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President Submits FY07 Budget to Congress

        President Bush submitted the administration's FY07 budget proposal to Congress on February 6 which provides a total of $2.7 trillion in spending. The FY07 budget generally proposes spending reductions in most domestic programs including agriculture, with increased spending proposed for defense and homeland security activities.         USDA's total budget outlays in…

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State Ag Board Unanimously Approves Livestock Siting Rule

--Hailed as the most important 'right to farm' protection in a decade         In a historic move the Wisconsin Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Board unanimously approved on Wednesday what is being called the most important right to farm legislation in a decade. Approval of ATCP 51, the Livestock Siting Rule, represents a 30-month public process to find common ground…

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Johnson to Create Organic Advisory Board

        North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson says he will act quickly on the recommendation of a federally funded study to establish an advisory board to help guide development of North Dakota's organic agriculture and food production industry.         "I have invited key stakeholders in the organic industry to provide input on how the board should function,"…

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Job Opportunity -- Director of Regulatory Services

PAY RANGE: $27.38 - $41.13 (step range 65 80 ) OPENING DATE: January 27, 2006 CLOSING DATE: When filled This is an executive level job which exercises considerable discretion and judgment in directing the Division of Regulatory Services for the Department of Agriculture and Food. Incumbent in this job is appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture and is exempt from state career service.…

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Congress Sends Reconcilitation Package to President

        This week, the House approved the almost $40 billion budget reconciliation package with a vote of 216 to 214 and sent it to the president's desk. The measure was agreed to by congressional leaders in late December, however, it required another vote in the House after the Senate made some technical changes. The package includes $2.7 billion in spending reductions for…

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New Majority Leader Selected

        This week, Republican members of Congress elected Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) as the new majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. Boehner has served as chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and as vice chair of the House Committee on Agriculture. In addition, Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Florida) was elected as the Republican Policy Committee chair.…

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State of the Union Includes Support for Ethanol

        During his sixth State of The Union address this week, President Bush announced that he supports increased usage of ethanol to reduce the nation's emission levels and dependence on foreign oil. The president said: "We'll . . . fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn, but from wood chips and stalks, or switch grass. Our goal…

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Mexico Opens Market to U.S. Bone-In Beef

        Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns announced on February 1 that Mexico has resumed trade in U.S. bone-in beef from animals under 30 months of age. "Mexico's decision to further open its market to U.S. beef is a testament to the safety of U.S. beef and a clear expression of confidence in the U.S. safeguards to prevent BSE," said Johanns. "As a NAFTA partner and our second…

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USDA Offers Energy Costs Offset for EQIP

        USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced that $40 million will be used to help eligible Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) participants complete conservation practices that have been delayed because of recent increases in energy prices. The one-time adjustment will apply to participants who signed EQIP contracts in 2004 or earlier and…