Department of Agriculture

News & Analysis as of

USDA National Organic Program Instruction on Use of Brand or Company Names Containing the Word Organic

On August 14, 2014, the National Organic Program (NOP) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued its “instruction” to the accredited certifying agents (Certifiers) that certify operations to the USDA...more

New York Amends Agriculture and Markets Law To Provide Real Property Exemption For Silvopasture

For the first time, New York will classify silvopasture as agricultural land for the purpose of real property tax exemptions. This new classification could result in substantial tax savings for any livestock owner that uses...more

NASDA Supports National Uniform Labeling Policy for Genetically Modified Foods

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) passed a resolution to support a national uniform labeling policy for genetically modified foods (GMO). The purpose of this resolution is to have a uniform...more

The President’s FY2016 Federal Budget Request: Programs Relevant to Tribal Energy Development

The White House transmitted its Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request to Congress on February 2, 2015. Overall, the budget includes over $7.4 billion in funding for clean energy technology programs across the federal agencies. ...more

Energy & Environment Update - January 2015

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Department of Agriculture - Department of Commerce - Department of Energy - Department of Interior - Environmental...more

Notice Period Doesn't Cause 9th Circ. To Pause on ESA

The decision by the Ninth Circuit in Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. U.S. Dep't of Agriculture, No. 13-35253 (9th Cir. Nov. 20, 2014), permitting plaintiffs to amend a complaint to add claims under the federal Endangered...more

USDA Announces More Than $9 Million In Grants To Producers And Researchers

On December 2, 2014, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced over $9 million in grants to support advanced biofuel production and the bioeconomy. More than $5 million in grants awarded to 220 producers nationwide are...more

Trade & Manufacturing - News of Note - December 2014

White House Announces Action Items To Strengthen U.S. Manufacturing - On October 27, President Obama unveiled new executive actions aimed at strengthening U.S. manufacturing. The actions were announced at a meeting of...more

D.C. Circuit to Rehear Conflict Minerals Case

On November 18, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted the SEC’s motion to rehear the court’s decision in NAM v. SEC. As covered in previous blog posts, the court’s NAM decision held that portions of...more

D.C. Circuit to Re-Consider Whether SEC Disclosure Rule Aimed at Curbing Human Rights Abuses in the Democratic Republic of the...

In an interesting and uncommon intersection between securities law, curbing human rights abuses and freedom of speech under the First Amendment, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently agreed...more

Conflict Minerals: D.C. Circuit to Reconsider Conflict Minerals Ruling; Initiatives Proceed in the European Union and China

Recent developments in the U.S., European Union and China underscore the dynamic nature of evolving supply chain due diligence requirements and expectations for companies sourcing tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold. The...more

Panel to Rehear Conflict Minerals Case

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has granted the petition for a panel rehearing (as opposed to an en banc rehearing) in the conflict minerals case. The court asked the parties to file briefs...more

Energy & Environment Update - October 2014 #3

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Agriculture - Department of Commerce - Department of Energy - Environmental Protection...more

ML Strategies Energy and Environment Update: Week of 10/20/2014

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE - With just over two weeks until election day, Congress is preparing for a brief but intense Lame Duck session, while continuing final campaign pushes. With several races still in the...more

U.S. Department of Agriculture Expands Crop Insurance under 2014 Farm Bill

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently implemented provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill to expand insurance coverage options for farmers and ranchers. The new Supplemental Coverage Option ("SCO") is designed to help protect...more

New Conservation Mandate Will Apply to Specialty Crops: Producers Must File by June 1, 2015

An overlooked provision in the new Farm Bill will soon be getting more attention from specialty crop farmers as they begin purchasing insurance for next year’s crops. Under “conservation compliance,” all producers must now...more

Agriculture in Crosshairs as White House Targets Methane Emissions

In March 2014, the Obama administration released a 15-page interagency guidance document that laid out preliminary steps for reducing methane emissions. That document asserts that agricultural operations are the top methane...more

Amnesty International Continues to Push for En Banc Rehearing in Conflict Minerals Case

Amnesty International has filed a supplemental brief which continues to advocate for a rehearing en banc in the conflict minerals case. The argument is this: American Meat Institute v. U.S. Department of Agriculture...more

Energy & Environment Update - August 2014

In This Issue: - Environmental Protection Agency 111(d) Proposed Rule - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Agriculture - Department of...more

UPDATE: D.C. Circuit Clarifies Standard for Required Factual Disclosures

The D.C. Circuit issued its en banc opinion in American Meat Institute v. U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Court agreed with the panel's decision and specifically held that the test for assessing government mandates...more

Energy & Environment Update - July 2014 #3

In This Issue: - Commerce Department Action on Solar Trade Case - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Agriculture - Department of Commerce -...more

Energy & Environment Update - June 2014

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Agriculture - Department of Commerce - Department of Energy - Department of...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Clarify Proof Standards in Wrongful Termination Cases

In the closing days of its May term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to clarify a fundamental issue for the employment bar: what are the parties’ respective burdens of proof in a case for wrongful termination?...more

Energy & Environment Update - June 2014

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Agriculture - Department of Commerce - Department of Energy - Department of...more

House And Senate Pass FY 2015 NDAA Legislation With Conflicting Biofuels Provisions

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services passed versions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 that included starkly different...more

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