Events in Washington, DC
USDA's Agricultural Outlook Forum
A New Horizon: The Future of Agriculture
February 23-24, 2017
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is hosting the Agricultural Outlook Forum, "A New Horizon: The Future of Agriculture". Early registration is available through Friday, January 27, 2017.
 
The Agricultural Outlook Forum, now in its 93rd year, is the USDA's largest annual meeting, attracting more than 1,800 attendees.  Along with the plenary panel discussion attendees can choose from 30 sessions with more than 80 speakers and a host of agriculture related exhibits. The Forum is a platform facilitating conversation on key issues and topics within the agricultural community, including producers, processors, policy makers, government officials and NGOs, both foreign and domestic.  The two-day meeting will be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, February 23-24, 2017. Register here . Learn more about sessions here . Sessions include:
 
Farm Income Outlook & Finance or Farm Income Outlook & Farm Bill Outlook
Farm Income Outlook
Thursday, February 24, 2017 (1:45PM)
A comprehensive look at farm and farm household income forecasts including associated risks.
 
Building Resilience in a Water Scarce World
Thursday, February 24, 2017 (10:00AM)
Recent drought conditions in the West impacted all facets of our society, from food production to water quality and public health. This session will focus on resources to improve water management and build resilience to drought.
 
The BIO-Economy: Fuels, Jobs and Power
Friday, February 23, 2017 (2:00PM)
The bioeconomy can transform rural economies through the development of new products across several sectors, proving new markets and creating jobs to build stronger rural economies.
 
2017 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook - February 10, 2017
Join a panel of executives from BCSE member companies and analysts from BNEF to find out why the experts agree that "sustainable energy is the new normal" in America, and get answers to these questions and more:
  • What is the cost of energy for consumers and businesses, and how has this evolved?
  • Which energy technologies are the most competitive?
  • Are the recent changes in the U.S. energy mix structural, or temporary?
  • How is energy efficiency impacting U.S. economic competitiveness?
  • How are utilities investing in the future of America's energy infrastructure?
  • How does the United States rank globally in terms of clean energy investment?
This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP .  Materials from this briefing will be posted here after the event.  For more information, contact Brian La Shier at blashier@eesi.org or (202) 662-1892

Request For Applications
Synopsis: The goal of the ORG program is to support the development and implementation of research,  extension, and higher education programs to improve the competitiveness of organic livestock and crop  producers, as well as those who are adopting organic practices.
Deadline:March 9, 2017
Funding:$3,800,000
Contact: Dr. Mathieu Ngouajio ( mngouajio@nifa.usda.gov)

Synopsis: FFAR created the New Innovator Award to help support the next generation of food and agriculture scientists who will spur future innovation to meet the needs of a growing global population. The Award funds promising individuals pursuing research with potential to sustainably enhance agricultural production or improve health through food.
Deadline:February 28, 2017
Funding:$600,000
Contact: Lucyna Kurtyka, (lkurtyka@foundationfar.org)
Past Event in Washington, DC
Pursuing a Unifying Message: Elevating Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Research as a National Priority
In April 2016, a federal agency workshop brought together 20 leaders from diverse agencies conducting research related to food, agriculture and natural resources. The meeting was convened by the Riley Memorial Foundation, Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation, Iowa State University and American Society of Plant Biologists. A report on the meeting was completed in December 2016 making the case that agricultural research should be made a national priority. Read report here.

