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NEW YEAR FORECAST ENCOURAGING FOR U.S. FOOD EXPORT SHOWCASE EXHIBITORS

       Exhibitors at the 2008 U.S. Food Export Showcase will find larger, more vigorous markets around the world for their products according to a 2007 end-of-year forecast by the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).   FAS predicts that agricultural exports--including consumer-ready foods--will reach a record-breaking $91 billion . . . good news for U.S. manufacturers pursuing…

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NASS ADMINISTRATOR RON BOSECKER HAS RETIRED

       R. Ronald Bosecker, administrator of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), retired January 3, 2008, after nearly 43 years of service to American agriculture.        Dr. Gale Buchanan, USDA under secretary for research, education, and economics (REE), announced that Joseph T. Reilly, currently NASS's Associate Administrator, will serve as acting…

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EPA PROPOSES EXEMPTION FOR REPORTING LIVESTOCK WASTE EMISSIONS

       The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on December 21 proposed a rule change to provide an administrative reporting exemption for air releases of hazardous substances, primarily ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, from animal waste at farms.        Under Federal National Contingency Plan (NCP) regulations, farms and other facilities are required to report any releases of…

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APHIS MAKES KEY MANAGEMENT CHANGES

       The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced two changes to its senior management staff. Rebecca Bech, formerly deputy administrator of biotechnology and regulatory services (BRS), has been named deputy administrator for plant protection and quarantine (PPQ) and Michael Gregoire, formerly deputy administrator of policy and program development, as…

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2008 NASDA Enumerator of the Year Awardees

Charlotte Branco – Hawaii – Field Supervisor Enumerator Josephine Lauth – South Dakota– Office EnumeratorCheryl Price – Oklahoma – Office Supervisory EnumeratorLarry Rademann – Kansas – Field EnumeratorMichelle Troian – New Hampshire – Office EnumeratorDovie Wyssbrod – Arakansas – Field Enumerator  

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SENATE PASSES 2007 FARM BILL

       The Senate passed the 2007 farm bill (H.R. 2419) on December 14 by a vote of 79 to 14 after a week of debate and more than a month of delays. The farm bill now goes to a conference committee in January to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the legislation.        During Senate debate, lawmakers defeated about a dozen amendments that were…

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FARM BILL FACES CONFERENCE HURDLES AND VETO THREAT

       The House and Senate have passed their 2007 farm bills but there are some key issues that will need to be resolved by a joint conference committee. In addition, the Bush administration has threatened to veto the farm bill if changes are not made to the legislation.        The 2007 farm bill will now go to a House-Senate conference in January and congressional leaders…

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SENATE APPROVES COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY BILL

       The Senate overwhelmingly approved a comprehensive energy bill (H.R. 6) on December 13 that provides the largest overhaul of the nation's energy policies in decades. The energy legislation has been stalled in Congress for almost a year and lawmakers are expected pass the package for adjourning this week.        The energy legislation would increase the Renewable Fuels…

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CONGRESS STRUGGLES TO PASS PRIORITY BILLS BEFORE ADJOURNMENT

       The House and Senate are preparing to adjourn by December 21 and are facing a packed agenda this week. Lawmakers are struggling to pass an omnibus appropriations package for FY08, comprehensive energy legislation, Alternative Minimum Tax (ATM) relief, and terrorism risk insurance.        The House is expected to begin debate December 17 on a massive $500 billion…