Loebsack Applauds Inclusion of Amendment to Stop FSA Office Closings PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Joe Hand   
Thursday, 12 July 2012 14:06

Language included in House Farm Bill

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today applauded the inclusion of an amendment to the House version of the Farm Bill that would require the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to study the workload of Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices and solicit public comment before closures could occur.  Loebsack has been fighting to stop the consolidation of FSA offices, including those in Centerville, Creston and Leon.  The amendment is based on legislation introduced by Rep. Leonard Boswell and championed by Loebsack.

“I have been fighting side by side with Iowans in the affected areas to reverse the USDA’s decision since it was first announced in February.  The consolidation of services provided by the FSA offices would cause great harm not only to individual farmers, but the rural economy as well.  I am pleased the House Agriculture Committee included this amendment and will continue to work to ensure the offices remain open.”

Since the policy was announced earlier this year, Loebsack called on the USDA to re-evaluate this proposal.  He has also written to the House Agriculture and Appropriations Committees to urge them to include funding for the offices in the FY 2013 Agriculture Appropriations bill.  He also cosponsored two pieces of legislation to address these issues, H.R. 4313, the Farm Service Accountability Act (the basis of the amendment) and H.R. 4330, which prohibits the closing of a USDA office unless there is another office within 20 miles.


House Farm Bill Needs Much Work PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Elisha Smith   
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 12:35

By John Crabtree, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Center for Rural Affairs

The House Agriculture Committee’s draft farm bill is deeply disappointing.

It would make federal subsidies for crop insurance premiums the primary farm program, but impose no payment caps, no income limits for recipients and no conservation requirements. Mega farms would get unlimited subsidies to bid land away from small, mid-size and beginning farmers.

For traditional farm programs, the draft would increase the commodity payment limit by 250 percent above generous Senate-passed levels. Unlike the Senate bill, however, it would leave current loopholes that invite widespread farm program abuse wide open. It would also reduce acreage enrollment for the Conservation Stewardship Program by a staggering 30 percent at a time when record numbers of farmers are enrolling acres into the program.

But that’s not all, this farm bill would remove restrictions on subsidies intended to protect native grasslands everywhere except one small region of the Northern Great Plains. It would slash investment in programs for beginning farmers and ranchers by half. It would cut investment in proven job-creating rural development initiatives by 88 percent.

The House’s draft farm bill fails to deliver for family farmers and ranchers, rural communities and the natural environment. The Committee should address these deficiencies when they take up the bill this week and, failing that, all members of Congress should prepare to debate these crucial issues on the House floor if there is any hope that this farm bill will reflect rural America’s values and invest in a better future for our rural communities and the people that live there.

Great Lakes Hybrids and Farm Progress Show team up for the 2nd Annual Shootout PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by   
Monday, 09 July 2012 13:55

Two evenings of exciting tractor pull competition will be presented Aug. 28 and 29, following the first two days of the 2012 Farm Progress Show. The pull event is the 2nd Annual Shootout, sponsored by Great Lakes Hybrids and Farm Progress Show, and is part of the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League Midwest Region competition.

BOONE, IOWA, (07/10/2012) - The 2nd Annual Shootout tractor pull, sponsored by Great Lakes Hybrids and Farm Progress Show, in the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League Midwest Region competition, will be held at the Boone County Fairgrounds, Boone, Iowa, on Tuesday, Aug. 28 and Wednesday, Aug. 29 at 6:00 p.m.

The Farm Progress Show will be held Aug. 28 to 30 at the Central Iowa Expo site in Boone, Iowa. The Shootout is a separate event and an admission ticket is needed for each.

Top Midwest lineup
The Shootout is on the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League Champions Tour. Ground-pounding Pro Stock Tractors and high-flying Light Super Stocks will compete side by side with the Pro Pulling Leagues Midwest Region Limited Pro Stock and Pro Farm Tractors. The schedule is certain to fill the night with excitement and provide a great opportunity for attendees to show their true colors in support of their favorite brand.

Pull started at 2011 show
Attendees at last year's Farm Progress Show held in Decatur, Ill. had the opportunity to add a new evening activity to their show experience when the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League Midwest Region contested the first ever Great Lakes Hybrids Farm Progress Show Shootout.

The exceptional success of the first edition of the event encouraged Great Lakes Hybrids, the Farm Progress Show and Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League to team up for this year’s pull to be held in Boone, Iowa.

“With the success of last year’s show, we were impressed with the attendance and the quality of the equipment we had in attendance. Great Lakes Hybrids is excited for the 2012 pull and is so thrilled to have a chance to grow with the Farm Progress Show,” said Doug Little of Great Lakes Hybrids.

The 2011 show was a dandy for the fans and attendees of the Farm Progress Show as some of the nation’s greatest competitors in the Limited Pro Stock Tractors, Super Modified Two Wheel Trucks, and Pro Stock Tractors classes came out in droves to make the pull one of the highest attended over the entire summer.

Farm Progress Show and pull timing
“We are excited to help foster this new activity in relation to the Farm Progress Show. The 2011 pull was a great one for everyone who was able to attend, and we can’t wait for this year’s event,” said Matt Jungmann, Farm Progress national events manager. "The excitement that the organizers carry with them has spread into the community, as the competitors are expected to flock to Iowa for a chance to claim top honors."

