Congress sends Trump stopgap spending bill for fiscal 2018: Congress passed a two-week spending bill on Thursday, with one day remaining before the government would enter a partial shutdown absent new funding. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the measure into law today. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., said no decisions have been made about how to fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2018 (Oct. 1, 2017-Sept. 30, 2018) after Dec. 22, and noted that a third continuing resolution will be needed.
Senators meet with Trump on RFS: President Donald Trump tasked oil-state lawmakers to work on finding a solution to oil refiners’ complaints about the Renewable Fuel Standard that would satisfy them as well as corn growers during a White House meeting on Thursday. “There is a positive win-win solution that can be reached, and today’s meeting made meaningful steps toward advancing that solution,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, according to news reports. Cruz has blocked a Senate vote on confirming the nomination of Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey to be undersecretary of agriculture for farm production and conservation at USDA over the RFS issue, but he hasn’t yet said if he will lift his opposition following the White House meeting, which was the condition he previously demanded. Reports on the outcome of the meeting say the senators agreed to talk to their farm-state colleagues about finding a mutually acceptable compromise.
FDA publishes antimicrobial drugs report: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday published its annual report summarizing 2016 sales and distribution data for antimicrobial drugs approved for use in food-producing animals. The 2016 report shows that antimicrobial sales decreased from 2015 to 2016, with domestic sales and distribution of all antimicrobials decreasing by 10 percent and domestic sales and distribution of medically important antimicrobials decreasing by 14 percent. In previous years (between 2009 and 2015), overall sales volumes increased annually. The report for the first time contains estimates of antimicrobial sales broken out by major food-producing species (cattle, swine, chickens and turkeys). FDA has published annual summary reports since 2009in compliance with requirements established by the Animal Drug User Fee Amendments of 2008 (ADUFA), which requires antimicrobial drug sponsors to report to FDA on an annual basis the amount of antimicrobial drugs sold or distributed for use in food-producing species during the prior year.
NGFA Annual Convention registration opens Monday!: Registration for the NGFA’s 122nd Annual Convention at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz., opens on Monday, Dec. 11. The NGFA already has confirmed several headline speakers, including Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Bunge Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Soren Schroeder and Dow/DuPont Agriculture Division Chief Operating Officer James Collins to explore the most important issues facing the industry in the year ahead. The convention is a great place to develop current business relationships and meet new people in the industry. Also, several tours provide the opportunity to explore the remarkable sites and landscape of “The West’s Most Western Town,” while the National Grain and Feed Foundation Golf Tournament is a great chance for NGFA’s golfers to raise money for the industry’s charitable research and education arm.
Committee apprentice applications accepted starting Dec. 18: The NGFA will begin accepting nominations for its Committee Apprenticeship Program (CAP) on Dec. 18. CAP is designed to help develop future leaders of the member companies and the association, and a limited number of apprentice positions will be available – generally, one to three per committee. Apprentices are expected to participate fully as non-voting members in all committee activities, including meetings, conference calls and email exchanges. They thoroughly learn the industry issues that their respective committee addresses and participate actively in discussions. Learn more about CAP and read past CAP testimonials here.
Raise your voice on NAFTA: The NGFA encourages members to notify their members of Congress about the importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) by Tweeting, calling or sending an email with the easy-to-use tool found on the Advocacy section of the NGFA website. The message from constituents needs to continue to be front-and-center as NAFTA negotiations reach a critical stage.
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