German agrochemical giant Bayer has committed to creating at least 3,000 new U.S. jobs and spending $8 billion on research and development if allowed to take over Monsanto.

The announcement follows a meeting in New York last week between Trump and Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant, Bayer CEO Werner Baumann and Monsanto's chief technology officer, Robb Fraley.

Bayer and Monsanto need clearance from the Justice Department and the European Union for the merger to go forward.

The U.S. Dairy Export Council has made it official, announcing that former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack WILL take over leadership of the group on February 1st. Agri-Pulse reported on Vilsack’s plans back on January 3rd.

In an interview Tuesday, Vilsack, who stepped down from the USDA post last Friday, said he's optimistic he can help boost dairy exports, which are widely expected to rebound this year after a slump in 2016.

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