Agricultural Labor: Circuit Court Reinstates Tyson Workers’ COVID-19 Claims Against Employer
On October 3, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an opinion reversing orders from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, which dismissed and failed to remand back to Texas state court a complaint filed by forty-one Tyson Foods’ employees against Tyson for “failure to institute protective measures against COVID-19” at Tyson’s Amarillo, Texas plant. Wazelle v. Tyson Foods, No. 22-10061; 2:20-cv-00203 (N.D. Tex.). The Fifth Circuit concluded, consistent with the holding in its July 2022 opinion in Glenn v. Tyson Foods, No. 21-11110, that Tyson’s attempt to invoke federal “officer removal” jurisdiction lacked merit despite Tyson’s claim that the company was acting under the “federal direction” of Executive Order 13917, which delegated Defense Production Act authority to the Secretary of Agriculture “to ensure that meat and poultry processors continue operations consistent with” guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The Fifth Circuit found that all of the “federal government’s guidance to critical infrastructure industries was nonbinding,” stating, “[T]ry as it might, Tyson could not transmogrify suggestion and concern into direction and control.” The case is remanded back to the district court to determine whether federal jurisdiction exists on other grounds. The Fifth Circuit’s opinion aligns with the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals’ similar December 2021 opinion. See Eighth Circuit Remands Tyson COVID-19 Negligence Case to State Court, Finds No Federal Jurisdiction Under Defense Production Act, ALWR—Jan. 7, 2022.
Antitrust: Federal Court Allows U.S.-Imperial Sugar Merger, DOJ Appeals
On September 28, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware issued a redacted memorandum opinion (originally issued September 23, 2022 under seal) discussing the court’s rationale for its September 23, 2022, order allowing United States Sugar Corporation to acquire Imperial Sugar Company. United States v. United States Sugar Corporation, No. 1:21-cv-01644. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) claimed, among several arguments, that the merger of the two sugar companies would allow two companies to control more than half of all sugar sales in the Southeastern United States. See U.S. Justice Department Files Suit to Prevent U.S. Sugar from Acquiring Imperial Sugar Co., ALWR—Nov. 26, 2021. The court held that the DOJ had failed to show that the merger would “substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly,” because the sugar market did not operate geographically in practice. The court stated, “The Government’s proposed geographic markets ignore the commercial realities of the sugar industry in this country—namely, that sugar flows freely and over long distances in response to market forces.” DOJ then issued a statement expressing disappointment and, on September 26, 2022, appealed the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (USA v. United States Sugar Corporation, et al, No. 22-2806) and motioned the district court for an emergency injunction pending appeal to halt the merger. On September 28, 2022, the district court denied an injunction, citing a failure to show “irreparable harm” if the merger were ensue and identified the Federal Sugar Program—as opposed to private action—as the cause of high sugar prices, stating that the program “ensures that purchasers and consumers in the United States pay higher prices for refined sugar than those in other parts of the world.”
Food Safety: Federal Court Upholds ‘New Swine Slaughter Inspection System’ Rule
On September 30, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order dismissing a case challenging USDA’s 2019 Modernization of Swine Slaughter Inspection final rule (84 FR 52300). Center for Food Safety v. Perdue, No. 4:20-cv-00256. The plaintiffs claimed that permitting plant employees to sort healthy-looking from potentially diseased animals before federal inspection violated the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA), 21 U.S.C. § 603 and § 604. The court disagreed and stated, “[F]federal inspectors still inspect each animal before it is slaughtered for meat.” Previously, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota vacated the rule’s elimination of line speeds but upheld all other portions of the rule. See Federal Court Vacates Swine Slaughter Rule Line Speed Elimination, ALWR—April 2, 2022 and New Swine Slaughter Maximum Line Speed Effective June 30, ALWR—May 28, 2022. For background on this case, see New Swine Inspection System Suit Will Proceed to Trial, ALWR—Feb. 12, 2021.
Water Quality: Valley Protein Enters into Consent Decree for NPDES Violations
On September 12, 2022, the Maryland Attorney General and Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) announced a consent decree executed with poultry renderer Valley Protein after the company’s numerous violations of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. See Valley Protein Halts Operations After NPDES Permit Violations, ALWR—Dec. 24 & 31, 2021. On several occasions, MDE had cited Valley Protein for discharging pollutants into the Transquakng River, a Chesapeake Bay tributary. According to the consent decree, Valley Proteins must pay a $540,000 civil penalty, take corrective actions, indemnify the State of Maryland and various intervening water quality advocacy groups, and pay $135,000 into the Transquaking River Watershed Fund. As a result of the enforceable consent order, MDE will now “determine[e] the appropriate, complementary conditions to be included in [Valley Protein’s] final renewal discharge permit” which it intends to issue within 60 days.
