- Obama presses immigration bill as Senate opens debate - June 11, 2013
With the Senate starting to cast votes on a bill to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws, President Obama on Tuesday made a high-profile pitch for the legislation, saying, “There’s no reason Congress can’t get this done by the end of summer.” The New York Times Click here for more.
- Specialty crops targeted in emerging Farm Bill - May 29, 2013
Representatives of specialty crops in Michigan have voiced support for the efforts of U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, to push through a farm bill that has come out of her Senate committee. Stabenow visited May Farms near Sparta, Mich., on May 28 for a press conference to urge passage of the 2013 Farm Bill. The chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, pushed the bill that was approved by the Senate last year. The full House of Representatives never voted on its own measure. Stabenow said the current bill, which is
- Produce donations urged for needy - May 24, 2013
A Newaygo County, Mich., nonprofit organization is urging produce growers to donate a portion of their harvest so it can be accessed by needy residents in the region. TrueNorth Pantry is sponsoring its annual Plant a Row for Hunger campaign, requesting that growers symbolically plant an extra row of produce in their gardens or fields. Upon harvest, donations of produce are asked to be dropped off at the TrueNorth Service Center at 6308 S. Warner Ave. in Fremont, Mich. In the first quarter of 2013, the TrueNorth Food Pantry was accessed by an average of
- FSMA statement date pushed back to June 10 - May 21, 2013
A federal judge has extended the deadline for a joint statement to be issued regarding the implementation of the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA). On May 21, U.S. District Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton in Oakland, Calif., granted an extension until June 10 for FDA and two California-based food safety advocacy groups to prepare a joint statement setting forth proposed deadlines for enactment of the FSMA rules. FDA, along with the nonprofit Center for Food Safety (CFS) and the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) had requested from Hamilton an extension of the May 20 deadline
- Michigan asparagus takes hit from May frost - May 15, 2013
Early indications were that Michigan’s asparagus crop would be impacted by a frost event that struck May 13. Ken Nye, executive director of the Michigan Agricultural Commodities Marketing Association’s Asparagus Division, said there was “certainly quite a bit of damage in the west-central area, in Hart and Shelby, Sunday night. (The loss) could easily be 5 to 10 percent of the harvest this year – maybe worse than that. “It pretty much froze everything off for the first couple of pickings for a lot of growers,” Nye said. “There was some small harvest in the
- Michigan asparagus growers support marketing effort - May 8, 2013
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) announced asparagus producers have voted to continue the Michigan Asparagus Industry Development Program. MDARD Director Jamie Clover Adams said the program will continue for an additional five years – beginning June 8, 2013, and ending June 7, 2018. The current assessment rate cannot exceed 2 cents per pound. A total of 66 valid ballots were cast in the referendum. Of those, 64 producers voted yes (97 percent) representing 11,018,175 pounds of asparagus (97 percent), and two producers voted no (3 percent) representing 382,226 pounds (3 percent).
- EU to ban neonicotinoid pesticides - April 30, 2013
The European Commission will restrict the use of pesticides linked to bee deaths by researchers, despite a split among EU states on the issue. BBC News Read more here.
- Speedy path toward citizenship proposed - April 16, 2013
Hundreds of thousands of migrant farm workers would be put on a speedy path toward U.S. citizenship and receive stronger labor protections under an immigration-reform proposal scheduled to be unveiled this week. The farm-worker component was one of the last sticking points threatening to unravel efforts by the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” to craft a broad immigration bill that will need to be debated and voted upon by Republican and Democrat legislators. The Blade Read more.
- Dispute over guest-worker program puts immigration talks at risk of delay - March 28, 2013
A bipartisan deal on immigration is at risk of stalling because of a worsening dispute over a new guest-worker program, exposing fault lines between crucial interest groups and threatening to delay the unveiling of a Senate bill early next month. The impasse has prompted a bitter round of name-calling between labor and business groups, both of whom accuse the other of imperiling comprehensive immigration reform. The Washington Post Read more.
- New I-9 form released - March 20, 2013
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently published a revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 for use. All employers are required to complete a Form I-9 for each employee hired in the United States. Improvements to Form I-9 include new fields, reformatting to reduce errors and clearer instructions to both employees and employers. The Department of Homeland Security has published a notice in the Federal Register informing employers of the new form. Effective March 8: –Employers should begin using the newly revised Form I-9 for all new hires and re-verifications. –Employers may continue to use
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