National Ag News for September 25, 2023

Farmers Take EATS Act Opposition to Capitol Hill

American farmers and ranchers were in Washington, D.C., September 17-22, to state their opposition to the EATS Act. The Ending Agriculture Trade Suppression Act was introduced by Representative Ashley Hinson (R-IA) and Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS). Groups like the Organization for Competitive Markets, Competitive Markets Action, and several others said the act would nullify more than a thousand state and local agriculture laws. Those laws are in place to protect communities from a number of issues like invasive pests and livestock diseases. The absence of local regulations would create an environment in which foreign conglomerates could rapidly expand across all 50 states. “If EATS is included in the upcoming farm bill, it will mark the end of American family farming as we know it,” says Deborah Mills, a director with the Organization for Competitive Markets. The organizations also advocated for the inclusion of the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act.


USDA Grants to Help Solve Workforce Challenges

Employers can begin applying for a pilot program designed to improve the resiliency of the food and agricultural supply chain by addressing workforce challenges faced by farmers and ranchers. The USDA and other federal agencies are announcing up to $65 million in grants available for the Farm Labor Stabilization and Protection Pilot Program. The program will help address workforce needs in agriculture, promote a safe and healthy working environment for farmworkers, and aims to support expanding lawful migration pathways for workers through expanding the H-2A Visa Program. “Our country is facing growing agriculture workforce challenges that jeopardize our farmers’ ability to be competitive, threaten the resiliency, abundance, and safety of our food system, and have repercussions for the overall economy,” says Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The program will benefit producers and farmworkers.” Program applications must be received by November 28. More information about the application process is available at


NCGA Pushes Back Against EPA Board

The National Corn Growers Association pushed back against commentary made by a science advisory board with the Environmental Protection Agency. The Board questioned the effectiveness of ethanol in lowering greenhouse gas emissions. “There is no shortage of studies on the environmental benefits of corn ethanol,” NCGA CEO Neil Caskey told the advisory board members. “The Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory has conducted extensive research on the matter and concluded that corn ethanol has reduced greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. by 544 million metric tons from 2005-2019.” He also says the feedstock’s carbon intensity is 44 percent lower than that of petroleum gasoline. The testimony comes after the board provided commentary to the EPA administrator raising doubts about the effectiveness of ethanol. Caskey also responded to assertions that ethanol production impacts land use, noting that data shows as corn production has risen, land used to grow corn has not.


AFT Announces Farmers’ Market Celebration Contest Winners

American Farmland Trust and the Farmers Market Coalition announced the winners of the 15th annual America’s Farmers Market Celebration. It’s an annual event honoring the role of farmers’ markets. More than 2,000 markets nationwide participated in the 2023 celebration with over ten million supporters engaged in voting. “America’s farmers markets serve communities across the nation, providing access to fresh, healthy food and building farmers’ opportunity,” says David Thayer, AFT’s director of marketing and digital outreach. “It’s a pleasure hosting the Celebration and witnessing the incredible national support for local food.” The first-place winner was the farmers’ market in North Tonawanda, New York, which was awarded $5,000. Since 2008, the celebration has highlighted the important role farmers’ markets play in American communities and the larger U.S. food system. Food markets are on the leading edge of educating consumers about where food comes from and reinforcing AFT’s message of No Farms, No Food.


Increasing Competition in Global Pork Trade

A recent Rabobank report says competition between major exporters has intensified in the global pork trade, meaning the competitive landscape will continue shifting in the years ahead. Low-cost producers like Brazil and the U.S. will likely have an advantage, while Europe’s position is expected to weaken following increasing market and regulatory requirements concerning animal welfare and sustainability. Countries adopting effective disease mitigation strategies may secure a competitive edge as disease pressure looms over the pig sector. Meanwhile, global pork consumption is poised for growth until 2030, creating ongoing opportunities for global pork trade. Rabobank says disease pressure will continue creating challenges in the pork industry, though the impact will be contingent on trade policies and the success of mitigation efforts. Pork trade will persist despite China’s pork production rebounding to pre-ASF levels in 2022, achieving 95 percent self-sufficiency. The report also says despite disruptions, global pork consumption will grow through 2030.


World Grain Conference Brings Buyers and Sellers Together

The U.S. Agricultural Cooperators Conference is a cornerstone buyers conference in Southeast Asia. The event is hosted by the U.S. Grains Council, the U.S. Soybean Export Council, and the U.S. Wheat Associates and has actively served the region for 20 years. This year’s event addressed the pressing global challenges of food security, sustainability, and innovation. “We continue to strive to keep this conference fresh and relevant,” says Caleb Wurth, USGC Southeast Asia and Oceania regional director. “We decided to bring an even more diverse group of customers to our member exporters than ever before, and broader Asian participation was well received by our customers.” ACC is an opportunity for the Council’s U.S. exporter members to market their products and engage with buyers from around the globe in one spot. Along with buyer delegations from the Southeast Asia region, the Council invited constituencies from China, South Korea, South Asia, and Taiwan.


By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.