Editorial

Administration Anticipates Agricultural Deal With Mexico – Realism or Optimism?

07/05/2018

The USAPEEC MondayLine posted on June 29th quoted Ted McKinney USDA Undersecretary for Trade and Agriculture as opining “I think we’re very near with Mexico. There are some things we’ve got to work through, but I think we’re very near.” He was referring to an agreement to revise NAFTA, generally considered to be dead, given reciprocal retaliatory action by both Mexico and Canada following threatened and imposed U.S. tariffs on products emanating from both nations.

The president of the Mexican Association of Poultry Producers (UNA) has called for retaliatory tariffs on U.S. poultry products imported into Mexico. Cesar Quesada of UNA and also the Mexican Agricultural Council are soliciting support from the Government of Mexico to facilitate expansion requiring investment in the poultry industry. The UNA action is basically a request for protection.

As with all demands by producers over tariffs, the concern of any government is to balance the social, political and economic benefits of inexpensive imports relative to the contribution from protected poultry industries. The situation with respect to India, China and the Republic of South Africa is to favor local production to support employment. In contrast, governments tend to relax protection prior to elections or with prevailing high inflation or an economic downturn. Waivers are granted over import restrictions to support an inexpensive “chicken in every pot” policy, if only as a temporary expedient to placate supporters of the ruling party.

The optimism expressed by the USDA with regard to Mexico may be premature given attitudes expressed by the Administration and future intransigence in negotiations under an Obrador Presidency.

 

Poultry Industry News

USDA-WASDE FORECAST #579 July 12th 2018

07/13/2018

OVERVIEW

The July 12th 2018 USDA WASDE projections for the 2018 corn and soybean harvests are based on actual planting data, crop progress, long-range weather forecasts and historical records. Harvest areas for corn and soybeans were updated from the June projection to 81.8 million acres (83.1 million in 2017) and 88.9 million acres, (89.5 million acres in 2017) respectively. The USDA held corn yield to 174.0 bushels per acre (175.4 bushels in 2017). Soybean yield was retained at 48.5 bushels per acre (49.5 bushels in 2017). The USDA July projection of ending stock for corn was reduced 0.3 percent to 1,552 million bushels. Ending stock for soybeans was raised 50.6 percent to 580 million bushels compared to the June 2018 WASDE Report.

The USDA projections of ending stocks and prices take into account current uncertainties concerning announced tariffs on U.S. products.

CORN

The projection of the corn harvest decreased by 1.3 percent from the June 2018 Report to 14,230 million bushels consistent with the reality that the crop is now in the stage of silking. The projection for 2018 can be compared to the 2017 harvest of 14,577 million bushels and is down 7.3 percent from the 2016 near-record harvest of 15,148 million bushels. The “Ethanol and Byproducts” category was lowered 0.9 percent to 5,625 m. bushels and exports were raised 25 m bushels to 2,225 million bushels. “Feed and Residual” was raised by 75 m. bushels to 5,425 million bushels resulting in a corresponding decrease of 1.6 percent in ending stocks to 1,552 m. bushels. The projected USDA range in farm price was reduced by 10 cents per bushel on both ends of the range to 330 to 430 cents per bushel. At 14H30 on July 13th CME quotations for July and September 2018 corn were 332 cents and 340 cents per bushel respectively.


 

WEEKLY COMMODITY REPORT

07/13/2018

According to the July 12th 2018 WASDE #579, 81.8 million acres of corn will be harvested in 2018 to yield 14.23 Billion bushels. The soybean crop is projected to attain 4.31 Billion bushels from 88.3 million acres harvested.

 

Quarterly corn and soybean stocks were estimated by USDA in a release on June 29th to total 5.3 Billion bushels (36.2 percent of 2017 harvest) and 1.2 Billion bushels (27.3 percent of 2017 harvest) respectively.

 

The following July and September quotations were posted by the CME at close of trading on July 13th together with values for the previous week in parentheses.

 

COMMODITY

 

Corn (cents per bushel)

July ’18     332  (342)        

Sept.  ‘18     340   (351)            

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

July ’18     831*  (834)    

Sept.  ’18     824   (843)      

Soybean meal ($ per ton)

July ‘18     329  (328)

Sept.  ’18      326  (326) 

*Decade low price.