Water Quality: Chesapeake Bay Foundation Releases 2022 State of the Blueprint Report
On October 5, 2022, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) announced its 2022 State of the Blueprint report, which evaluates progress toward the 2025 Bay restoration targets in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. While all three states are on track to meet point source phosphorus and nitrogen reductions, agriculture stormwater runoff reductions remain “significantly behind.” In Pennsylvania, agricultural pollutant reductions account for more than 90% of the state’s remaining nitrogen reductions. According to CBF’s announcement, “Pennsylvania is not on track to meet its 2025 pollution-reduction commitments including the creation of an adequate plan that achieves those commitments.” However, the report optimistically notes Pennsylvania’s new $220 million Clean Streams Fund, which allocates $154 million for the Agricultural Conservation Assistance Program, as providing great potential for the state’s pollution reduction efforts.
Agricultural Labor: USDA Announces Organizations to Administer Farm and Food Workers Relief Grant Payments
On October 4, 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced 15 organizations that received grant funds under the Farm and Food Workers Relief Grant Program. Announced in September 2021, the program allotted $700 million from which to provide $600 per person payments to farm, meatpacking, and grocery workers for pandemic-related health and safety expenses, to be administered by non-profit organizations through USDA grants. Chosen entities were required to show their ability to connect with workers and partner with local organizations to disburse payments. Nearly $651 million was allotted to the following organizations, including $34.6 million to the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA):
- $131,660,000—UFCW Charity Foundation, Inc.
- $97,836,293—UFW Foundation
- $57,374,541—National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association
- $56,886,475—United Migrant Opportunity Services/ UMOS, Inc.
- $48,247,075—Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, Inc.
- $45,948,000—Cherokee Nation
- $44,299,586—Hispanic Federation, Inc.
- $41,965,538—United Ways of California
- $36,000,000—La Cooperativa Campesina de California
- $36,000,000—National Center for Farmworker Health
- $34,637,242—Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture
- $9,021,306—Catholic Charities USA
- $6,608,000—Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation
- $4,500,000—Todec Legal Center Perris
For background, see Applications Open for Entities to Administer Farm/Food Workers Relief Grant Program, ALWR—Nov. 12, 2021.
Agricultural Labor: Department of Labor Publishes H-2A Final Rule
On October 6, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a final rule to amend visa regulations for the H-2A non-immigrant agricultural worker program, published in the Federal Register October 12, 2022. The rulemaking was initiated by the last Presidential administration with a proposed rule on July 29, 2019 and was to be finalized by January 15, 2021. A footnote in the final rule explains, “On January 20, 2021, however, the [DOL] withdrew this document from the Office of the Federal Register, prior to the document being made available for public inspection, for the purpose of reviewing issues of law, fact, and policy raised by the rule. Therefore, the unpublished draft rule (hereinafter referenced as “the January 2021 draft final rule”) never took effect.” For background on this process, see DOL Issues Final H-2A Rule, ALWR—Jan. 15, 2021 and “Department of Labor Proposes Changes to H-2A Program,” ALWR Aug. 1, 2029 and “DOL Proposes Changes to H-2A Program,” ALWR July 18, 2029.
Antitrust: USDA Publishes Packers and Stockyards Act Proposed Rule
On October 3, 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (87 FR 60010) titled “Inclusive Competition and Market Integrity Under the Packers and Stockyards Act,” which aims to increase competition and support fair practices in the meat and poultry markets. The proposed rule was announced during President Biden’s meeting with the White House Competition Council. Features of the rule include “(1) publishing the proposed Inclusive Competition and Market Integrity Rules Under the Packers and Stockyards Act to protect farmers and ranchers from abuse, and (2) a new $15 million Agricultural Competition Challenge to ramp up collaboration with the State Attorneys General (AG) on enforcement of the competition laws, such as the laws against price-fixing.” The Agricultural Competition Challenge to state AGs will focus on new cooperative agreements and memorandums of understanding aimed at assisting AGs combat anticompetitive practices in agriculture. Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until December 2, 2022, via Regulations.Gov.
