Rep. Dorothy Pelanda Tapped to Lead ODA

Rep. Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) was nominated Thursday to serve as the next director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture by Gov.-elect Mike Dewine. In addition, Laurie Stevenson has been nominated to head the Ohio EPA.

Pelanda will be stepping into the ODA director role occupied by Tim Derickson since October and previously held by David Daniels. Derickson will stay at ODA and return to his position as assistant director. Pelanda served on the Ohio House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee during the 2013-2014 Legislative Session. Pelanda has been active on the state legislature, representing the 83rd House District, which includes Union and Logan counties, as well as most of Marion County. Continue reading

“Watersheds In Distress” Revisions This Month

By: Peggy Kirk Hall, Associate Professor and Director, OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Program

The legislative Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) has voted to send the “watersheds in distress” rule revisions back to the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA). JCARR reviews administrative rules to make sure they follow legal requirements. The “watersheds in distress” rules seek to address agricultural nutrient impacts on water quality. At its December meeting, JCARR members voted 8 to 1 to recommend that ODA revise and refile the rules for consideration at JCARR’s next meeting on Jan. 22, 2019. Continue reading

USDA Highlights Accomplishments In 2018

By: USDA

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue highlighted the accomplishments made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) over the past year. USDA has continued enacting President Trump’s goals of regulatory reform, streamlining government, and refocusing USDA to be customer oriented.

“In 2018 we have fought for American farmers, ranchers, and producers by delivering new and improved trade deals like USMCA and a re-negotiated KORUS agreement, provided trade assistance to farmers due to illegal trade retaliation, and helped our fellow citizens through devastating natural disasters,” Perdue said. “I am proud to say that every day at USDA we do our best to live by our motto to “Do Right and Feed Everyone.” Continue reading

How Will the Shutdown Affect USDA Functions?

By: Ohio Ag Net Staff

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today detailed which functions of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will remain available in the event of a lapse in government funding.

“There may be a lapse in funding for the federal government, but that will not relieve USDA of its responsibilities for safeguarding life and property through the critical services we provide,” said Secretary Perdue.  “Our employees work hard every day to benefit our customers and the farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers who depend on our programs. During a shutdown, we will leverage our existing resources as best we can to continue to provide the top-notch service people expect.” Continue reading

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018: Initial review

By: Jonathan CoppessGary SchnitkeyNick PaulsonBenjamin GramigKrista Swanson, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics University of Illinois and Carl Zulauf, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics, Ohio State University

On Monday Dec. 10, 2018, the House and Senate conference committee released the conference report for the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018; the final version of the 2018 Farm Bill. On Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, the Senate moved quickly to pass the conference report with a final vote in favor of the farm bill of 87 to 13. On Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, the House voted overwhelmingly to pass the farm by 369 to 47 (16 not voting). Given that it passed by veto-proof majorities, it is likely that the President will sign it and the Agricultural Act of 2018 will soon become law. Continue reading

Could the Nuisance Cases in North Carolina Happen in My State?

By: John Dillard, Attorney. Previously published by Farm Journal’s Pork

More than two dozen nuisance cases have been filed by residents in North Carolina against Murphy-Brown, the live growout subsidiary of Smithfield Foods. So far, the juries have returned three cases to the tune of $50 million, $25 million and $473.5 million. Twenty-three more cases are scheduled, drawing international attention to the southwest portion of the state.

In addition to the immediate impact of the cases and what they might mean for North Carolina hog producers, it raises understandable concerns over whether similar cases could be filed in other states. Here’s a brief breakdown of the major issues in the cases: Continue reading

15 Questions and Answers On the USDA Trade Retaliation Mitigation Payments

By: Jessie Scott, Previously published in Successful Farming

The USDA’s Trade Retaliation Mitigation package announced earlier this week will distribute $4.7 billion in cash payments to producers through the new Market Facilitation Program (MFP). The goal of the program is to assist farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation by foreign nations.  Continue reading

Farmers Await Details on USDA Trade Assistance

By: Keith Good, University of Illinois. Previously published by Farm Journal’s Pork online

U.S. farmers are anxious for details on the trade assistance package the administration announced in July. Press reports indicate that program guidelines could be issued by August 24th. Meanwhile, business news articles and USDA data continue to shed light on agricultural export variables as the ongoing trade dispute with China continues. Continue reading

WOTUS is Back for 26 States

By: Jason Herath, Farm Journal Media News Director. Published by AgWeb Daily

U.S. farmers thought they had seen the last of the beleaguered Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule in January when the Trump administration moved formally to rescind the regulation and start over with a new version. That broadening of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act, however, became the law of the land in 26 states as the U.S. District Court for South Carolina ruled that the administration did not follow the proper rulemaking process in rescinding WOTUS. The court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did not meet requirements for public notice nor a sufficient comment period. Continue reading