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Incumbents Win Commissioner Races

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson, Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin, and South Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers all won their reelection races November 7. Weathers was appointed to fill the agriculture commissioner seat by Governor Mark Sanford and…

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Judge and Combs Win Races

Both Iowa Agriculture Secretary Patty Judge and Texas Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs were elected to new state offices November 7. Lt. Governor-elect Judge ran on the Democratic ticket with Governor-elect Chet Culver. Combs was elected Texas state comptroller after serving for eight years as agriculture commissioner. Both Combs and Judge were the first women elected Iowa's and…

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Democrats Win Majority in House and Senate

 Democrats won a majority of seats in both the House and Senate during the November 7 midterm elections. It is the first time Democrats have held the majority in Congress since the Republicans took power twelve years ago. In the days after the election, President George W. Bush held meetings with Democratic leaders and both parties pledged to work together in a bipartisan way for all…

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New Leaders For Agriculture Committees

There will be new leaders for the House and Senate Agriculture Committees when the 110th Congress convenes in January. Although there will be some changes in the makeup of the committee membership, no major shakeups are expected. There will be a geographic shift from the current southern leadership to the Midwest. In the House, current ranking member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) will take…

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Outlook Uncertain for Lame Duck Session

The schedule and length of the post-election lame duck session of Congress remains uncertain, but lawmakers are preparing a long list of "must-do" legislative items. Lawmakers in both the House and Senate are returning to work on November 13.The top legislative priority for lawmakers will be to pass the ten outstanding FY07 appropriations bills, which includes the FY07 agriculture…

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Kansas Department of Agriculture Hires New Food Safety Manager

Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Adrian Polansky has announced that Dr. Rebecca Pfannenstiel has been hired to manage the department's meat and poultry inspection and retail food inspection programs."Dr. Pfannenstiel has a solid history in food safety inspection, having worked for USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service in one of the nation's largest beef processing facilities," Polansky…

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DART Meetings Build Troublshooting Skills Reproductive and Risk Management Tips Shared

The Center for Dairy Excellence held its fall round of meetings for the Dairy Advocacy and Resource Team (DART) across Pennsylvania in October. The meetings were held to provide agribusiness professionals an opportunity to network with others in the industry and to gain resources and skills to help the producers they serve through their professions. Leading this round were Dr. Michael…

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USDA Seeks Comments on Chronic Wasting Disease Regulations

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is seeking comments on three petitions requesting that APHIS reconsider provisions and delay a recent final rule establishing a herd certification program and interstate movement restrictions for cervids to control the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD).The CWD herd certification program and interstate movement of farmed or…

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USDA Developing Regulation for Livestock Mandatory Reporting

 USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced last week that it is currently developing a new regulation for Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR). This new regulation must be issued prior to the resumption of the program on a mandatory basis. The statutory authority of the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999 ended in September 2005. At that time, USDA's AMS requested each…