Loebsack Urges House to Move on Farm Bill After Senate Passage PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Joe Hand   
Monday, 25 June 2012 08:56

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement after the Senate passed a 5 year reauthorization of the Farm Bill. The bill was passed on a strong bipartisan vote and is now awaiting the House to move on its version of the legislation.

“Passing a long-term Farm Bill is one of the most important things Congress has to do for Iowa this year.  A new farm bill is critical for farmers to plan for the next planting season and know the lay of the land.  The legislation passed in the Senate goes a long way towards making important reforms and improving the safety net for Iowa farmers.  I urge the House to take action on this critical issue for farmers and communities who are working to feed the nation and boost economic development.”

This spring, Loebsack joined a bipartisan group of Members of Congress in urging the House Agriculture Committee to move forward a long-term plan this year.


July 1 Marks Deadline for State Fair Competitions, Parade Entries PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Lori Chappell   
Monday, 25 June 2012 08:50

DES MOINES, IA (06/21/2012)(readMedia)-- July 1 is the deadline to enter the Iowa State Fair parade and many of the Fair's competitive events - late applications will be accepted with an additional late fee. "Nothing Compares" to the Iowa State Fair, August 9-19.

Premium books and entry forms can be accessed at Entrants in competitive events may enter online or submit their entry by mail. While most entries are due July 1, deadlines do vary by department. Many departments will accept late entries through July 8 with an additional late fee. For more information regarding entry deadlines, competitions, or the online entry system, contact the Competitive Events Department at 515/262-3111 ext. 207.

The Iowa State Fair also invites all community and youth groups, special interest clubs and businesses to join the fun and enter the State Fair parade, Iowa's largest parade and the kick-off to the Fair.

Applications are available at or by contacting Tonya Cook at 515/262-3111 ext. 215 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . There is a $25 fee for each parade entry. Entries postmarked later than July 1 must include a $15 late fee. No entries will be accepted after July 15.

The parade, set for Wednesday, August 8, will begin at 6:15 p.m. in downtown Des Moines. Spectators will be able to watch an estimated 200 floats, animals, vehicles, novelty and performing units. Staging will take place at the State Capitol Complex. Parade entrants will then travel west on Grand Avenue to 13th Street. Dispersion will take place between 13th and 18th Streets.

Highlights of the gala event will be re-broadcast on parade night throughout central Iowa on KDSM FOX 17 beginning at 10 p.m. To be considered for television coverage, the description information on the application must be completed and returned. Due to the length of the parade, it is not possible for all entries to be televised.

"Nothing Compares" to the 2012 Iowa State Fair, August 9-19. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit

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ISU Extension and Outreach Calendar June 24 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Monday, 25 June 2012 08:41

Statement From Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Senate Approval of the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Communications   
Monday, 25 June 2012 07:50

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2012– Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement on the U.S. Senate's approval of the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act:

"I’m very pleased that the Senate acted in bipartisan spirit today to approve the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act. I am grateful for the Senate’s progress toward providing a reformed safety net for producers in times of need, supporting agricultural research and trade promotion, honoring World Trade Organization commitments, furthering the bio-based economy, conserving our natural resources, strengthening local and regional food systems, and promoting job growth in rural America.  As the legislative process moves forward, the Administration will continue to seek policy solutions and savings consistent with the President’s Budget, and we are hopeful that the House of Representatives will produce a bill with those same goals in mind.   Swift action is needed so that American farmers and ranchers and our rural communities have the certainty they need to continue strengthening the rural and national economy."

U.S. Senate Debates Farm Bill MAP Funding Survives Challenge PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by U.S. Grains Council   
Friday, 22 June 2012 14:38

The U.S. Grains Council today expressed thanks to the National Corn Growers Association, the National Sorghum Producers, the National Barley Growers Association, and other allied organizations for their successful support of the Market Access Program (MAP) during Senate debate on the pending Farm Bill.

The 2012 Farm Bill (S. 3240) is currently under consideration in the Senate and is drawing heated debate.  Among the many amendments was one that called for slashing MAP funding by 20 percent ($40 million annually). The amendment would also have imposed arbitrary limitations on which international marketing activities could utilize the remaining funds. Thanks to effective advocacy by a wide range of groups supportive of U.S. export promotion efforts, the amendment was defeated today by a vote of 30 ayes to 69 nays.

“MAP funding in conjunction with other smaller funding programs has been an important contributor to the success of U.S. coarse grain and DDGS exports worldwide. U.S. agriculture trade is one of the few U.S. trade areas that maintains a surplus. Without MAP funding, U.S. grains exports will face a much tougher uphill battle,” said Dr. Wendell Shauman, USGC chairman.

Trade enhances global prosperity, expands U.S. exports, and promotes jobs and economic growth at home.  Many U.S. companies, trade associations, and federal, state, and local governments work to increase opportunities for U.S. exporters.  Some of these efforts promote the sale of particular products or brands. Others are broader in scope and promote entire industry sectors or a “made in the USA” brand.

MAP is a longstanding program through which the Foreign Agricultural Service has partnered with “co-operator” organizations to work jointly on projects of mutual interest.  The U.S. Grains Council has utilized MAP funding for a variety of programs that expand and defend export markets for U.S. corn, sorghum, barley, distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), and other value added products.  The Council’s current programs encompass more than 50 countries.

  • Capacity building programs assist foreign dairy, cattle, swine, and poultry producers in modernizing their operations, expanding local demand for their products, and thus increasing demand for U.S. sourced feed grains and DDGS.
  • Trade servicing programs assist foreign importers in navigating the complexities of international financial, regulatory, and trading systems.
  • The Council also works aggressively on trade policy questions including international acceptance of new production technologies, implementation of trade agreements to reduce tariff and other barriers to U.S. exports, and fair enforcement of existing trade agreements to discourage unfair foreign subsidies and create a more level playing field.

Global corn production continues to rise as technology drives yield increases and new competitors such as Brazil, Argentina, and the Ukraine ramp up production for export.  Global grains markets are intensely competitive.  MAP is an important tool in assisting U.S. producers and agribusinesses in developing and defending export markets.

Agriculture is an often-underappreciated hero of the U.S. international trade balance, one of the few sectors in which the U.S. consistently earns a major trade surplus.  As the global middle class continues to grow, as world food demand increases rapidly, and as international export competition intensifies, the importance of agricultural export promotion will continue to grow.  The U.S. Grains Council is committed to defending and increasing U.S. market share, and the Council is appreciative of the help of allied organizations in preserving essential market development tools like MAP.

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The U.S. Grains Council is a private, non-profit partnership of farmers and agribusinesses committed to building and expanding international markets for U.S. barley, corn, grain sorghum and their products. The Council is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 9 international offices that oversee programs in more than 50 countries. Financial support from our private industry members, including state checkoffs, agribusinesses, state entities and others, triggers federal matching funds from the USDA resulting in a combined program value of more than $28.3 million.

The U.S. Grains Council does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation or marital/family status. Persons with disabilities, who require alternative means for communication of program information, should contact the U.S. Grains Council

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