Thursday, October 29, 2015


October 29, 2105, Washington, DC - The following are comments from Juli Obudzinski, NSAC Senior Policy Specialist, on today's USDA beginning farmer and rancher announcements of a new resource website and improved evaluation measures:
"The new and improved USDA "New Farmer" website should win an award for accessible, user-friendly assistance from what has sometimes been a difficult to access bureaucratic minefield for those seeking help in getting started in agriculture.  As we as a nation try to promote increased economic opportunity in agriculture, this new tool is a most welcome addition and a great advance on anything USDA has offered heretofore."
"No less important, though, is the announcement today that the government is going to assess how well its programs are working to create new farming opportunity.  This is where the rubber really meets the road.  The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has long advocated for USDA to set performance standards to measure progress, or lack thereof, in helping new farmers get started and beginning farmers build toward long-term viability.  We couldn't be more pleased, therefore, that performance targets are now being set, and will regularly be reported on, for eight key agricultural programs, with the possibility that more will be added later."
"NSAC has carefully monitored these credit, crop insurance, conservation, marketing, and value-added programs for years, and we now intend to track USDA's progress in part through the new government performance and results targets they are setting for themselves.  Hopefully, through this new 'good government' initiative, and through the new, more user friendly website, we will see steady progress toward the important public policy goal of increasing farming opportunity and growing the next generation of America's food providers."

American Pizza Community APPLauds INTRODUCTION OF Bipartisan ‘Common Sense’ Menu Labeling Senate Bill

 Seeks Reduced Burden on Small Business, Clearer Information for Consumers

Washington, D.C., October 29, 2015 – Members of the American Pizza Community (APC), a coalition of pizza companies, franchisees, and suppliers who employ over 400,000 Americans, today announced their support for the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2015 (S. 2217), introduced by Independent Senator Angus King of Maine and Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri.

“The American Pizza Community strongly supports the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act, as it provides cost relief for small business job creators and meaningful education to consumers,” said Lynn Liddle, Chair of the American Pizza Community.  “Senators King and Blunt are demonstrating, through their leadership, that both bipartisanship and common sense solutions are alive and well in the U.S. Senate,” Liddle added.

S. 2217 seeks to improve the final menu labeling requirements (Section 4205) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that were issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last December.  Among other provisions, the bill would permit covered establishments that receive a majority of orders remotely to provide calorie information on a remote access menu, such as one available on the Internet or on a mobile app, instead of in-store menu boards customers never see.  It also protects businesses from being penalized for inadvertent human error and prohibits frivolous class-action lawsuits.

“The current menu labeling rule remains expensive, ineffective, and unworkable even after the FDA issued guidelines for the regulation in September.  FDA’s current approach would compel thousands of small-business owners to spend tens of millions of dollars maintaining in-store calorie-labeling information that 90 percent of customers, likely, will never use when placing an order.  This bill does not grant any exemptions, but instead empowers small business to deliver accurate calorie information to our customers in a way that is useful and fits the unique needs of small business pizza restaurants,” stated Liddle.

On April 28, 2015, U.S. Representatives Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) introduced the House version of The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2015, H.R. 2017.

Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding Election of Paul Ryan to Speaker of the House

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 29, 2015 -- “We’re excited to learn that Paul Ryan has been chosen to be speaker of the House of Representatives. Speaker Ryan has been a faithful friend of farmers and ranchers in his time in Congress. He has supported sensible changes in enforcement of the Endangered Species Act, backed open and fair trade with the rest of the world, fought chronic overreach by the Environmental Protection Agency and has been working to bring needed relief on the tax burden farmers and ranchers face.

“We have repeatedly called for pragmatism and bipartisan cooperation in Washington, and our new speaker has a record of delivering just those things. We look forward to working closely with the speaker and his leadership team to move the policy and fiscal reforms important to agriculture forward.”

Guy Fieri’s El Burro Borracho Expected to Open Early 2016 at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino

LAS VEGAS (October 29, 2015) – Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino is pleased to announce restaurateur, chef, author and Emmy Award winning television host Guy Fieri expects to open El Burro Borracho in early 2016. The restaurant will be Fieri’s second Las Vegas restaurant offering, the first being his popular Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar at The LINQ Hotel & Casino.
El Burro Borracho, or the Drunken Donkey in its literal translation, will bring a vibrant, fun atmosphere with the Guy Fieri touch. Guests will enjoy authentically prepared Mexican dishes with upscale touches and the signature, flavorful flair you would expect from Fieri. Crispy Mahi Mahi Juan Tacos, Flaming Queso Fundido, Acapulco Gold Salad, Drunken Fish Tacos, Lava Rock Shrimp, signature tortas, enchiladas, burritos and an array of house made, signature salsas are just a few of the items available on the menu.
“Vegas is my home away from home, so bringin’ the Burro to Las Vegas is huge for me,” said Fieri. “I can’t wait to bring it to a location as iconic as the Rio.”
“At the Rio we are all about high-energy and fun, which makes it the perfect home for Guy Fieri’s El Burro Borracho,” said Dan Walsh, General Manager of Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. “We look forward to guests experiencing the incredible dishes and drinks paired with the party atmosphere Guy is known for.”
El Burro Borracho will be steps away from the lively VooDoo Beach pool, and will carry with it a relaxed yet entertaining atmosphere that will entice guests to eat, drink and fiesta. In addition to featuring an array of signature salsas, bocaditos, street tacos and more, El Burro Borracho will have a variety of imported beers, tequilas, signature margaritas and cocktail creations.
About Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino
Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, home of the World Series of Poker, offers guests a unique all-suite hotel experience. Complete with 2,522 all-suite hotel rooms – including 380 newly designed Samba suites – the property overlooks the famous Las Vegas Strip and sits one block west of the famed boulevard. The resort features a variety of entertainment options including headliners Penn & Teller and the world-famous Chippendales. Additionally, the resort is home to the VooDoo Zip Line, an adrenaline-rushing thrill ride that offers a 360-degree panorama of the famed Las Vegas Strip from 490 feet above the ground. Rio is home to a diverse array of dining and nightlife experiences including Hash House A Go Go, Voodoo Steak, KJ Dim Sum & Seafood, iBar, VooDoo Beach and, with panoramic views of The Strip, VooDoo Rooftop Nightclub. Rio also offers the Rio Secco Golf Club. Recognized by USA Today as one of the “Top 10 Golf Destinations in the World,” Rio Secco Golf Club is an 18-hole championship course designed by famed architect Rees Jones and home to the Butch Harmon School of Golf. For more information, please visit Find Rio on Facebook and follow on Twitter.