 

Changes in the price of corn, soybeans and soybean meal this week were:-

 

COMMODITY                      CHANGE FROM PAST WEEK

Corn:                       July quotation down 10 cents per Bu.         (-2.9 percent)

Soybeans:                July quotation down 3 cents per Bu.          (-0.4 percent)

Soybean Meal:          July quotation up $1/ton.                          (+0.3 percent) 

 

  • For each 10 cent per bushel change in corn:-

 

The cost of egg production would change by 0.45 cent per dozen

 

The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight

 

  • For each $10 per ton change in the price of soybean meal:-

 

The cost of egg production would change by 0.40 cent per dozen

 

The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight

 

Declines in the prices of soybeans and hence soybean meal in recent weeks relate to competitive resumption of soybean exports from Brazil coupled with cessation of U.S. shipments to China in accordance with tariff concerns. The CME price of soybean meal stabilized this week. Soybeans continued to fall albeit at a slower rate compared to the past three weeks. The effects of tariffs took effect on June 6th although effectively exports ceased weeks ago.

See WASDE posting summarizing the July 13th USDA-WASDE Report #579, in this edition documenting  price projections and quantities of commodities to be produced, used and exported during the 2018 season.


 

Weekly Broiler Production and Prices

07/13/2018

Chick Placements

The July11th 2018 edition of the USDA Broiler Hatchery Report confirmed that a total of 232.2 million eggs were set during the week ending July 7th about 3 percent above the corresponding week in 2017. A total of 178.4 million day-old chicks were placed among the 19 major broiler-producing states during the week ending July 7th. This was two percent more than the corresponding week in 2017. Total chick placements for the U.S. amounted to 186.2 million, approximately two percent above the corresponding week in 2017. Average hatchability was 80.8 percent for eggs set three weeks earlier. Broiler chick placements for 2018 through June 30th amounted to 4.97 billion, approximately one percent more than YTD 2017.

 

Broiler Production

For the processing week ending July 7th 171.9 million broilers were processed at an average live weight of 6.00 lbs. (6.13 lbs. last week) and a nominal yield of 76.0 percent. The number of broilers processed was 1.8 percent more than the corresponding processing week in 2017. Processed (RTC) broiler production for the week attained 658.6 million lbs. (299,375 metric tons), 0.3 percent more than in the corresponding week in 2017. Production of RTC for 2018 to date attained 20.18 million lbs. (9.17 million metric tons), <0.1 less than the corresponding period in 2017.


 

Weekly Turkey Production and Prices

07/13/2018

Poult Production and Placement:

The June 15th edition of the USDA Turkey Hatchery Report, issued monthly, documented 28.1 million eggs in incubators on June 1st 2018 (28.7 million eggs on May 1st 2018) down 5.0 percent (1.5 million eggs) from June 1 st 2017. A total of 23.5 million poults were hatched during May 2018 (23.4 million in April 2018), down 2.9 percent from May 2017.

A total of 22.5 million poults were placed on farms in the U.S. in May 2018, (22.2 million in April 2018) and down 0.8 percent (176,000 poults) from May 2017. This suggests disposal of 1.0 million hen poults or 8.5 percent of hen poults hatched during May 2018 or 4.3 percent of the total hatch.

For the twelve-month period June 2017 through May 2018, 286.3 million poults were hatched and 268.6 million were placed. This suggests disposal of 17.7 million hen poults over the period representing 12.4 percent of hen poults hatched or 6.2 percent of all poults hatched.

Turkey Production:

The July 13th edition of the USDA Turkey Market News Report (Vol. 65: No. 28) confirmed the following provisional data for turkeys slaughtered under Federal inspection:-

  • For the processing week ending July 7th 2018, 1.693 million young hens were slaughtered at a live weight of 17.1 lbs. (17.2 lbs. last week). During the corresponding short processing week in 2017, 1.149 million hens were processed. Ready-to-cook (RTC) hen weight for the week attained 22,460 million lbs. (10,209 m. tons), 0.4 percent less than the corresponding processing week of 2017. Dressing percentage was a nominal 80.5. For YTD 2018, RTC hen production attained 593.9 million lbs., (269,940 metric tons), 3.6 percent less than during the corresponding period in 2017.

