AGRICULTURE

Imagine a field of lettuce.  Say the lettuces are all buttercrunch, and they dot the field like crisp rosettes. Each has been seeded by a farmer, kept free of pests, watered for weeks and finally cut at the base before being rinsed and packed for transport. Each is destined for...
WASHINGTON  — The House Agriculture Committee on Thursday took testimony on decades of racial discrimination faced by Black farmers in their dealings with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The committee’s chairman, Rep. David Scott, (D-Ga.), said the testimony at the virtual hearing would help the panel craft legislation that aims...
A bill from Sen. Lynwood Lewis, D-Accomack, that would require large employers like poultry plants to publicly report any COVID-19 outbreaks that have been linked by the Virginia Department of Health to the worksite cleared the Senate Friday night.  Crucially, however, the measure failed to garner enough support to go...
WASHINGTON — The Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved Tom Vilsack’s nomination to lead USDA, after a hearing in which Vilsack discussed climate change goals in farming, food insecurity, supply chain problems and inequities faced by Black farmers. Vilsack, a former Iowa governor who also ran the Agriculture Department...
WASHINGTON — Tom Vilsack, the president’s pick to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will likely face questions about his treatment of Black farmers and his record on civil rights at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday. President Joe Biden’s decision to tap the former Iowa...
A state push to encourage farmers to fence off streams from their livestock as a way to improve water quality throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed appears to be succeeding. According to data from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, the number of farmers who have committed to fencing off...
A wrongful death lawsuit tied to COVID-19 infections in a Waterloo, Iowa, pork processing plant alleges that during the initial stages of the pandemic, Tyson Foods ordered employees to report for work while supervisors privately wagered money on the number of workers who would be sickened by the deadly...
Halloween has come and gone. The clocks have been set back. Every evening darkness falls just a little bit earlier.  But for much of Virginia, the first frost still remains elusive.  Over the past century, the average date of the first frost has been moving progressively backward throughout the commonwealth, today...
A legislative attempt to force Virginia to reveal more information about COVID-19 outbreaks in the state’s poultry plants and other workplaces, introduced after months of stonewalling from Virginia health officials and their insistence that the plants are entitled to privacy protections, stalled Wednesday with no prospect of being revived...
Mustard. Cabbage. Morning glory. Mint. Sage. That’s not a shopping list for a visit to the plant nursery. It’s five of the types of seeds federal scientists have identified among the hundreds mailed to U.S. residents without warning over the past few weeks, largely in packaging containing Chinese writing.  According to...