Mike Lavender

Senior Manager of Government Affairs

Author image
Mike Lavender is the senior manager of government affairs for the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Food & Environment program, where he advocates for a healthy, sustainable, and socially equitable food system. See Mike's full bio.

Subscribe to Mike's posts

Mike's Latest Posts

A Resilience Roadmap: Fulfilling Agriculture’s Role as a Climate Solution

America has many stories. In children’s books and classroom texts, the stories we tell of our collective experience vary widely and yet still, somehow, coexist. There are stories of genuine opportunity and of great success that inspire us. And there are also stories of senseless tragedy and systemic oppression which urgently demand attention and action. Throughout our shared history, a defining thread running throughout these stories has been resilience: the ability to withstand setbacks and keep moving forward. Read more >

Preston Keres/USDA
Bookmark and Share

Perdue’s Paradox: Proposed USDA Reorganization Would Undermine Farmers and Science-Based Research

Presidential budgets are wish lists. Very detailed and public wish lists.

That’s why on Monday, when the Trump Administration released its FY2020 Budget, it was alarming to see a 7 percent reduction to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area.

Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Why the Farm Bill Should Invest in Agroecology Research: An Interview with Dr. Selena Ahmed

Recently, the 2018 farm bill—the massive federal legislative package that shapes our country’s food and agriculture system—cleared a major hurdle, as both the House and Senate voted to begin negotiations toward a compromise bill. This process is important for many reasons, including how it will impact the US Department of Agriculture’s $3 billion annual investment in research to help the nation’s farmers and eaters alike. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Photo: USDA-SARE/Edwin Remsberg

As a Government Funding Deadline Looms, Scientists Seek Support for Agroecology Research

Among the many challenges Congress faces in the dwindling days of 2017 is this: the federal government will run out of money on December 22 unless lawmakers can agree on a budget extension. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

The Case Against Clovis: Why Trump’s USDA Chief Scientist Nominee Is the Wrong Choice

President Trump is dangerously close to violating the law (no, not what you’re thinking!). Recently, word began circulating that the President plans to fill the role of Chief Scientist at the Department of Agriculture (USDA) with…you guessed it, someone who has no scientific background. If the nomination of Sam Clovis—a conservative talk show radio host and former Trump campaign co-chair with a doctoral degree in public administration—moves forward, it would not only be in direct violation of the law, but would risk the safety of our food and water, and the well-being of thousands of American farmers and communities. Read more >

Bookmark and Share