As the 2012 show and Shootout draw near and final preparations are being put in place for the upcoming events, the organizations involved couldn’t be more thrilled about showcasing pulling for the fans of the Farm Progress Show.

Don't miss this year's events
Mark your calendar for the 59th annual Farm Progress Show and, after you learn about the latest in ag technology, make your way to the fairgrounds for the 2nd Annual Great Lakes Hybrids Farm Progress Show Shootout. Full ticket information and additional details about the pull are available online at or The public is welcome at both events.

The 2012 Farm Progress Show takes place in Boone, Iowa, Aug. 28, 29 and 30. The exhibit field is open to visitors 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. Admission is $12 for adults, $8 for ages 13-17, and ages 12 and under are free. Discounted advance adult admission tickets are available now on the show's website. For a full schedule of events and more detailed information, visit The 2nd Annual Shootout tractor pull is a separate event and a separate admission ticket is needed.

There's a handy Farm Progress Show app for iPhones and Android mobile phones, available in the respective devices' app markets.


News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Bob Owen   
Monday, 09 July 2012 13:29

Join Clinton County Extension and Outreach as they celebrate their 100th anniversary during the county fair, July 19 to 22 in DeWitt.

During the Clinton County Fair, on Wednesday, July 18th at 9:30 there will be a ceremony at the Outdoor Living Classroom, dedicating the “100 Year Tree”.  There is also a “100” flower bed created and maintained by the Master Gardeners at the OLC.

On Thursday, July 19th, Cathann Kress, ISU Vice President of Extension and Outreach, will speak at 5:00 in the Beef Arena, prior to the Fair Queen contest.  At this time past Extension Council members, 4-H leaders and alumni, Master Gardeners and other Extension supporters will be recognized.

The Extension Council will have an informational booth in the Commercial Exhibit Building during the fair. Extension Specialists will be on hand to visit and answer questions at various times during the Fair.   For more information, please visit the Clinton County web site at:

Clinton County was the first county in Iowa to formally hire an Extension Agent.  On July 6, 1912, a contract was signed by M. L. Mosher of Ames.  He started work on September 1, 1912.

In the early years Extension has been affiliated with the Clinton Commercial Club and the Clinton County Farm Improvement Association, later known as Farm Bureau.  This changed in 1955, when the newly established Agricultural Extension Law transferred the responsibility of conducting the Extension Program from the County Farm Bureau to the County Extension Council.

Today, Extension works in cooperation with local County Extension Councils, Iowa State University and USDA.   Extension provides research-based information and education to help people make better decisions in their personal, community and professional lives.  ISU Extension and Outreach is committed to healthy people, healthy environments and health economics.   More information can be found at

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Draft farm bill/House Agriculture Committee PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 09 July 2012 12:11
Friday, July 6, 2012

Senator Chuck Grassley made the comment below about the approach to commodity program payment limits in the draft farm bill of the House Agriculture Committee.  The committee is expected to mark up a proposal next week.

The Senate-passed farm bill included provisions authored by Grassley’s to limit payments, including a $50,000 cap on the Agricultural Risk Coverage program, the closing of loopholes exploited by non-farmers, and a $75,000 cap on marketing loan gains and loan deficiency payments.

Senator Grassley’s comment:

“I’m encouraged the House Agriculture Committee appears to be moving closer to a mark-up of its version of the farm bill.  But it’s disappointing to see the approach the committee’s draft bill takes on payment limitations.  We’ve heard it from the grassroots – commodity programs need sensible caps to prevent the subsidization of big farms getting even bigger.  There’s nothing wrong with having a big farming operation, but those operations shouldn’t be subsidized by taxpayers just so they can get even bigger.  In addition, we need to make sure farm payments go to actual farmers.  Not only did the Senate Agriculture Committee listen to those voices from the grassroots, but so did the full Senate when it passed a bill that included defensible and effective reforms on the farm program payment limitations.

“The House Agriculture Committee’s draft doesn’t even stick with the status quo for payment limits.  It would actually increase the payment limits from the current law.  Currently, direct payments have a limit of $40,000 per farmer, and the counter-cyclical program has a limit of $65,000.  The House draft bill would have a farmer choose between a counter-cyclical program and a revenue program and would increase the farmer’s cap to $125,000 no matter what program is chosen.  Furthermore, this draft bill would not place any cap on the amount of benefits any one farmer could receive from the marketing loan program, leaving it completely uncapped.  This is simply an indefensible approach for farm programs and will lead to a continuation of the largest 10 percent of farms receiving 70 percent of the farm program payments.

“The other glaring omission in the House’s draft bill is it doesn’t address any of the loopholes currently being used by non-farmers to exploit the farm program.  With tight budgets and a growing federal deficit, taxpayers aren’t going to stand by and accept non-farmers profiting from a program designed to be a safety-net for farmers.

“The House Agriculture Committee should take a serious look at the common sense and meaningful payment limit reforms the Senate adopted in its farm bill and adopt the same approach.”

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