--Hopeful but also impatient, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas says “this is deadline week” for a farm bill deal if he is to have any chance of enacting legislation before Congress goes home for the year in December. With the House scheduled to go home for Christmas on Dec. 13 — and a Thanksgiving recess looming between then and now — Lucas is pushing for some framework to be in place by this weekend. And he sought to brush aside suggestions that lawmakers prepare for a short-term extension to allow talks to continue into January.--University of Minnesota Extension announced a restructuring of the federally funded SNAP-Ed (Supplemental Nutrition Education Program - Education) for low-income audiences. The restructuring is made necessary by a significant cut in the program's federal funding. Minnesota, like all states, received an unexpected 28 percent cut in SNAP-Ed funding in January through the American Taxpayer Relief Act. Due to the loss in federal funds, Extension must now restructure the SNAP-Ed program to reduce the number of nutrition education staff to match current federal funding levels. The new regional SNAP-Ed educators will be in their new positions in early 2014. They will then work with local community partners to determine educational programs and delivery methods based on income-eligible participants in the counties.
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