  • For the processing week ending July 7th 2018, 2.004 million toms were slaughtered at 41.4 lbs. (41.7 lbs. last week) compared to 2.340 million toms processed during the previous week. For the corresponding week in 2017, 1.823 million toms were processed. Ready-to-cook tom weight for the week attained 68.2 million lbs. (31,018 m. tons), 12.3 percent more than in the corresponding short processing week in 2017. Dressing percentage was a nominal 80.5. For YTD 2018 RTC tom product has attained 2.19 million lbs. (996,703 metric tons), 0.1 percent more than during the corresponding period in 2017

  • The National average frozen hen price during the past week was 78 cents per lb., down 5 cents per lb. from the previous week and 32 cents per lb. below the three-year average. The following prices rounded to nearest cent were documented for domestic and export trading on July 13th 2018 :-


 

Status of 2018 Corn and Soybean Crops

07/16/2018

The USDA Crop Progress Report released on July 16th confirmed complete planting and emergence of the 2018 corn and soybean crops. Early-planted corn is silking at a rate 26 percent faster than the 5-year average. Soybeans planted early are blooming consistent with good soil moisture and climate conditions, leading the 5-year average by 20 percent. Approximately 26 percent of the soy crop is setting pods. EGG-NEWS and CHICK-NEWS will report on the progress of the two major crops as monitored by the USDA through the end of harvest in October.

 

WEEK ENDING

Crop

July 8th

July 15th

5-Year Average

Corn Planted and emerged %

Corn Silking %

100

37

100

63

100

37

       

Soybeans Planted and emerged %

Soybeans Blooming %

100

47

100

65

100

45

Soybeans Setting Pods %

11

26

11

 

Crop Condition

V. Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Corn 2018

Corn 2017

3

3

6

8

19

25

51

51

21

13

Soybeans 2018

Soybeans 2017

2

3

6

8

23

23

53

51

16

10

 

Soil Parameter

V. Short

Short

Adequate

Surplus

Topsoil moisture: Past Week

13

25

57

5

Past Year

14

26

53

7

Subsoil moisture: Past Week

11

26

58

5

Past Year

11

25

58

6


 

Europe to Develop Closer Trade Ties with China

07/07/2018

In the face of disruptive tariffs initiated by the U.S., the European Union, which is an adherent to multilateralism and rules-based trade, will strengthen ties with China according to Jyrki Katainen, Vice President of the European Commission.

China and the E.U. will exchange market access offers in a comprehensive investment agreement first considered in 2013. It is estimated that annual trade between China and the E.U. exceeds $450 million annually with China the largest exporter to the E.U. and the second largest market for the E.U. In 2017, the E.U. had a trade surplus with the U.S. valued at $115 billion. This would be affected by intended tariffs on E.U. automotive imports which The Economist Intelligence Unit characterized as “potentially economically painful for both sides”.


 

The European Commission to Extend Ban on Poultry and Beef from Brazil

07/10/2018

A report prepared by the European Commission noted that staff and factory personnel are performing inspections to certify wholesomeness in 53 plants cleared to export to the E.U.

Following a visit to the E.U., the Ministry of Agriculture of Brazil challenged an E.U. ban on meat products emanating from plants in Brazil following allegations of improper inspection and falsification of export documentation.

The Commissioner for Health and Food Safety for the E.U., Dr. Vytenis Andriukatis stated “The E.U. cannot allow the Commission to continue to bury their heads in the sand and ignore the findings of their veterinarians on the failures of Brazil to meet E.U. standards.

The question arises as to whether the E.U. concern over inspection is a valid response to recent events which may well have been corrected or is an oblique attempt to protect domestic producers.


 

Canada Retaliates Over U.S. Tariffs

07/11/2018

According to Katie Dehlinger Farm Business Editor for The Progressive Farmer on July 1, Canada imposed tariffs on U.S.-origin products to the value of $12.6 billion. In making the announcement, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland stated, “We will not escalate and we will not back down, this is a perfectly reciprocal action, it’s a dollar-for-dollar response.”

 

The tariff imposed on steel and aluminum imported from Canada was imposed by the U.S. Administration, invoking a national security justification.  The U.S. has a $2 billion annual trade surplus for iron and steel products with Canada which consumes approximately half of U.S. steel exports.

 

Freeland commented, “Canada has always been a safe, secure and reliable source of steel and aluminum for the U.S. market.  The tariffs introduced by the United States on Canadian steel and aluminum are protectionist and illegal under WTO and NAFTA rules.” 