Food Safety: FDA and CDC Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Reduce Foodservice Foodborne Illness
On September 21, 2022, officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH)—two U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies—signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining collaborative actions to reduce foodborne illness in retail/foodservice outlets. Under the MOU, the agencies aim to enhance “uniformity, consistency, and capacity” of retail food protection programs; “promote a culture of food safety”; advocate “active managerial control” of foodborne illness risk factors; and maintain ample agency personnel to support retail/foodservice establishments. The memorandum became effective upon signing.
Food Safety: USDA and Arkansas Finalize State Meat Inspection Agreement
On October 4, 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced a finalized a cooperative agreement with the state of Arkansas. The agreement allows for an Arkansas inspection program designed to inspect meat products produced for shipment within the state. The Arkansas inspection program must include requirements at least equal to those in the Federal Meat Inspection Act. This agreement is a part of the USDA’s State Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) program, which aims to support regional food systems and create sustainable supply chains. Including the Arkansas agreement, 29 states have reached similar agreements with USDA FSIS.
Animal Welfare: 11 Plainville Farms Workers Charged with Animal Abuse
On October 6, 2022, the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) announced it had filed animal cruelty charges against eleven Plainville Farms employees from turkey farms in Chester, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Perry, and Union counties. According to the announcement, the workers allegedly “kicked, stomped and beat turkeys” while catching birds to be processed. The charges stem from a 2021 complaint submitted to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) after an undercover PETA investigator recorded instances of abuse. PSP states that “[t]he charges include six felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, 76 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, and 57 related summary offenses” and that a twelfth person involved in the abusive activities has not yet been identified. For background, see Plainville Farms Responds to PETA Video of Turkey Abuse in Pennsylvania, ALWR—Sept. 3, 2021.
Agricultural Labor: California Passes Law Expanding Agricultural Labor Union Voting and Protections
On September 28, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law AB 2183, which strengthens union activity protections for agricultural workers. The law allows for mail-in voting in agricultural labor elections and adds procedures for organizing through petitioning and submission of authorization cards, among other provisions. Additionally, the law imposes 1) a $10,000 per-violation penalty for an agricultural employer who engages in an “unfair labor practice,” including suppressing union voting or activity, 2) a $25,000 penalty for wrongful termination of, or “other serious economic harm” to, an employee participating in union activity, and 3) personal liability on the “director or officer of an employer,” if deemed appropriate through an investigation by the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board. The law states that its provisions are severable and repeals the voting-related provisions on January 1, 2028. According to an announcement from the governor, additional agreements are in place for further legislation on voting procedures.
Dairy Policy: Additional Farms Join Organic Valley Cooperative, Organic Dairy Organizations Request USDA Assistance
On September 20, 2022, Organic Valley Cooperative announced the addition of “nearly a dozen” farms who lost their organic milk markets in August 2022. According to a media account of a statement from Travis Forgues, executive vice president of membership for Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative, the twelve producers were dropped by Amish Country Farms of Totowa, New Jersey. This addition follows Organic Valley’s August 3, 2022 announcement of fifty new cooperative members and fifteen additional new members earlier in 2022, all stemming from the August 2021 announcement by Horizon Organic, owner of Danone, of its termination of the organic dairy producers. Additionally, on September 13, 2022, the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance and several other organic dairy organizations sent a letter to Scott Marlow, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs, and Zach Ducheneaux, FSA Administrator, requesting emergency payments to offset the cost of production continuing in excess of producer prices in the organic dairy sector.
Agricultural Labor: New York Labor Commissioner Issues Order Reducing Farm Worker Overtime Threshold from 60 to 40 Hours
On September 30, 2022, the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Labor issued an order adopting the findings and analysis of the 2022 Farm Laborers Wage Board. Also announced by the Commissioner, the order reduces the overtime threshold for farm laborers from 60 hours to 40 hours per week, phased in over ten years with four-hour reductions every other year. Agricultural employers will be required to pay overtime wages for hours worked over the threshold. According to the Commissioner’s order, the first reduction will begin on January 1, 2024, with a threshold of 56 hours and continue as follows: January 1, 2026—52 hours; January 1, 2028—48 hours; January 1, 2030—44 hours; and January 1, 2032—40 hours.
