**USDA has announced an investment of $500-million in American Rescue Plan funds to expand processing capacity and increase competition in meat and poultry processing, intended to make agricultural markets more accessible, fair, competitive, and resilient.

This is one of several key steps USDA is making in the wake of President Biden’s Executive Order on promoting competition and is part of an effort to build a more resilient supply chain and better food system.

USDA’s actions will help farmers, ranchers, farmworkers and consumers all get a fair shake.

**When selecting employees, agricultural companies say that soft skills like a strong work ethic, good communication, time management and dependability are just as important as technical know-how, according to a recent survey by California State University, Fresno.

Ag industry knowledge was the only technical skill that was on the top 10 skills listed as most important.

**Late last week, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service released a report titled, “Early Months Suggest a Bright 2021 for U.S. Agricultural Exports.”

According to www.agfax.com, the FAS report shows U.S. ag exports in the first four months of 2021 were a record $59 billion, exceeding the 2014 record by nearly $5 billion.

Robust global demand, high commodity prices, and increased U.S. competitiveness have led to record exports of corn, sorghum, beef, food prep, and other products.

www.agfax.com/2021/07/09/u-s-ag-exports-at-record-level-in-first-4-months-of-2021/