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CCFB News» July 2020

Family Farm and Food Bytes

07/04/2020 @ 8:15 am

USDA GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR URBAN AG, INNOVATIVE PRODUCTION (FarmWeek) – The USDA recently announced $3 million in competitive grants through the new Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. Two categories are the focus: project planning and project implementation in urban agriculture. Projects may target food access, education, business and start-up costs for new farmers, policy development related to zoning and other urban production needs, infrastructure, emerging technology, and urban farming policy implementation. Grant application deadline is July 6. For more information, go to


‘RUNNING ON FUMES’: RESTAURANTS TRYING TO REOPEN FACE CASH CRUNCH (Wall Street Journal) – Restaurants are slowly resuming dine-in service after nearly every state required they suspend it in March because of the coronavirus. But, in many ways, the reopening has turned out to be harder than the closing because it is nearly impossible to predict revenues amid social distancing, while fixed costs remain the same.


WAITSTAFF MAKING MORE ON UNEMPLOYMENT MAY NOT COME BACK AS RESTAURANTS PREPARED TO REOPEN (The Center Square) Restaurants in Illinois are now able to offer outdoor dining, but some may find it difficult to coax waitstaff back to work.


PILGRIM’S PRIDE CEO AMONG INDICTED FOR CHICKEN PRICE FIXING (ABC News)  The CEO of Pilgrim's Pride is one of four current and former chicken company executives indicted on charges of price-fixing.


FARM-TO-TABLE DINING TAKES ON NEW MEANING AMID PANDEMIC (WCIA) – The farm-to-table movement in the United States has grown in recent years, as consumers have increasingly demanded locally sourced food. The movement has grown out of necessity because some producers can’t rely on the complex web of processors, distributors, and middlemen to get food to customers.


FARM PROGRESS SHOW STILL A GO (FarmWeek) – Those planning to attend the 2020 Farm Progress Show (FPS) in Boone, Iowa should keep Sept. 1-3 circled on their calendars. Unlike many other events canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, FPS remains a go on those dates, according to Matt Jungmann, Farm Progress Show manager. Show organizers are working with exhibitors to ensure all those involved maintain social distancing. “We’ve created one-way traffic flows, enlarged lot areas where people typically gather to still allow social distancing and exhibitors are stretching exhibits out,” Jungmann said. For more information and updates on the Farm Progress Show, visit the website {}. Any future changes to the current show schedule will be updated at that site.





John Deere recently added two new models of X Series combines to its 2021 harvest lineup. Farmers will have a chance to check out the new machines Sept. 1-3 at the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa. (Photo courtesy of John Deere).







U.S. FOOD MAKERS ARE BURNING THROUGH CASH TO HOARD INGREDIENTS (Bloomberg) – Hoarding cash during a pandemic might seem prudent, but America’s packaged food companies are finding it’s better to stock up on stuff they can sell.


PRICES ON THE BREAD AISLE PLUNGE THE MOST IN 80 YEARS (Bloomberg) – Months of quarantine have turned stay-at-home Americans into home bakers and lowered demand for any clothing that isn’t casual and comfortable, leading to a drop in prices[AC1] .


MCDONALD’S WORLDWIDE SALES IMPROVE AS RESTAURANTS REOPEN AFTER CORONAVIRUS CLOSURES (Chicago TribuneMcDonald’s sales are gradually improving as more of its restaurants reopen worldwide. Some markets, however, are reopening more quickly than others.


ETHANOL USAGE UP, PLANTS COMING BACK ONLINE (Lincoln Journal Star) – Cars are on the road again, and increased travel adds up to more gasoline being used across the U.S. Because of gasoline/ethanol blends, ethanol use is also on the rise.


AS DINERS FLOCK TO DELIVERY APPS, RESTAURANTS FEAR FOR THEIR FUTURE (New York Times) – Even as apps like Grubhub have cast themselves as economic saviors for restaurants in the pandemic, their fees have become an increasing source of difficulty for the establishments.


WENDY'S SAYS ITS BEEF SUPPLY IS ALMOST BACK TO NORMAL (CNNThe company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing recently that "at this point in time, beef supply has returned to near-normal [AC2] levels across the Wendy's system."  


GENERAL MILLS STARTS MICHIGAN PROGRAM TO CUT DAIRY EMISSIONS (Bloomberg) – General Mills Inc. is starting a pilot program in western Michigan to make its dairy supply chain more sustainable – part of a bet that consumers will continue to value environmental issues amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


DICAMBA REGISTRATIONS VACATED (DTN) – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a decision vacating the registrations of three dicamba herbicides, XtendiMax (Bayer), Engenia (BASF) and FeXapan (Corteva). The ruling does not appear to include Syngenta's Tavium dicamba herbicide.


AG PROVISIONS INCLUDED IN PROPOSED ILLINOIS FY2021 BUDGET (Brownfield) – The Illinois General Assembly has approved a fiscal year 2021 budget that does include some agriculture related provisions. Kevin Semlow, Director of State Legislation for Illinois Farm Bureau, says legislators kept the proposal very similar to the 2020 budget but it does include $5 million from the CARES Act for livestock producers.


About Family Farm and Food Bytes: This is a collection of articles gathered from both mainstream and agriculture media and is designed to keep you informed as a member and leader within the Cook County Farm Bureau® organization. The articles summarized above are not intended to represent Cook County Farm Bureau policy or positions, but rather to provide members an idea of what is being reported regionally, nationally, and globally

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