Water Quality: Pennsylvania DEP Publishes Draft PAG-12 NPDES General Permit for CAFOs, Available for Public Comment
On October 1, 2022, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) published a notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin (52 Pa.B. 6265) announcing a revised draft PAG-12 General Permit for Operation of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). The proposed changes to the PAG-12 General Permit include the following requirements:
- a permit holder’s Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) must allow for “adequate manure storage capacity for the winter period and provide sufficient capacity at the start of winter to implement the NMP for liquid and semisolid manure storage facilities only;”
- in CAFOs with fewer than 1,000 animals, a manure storage facility that is exposed to direct precipitation must maintain a 12-inch minimum freeboard; a manure storage facility that is not exposed to direct precipitation must maintain a 6-inch minimum freeboard;
- a permit holder must obtain a Water Quality Management permit to construct a manure storage facility near “High Quality” or “Exceptional Value Water” surface water when the facility will have a 1 to 2.5 million gallon storage capacity and be exposed to direct precipitation; and
- a permit holder’s Preparedness, Prevention and Contingency Plan or NMP emergency response plan must have “operation-specific” procedures for disposal and management of mass animal fatalities.
DEP has also published a fact sheet summarizing the proposed changes. The draft PAG-12 General Permit and accompanying documents are available for public comment until October 31, 2022.
CENTER PROGRAMS & RESOURCES
New at [email protected]:
- Research Paper: An Overview of the Protections for Geographical Indications in the United States and the European Union. Chloe Marie, Research Specialist (Oct. 2022).
- Virtual Resource Room: Solar Electricity Generation on Rural Lands
- 225. Joint Case Management Statement Filed in Roundup Cases; Biotech Executive Order Issued; and Avian Influenza Resurges (Oct. 11, 2022).
- 224. USDA’s Huge Climate, Domestic Food Purchasing, and Organic Farming Investments (Sept. 27, 2022).
- 223: Bayer’s Roundup Victories; Stay of Dicamba Litigation Challenged; and Mistrial Declared in Blue Bell CEOs Trial (Sept. 22, 2022).
Understanding Agricultural Law. A free monthly Zoom webinar series for all agricultural and rural business advisors. One hour of substantive CLE credit available for Pennsylvania-licensed attorneys at no charge. Recordings and materials from prior webinars, more information, and registration available here. Next in the series:
- Oct. 21, 2022, noon ET: Understanding the Basics of Crop Insurance
- Recent webinar recordings available:
- Understanding the Basics of Livestock Market Regulation (Sept. 23, 2022)
- Under the Basics of Agricultural Cooperatives (Aug. 26, 2022)
- Understanding the Basics of Statutory Protections for Agricultural Operations (July 22, 2022)
Dairy Quarterly Legal Webinar. A free quarterly Zoom webinar series covering U.S. dairy industry legal and regulatory developments with an in-depth focus topic presentation. One hour of substantive CLE credit available for Pennsylvania-licensed attorneys at no charge. Recordings and materials from prior webinars, more information, and registration available here. Next in series:
- Oct. 25, 2022, noon ET: 3rdQuarter of 2022—2023 Farm Bill, Implications for Dairy
Legal Planning for Specialty Crop Producers. A free periodic Zoom webinar series. Register at any time to watch past recordings and attend all future webinars and access all materials. Next in series:
- Nov. 16, 2022, noon ET: Licensing and Regulatory Obligations in Selling Raw and Processed Specialty Crop Products.
- Nov. 30, 2022, noon ET: Municipal Law & Zoning for Agritourism/Agritainment, Specialty Crop Processing & Sales.
- Dec. 14, 2022, noon ET: Statutory Protections/Restrictions: Understanding PA’s Ag Area Security, Right-To-Farm, ACRE, and Clean & Green Laws.
Academic & Government Resources of Interest:
- Md. Risk Mgmt. Educ. Blog, County Rental Rates Are Now Available Online For 2022, Elizabeth Thilmany (Oct. 7, 2022).
- Iowa St. Univ. Ctr. Agric. Law & Tax’n, Federal Court Finds Another Iowa Farm Trespass Law Unconstitutional, Kitt Tovar Jensen (Oct. 6, 2022).
- Nat’l Agric. Law Ctr., Proposed Regulation: Competition and Market Integrity, Elizabeth Rumley (Oct. 6, 2022).
