LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Panelists at a discussion in Lincoln will cover strategies for increasing agricultural production to meet global demand.
The discussion is part of the Heuermann Lecture series sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. It is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 25 at the Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center, 2021 Transformation Drive.
The discussion will be followed by a showing of a documentary film, “Follow the Water.”
Experts say ag production must increase more than 70% by 2050 to meet the worldwide demand for food, fuel, feed and fiber.
The Senate unanimously approved bipartisan legislation designed to address the shortage of agricultural inspectors who protect the nation’s food supply and agricultural industries at the border.
The Protecting America’s Food and Agriculture Act of 2019 would ensure the safe and secure trade of agricultural goods across the nation’s borders. It authorizes the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to hire additional inspectors, support staff, and even canine teams to fully staff American airports, seaports, and land ports of entry.
“Agriculture is a critical economic driver across the country, but longstanding shortages of agricultural inspectors limit Customs and Border Protection’s ability to prevent pests, diseases, and other dangers from entering our country and putting production agriculture at risk,” says Michigan Democrat Gary Peters, one of four senators who introduced the legislation
. Senate Ag Committee Chair Pat Robers says, “By strengthening the agricultural inspector workforce at the border, American agriculture and our entire food system will be safer.”
Senator Debbie Stabenow Thursday questioned the Department of Agriculture over its categorical eligibility rule proposal for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
USDA this week published an analysis finding the rule would remove nearly one million children from automatic enrollment for free school meals, and 40,000 would no longer be eligible for free meals. During a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on farm bill implementation, Stabenow alleged that USDA “has continued to ignore what we’ve put in the farm bill,” which she says rejected changes to SNAP.
Deputy Agriculture Secretary Stephen Censky says the changes are to ensure “eligibility requirements are being enforced.” Censky cited criticism over USDA’s handling of eligibility by the Government Accountability Office, adding USDA “needs to do a better job” of making sure eligibility requirements are being enforced, and that states are not finding loopholes to increase enrollment. Stabenow says the analysis published this week by USDA, is flawed, adding “I would strongly urge you to reconsider” the proposal. USDA has reopened the comment period for the rule.