** China has suspended all meat imports from Brazil in the wake of a scandal involving Brazil’s meat industry.

Ag economist Alton Kalo with Steiner Consulting says since China has not yet resumed buying U.S. beef, China could turn to Argentina, Australia and New Zealand to meet its needs, which could open the door for a domino effect that could force other countries to increase purchases of U.S. beef.

** President Trump signed a proclamation Tuesday designating March 21st as National Agriculture Day, providing welcome words to many of the farmers and ranchers who voted for him and some of his most specific views on agriculture to date.

The President said “America’s farmers and ranchers help feed the world, fuel our Nation’s economy and lead global markets in output and productivity.”

He noted that “American agriculture is the largest positive contributor to our Nation’s net trade balance, generating 10 percent of our exports and millions of American jobs.

** Scott Graves, the former Republican staff director of the House Ag Committee who recently joined a law and lobbying firm, is taking over representation of the American Association of Crop Insurers.

AACI is a group that advocates for the federal crop insurance program as a cost-effective risk management tool for America’s farmers, ranchers and growers.

Graves began working for House Ag Chairman Mike Conaway in 2005 and served as his chief of staff before becoming GOP staff director of the committee in January 2015.

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