- Law & Tax’n Blog, More Ag Law Developments – Potpourri of Topics, Roger A. McEowen (Oct. 6, 2022).
- Ohio St. Univ. Ext. Farm Off. Blog, Business Entity Discounts, Robert Moore (Oct. 6, 2022).
- Nat’l Agric. Law Ctr., Premium Assistance for Producers Transitioning to Organic Production, Micah Brown (Oct. 4, 2022).
- Md. Risk Mgmt. Educ. Blog, Decision Highlights How Jury May Handle Claims of Negligence in Nutrient Applications, Paul Goeringer (Oct. 4, 2022).
- Ohio St. Univ. Ext. Farm Off. Blog, California farm animal welfare law heads to the Supreme Court, Peggy Kirk Hall (Oct. 4, 2022).
- A&M Agric. Law Blog, New Mexico Supreme Court: Public May Access Streams on Private Property, Tiffany Dowell Lashmet (Oct. 3, 2022).
- Law & Tax’n Blog, Animal Ag Facilities and Free Speech – Does the Constitution Protect Saboteurs?, Roger A. McEowen (Oct. 2, 2022).
- of Ill.’s farmdoc daily:
- Mulling Over Margin, Part 1: Introduction and Historical Background, Coppess, J., et al. (Sept. 15, 2022);
- Mulling Over Margin, Part 2: the “Elusive” Cost of Production, Coppess, J., et al. (Sept. 22, 2022);
- Mulling Over Margin, Part 3: Chasing the Cost of Production Across Regions, Janzen, J. and J. Coppess (Oct. 6, 2022).
News & Industry Resources of Interest:
- Lancaster Farming, Ag Secretaries Seek Change on Avian Influenza Depopulation Method, Phil Gruber (Sept. 30, 2022).
- Lancaster Farming, Ventilation Shutdown Finds Growing Role in Avian Influenza Outbreak, Phil Gruber (Oct. 5, 2022).
- American Farm Bureau Federation’s Market Intel, Revisiting Disaster Programs in the Farm Bill, Daniel Munch (Oct. 4, 2022).
- Associated Press, Keep it or toss it? ‘Best Before’ labels cause confusion, Dee-Ann Durbin (Oct. 5, 2022).
- Public News Service, Will Pesticide Enforcement Get Caught Up in Trade Talks?, By Mike Moen (Sept. 28, 2022).
- Progressive Farmer/DTN, Walmart and Beef’s Vertical Integration – Walmart Investment Reflects How New Packing Projects Will Compete, Chris Clayton (Sept. 1, 2022).
- Progressive Farmer/DTN, House Members Seek WOTUS Rule Delay, Todd Neeley (Sept. 26, 2022).
- Progressive Farmer/DTN, Taxlink, Tax Tips for Co-op Patrons, Rod Mauszycki (Sept. 15, 2022).
- Progressive Farmer/DTN, Ag Policy Blog:
- RMA Workshops on Whole-Farm Insurance, Chris Clayton (Oct. 6, 2022).
- Senators Want More USDA Margin Protection Tools, Jerry Hagstrom (Oct. 5, 2022).
- California Farm Bureau Disappointed in New Union Organizing Law, Chris Clayton (Sept. 29, 2022).
- USDA Releases Proposed Packers and Stockyards Rule and Ag Competition Challenge, Jerry Hagstrom (Sept. 27, 2022).
- Cattlemen’s Groups Complain White House Biotech EO Promotes Cell-Cultured Food, Chris Clayton (Sept. 20, 2022).
- Climate-Smart Commodities Started as a Solution from the Land, Chris Clayton (Sept, 16, 2022).
- Citing Demand, USDA More Than Triples Funds for Climate-Smart Pilot Program, Chris Clayton (Sept. 14, 2022).
Webinars & Events of Interest:
- Keystone Development Center (KDC)’s 2022 Co-op Academy, various dates Oct. 2022–Feb. 2023. Register.
- USDA APHIS’s The State of ASF Webinar, Oct. 13, 2022, 2:30–3:30 p.m. Free. Register. Part of African Swine Fever Action Week.
- American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF)’s 2022 Federal Milk Marketing Order Forum, 14–16, 2022 in Kansas City, MO. Register.
- S. Food & Drug Admin., FDA Virtual Listening Session on the Regulation of Animal Foods with Certain Types of Claims, Oct. 18, 2022, 10:00am ET. Registration closes Oct. 11, 2022.
