AG/FDA Blog

Jack Block: Trade and the Farm Bill

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block I was on the farm in Illinois last week. I went into the coffee shop, talked to neighbors, and all the questions were about a trade war and the farm bill legislation. Almost everyone in the county is a Trump su… Read More
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John Block: Uncertain Times

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block Farmers and ranchers across the U.S. are under a lot of stress as we enter planting season. Farm income has been cut in half and uncertainty fills the air as we move into the 2018 year. Trade war – we are… Read More
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John Block: Trade

Pick up a paper or turn on the TV – It’s all about trade. So that’s the subject I’m going to talk about today. Will there be a trade war? Our agriculture industry that exports 20% of what we produce could get pounded pretty hard. A lot of Pre… Read More
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John Block: Down on the Farm

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block I have been on the farm in Illinois the last few days. As we loaded a semi with market hogs and I walked through the barns with baby pigs, it made me think once again about the challenges farmers face. As I rep… Read More
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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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