 

ABP Food Group Promotes Meat Products to Sub-Teenagers

07/11/2018

The ABP Food Group in the U.K. has entered into a licensing agreement with Warner Brothers Consumer Products to launch a new range of superhero-themed fresh and frozen sausages and burgers.  The objective is to encourage consumption using superhero images including Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.

 

Darren Jones, commercial director of ABP UK said, “We are delighted to be a partner with an iconic brand such as Warner Brothers and the DC universe.  This is a first for the fresh and frozen meat categories and a significant step in helping create “excitement” for, and, build interest in meat products for younger consumers.”

 

In May, ABP held a pre-launch event to demonstrate to prospective retailers a new range of products.  The range has launched in Asda stores and the rollout will be extended to other major U.K. chains during the remainder of 2018.

 

The ABP Food Group purchases from 35,000 British farmers and expends over $2 billion annually on acquisition of livestock with a concentration on beef.  The company includes subsidiaries in Ireland and the UK and markets a range of frozen meat and meat-free products.  ABP is also a significant manufacturer of pet foods with seven plants.


 

Andrew Wheeler Appointed Acting Head of EPA

07/13/2018

Following the resignation of Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Deputy Administrator, Andrew R. Wheeler was appointed as the interim head with every expectation of a permanent appointment to the position.

Wheeler earned a Baccalaureate degree from Case-Western University in 1987, a law degree from The Washington University of St. Louis in 1990 and an MBA from George Mason University in 1999.

From 1991 to 1995, he served in various positions with the Environmental Protection Agency involved in right-to-know issues and toxic chemicals. He was subsequently appointed as majority Staff Director and Chief Counsel to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works after participating on the staff of Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK). During his tenure with the Senate, he was named as one of the Top Congressional Staff Leaders in 2005 and was recognized as a John C. Stennis Congressional Staff Fellow in the 106th Congress.

In 2009, he joined the law firm of Faegre Baker Daniels with a practice concentrating on energy and natural resources. In this capacity, he represented Murray Energy, a major coal producer.

In his Senate confirmation hearing, Wheeler was asked whether he accepted the scientific consensus on climate change stating “I believe that man has an impact on the climate, but what’s not completely understood is what the impact is.”

It is to be expected that policies of the Environmental Protection Agency under the present Administration will not change under the leadership of Wheeler.

He was quoted in the July 7th edition of The Wall Street Journal as stating “If the environmentalists think President Trump is going to make promises and we’re going to do the opposite, then there is not a lot of common ground to work on.” He added “I am going to continue to move forward with those priorities.” Mr. Wheeler also noted that he would “like to ratchet down the political rhetoric surrounding the EPA.” He stated “In 1991 when I came to town, they were not as politicized as they are today and I would love to return to that.”

Observers believe that his broad experience in environmental and energy concerns and knowledge of Washington will provide focus to the EPA in effecting reforms in regulatory action which have been characterized as impeding business.


Andrew Wheeler

 


 

Fallout from 2017 BASF Plant Fire

07/13/2018

In a July 2nd press release, BASF announced that the previous declaration of force majeure imposed after a devastating fire in a Ludwigshafen plant has been lifted. The conflagration            on October 31st led to cessation of production of citral and other critical precursor ingredients necessary to manufacture fat-soluble vitamins.

The company will make available vitamin A and E products and carotenoids for the human nutrition business as from the middle of the 3rd quarter of 2018 onwards in increasing quantities.

The cost of vitamins for animal nutrition escalated sharply after the fire since this event coincided with restrictions placed on chemical plants in China, apparently to reduce environmental contamination, thereby creating a worldwide shortage of critical nutrients.


 

Prospects for Bilateral North American Trade Agreements or a Re-negotiated NAFTA?

07/13/2018

Following the election of candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on July 1st, interest has intensified in resuming trade negotiations among Canada, Mexico and the U.S. President elect Lopez Obrador, who will be inaugurated on December 1st, has indicated that he is in favor of renegotiating NAFTA. He has however requested that his team be involved in discussions before he takes office.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has reviewed trade issues with President-Elect Obrador and both leaders have expressed a desire to update NAFTA for the betterment of their peoples according to a Bloomberg July 5th posting.

The major point of contention between Canada and the U.S. relates to the controlled marketing system for agricultural products including dairy and poultry.

The U.S. Administration is adamant that free-trade in agricultural products will be necessary to reestablish trade relations and to end the escalation of mutually destructive tariffs involving steel, aluminum and auto parts.

