Senators Ask for Help with EU Trade and Soft Skills for Ag Employees
**Senators Raphael Warnock, of Georgia, and Alabama’s Tommy Tuberville have asked Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai for assistance with European Union non-tariff trade barriers for U.S. peanut exports.
www.gfb.org reports, the USDA grades U.S. peanuts for quality and safety, including testing protocols for aflatoxin, but the EU has additional aflatoxin requirements.
The EU’s stringent tests have cost U.S. growers $170 million in recent years, and losses in the first quarter of 2021 total an additional $130 million in lost sales.
**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.
**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 ag markets more accessible, fair, competitive, and resilient.
This is just one step USDA is making in the wake of President Biden’s Executive Order on promoting competition.
USDA’s actions are intended to help farmers, ranchers, farmworkers and consumers get a fair shake