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4 Questions for the New Census of Agriculture

, senior scientist

Every five years, number-hungry analysts eagerly await the release of the US Census of Agriculture to get a fresh glimpse at the state of the US food and farm system. The newest version, which contains data reflecting conditions in 2017, is expected to be released on April 11, marking the first update to the crucial dataset since 2012. In addition to offering updated data for many characteristics that have been monitored for decades, this Census included some new questions expected to offer critical insights for a rapidly changing world. Read more >

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

, Senior Manager of Government Affairs

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 >

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The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee hears testimony at the confirmation hearing of Agriculture Secretary-nominee Sonny Perdue, March 23, 2017. USDA Photo by Preston Keres.

7 Questions the Senate Should Ask Trump’s New USDA Chief Scientist Nominee

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

Back in early August (or roughly two Trump years ago), I wrote about the president’s nomination of Scott Hutchins to head up science at the US Department of Agriculture. In that post, I argued that Hutchins, an entomologist with a 30-year career at pesticide-maker Dow, is the wrong choice for the job.

On November 28, the Senate agriculture committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Hutchins, their chance to interview him for the position of USDA under secretary for research, education, and economics. Following are seven questions I think they should ask. Read more >

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NIFA research team
A team of scientists gathers data for a NIFA research project. Photo: USDA/CC BY 2.0 (Flickr)

A Stealth Move to Undermine Science at the US Department of Agriculture

In its latest scheme to undermine science, the Trump administration is brazenly trying to—pun intended—farm out to the hinterlands the most important research arms of the Department of Agriculture. Read more >

Photo: USDA/CC BY 2.0 (Flickr)
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