JUDICIAL:

FOOD & WATER WATCH, Plaintiff, v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, et al., Defendants. Additional Party Names: Deanna Dunning, Farm Serv. Agency, No. CV 17-1714 (BAH), 2019 WL 2423833 (D.D.C. June 10, 2019)
Since this case began in August 2017, the plaintiff Food & Water Watch has been prodding the defendants—the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Farm Service Agency (“FSA”), and Deanna Dunning, an FSA Farm Loan Officer—to provide a complete administrative record (“AR”). Finally, in December 2018, that happened. The completed AR included a version of the final environmental assessment (“EA”) that the FSA completed in July 2015 in connection with the agency’s guarantee of a loan to One More Haul Farm for the construction and operation of a concentrated animal feeding operation (“CAFO”). With that addition to the AR, the plaintiff now seeks leave to amend its complaint to add two new claims and modify a third. The plaintiff’s motion is granted.
Svihel Vegetable Farm, Inc. v. Dep’t of Employment & Econ. Dev., No. A17-1250, 2019 WL 2439726 (Minn. June 12, 2019)
Because H-2A and J-1 visa workers perform agricultural services that constitute “covered agricultural employment” under Minn. Stat. § 268.035, subd. 11(a) (2018), the wages a farm paid to H-2A and J-1 visa workers performing those services are subject to unemployment-insurance taxation.
LEGISLATIVE:

H.R. 3183: To amend the Federal Crop Insurance Act to allow certain producers who harvest or graze covered crops planted as a result of a prevent planting to be eligible for certain crop insurance, and for other purposes. Info HERE

Notice of re-chartering and continuation of requests for nominations: Foreign Agricultural Service, United States Department of Agriculture: Pursuant to the Trade Act of 1974 and the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given that the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary), in coordination with the United States Trade Representative (Trade Representative), intends to renew the charters for the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) and the related Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees (ATACs) for Trade to provide detailed policy and technical advice, information, and recommendations regarding trade barriers, negotiation of trade agreements, and implementation of existing trade agreements affecting food and agricultural products, including the performance of other advisory functions relevant to U.S. agricultural trade policy matters. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) continues to welcome nominations for persons to serve on these committees. Info HERE

Proposed rule: Forest Service, USDA: The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (Agency) is proposing revisions to its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations. The Agency proposes these revisions to increase efficiency in its environmental analysis while meeting NEPA’s requirements and fully honoring its environmental stewardship responsibilities. The proposed rule would contribute to increasing the pace and scale of work accomplished on the ground and would help the Agency achieve its mission to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Public input has informed the development of the proposed rule, including through an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. The Agency is now requesting public comment on the revisions in the proposed rule. The Agency will carefully consider all public comments in preparing the final rule. Info HERENotice of proposed scope of study: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA; The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service plans to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) analyzing alternatives for predator damage management in Idaho. This notice proposes issues and alternatives for consideration in the EIS and requests public comments to further delineate the scope of the alternatives, the environmental issues, and other issues of public concern to be considered. Info HERENotice and request for comments: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA; In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing its intention to renew the approved information collection regarding the accredited laboratory contact update form. The approval for this information collection will expire on November 30, 2019. FSIS is making no changes to the existing information collection. Info HERENotice and request for comments: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA; In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing its intention to collect information on the FSIS Form PY-200 “Egg Products Inspection Certificate.” FSIS is seeking approval for the FSIS Form PY-200, so that industry personnel can assist FSIS with its completion. This is a new information collection with an estimated annual burden of 96,360 hours. Info HERE