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...

Missouri farmer ran one of the biggest frauds in US history

Jan. 17, 2020 1:01 AM EST

CHILLICOTHE, Mo. (AP) — Like all the best con artists, Randy Constant was a charmer, hard not to like. Big hearted. Good listener. You’d never have guessed that the father of three, grandfather of five was a liar, cheat and serial philanderer who masterminded one of the biggest and longest-running...

USDA designates 8 NH counties as natural disaster areas

Jan. 15, 2020 7:51 PM EST

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture designated eight counties in New Hampshire as primary natural disaster areas. The designation is in response to the fluctuating temperatures in all but two of state's counties this past year, which has left farmers with poor conditions for crops, New...

Hemp production in Georgia on hold until funding secured

Jan. 15, 2020 4:14 PM EST

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s hemp farming program is effectively on hold until the state secures funding to oversee the crop. Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said Tuesday that he’ll ask lawmakers for $1.6 million over the next two years to fund a state hemp program, according to the...

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...

Infected Douglas County deer traced to Pine County farm

Jan. 10, 2020 3:50 PM EST

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Investigators have traced a deer on a Douglas County farm that was infected with chronic wasting disease to a farm in Pine County that supplied the animal, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health said Friday. A doe on the Pine County farm that tested positive has been put down and the...

Editorial Roundup:

Jan. 6, 2020 10:00 AM EST

Des Moines Register. January 1, 2020 Roses and Thistles A thistle to Rep. Jeff Shipley for spreading his painful ignorance about vaccines. The Republican from Fairfield should either get educated or get off social media. He felt compelled to respond on Twitter to a California lawmaker who has written laws...

Maine farmer who sounded PFAS alarm says feds denied him aid

Jan. 5, 2020 3:34 PM EST

ARUNDEL, Maine (AP) — A Maine dairy farmer who has spoken out about contamination from “forever chemicals” in the state said he has been denied help from a federal assistance program. Fred Stone of Arundel was hopeful for assistance from a safety-net program for farmers who can't sell milk...

Animal advocacy groups file complaints about New Mexico lab

Jan. 3, 2020 12:34 PM EST

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Animal advocacy groups have filed complaints with federal officials about the treatment of monkeys and other animals at a research facility in New Mexico. The Ohio-based group Stop Animal Exploitation Now outlined its claims against the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in a...