ST. PAUL -- Minnesota farmers want state leaders to help them expand to new markets.
They are ready to enter a new era of producing crops that can be made into products ranging from rope to ink, but rural legislators say some laws must change first.
On Oct. 20, the World Trade Organization announced its ruling that the U.S. had failed to bring its of country-of-origin labeling for meat regulations fully in line with international fair trading rules, saying they still discriminate against Canada and Mexico and cause damages to their producers.
In a dramatic shift from the leadership of former Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., new chairman Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., devoted more attention to problems with trade than to its benefits on May 1 when Trade Representative Michael Froman appeared before his committee to discuss the Obama administration’s trade agenda.
Everything from the “actively engaged rule” and conservation compliance to the Brazil cotton case and the new position of agriculture undersecretary for trade came up when Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack testified before the Senate Agriculture Committee May 7 on the implementation of the 2014 farm bill.
The propane industry and the government need to take action soon or the country will face an even worse propane shortage next winter than it did this past year, a Minnesota turkey grower testified May 1 before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
What was looking to be another ho-hum tilt for North Dakota commissioner of agriculture could be one of the spotlight races of the 2014 political season. Instead of grousing over a likely slam-dunk for a popular Republican incumbent, Democrats are salivating over the real possibility they can win the ag office.
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