The Wind Machine

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Occasional thoughts on the politics and activities of Washington, D.C., as they may have relevance to our tree fruit industry.

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My Apple Cup Runneth Over

● Randy Green, a former Deputy Undersecretary of USDA and chief of staff to the Senate’s Agriculture Committee, soon will be joining a Washington, D.C., public communications firm, Watson/Mulhern, which is now on a monthly retainer by the Northwest Horticultural Council for crisis communications assistance. Mr. Green, originally from [...]

A Peach of a Part

● A bill to improve trade relations with Russia, H.R. 6156, was passed by the House of Representatives last Friday by a vote of 365-43. In the Pacific Northwest’s delegation, only one member voted no: the anti-World Trade Organization Peter DeFazio (D) of Oregon. The measure, supported by our [...]

Post Election

● At a news conference this week, President Barack Obama expressed optimism about moving comprehensive immigration legislation next year. Notably, in this context, he included foreign agricultural labor as one of the points needing Congressional attention: “I think that the agricultural sector obviously has very specific concerns about making [...]

The Election

● It’s over.  President Obama will have four more years to fashion policy and lead the nation. The Senate will remain under the majority leadership of Harry Reid (D/Nevada), while the House of Representatives will continue to be led by Speaker John Boehner (R/Ohio). One change in party leadership [...]

Lincoln

● The Organic Trade Association is boosting the idea of a multicommodity federal promotion and research program for organics. While a lengthy process is required by USDA before any such national program is authorized and made operational, the OTA’s initiative—which would require the collection of mandatory assessments on the [...]

Are the Apples Rotten?

● November 6 will slam shut the door to the political future of many of those now running for office, while others will step lightly across election day’s threshold to new or renewed public service. Some national races of importance to agriculture that I will be watching: Iowa’s 4th, [...]

Futile and Weak

●  One of my more enjoyable tasks is serving on the board of advisors to the Center for Produce Safety, which is located at the University of California/Davis. A fellow CPS advisor, Brian Silbermann, president of the Produce Marketing Association, was among those honored this month by the College [...]

Jenkins Hill XI

●  This Sunday I plan to travel across country to attend the Washington Public Policy Conference, an annual event of the United Fresh Produce Association. I imagine that the leaders of United are quite displeased and somewhat deflated over Congress’ adjournment late last week till after the November general [...]

Jenkins Hill X

This month, Ellen Terpstra was named the new chief executive officer of the International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council. A good friend of mine since the 1980s, Ellen previously led the United States Apple Association and was a top agricultural trade negotiator at both the Office of the [...]

Apple Anarchy

● Four of life’s misfits have been charged in Georgia with murder and other crimes. All army personnel (one from Cashmere, Washington), the four allegedly had formed an anarchist militia group with plans to blow up a dam in Washington State and poison the state’s apple crop. Later, they [...]