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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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Schlect: On the red carpet with President Xi

September 28th, 2015|0 Comments

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Last Tuesday morning I was present as member of the welcoming committee for the official

Schlect: A cold Arctic blast

February 17th, 2015|0 Comments

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● USDA announced last Friday its deregulation of a Canadian firm’s–Okanagan Specialty Fruits, Inc.–two varieties

Schlect: State of the Union

January 27th, 2015|0 Comments

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● The Foreign Agricultural Service has long been viewed as an elite arm of the

Schlect: On the docks

December 12th, 2014|0 Comments

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● This fall’s disruptions of ocean shipping–that have lacerated our tree fruit exports–beg for

Good Point: That unwashed grape

November 26th, 2014|0 Comments

FSMA is another example of how a good idea (here, improved food safety for consumers) is forged into a federal law with little understanding by legislators of the complexities of the actual situation.

Schlect: Immigration

November 24th, 2014|0 Comments

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●  Now that President Obama has issued his executive order related to immigration, advocates for

Schlect: Cow paths and ports

November 19th, 2014|0 Comments

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● A virtual shutdown of West Coast ports has severely damaged export efforts of

Schlect: Elections aftermath

November 5th, 2014|0 Comments

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● Greg Walden (R/Oregon) should be happy today. The chairman of the National Republican Congressional

Schlect: Cherry Street

October 27th, 2014|0 Comments

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● The Produce Marketing Association has hired a new team, Cornerstone Government Affairs, to represent it

Schlect: Focus on United

October 13th, 2014|0 Comments

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●  The New York Times Magazine issue of October 12 contains a feature article on the

Schlect: Food Safety — We’re Covered

September 23rd, 2014|0 Comments

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● Last Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued its anticipated revisions

Schlect: Mr. Hastings

September 4th, 2014|0 Comments

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●  Yesterday, Congressman Doc Hastings (R/Washington), who will be retiring at the end of

Schlect: From Russia without love

August 12th, 2014|0 Comments

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● Russia’s economic ban on U.S. agricultural goods will affect the Pacific Northwest’s apple

Schlect: Rediscovery of an advisory committee

July 30th, 2014|2 Comments

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● Secretary Tom Vilsack announced yesterday his long-awaited appointment of 25 members to the Fruit

Schlect: Vetter clears Senate, takes U.S. chief agricultural negotiator job

July 24th, 2014|0 Comments

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● Darci Vetter, on July 10, cleared the Senate’s confirmation process and now holds the

Schlect: D.C. departures

June 17th, 2014|0 Comments

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● Eric Cantor’s primary defeat and subsequent resignation as majority leader has set in motion

Schlect: United Thawed

May 21st, 2014|0 Comments

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●  The American Frozen Food Institute has launched a 30 million dollar national effort to

Schlect: On a roll

May 13th, 2014|0 Comments

Anne MacMillan has left her post as deputy chief of staff to Secretary Vilsack at USDA to join Roll Global,

Schlect: Quiet flows the Potomac

April 18th, 2014|0 Comments

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● Jim Bair, the new leader of the United States Apple Association, will be making

Schlect: Immigration reform and dried cherries to the rescue

March 27th, 2014|0 Comments

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● Democrats are attempting this week to underscore the lack of movement on immigration

Schlect: The Serbian scallywag

March 10th, 2014|0 Comments

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●  Sarah Bittleman, who was the senior agricultural counselor at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 

Locke out

November 20th, 2013|0 Comments

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● Two non-browning Arctic Apples have cleared an important regulatory hurdle, with USDA’s Animal Plant

Mr. Foley

November 7th, 2013|0 Comments

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● Initiative-522, on labeling genetically-engineered foods, failed this week (55.83% to 45.17%) in Washington state.

The Big Easy

October 14th, 2013|0 Comments

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● On Wednesday, I travel to New Orleans for the annual convention and trade show

Shut Down

October 7th, 2013|0 Comments

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Last week I attended, along with about 500 others, the United Fresh Produce Association’s annual

That fellow behind the tree

September 26th, 2013|0 Comments

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Earlier this week I attended a legal education seminar on estate planning as part of

The Big Apple

September 12th, 2013|0 Comments

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●  I was in New York City for three days on a family visit, before

Cuba Still Defying the Law of Gravitation

September 4th, 2013|0 Comments

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● Syria has managed to generate headaches not only for Middle East policy experts, but

The Windy City

August 26th, 2013|0 Comments

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●  Last Wednesday and Thursday the United States Apple Association held its 2013 Apple Crop

Safe at the Plate

August 15th, 2013|0 Comments

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● FDA took to the highway this week for an informational tour of the fruit

SAHCODHA — Bureaucratic acronyms run amok

August 2nd, 2013|0 Comments

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● Newly proposed safety rules aimed at food imports contain one of the better examples

Do I dare to eat a peach?

July 29th, 2013|0 Comments

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●  Last Friday the Food and Drug Administration rolled out two more of its proposed

Unlevel Fields

July 26th, 2013|0 Comments

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● A new Farm Bill is still a far ways from a Rose Garden bill-signing.  With

Farm Bill Brouhaha

July 11th, 2013|0 Comments

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● Today, in a surprisingly quick move, the House of Representatives passed by a vote

The Friendly Skies

June 28th, 2013|0 Comments

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● Immigration reform legislation has passed the U.S. Senate, but now faces tough times in

Farm Bill In Flames

June 20th, 2013|0 Comments

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● Today the House of Representatives failed to pass a new five-year Farm Bill by

DC Shufflings

June 14th, 2013|0 Comments

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●  USDA has shuffled its leadership deck, especially as related to international trade policy. Sue

The Apple Cart

May 28th, 2013|0 Comments

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●  A new group is being formed to help American agricultural interests better understand and

Boughs Loaded With Fruit

May 20th, 2013|0 Comments

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●  I attended United Fresh 2013 last week in San Diego, the annual convention and

To The Midway

May 10th, 2013|0 Comments

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Immigration Reform and the Farm Bill are both moving, however haltingly, on Capitol Hill. We

Stern Truths

April 30th, 2013|0 Comments

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● Last Friday, I attended a breakfast meeting in Yakima hosted by the William D.

STAX

April 25th, 2013|0 Comments

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● Max Baucus (D/Montana) announced on Tuesday he will not run for re-election to the

A Week Awhirl

April 19th, 2013|0 Comments

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● This week provided a spike of activity on three major agricultural policy fronts: food

Food Safety

April 12th, 2013|0 Comments

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● The May 16 deadline looms for public comments on two of the proposed rules

Snap, crackle, pop

April 2nd, 2013|0 Comments

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Our tree fruits often find themselves featured in the logos designed for special events. Some

Merry Gone

March 27th, 2013|0 Comments

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One of the federal sequestration cuts is the suspension by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service

Return from Barcelona

March 13th, 2013|0 Comments

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● This past Sunday I arrived back from Barcelona, Spain. There, I had attended the

Sasquatch

February 20th, 2013|0 Comments

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● Sequestration is set to go into effect on March 1. I do not see

Recess

January 29th, 2013|0 Comments

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●  A powerful court decision handed down this past Friday involving Noel Canning and the

Potomac Views

January 25th, 2013|0 Comments

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● The Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agricultural Service of the House Agriculture