February 4th, 2014
07:00 PM ET
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The Senate passed a farm bill on Tuesday that ends direct subsidies for farmers and trims $90 a month from food stamps for 850,000.

The House had already passed the nearly $1 trillion farm bill that will set agriculture policy for the next five years. President Obama has said he would sign it into law.

The bill could be passed before the spring planting season. That's significant because farmers need to know early how it might affect prices and what to expect for their corn, wheat or tobacco yields.
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February 4th, 2014
11:00 AM ET
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It may be the most overlooked mega-bill of the past 12 months.

After taking a 72-22 leap through a Senate test vote Monday, the nearly $1 trillion Farm Bill is poised for final passage Tuesday.

While it's called the Farm Bill, in truth, it's more of a food bill. It sets five years of eating and farming policy in the United States, including what we grow, what you know about your dinner and how much government spends in the process. It cuts the food stamp program and increases spending on farmers markets. Whatever you think of Congress, this is a bill that deserves some attention.

Here's five lesser-known things the farm bill could mean to you:
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Filed under: Business and Farming News • Farm Bill • Farms • SNAP


In wake of SNAP cuts, food banks fall short
January 30th, 2014
05:15 PM ET
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Last Saturday, the Loaves & Fishes food pantry in New Haven, Conn., ran out of food.

Run by the Episcopal Church of St. Paul and St. James, the pantry has been pushed to the brink from recent decisions in Washington that resulted in cuts to food stamps and jobless benefits for the unemployed.

For most of last year, the little food pantry was feeding an average of 225 families a week. Then, starting in November, more families started showing up. That's when Congress failed to extend a recession-era bump in food stamps, which cut $11 less from each recipient's monthly grocery money.

The pantry is now feeding 300 families. And things could get worse.
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Filed under: Farm Bill • Human Rights • Hunger • SNAP


Farm bill may snip $90 a month from food stamps
January 27th, 2014
11:30 PM ET
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A group of bipartisan lawmakers on Monday agreed to a deal on a farm bill that would end direct subsidies to farms in favor of crop insurance.

The deal could trim as much as $90 a month from food stamps for 850,000 recipients.

The farm bill would last five years and needs to pass both chambers and then be signed by the president.
The bill could be passed before the spring planting season. That's significant because farmers need to know early how it might affect prices and what to expect for their corn, wheat or tobacco yields.

The bill changes the current agricultural subsidy system. It ends direct payments to farmers for planting crops and replaces it with a revamped, beefed-up crop insurance program.
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Filed under: Farm Bill • Food Politics • Human Rights • Hunger • SNAP


January 21st, 2014
08:30 AM ET
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Employees who 'ooze hospitality' are in hot demand at The Cheesecake Factory where perks like BMWs for its general managers have helped it land on Fortune's list of 100 Best Companies to Work For.
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Pizza Hut bites into by-the-slice market
January 14th, 2014
03:00 PM ET
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The new frontier in the pizza chain wars: single slices.

Pizza Hut, one of the top-three U.S. pizza chains, entered the single-slice pizza arena Tuesday at its York, Neb., and Pawtucket, R.I., locations.

If customers like it, Pizza Hut will eventually expand to locations nationwide, said spokesman Doug Terfehr.

Terfehr called the move a step toward "the next generation of what the restaurant can be like when it comes to ordering pizza."

Pizza Hut rival Domino's already sells pizza by the slice at 50 of its nearly 5,000 locations nationwide.

Read - Pizza Hut serving up single slices



For relaxing times, Suntory buys Jim Beam for $16 billion
January 14th, 2014
10:00 AM ET
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Suntory Holdings, a massive Japanese beverage company, is acquiring American spirits maker Beam for $16 billion, creating one of the largest premium spirits companies in the world.

The all-cash deal values Beam at $83.50 per share, a 25% premium over Friday's closing price.

Shares in Beam shot up in premarket trading Monday after the deal was announced.

Beam is known for its brand-name products, including Jim Beam bourbon, Maker's Mark whiskey and Courvoisier cognac.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of the year, provided it receives all necessary shareholder and regulatory approvals.

Read - Japan's Suntory pays $16 billion for Beam

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Filed under: Business and Farming News • News • Sip • Spirits


'Frostbite on their teats' and other cold weather farming issues
January 9th, 2014
03:00 PM ET
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Ryan Goodman has been involved in agriculture all of his life, working on ranches across the country, as well as studying cattle nutrition and reproduction at the college levels. He works daily with farmers and ranchers, helping their voices become part of the national dialogues on food and agriculture topics. You can reach him on Twitter @AgProudRyan, as well as his personal blog, AgricultureProud.com.

Winter storm Ion, polar vortex, or cold outbreak. No matter which term we use to describe this week’s weather across much of the country, it has been downright cold. Most of us are aware of precautions to prepare our homes and pets for the harsh conditions, but how are farmers and ranchers dealing with all of this weather?

Last year we talked about how there is no such thing as a snow day on the farm or ranch. Livestock must still be fed, equipment must still be maintained, and preparations for the next growing season continue. All of that work becomes much more difficult when the mercury drops well below zero degrees.
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Cheese Louise! Velveeta shortage looms
January 8th, 2014
09:00 AM ET
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Bad news sports fans: Some store shelves are running low on Velveeta, right during a prime season for the popular processed cheese, according to a company spokeswoman.

Some consumers may be unable to find Velveeta products in the next couple of weeks, Kraft Foods Group spokeswoman Jody Moore said by e-mail Tuesday. She did not provide any specific reasons for the shortage.

"This is really a short-term situation that is more noticeable during our current period of increased seasonal demand," she said.

Known for its smooth texture that makes it ideal for dips and cheeseburgers, Velveeta is a popular eat for game-watching parties - from college match-ups to the Super Bowl.

Read - Possible Velveeta shortage looms



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