Agriculture Department

Emails detail White House role in Shirley Sherrod firing

Emails detail White House role in Shirley Sherrod firing

White House officials were in close contact with the Agriculture Department in the hours leading up to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack‘s decision to fire USDA employee Shirley Sherrod in 2010, according to nearly 2,000 pages of internal emails released by the administration. Emails obtained by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act don’t […]

Sherrod: Thanks but no thanks

Sherrod: Thanks but no thanks

Shirley Sherrod, ousted from the Agriculture Department during a racial firestorm that embarrassed the Obama administration, rejected an offer to return to the USDA on Tuesday. But at a cordial news conference with the man who asked her to leave — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack — she said she may do consulting work for him […]

White House failed to act to prevent Sherrod debacle

White House failed to act to prevent Sherrod debacle

As a racial firestorm erupted last month, the White House buzzed with questions and concerns about the forced ouster of a black Agriculture Department employee. But no one stepped in to stop Secretary Tom Vilsack from pressuring Shirley Sherrod to resign, a decision administration officials from President Barack Obama on down now say was a […]

Farm subsidies: The rich keep getting richer

Farm subsidies: The rich keep getting richer

Lawmakers crafting a sweeping farm bill in 2008 promised it would cut government payments to wealthy farmers. Two years later, little appears to have changed. Data being made public Wednesday shows that the wealthiest farmers in the country are still receiving the bulk of government cash, despite claims from lawmakers that reforms in the bill […]