AG/FDA Blog

John Block: Ag Issues 2017

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture posted the announcement of this year’s World Food Prize Foundation laureate.  At one time, he was the Nigerian Minister of Agriculture, and he now runs the Afric… Read More
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John Block: Branstad and Horses

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block I have two subjects to cover today. One that is very hopeful – Governor Terry Branstad, now Ambassador Terry Branstad, is headed to China. The other issue, which is not very hopeful, has to do with horses. Amb… Read More
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John Block: Perdue’s Agenda

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block It’s only been a week since confirmation, but Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has hit the ground running.  He has ordered that schools be given more flexibility in their school lunch programs, more local c… Read More
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John Block: How Do We Raise Prices?

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block I can report that I was on my Illinois farm last week.  Weather was beautiful and we planted 360 acres of corn.  Then it rained.  At least we got started.  It is always exciting when you first hit the field… Read More
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John Block: Trade

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block I want to focus on trade today.  From agriculture’s perspective, it is extremely important.  25% of ag income comes from products sold to other countries.  Production from 1 out of every 3 acres is exported… Read More
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John Block: Vilsack – 8 Years

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block Last week, I – along with 2 other former Secretaries of Agriculture (Ann Veneman and Dan Glickman) – attended the portrait unveiling ceremony of Secretary Tom Vilsack at the Department of Agriculture.  Vils… Read More
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John Block: A Lot Going On

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block Another week goes by – Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton look to be our Presidential candidates. It’s quite a contrast. Polls indicate that they are in a dead heat, but it’s a long time until November. Tod… Read More
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Global Food Security: Next Steps

In the last several months, there has been a lot of attention on a number of separate issues and events which impact global food security across a range of activities, yet they have not been drawn together. From Pope Francis’ visit to the United St… Read More
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John Block: U.S. Corn and China's Bad Faith Collide

By John R. Block, as published in the Des Moines Register As complex as the world trading system has become, it still fundamentally relies on something as simple as trust — that nations and people will be as good as their word. Most basically, it… Read More
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