By Sarah Fielder
Save the Date for the Ag Outlook and Policy Conference The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics annual Ag Outlook and Policy will be held on Dec. 12 at the Crowne Plaza in Annapolis. Details of the conference will be coming in October, but save the date for an informative day in Annapolis.
Baltimore Food Trucks Challenge 300-foot Ban Last week, Baltimore food truck owners were in court challenging the city’s 300-foot ban from operating near a brick-and-mortar restaurant. The food trucks claim the ban is unconstitutional because it is often unclear where they can operate. To read more about the challenge click here http://bsun.md/2fSS5q9.
USDA Begins Sending Out $9.6 Billion in Farm Program Payments. Secretary Perdue announced this week that USDA would begin to send out $9.6 billion in farm program payments including payments under the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs. To read more about which programs are involved, click here http://bit.ly/2fLzKHT.
Hearing on H-2A Program Changes Postponed This week the House Judiciary Committee was to hold a hearing on a bill to modify the H-2A guest worker program. The bill would create a new H-2C program that would allow full-time and seasonal ag labor to enter the country but not provide a path to citizenship. To read more about the bill, click here http://bit.ly/2xixdv9.
Congressman Harris’s Op-Ed on the Dietary Guidelines This week Congressman Andy Harris (1st District MD) published an Op-Ed in the Hill calling for reform in the dietary guidelines. To read the op-ed, click here http://bit.ly/2xixTAH.
Des Moines Register Reports on USDA’s Failure to Monitor Foreign Landownership The Des Moines Register reported last week that USDA has lapsed in its duty under federal law to monitor foreign ownership of farmland in the U.S. USDA rarely assesses fines under the law and relies on self-reporting. To read more about this issue, click here http://dmreg.co/2xUsGRF.
IRS To Withdraw Discount Valuation Regs The IRS plans to withdraw a controversial proposed regulation that would have limited the ability of closely-held family businesses to use valuation discounts to reduce gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer taxes. This proposed regulation had met with much criticism since proposed back in August 2016. This rule is widely used by many family farms to transfer the farm to the next generation. To learn more about with withdrawal, see http://bit.ly/2y25ZNz.