, credit card issuers and other lenders have promised to help those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. They’re offering to defer or reduce payments and waive interest charges and rebate fees for those who have lost jobs, had their hours reduced or otherwise lost income to the COVID-19 crisis....

Illustration by Peter Hamlin.;

Can I get the coronavirus from my pet?

Apr. 23, 2020 3:53 PM EDT

Can I get the coronavirus from my pet? There's no evidence pets are spreading the virus to people. However, there have been a few cases worldwide where animals likely got the virus from humans, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A 4-year-old...

The Latest: Guterres: Pandemic nearing "human rights crisis”

Apr. 23, 2020 1:20 AM EDT

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. TOP OF THE HOUR: — UN Secretary-General says pandemic is becoming human rights...