USDA will partner with Microsoft to launch the "Innovation Challenge," a contest designed to explore how climate change will impact the United States' food system. The challenge invites entrants to develop and publish new applications and tools that can analyze multiple sources of information about the nation's food supply, including key USDA data sets that are now hosted on Microsoft Azure, Microsoft's cloud-computing platform. The challenge offers $60,000 in prizes, including a top prize of $25,000, for applications that make use of the USDA data and provide actionable insights.

Today, the House Agriculture Committee will tackle “Dodd-Frank Turns Five: Assessing the Progress of Global Derivatives Reforms.” Tomorrow, the Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture will hold another hearing examining the federal and state response to avian influenza. July has been a busy month for the House Agriculture Committee, as the full chamber passed the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling bill, known as the SAFE act, last week. The Senate is working on similar legislation. But the topic for Senate Ag lawmakers has been Country of Origin Labeling, with two bills introduced last week, one to repeal COOL another to make it voluntary instead of mandatory.