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Tom Vilsack

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President-elect Donald Trump plans to pick former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to lead the Agriculture Department, a transition official and a source close to the process confirmed to NPR.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

The country's top agriculture official, Tom Vilsack, is declining to comment on some of the largest  mergers the farm economy has ever seen.

Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media

Blake Hurst rides ten feet above his soybean field in northern Missouri, looking more like he's playing a video game than driving a $350,000 high-tech piece of machinery.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

It’s planting time for Midwest farmers and much of the corn they grow will end up feeding livestock in China, which has become a huge importer of grain from the Corn Belt. That means the farmers can’t just select seeds based on which ones will get the best yield. They have to think about where their grain will be sold.

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Rules that require more information on meat labels may be on the outs.

Overduebook/Flickr

The Farm Bill was passed in February. But now, piece by piece, it’s taking effect. We’re beginning to see how parts of the farm bill are doing more to help farmers go small.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

Recognizing that the demand for local food is growing to between $5 and 7 billion a year, the USDA announced a new effort aimed at connecting farmers with urban shoppers.

Politico.com

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is urging Congress to send a farm bill to President Obama’s desk.

Rich Egger

All counties in Illinois have  been designated as “primary disaster areas” due to drought.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said the designations came at the request of Governor Pat Quinn and  because of a national drought monitor that shows lack of rain plaguing the entire state. All counties have been affected by drought  for  at least the past eight weeks.

The designations mean all Illinois farmers are eligible for emergency loans from the federal government.