News & Press Releases
  • January 24, 2017 - CETA: Trade Committee MEPs back EU-Canada Agreement
The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which aims to boost goods and services trade and investment flows, was approved by the International Trade Committee on Tuesday. The full House is to vote on the deal in February.  "By approving CETA today we take a significant step forward. In the face of rising protectionism and populism, Parliament is able and willing to act on behalf of European citizens. I stand for a strong and global Europe and for open markets. Ratifying this agreement with Canada will enable trade to continue to bring wealth to both shores of our transatlantic friendship. The duty of our governments is to ensure that each and every one of us benefits from this wealth", rapporteur for the CETA agreement Artis Pabriks (EPP, LV) said before the vote. Read more here .
  • January 24, 2017 - CBO in New Outlook Projects Deficit Will Fall
The Congressional Budget Office in a new report projects the fiscal 2017 deficit will fall to $559 billion, $28 billion less than the fiscal 2016 deficit and $35 billion less than the agency anticipated in August. In its Budget and Economic Outlook, the CBO estimates economic growth will remain modest over the next 10 years, assuming no change in current laws. (source: CQ)
  • January 24, 2017 - Hiring Freeze for Federal Civilian Employees in the Executive Branch
The President has issued an Executive Order under which "... no vacant positions existing at noon on January 22, 2017, may be filled and no new positions may be created, except in limited circumstances. This order does not include or apply to military personnel. The head of any executive department or agency may exempt from the hiring freeze any positions that it deems necessary to meet national security or public safety responsibilities. Read more here .
  • January 23, 2017 - Trump leaves TPP; agriculture groups upset
President Donald Trump signed an executive order today to withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement and says he intends to begin renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.  Trump has scheduled a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nietoon January 31, and also plans to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss NAFTA. (source: The Hagstrom Report) Read more at Whitehouse.gov , the American Farm Bureau Federation , and The Wall Street Journal
  • January 23, 2017 - Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Congratulates Edward Buckler, First Recipient of Prestigious NAS Prize for Extraordinary Contribution to Food and Agriculture
Edward Buckler, Ph.D., a research geneticist focused on nutrition and food security, is the first-ever recipient of the National Academy of Sciences Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences. He is being honored for his contribution to global food security and nutrition.  The annual National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences was established in 2016 through support from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to recognize research by a mid-career scientist at a U.S. institution who has made an extraordinary contribution to agriculture. Read more here .
  • January 21, 2017 - USDA Acting Secretary, candidates for Deputy Secretary revealed
Michael Young, the Director of the Agriculture Department's Office of Budget and Program Analysis, became the acting Agriculture secretary on Friday at noon when President Barack Obama and Michael Scuse, who had been the Acting Secretary, left office, sources at the unofficial agricultural inaugural ball in honor of President Donald Trump told The Hagstrom Report late Friday evening. Young is expected to serve until the Senate confirms a Secretary of Agriculture. It is a traditional for a high ranking civil servant to serve as secretary in the absence of political leadership. (source: The Hagstrom Report )
  • January 19, 2017 - Rural America Matters to All Americans -- The Conversation
In this opinion piece, Jennifer Zwagerman, the associate director of the Agricultural Law Center at Drake University, writes that many Americans may not feel like former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue's nomination as the new Agriculture Secretary will have much impact on their everyday lives. But, she says, that is a misconception: "USDA is responsible for areas beyond agriculture, including food, nutrition and rural development. Rural America is important to all Americans because it is a primary source for inexpensive and safe food, affordable energy, clean drinking water and accessible outdoor recreation." Only 14 percent of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, so many Americans have lost an understanding, she writes, or appreciation, of what rural communities contribute to this country. Read more here .
  • January 19, 2017 - Falling Response Rates to USDA Crop Surveys: Why It Matters
An article in Farm Doc by Chief Economist Robert Johansson, Anne Effland, and Keith Coble reports falling response rates and impacts on quality of information. USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts a series of surveys throughout the year to assess farmer planting decisions and production conditions. Among other things, those surveys use farmer responses to estimate crop acreage and yields and provide early information on likely production outcomes for various crops in the current crop year. Those estimates underlie USDA and private analysis that affect markets throughout the year. The public benefits of those surveys are notable, and the literature on those benefits was recently reviewed by the Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics (C-FARE) , which highlighted how public information on market prices and quantities helps improve market efficiency ( Lusk, 2013 ).  Producers and other decision makers depend on the objective information and decision support tools that analysts and researchers develop from NASS producer survey data. Read more here .
  • January 19, 2017 - USDA Proposes Revisions to Nutritional Fact Panel for Meat and Poultry Products
The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service has published in the January 19, 2017 Federal Register its previously announced Proposed Rule to "... amend the nutrition labeling requirements for meat (including fish of the order Siluriformes) and poultry products to better reflect the most recent scientific research and dietary recommendations and to improve the presentation of nutrition information to assist consumers in maintaining healthy dietary practices. Read more here .
  • January 19, 2017 - USDA announces money for black, Hispanic institutions
The Agriculture Department's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) this week announced $18.9 million for eligible 1890 land-grant colleges and universities for agricultural and food sciences facilities and equipment, and $8.8 million to support agricultural science education at Hispanic-serving Institutions.
The 1890 Facilities Grant Program helps the eligible institutions educate the future workforce in the food, agricultural and human sciences job sectors. (source: The Hagstrom Report )
  • January 18, 2016 - Sonny Perdue Is Trump's Choice for Agriculture Secretary
President-elect Donald J. Trump on Wednesday selected Sonny Perdue, the former governor of Georgia, to be his secretary of agriculture, two senior transition officials said, making his final cabinet selection two days before he is to be sworn in as president. Mr. Perdue, a onetime veterinarian who was elected in 2003 as Georgia's first Republican governor since Reconstruction, was a loyal supporter of Mr. Trump during his campaign. He had spoken with the president-elect in detail about his views on agriculture and trade, including changes that could be made to ensure that American producers are not placed at a disadvantage in international agreements. Read more here .
  • January 18, 2016 - Bayer Plans Large R&D Spending if Trump Administration Approves Takeover of Monsanto
The executives who want to create the largest seed and ag chemical company in the world told President-elect Donald Trump that they would spend at least $16 billion over six years on agricultural research in the U.S. if regulators approve Bayer's purchase of Monsanto. "This is an investment in the U.S. heartland," the companies said, but the National Farmers Union said cozy deal-making would betray Trump's campaign promises of "putting a stop to corporate mega-mergers." Read more here .
  • January 17, 2017 - Organic Checkoff Program Advances
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released a proposal intended to get more organic food onto shopping lists and dinner plates across the country by pooling money from organic farmers, handlers, and processors to promote the sector, educate consumers, and conduct research on organic production methods. Once up and running, the program could invest more than $30 million annually, according to estimates by the Organic Trade Association (OTA). Read more here .
  • January 11, 2017 - Non-operators were more likely than operators to inherit farmland
Land may be acquired in several ways, including sales, gifts, and inheritances. Arms-length purchases from nonrelatives are a traditional method for acquiring land, particularly for those without family or personal connections to agricultural landowners. In 2014, operating landowners-those who own farmland and operate some or all of it-purchased half of their land from nonrelatives. This group acquired another 27 percent of land through inheritances or gifts. In contrast, non-operator landlords-those who own and rent farmland but are not actively involved in its operation-acquired 30 percent of their land in purchases from nonrelatives. Read more here .
Support C-FARE
The Council on Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics (C-FARE) is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to strengthening the national presence of the agricultural economics profession. C-FARE's governing board includes prominent agricultural economists representing a wide range of public and private sector interests. Your donations are tax deductible and will help C-FARE meet our four goals:
  1. To identify key economic issues, establish priorities, and seek support for research, extension, and academic instruction;
  2. To help agricultural economists contribute more effectively to public and private sector decisions;
  3. To work with other professional organizations to foster support for agricultural research; and
  4. To publicize agricultural economics contributions to solving important societal issues.

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