- Farmer and Farmland Owner Income Tax Webinar, Ohio State University Extension, November 17, 2022, 6:30–8:30 p.m. $40, Registration.
Penn State News, Research & Resources:
- PSU Ext., Lace Bugs on Oak (Oct. 7, 2022).
- PSU Ext., Beech Leaf Disease in Pennsylvania (Oct. 7, 2022).
- Rabbit virus has evolved to become more deadly, new research finds (Oct. 6, 2022).
- PSU Ext., Penn’s Forest Carbon: Growing Green (Oct. 6, 2022).
- EarthTalks lecture to discuss solar and agriculture land use competition (Oct. 5, 2022).
- PSU Ext., Talking to Neighbors about Pesticides (Oct. 5, 2022).
- PSU Ext., 2022 Keystone Crops and Soils Conference (Oct. 5, 2022).
- PSU Ext., Tips for Your Fall Soil Fertility Check-Up (Oct. 4, 2022).
- PSU Ext., Arborist Short Course Offers Professional Training for Two Decades (Oct. 4, 2022).
- PSU Ext., Creating Meadows in Community Parks (Oct. 4, 2022).
- Bull steps down at Microbiome Center, looks forward to future innovation (Oct. 3, 2022).
- PSU Ext., What You Do This Fall and Winter Affects 2023 High Tunnel Productivity (Oct. 3, 2022).
- PSU Ext., Evaluate Your 2022 Landscape Disease Management Program Now (Oct. 3, 2022).
Top #AgLaw HotLinks Oct. 3-7,2022:
- Precision Agriculture Loan Program Act Introduced in U.S. House, Brownfield
- Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Sackett vs. EPA; NCBA Urges EPA to Pause WOTUS Rulemaking, Brownfield
- Will the Farm Bill be the next big climate package? It depends on the midterm elections., Grist
- State agriculture officials broaden recommendations for the 2023 farm bill, Morning Ag Clips
- Thompson & Comer Lead Letter To GAO Regarding Foreign Investments In U.S. Farmland, Republican House Committee on Agriculture
Pennsylvania Farm/Food Employers’ Listserv (PFEL) is a human resources networking group exclusively for farm and food employers. Subscribe by email with “subscribe” in the subject line to [email protected].
FEDERAL ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE & LEGISLATIVE
U.S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (USDA) PRESS RELEASES
USDA Announces Approval of D-SNAP for Florida Disaster Areas (Oct. 7, 2022).
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA) PRESS RELEASES
USDA AGENCY PRESS RELEASES:
Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)
Agricultural Research Service
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
Farm Service Agency (FSA)
Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)
G20 2022: Recover Together, Recover Stronger (Oct. 3, 2022).
Export Sales to Unknown Destinations (Oct. 3, 2022).
FEDERAL EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Federal Register Oct. 3–7, 2022):
Agency for International Development
87 FR 60109 Notice: “Notice of Meeting; Transformative Pathways Toward a Climate Resilient Agriculture, Food, and Nutrition System: A Public Consultation Ahead of the 27th Conference of Parties” (Oct 4, 2022).
Agricultural Marketing Service
87 FR 60010 Proposed Rule: “Inclusive Competition and Market Integrity Under the Packers and Stockyards Act” (Oct. 3, 2022).
87 FR 60979 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request” (Oct. 7, 2022).
87 FR 60979 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request” (Oct. 7, 2022).
87 FR 60110 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Correction” (Oct. 4, 2022).
87 FR 59770 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request” (Oct. 3, 2022).
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
87 FR 60641 Notice: “Concurrence With World Organization for Animal Health’s Risk Designation for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy for Ireland” (Oct. 6, 2022).
87 FR 60110 Notice: “Notice of Decision To Authorize the Importation of Pummelo From Vietnam Into the United States” (Oct. 4, 2022).
87 FR 59731 Proposed Rule: “Process for Establishing Rates for Veterinary Services User Fees” (Oct. 3, 2022).Environmental Protection Agency
87 FR 60295 Final Rule: “IN-11460: 2-Propenoic Acid, Polymer With Ethene, Ethenyl Acetate and Sodium Ethenesulfonate; Tolerance Exemption” (Oct. 5, 2022).
87 FR 60395 Notice—Public Comment: “Pesticide Registration Review; Proposed Revisions to the Proposed Interim Decision for Methomyl; Notice of Availability” (Oct. 5, 2022).
