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U.S. Department of Agriculture

President Biden plans to sign an executive order on Friday that would increase food stamp benefits to help people going hungry amid the financial downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, his top economic adviser, Brian Deese, told reporters.

Biden has already proposed a $1.9 trillion relief package to Congress that includes direct payments and other types of aid for people who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic. In the meantime, he is directing his administration to take steps to tweak programs to try to provide some assistance.

A federal judge has vacated the Trump administration's rule that would have forced hundreds of thousands of Americans off food stamps. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's rule change was capricious and arbitrary, Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell said.

The USDA rule "radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice," Howell said in her ruling, adding that it would have "exponentially" increased food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans and imposed significant costs on states.

The Trump administration has been celebrating an initiative that buys food from farmers and distributes it through charitable organizations such as food banks. "I'm proud to announce that we will provide an additional $1 billion to fund the Farmers to Families Food Box program. It's worked out so well," President Trump told a cheering crowd on Aug. 24 in North Carolina.

ams.usda.gov

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved industrial hemp licensing plans for Ohio, Louisiana and New Jersey. 

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The White House is proceeding with a rule that will make it harder for Ohioans in low-income counties to get food stamp benefits. 

Updated at 12:59 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is tightening work requirements for some food stamp recipients, a change that is expected to eliminate Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits for 688,000 adults.

ezzo.com

The USDA says Columbus-based Ezzo Sausage is recalling 25 thousand pounds of ready-to-eat sausage products because of possible Listeria contamination. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects Ohio's corn crop this year will be down 34 percent compared to 2018. 

Millions of families in the U.S. struggled to get enough food to eat last year, but conditions appear to be getting better as the economy improves.

In a new report released Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that about 11 percent of households — just over 14 million — had trouble putting enough food on the table last year and that in about 4 percent of households, someone went hungry because there was not enough money to buy food.

The Trump administration's proposal to push millions of people out of the federal food stamp program would punish some of the country's neediest, including children, seniors and people with disabilities, according to mayors of 70 American cities who have sent a letter to an administrator for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

toledoblade.com

U.S. Department of Agriculture data shows Ohio has the highest rate of acreage on which insured farmers were prevented from planting because of poor spring weather. 

If you're caught in a trade war, it's good to be a farmer.

Lots of American companies have lost sales since the Trump administration and China embarked on the current cycle of tariff-raising and retaliation. Few, if any, have been compensated as handsomely as farmers.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

The Trump administration will provide $16 billion in aid to help keep farmers afloat as they reel from the yearlong trade war between the U.S. and China, the latest sign that the world's two largest economies are still far from striking a long-term trade agreement.

The bulk of the support, or about $14.5 billion, is direct aid to farmers, which producers will start to see some time this summer, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters in a briefing on Thursday.

humanesociety.org

Ohio has the fourth-largest number of problem puppy mills in the nation, according to the annual "Horrible Hundred" report by the Humane Society of the United States. 

Updated at 6:15 p.m. EST

Flanked by Democratic and Republican lawmakers, President Trump Thursday signed into the law the 2018 farm bill touting it as a "bipartisan success," even though it lacked the administration's much-sought-after changes to the food stamp program.

"We're here to celebrate a really tremendous victory for the American farmer," Trump said at the signing ceremony. "We've been working long and hard on this one."

The Department of Agriculture will pay $4.7 billion to farmers growing soybeans, cotton and other products hit by tariffs in the Trump administration's hard-line trade war with China, announcing the first batch of payments from a $12 billion government aid package.

Starting next Tuesday, the agency will take applications from farmers who produce corn, cotton, dairy, hogs, sorghum, soybeans and wheat — products that were targeted in China's retaliatory tariffs, after the U.S. imposed a 25 percent levy on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports.

A new report by the Humane Society of the United States highlights inhumane conditions at America's puppy mills. 

The delivery of federal food benefits for millions of low-income people is likely to change after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday it'll allow states more flexibility in how they dole out the money.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

An Associated Press investigation finds toxic algae blooms have become a serious hazard in all 50 states, making people sick, killing animals and harming the economy.

The livelihoods of farmers and ranchers are intimately tied to weather and the environment. But they may not be able to depend on research conducted by the government to help them adapt to climate change if the Trump administration follows through on campaign promises to shift federal resources away from studying the climate.

acre.bid

State lawmakers are considering giving farmers a real estate tax break.

foodpoisonjournal.com

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Ohio Farms Packing Company is recalling more than 40 thousand pounds of  boneless veal products for possible E. coli contamination.

moritzlaw.osu.edu

Federal Communications Commission Secretary Marlene Dortch is the granddaughter of the late four-time Olympic gold medalist and Ohio State University track star Jesse Owens.

buckeyeforestcouncil.org

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has closed its offices at the Wayne National Forest to the public through Tuesday, the day it auctions 16 hundred acres for fracking.

An inspection report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture has concluded the Cincinnati Zoo's barrier to keep the public and gorillas separate wasn't in compliance with standards for housing primates the day a 3-year-old boy slipped into the gorilla exhibit and a gorilla named Harambe was fatally shot.  

battelle.com

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has an open investigation into Columbus-based Battelle, but its purpose is unclear.

toledoblade.com

The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts bumper crops of soybeans and corn this year.

Farmers markets are popular with many central Ohioans.

wlwt.com

A Wood County woman has been barraged with hateful social media comments because she shares the same name as the mother of a 4-year-old boy who jumped into the Cincinnati Zoo's gorilla exhibit last weekend.

reservations.thewilds.org

An animal rights group has released a U.S. Department of Agriculture report showing several violations at The Wilds animal sanctuary in eastern Ohio. 

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