The Administration apparently favors separate bipartite agreements with Mexico and Canada.


 

Fresh Market Will Close 15 Stores

07/15/2018

Fresh Market Inc. has announced that it intends closing 15 stores in Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. All of the locations are regarded as unprofitable. Fresh Market operates 176 stores in 24 states, mainly in the southeast and mid-Atlantic regions.

The Fresh Market chain was purchased by Apollo Global Management in 2016 for $1.4 billion. In commenting on the closure, Larry Appel, CEO of Fresh Market stated “For a variety of reasons unique to each retail location, progress has not evenly distributed and as a result, we have decided to close these long-term underperforming stores.” He added “Looking ahead, I am confident this move will better position the Fresh Market and enable us to continue delivering our great-tasting meals, signature products and an incredible shopping experience.”


 

FSNS Appoints CFO

07/15/2018

FSNS has announced that Doug Shepard has joined the company as Chief Financial Officer. Shephard earned a baccalaureate degree in business from Trinity University in San Antonio and qualified as a Certified Public Accountant.

In commenting on the appointment, John Bellinger, CEO of FSNS stated “We are pleased that Doug has joined us. His knowledge and depth of experience in finance makes him a great asset to our executive management team.”


 

K&N’s of Pakistan Receives Brand Recognition Awards

07/15/2018

The Brands Federation of Pakistan has awarded K&N’s Group three distinctions based on quality and brand promotion. These include:

  • The Brands Icon of Pakistan for 2017-2018 confirming the brand as an “icon of excellence”
  • Brand of the Year award in the category of chicken and frozen foods.
  • Brand of the Year award in the breakfast category for Deline® skinless sausages and cold cuts.

The Deline® brand was also recognized at the IFFA Exhibition in Germany in 2016. The K&N’s Group is a progressive and leading poultry enterprise in Pakistan, applying international standards in integration including multiplication of breeding stock, broiler production, processing and developing further products.

 

 


 

NCC Broiler Breeder Welfare Guidelines Certified

07/15/2018

The Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization (PAACO) has certified and validated the welfare guidelines for broilers and broiler breeders established by the National Chicken Council (NCC).

The NCC introduced welfare guidelines and an audit checklist in 1999. As a basis, producers and processors have applied NCC standards which are being progressively upgraded in the light of scientific evaluation and responsible opinion. In January 2017, broiler guidelines were updated followed by breeder guidelines in 2017.

In commenting on the certification for the most recent additions to the standards, Dr. Ashley Peterson, Senior Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs for the NCC stated “Consumer want to be sure that all animals being raised for food are treated with respect and are properly cared for during their lives.” She added “The people, families and companies involved in raising broilers share the public’s concern. With this certification, consumers and customers can feel confident that when buying and eating chicken, the birds were well cared for and treated humanely.”

The 2018 update incorporates new parameters including:

  • Increased focus on bird behavior and objective measures of welfare outcomes
  • Enhanced requirements for record keeping and corrective action 
  • Increasing oversight of chick welfare at the hatchery
  • New parameters on harvesting and transport
  • Harmonization of NCC broiler and breeder guidelines and recommendations of manuals issued by primary breeders
  • Adding specifics on broiler breeder monitoring including non-conformance by auditors.

 

Restrictive Employment Agreements Scrutinized

07/15/2018

Various State Attorneys General have initiated investigations into employee contracts in the quick service industry. In many cases, employees are enjoined from seeking employment in competitive chains after resignation or termination. Obviously this restricts free choice and bargaining for higher wages.

Franchise organizations maintain that there is a significant cost in training employees and exposing them to proprietary procedures.

In addition to investigations by individual states including California, the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division is also evaluating employment practices. It is estimated that over 75 percent of workers in the QSR industry are restricted by “No-poaching” clauses.

Senators Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Elizabeth Warren (R-MA) have introduced legislation to invalidate employment clauses which restrict employee mobility.


 

Grant to Study Functions of Chicken Genes

07/16/2018

The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture has extended a grant of $1 million to the Western University of Health Sciences for studies relating to the function of genes and gene combinations in chickens.

 

The grant parallels similar support for studies on the genetics of cattle and hogs to be conducted by the University of California-Davis and Iowa State University respectively.

 

It is expected that research on the factors which influence gene expression could be applied to modify disease resistance, growth rate and fecundity.  A knowledge of how gene combinations influence metabolism is critical to application of gene editing.