Food and Nutrition Service
87 FR 60365 Notice—Public Comment: “Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Food Programs Reporting System” (Oct. 5, 2022).
87 FR 60111 Notice—Public Comment: “Agency Information Collection Activities: Special Emergency Approval of SFA Survey II on School Food Supply Chain Disruptions” (Oct. 4, 2022).
87 FR 59633 Interim Final Rule: “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Requirement for Interstate Data Matching To Prevent Duplicate Issuances” (Oct. 3, 2022).
Food Safety and Inspection Service
87 FR 58764 Notice—Public Comment: “Notice of Request To Renew an Approved Information Collection: Permit To Transport Undenatured Inedible Meat Products” (Sept. 28, 2022).
International Trade Administration
87 FR 60994 Notice: “Agreement Suspending the Antidumping Duty Investigation on Fresh Tomatoes From Mexico; Preliminary Results of 2020-2021 Administrative Review” (Oct. 7, 2022).
87 FR 60993 Notice: “Quarterly Update to Annual Listing of Foreign Government Subsidies on Articles of Cheese Subject to an In-Quota Rate of Duty” (Oct. 7, 2022).
International Trade Commission
87 FR 59824 Notice: “Fresh Garlic from China; Institution of a Five-Year Review” (Oct. 3, 2022).
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
87 FR 60368 Notice—Public Comment: “Notice of Intent To Request a New Information Collection” (Oct. 5, 2022).
87 FR 60367 Notice—Public Comment: “Notice of Intent To Request Approval To Establish a New Information Collection” (Oct. 5, 2022).
87 FR 59770 Notice—Public Comment: “Notice of Intent To Reinstate and Revise a Previously Approved Information Collection” (Oct. 3, 2022).
87 FR 60705 Notice: “Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Advisory Council Notice of Public Meeting” (Oct. 6, 2022).
U.S. HOUSE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE:
H.R.9144 “To amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to allow households with children with chronic medical conditions to deduct allowable medical expenses incurred by such household member that exceeds $35 per month.” Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture. (Oct. 7, 2022).
H.Con.Res.112 “Urging the administration to initiate the International Agreement to Prohibit the Eating of Dogs and Cats.” Referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Agriculture. (Oct. 7, 2022).
H.R.8860 “TRACE Act” Referred to the Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations. (Oct. 4, 2022).
H.R.8527 “Conservation Opportunity and Voluntary Environment Resilience Program Act” Referred to the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management. (Oct. 4, 2022).
U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, NUTRITION, AND FORESTRY:
No new actions this week.
STATE ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE & LEGISLATIVE
PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PRESS RELEASES:
PENNSYLVANIA EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Pa. Bulletin Vol. 52, No. 41—Oct. 8, 2022):
Department of Agriculture
52 Pa.B. 6361 Notice: “Fiscal Year 2022-2023 Annual Plan for Awarding Grants under the Pennsylvania Agricultural Fair Act.”
Department of Environmental Protection
52 Pa.B. 6424 Notice: “Availability of Grants through the Small Business Advantage Grant Program.”
52 Pa.B. 6363 Notice: “Applications, Actions and Special Notices.”
State Conservation Commission
52 Pa.B. 6439 Notice: “Action on Odor Management Plans for Concentrated Animal Operations and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and Volunteers Complying with the Commonwealth’s Facility Odor Management Program.”
SB 1351 “An Act amending Title 3 (Agriculture) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in food protection, further providing for penalties and prohibiting certain food packaging; and imposing a penalty.” Referred to Agricultural and Rural Affairs. (Oct. 3, 2022).
SB 1237 “An Act amending Title 3 (Agriculture) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in race horse industry reform, further providing for State Horse Racing Commission.” Act No. 97 of 2022 [Senate] (Sept. 30, 2022).
SB 1338 “An Act amending the act of July 10, 2008 (P.L.1009, No.78), known as the Biofuel Development and In-State Production Incentive Act, further providing for short title of act and for definitions; providing for low emission transportation fuel incentive and for registration and other requirements; and further providing for department authority and responsibility and for infrastructure reports.” Referred to Environmental Resources and Energy (Oct. 3, 2022).
Dillon Lightfoot—Research Assistant
Megan Guess—Research Assistant
Audry Thompson—Staff Attorney
Brook Duer—Staff Attorney