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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Farmers' Markets: The USDA Role

Farmers' Markets: The USDA Role

Date: January 3, 2006
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S
Description: This report discusses federal programs aimed at promoting farmers’ markets. Policy issues include the extent to which the programs contribute to the markets’ success, and the need if any for additional governmental support.
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Federal Farm Promotion ("Check-off") Programs

Federal Farm Promotion ("Check-off") Programs

Date: May 3, 1996
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S
Description: This report discusses legislation establishing national generic promotion ("check-off') programs for 20 specified farm commodities. Thirteen of the 20 authorized programs are now in effect.
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Federal Farm Promotion ("Check-Off") Programs

Federal Farm Promotion ("Check-Off") Programs

Date: May 24, 2005
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S
Description: This report discusses the so-called beef check-off program, one of a number of generic promotion programs for beef and other agricultural products that Congress has authorized in recent decades. Supporters view check-offs as economically beneficial self-help activities that need minimal government involvement or taxpayer funding. Producers, handlers, and/or importers are required to pay an assessment, usually deducted from revenue at time of sale — thus the name check-off. However, some farmers contend they are being “taxed” for advertising and related activities they would not underwrite voluntarily.
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Horse Slaughter Prevention Bills and Issues

Horse Slaughter Prevention Bills and Issues

Date: November 7, 2005
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S
Description: This report discusses the debate in Congress on whether to ban horse slaughter and the acceptability of this practice.
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Humane Treatment of Farm Animals: Overview and Selected Issues

Humane Treatment of Farm Animals: Overview and Selected Issues

Date: December 6, 1995
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S
Description: None
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An Introduction to Farm Commodity Programs

An Introduction to Farm Commodity Programs

Date: July 20, 1994
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S
Description: The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) is required to provide assistance to 20 specified agricultural commodities, to achieve three primary objectives: to support prices, supplement incomes, and manage supplies. Supporters contend that financial help to the farm sector also ensures consumers an abundant supply of reasonably priced food. But critics believe that basic U.S. farm policies, conceived in the 1930s, no longer meet the needs of modern agriculture or society as a whole. This report discusses the various programs available for different commodities.
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Livestock Price Reporting: Background

Livestock Price Reporting: Background

Date: December 14, 2005
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S
Description: None
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Livestock Price Reporting: Background

Livestock Price Reporting: Background

Date: September 23, 2005
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S
Description: None
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Wheat, Feed Grains, Cotton, Rice, and Oilseeds Provisions of the Enacted 1996 Farm Bill

Wheat, Feed Grains, Cotton, Rice, and Oilseeds Provisions of the Enacted 1996 Farm Bill

Date: May 20, 1996
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S
Description: None
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Agriculture: U.S.-China Trade Issues

Agriculture: U.S.-China Trade Issues

Date: October 16, 2002
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S & Hanrahan, Charles E
Description: With China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 2001, U.S. agricultural interests were hopeful that longstanding barriers to trade with that vast and growing market would begin to fall. However, critics charge that China is failing to honor commitments to open its markets, affecting U.S. exports of grains, oilseeds, meat and poultry, and other products. U.S. agriculture and trade officials have been working to resolve these differences.
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U.S. Agricultural Biotechnology in Global Markets: An Introduction

U.S. Agricultural Biotechnology in Global Markets: An Introduction

Date: June 19, 2003
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S & Hanrahan, Charles E
Description: None
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U.S. Agricultural Biotechnology in Global Markets: An Introduction

U.S. Agricultural Biotechnology in Global Markets: An Introduction

Date: June 19, 2003
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S & Hanrahan, Charles E
Description: None
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Regulation of Plant-Based Pharmaceuticals

Regulation of Plant-Based Pharmaceuticals

Date: March 8, 2005
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S & Vogt, Donna U
Description: None
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Farm "Counter-Cyclical Assistance"

Farm "Counter-Cyclical Assistance"

Date: May 31, 2002
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S & Womach, Jasper
Description: This report discusses recently approved legislation reauthorizing major farm income and commodity price support programs through crop year 2007. This legislation includes new “counter-cyclical assistance” programs for grains, cotton, oilseeds, peanuts, and milk. The intent of counter-cyclical assistance is to provide more government support when farm prices and/or incomes decline, and less support when they improve. In fact, farmers have, for many years, been eligible for various forms of counter-cyclical assistance. At issue has been the need for, and potential impacts of, another counter-cyclical program.
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Farm "Counter-Cyclical Assistance"

Farm "Counter-Cyclical Assistance"

