**The USDA is releasing $130 million in supplemental funding to help promote and create expanded markets for regional food producers.

The funding from the American Rescue Plan Act and the USDA’s

Local Agriculture Market Program is intended to strengthen opportunities for farmers and rural producers to sell products to institutions, including universities and hospitals.

**USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has removed mandatory mask requirements at federally inspected meat processing facilities.

As of March 1st, the FSIS mask mandate was rescinded.

The action follows CDC guidance changes recommending wearing a well-fitting mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

U.S. Cattlemen’s Association Beef Processing Committee Chairman Patrick Robinette welcomed the FSIS action.

**National Farmers Union members adopted the organization’s 2022 policy book during its 120th Anniversary convention last week.

More than 450 members and guests convened in Denver to set policy positions and priorities for NFU.

Five special order priorities include fairness for farmers, supply chains, agricultural workforce and food processing reform, climate change and dairy policy reform.

NFU says a fair, open, and competitive marketplace is central to the health and wellbeing of the American economy and democracy.

NFU President Rob Larew says, “We leave Denver with a newfound energy.”

Delegates re-elected Larew as president and elected Jeff Kippley as the organization’s vice president.