Farmworkers Dig Into the New ‘Blue Card’ Plan

By: Sunday April 28, 2013 4:00 pm

Last week, immigrants’ rights groups finally got the papers they’ve been waiting for, an 844-page whopper of a bill that attempts to “fix” the immigration system by promising a little bit to everyone: businesses get workers, workers get jobs and millions of undocumented people get an opportunity to gain citizenship.

 

How the Poultry Industry Is Grinding Up Workers’ Health and Rights

By: Thursday March 21, 2013 7:03 pm

According to newly published research on Alabama poultry workers by the civil rights group Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the business model of the sector has sacrificed health and safety on the factory floor for the Tayloristic efficiency demanded by American appetites.

Tim Huelskamp and the Tale of Two Maps

By: Saturday January 5, 2013 9:11 am

Tim Huelskamp (FarRightR-Brownbackistan01) has been in the news lately for standing up to John Boehner (NotQuiteSoFarRightR). Last month, Boehner kicked Huelskamp off the House Agriculture committee, leaving Kansas without a member of that committee for the first time in 150 years. Note, please, that Huelskamp prides himself on being a farmer first, and Huelskamp’s most favorite map (his vast congressional district) is packed with farms, so this hurts him not just in his ego, but in his ability to deliver for his constituents.

Given another map that’s making the rounds these days, that ought to make his constituents, very nervous, if not very angry.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Jon Krampner, Creamy and Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food

By: Saturday December 22, 2012 1:59 pm

You are 8 years old. It’s lunchtime at school. You grab your milk from the ‘lunch lady,’ pay your money, and sit down with your friends to eat. You open your Roy Rogers lunchbox or brown paper bag and pull out your sandwich and unwrap it. You look at your neighbor who is doing the same thing.

The Agricultural Cliff

By: Monday December 10, 2012 11:55 am

Another serious cliff resulting from the silly way Congress does business concerns the failure to pass a farm bill earlier this year. The Senate passed its own with bipartisan support, the House Agriculture Committee passed a version and then the House leadership refused to put that onto the floor for a variety of reasons. They broke in September without a plan for passage, and the lame duck session has been consumed by negotiations through the media on the fiscal slope, without addressing the farm bill.

Pesticide Threat Looms Large Over Farmworker Families

By: Sunday October 21, 2012 6:00 pm

No matter how good your next meal tastes, it’s likely it made society ill.

A new analysis by the Pesticide Action Network North America (PAN) draws a disturbing connection between pesticides in our food system and serious health problems among women and children. The report reviews empirical research linking agricultural chemicals to birth defects, neurological disorders, childhood cancers and reproductive problems.

Some of these chemicals make their way into the foods we eat, but they are more acutely concentrated in the environments surrounding farmlands.

What Does It Mean When the Farm Bill Expires?

By: Friday September 28, 2012 4:00 pm

This Sunday, the deadline will expire on the current farm bill. Many programs will revert back to the 1949 permanent legislation. However, provisions in the continuing resolution will keep food stamps, crop insurance, farmer subsidy programs and other funding streams moving through the system. That continuing resolution sets the USDA budget and will allow full funding for most current programs.

That’s not true across the board, however. In particular, dairy farmers could feel a pinch.

Farm Bill Set to Expire as Congress Leaves for Elections

By: Friday September 21, 2012 7:30 am

Today is the last day of the legislative session before Election Day. Lawmakers will go home to campaign on September 21, which is the earliest date during an election cycle in decades. And they leave a lot of pending legislation on the table. As John Boehner announced in the above clip, the House plans to adjourn without dealing with the farm bill. A bipartisan farm bill has already passed the Senate, and the House Agriculture Committee cleared their version months ago. But Boehner has been unable to line up support on the floor for it, out of an insistence that most of his caucus support it.

Congress to Hightail it Out of Washington With Major Priorities Unfinished

By: Tuesday September 18, 2012 7:36 am

Congress is in session this week for the final time this year before the election. I sort of shrugged this off as fairly typical for an election year, but it’s not. Usually, Congress stays in session until about a month before the election. Here they’re leaving with seven weeks to go. The do-nothing Congress has decided to double up on doing nothing.

Farm Bill Stalled, Programs Set to Expire September 30

By: Thursday September 13, 2012 5:00 pm

While the House will pass their six-month stopgap budget bill today, pushing government spending authority out to March, one other September 30 deadline remains outstanding, and Congress looks prepared to let it expire. That would be the authorization for farm programs. If nothing is done, the farm programs would revert back to the policy of decades ago.

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