 

The gene sequence of the chicken has been determined but further studies are required to select for desirable traits including disease resistance through selective breeding or gene editing.


 

Country of Origin Labeling for Australia

07/16/2018

Effective July 1, Australia has introduced mandatory country of origin labeling on 10,000 food products. Products are classified as to “priority” including meat, seafood, fruits, dairy products, juices and cereals.  If grown, produced or processed in Australia, the labeling will feature a logo comprising a kangaroo and triangle and a bar chart showing proportion of Australian-origin ingredients. 

 

Non-priority foods including snacks, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages will be required to carry a country of origin statement and notice of conformity to existing standards.  The Australian Consumer Agency will be responsible for monitoring compliance.


 

Field Trials of Golden Rice Proposed in the Philippines

07/16/2018

Public consultation has been scheduled by the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry to implement field trials of GR2E Golden Rice developed by the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines.

 

 The cultivar produces beta-carotene necessary where endemic vitamin A deficiency results in increased susceptibility to respiratory infections and blindness.

 

GR2E Golden Rice has been adjudged safe by regulatory agencies in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S.  Golden Rice and its counterpart Golden Bananas have been available to farmers in Asia and Africa for a number of years but have not been adopted due to unfounded opposition to GMO technology.

 

It is hoped that the scheduled public consultation and field trials will soon be concluded to enable distribution of the cultivar with potential benefits to consumers in non-industrialized nations.


 

PETA Erects Pro-Vegan Billboards in Des Moines

07/16/2018

Ever eager to exploit misfortune, PETA has erected billboards in Des Moines ingenuously implying that soybean farmers want consumers to adopt vegan diets.  The intent is to sway public opinion in the face of trade embargos and tariffs which will adversely impact soybean farmers throughout the Midwest.

 

A spokesperson for the Iowa Soybean Association stated, “The billboard is misleading and intends to capitalize on a painful trade dispute.”  The statement added “It is evident that PETA has no authority to represent soybean farmers or their Association”.

 

PETA is well known for erecting billboards with contentious content promoting a vegan lifestyle. Displays in exceedingly poor taste appeared in Des Moines during the 2015 HPAI epornitic.


 

BRF Evaluating Divestment

07/16/2018

According to a July 16th Reuters release BRF SA has filed a notice with relevant exchanges that it has retained the investment banking units of Itaú Unibanco Holdings SA and Banco Bradesco SA to advise it on the sale of assets in the Argentine.

BRF also said that it had retained Morgan Stanley to advise the company on the sale of facilities in Europe and in Thailand. This action is necessitated by severe losses posted by the Company as documented previously. Access relevant postings by entering “BRF” in the SEARCH block.


 

Spill at Mountaire Plant Disrupts Operations

07/16/2018

Accidental release of peracetic acid in a reservoir caused by damage from a forklift occurred at the Shelbyville, DE plant operated by Mountaire during the morning shift on Thursday July 12th. The spill estimated at 300 gallons was contained applying an appropriate hazmat response, avoiding any environmental contamination. A few workers who were apparently exposed to the release in the parking lot were transported to a local hospital for observation as a precaution.

The Shelbyville plant was damaged by an electrical fire in April.


 

Shane Commentary

Secretary of Agriculture Promotes Work Requirements for SNAP Recipients

07/11/2018

Speaking at an Eastern Washington Agriculture Leaders’ Conference on July 2, Dr. Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture expressed his view that able-bodied adults should work or participate in training programs to receive SNAP benefits.  This places him on record as endorsing a major provision of the House version of the Farm Bill.  The Senate version which was passed on a bipartisan vote has no restrictions on SNAP recipients.

 

Perdue stated, “If people enjoy the benefit of having food for their family…they should expect that someone that’s taking advantage of that, or utilizing that during down times, are trying to better themselves to a more independent lifestyle.”  Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) was active in promoting the House version which passed narrowly on a 213-211 vote.  She commented, “The House felt very strongly – frankly, as I do – there should be some work requirement associated with the generosity and compassion of the American taxpayer.”  She added, “The Farm Bill and the work requirement is a historic effort to empower more people to build a foundation for a better life.” 

 

Reconciliation of the House and Senate versions of the 2018 Farm Bill will be contentious but hopefully resolution will be achieved before expiration of the 2014 Act in September.

 

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