Date: March 7, 2002
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S & Womach, Jasper
Description: This report discusses the reauthorization of major farm income and commodity price support programs that expire after crop year 2002. Many agricultural interests expect that a new “counter-cyclical assistance” program will be an integral component of future farm policy. The intent of counter-cyclical assistance is to provide more government support when farm prices and/or incomes decline, and less support when they improve.
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The 2002 Farm Law at a Glance

The 2002 Farm Law at a Glance

Date: June 7, 2002
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: On May 13, 2002, President Bush signed the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) of 2002 into law (P.L. 107-171). FSRIA is the latest in a long line of omnibus, multi-year farm bills. The 2002 law is the successor to the last omnibus measure, the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-127). This report, to be updated if events warrant, provides selected highlights.
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Agricultural Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues

Agricultural Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues

Date: March 7, 2005
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: Since the first genetically engineered (GE) crops (also called GM [genetically modified] crops, or GMOs, genetically modified organisms) became commercially available in the mid-1990s, U.S. soybean, cotton, and corn farmers have rapidly adopted them. As adoption has spread, there have been policy debates over the costs and benefits of GE products. Issues include the impacts of GE crops on the environment and food safety, and whether GE foods should be specially labeled. Congress generally has been supportive of GE agricultural products, although some Members have expressed wariness about their adoption and regulation. The 109th Congress will likely continue to follow trade developments, particularly the U.S.-EU dispute, as well as U.S. regulatory mechanisms for approving biotech foods.
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Agricultural Exports: Technical Barriers to Trade

Agricultural Exports: Technical Barriers to Trade

Date: October 21, 1997
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: Technical barriers to trade (TBTs) are widely divergent measures that countries use to regulate rnarkets, protect their consumers, and preserve natural resources, but which can also discriminate against imports in favor of domestic products. Most TBTs in agriculture are sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures designed to protect humans, animals, and plants from contaminants, diseases, and pests. In the wake of new trade agreements aimed at reducing tariffs, import quotas, and other trade barriers, TBTs have become more prominent concerns for agricultural exporters and policymakers.
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Agricultural Marketing and Regulatory Provisions of the 1996 Farm Bill

Agricultural Marketing and Regulatory Provisions of the 1996 Farm Bill

Date: April 30, 1996
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: The Federal Agricultural Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-127), signed into law on April 4, for the first time grants the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) broad-based authority to establish national generic promotion ("check-off") programs for virtually any agricultural commodity. Formerly, individual programs first had to be authorized expressly by Congress. The new law also explicitly authorizes the establishment of new check-off programs for rapeseed and canola, kiwifruit, and popcorn. Other provisions require USDA to establish a new meat and poultry inspection advisory committee; deal with the collection of user fees for the inspection of agricultural imports; and authorize new guidelines to protect horses being transported to slaughter facilities, among other things.
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Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program

Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program

Date: September 29, 2004
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: This report discusses “Section 32”, which is a permanent appropriation that since 1935 has earmarked the equivalent of 30% of annual customs receipts to support the farm sector through a variety of activities. Today, most of this appropriation (now approximately $6.5 billion yearly) is transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) account that funds child nutrition programs.
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The “Farm Bill” in Brief

The “Farm Bill” in Brief

Date: October 4, 2006
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: Federal farm support, food assistance, agricultural trade, marketing, and rural development policies are governed by a variety of separate laws. Many of these laws periodically have been evaluated, revised, and renewed through an omnibus, multi-year farm bill. This report discusses the "farm bill" and it's components.
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The “Farm Bill” in Brief

The “Farm Bill” in Brief

Date: January 3, 2007
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: Federal farm support, food assistance, agricultural trade, marketing, and rural development policies are governed by a variety of separate laws. Although many of these policies can be and sometimes are modified through freestanding authorizing legislation, or as part of other laws, the omnibus, multi-year farm bill provides an opportunity for policymakers to address agricultural and food issues more comprehensively.
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The “Farm Bill” in Brief

The “Farm Bill” in Brief

Date: March 22, 2006
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: Federal farm support, food assistance, agricultural trade, marketing, and rural development policies are governed by a variety of separate laws. Many of these laws periodically have been evaluated, revised, and renewed through an omnibus, multi-year farm bill. This report discusses the "farm bill" and it's components.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The "Farm Bill" in Brief

The "Farm Bill" in Brief

Date: December 19, 2005
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: Federal farm support, food assistance, agricultural trade, marketing, and rural development policies are governed by a variety of separate laws. Many of these laws periodically have been evaluated, revised, and renewed through an omnibus, multi-year farm bill. This report discusses the "farm bill" and it's components.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department