Morthland Encourages Drought Assistance to Farmers in Letter to Quinn PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Rep. Rich Morthland   
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 08:33

Moline, IL… State Rep. Rich Morthland (R-Cordova) joined a group of Illinois House republicans today in sending a letter to Governor Quinn thanking him for the recent response to the severe drought conditions across the state, along with a request that the Governor’s administration put in place a system that will provide lawmakers with regular updates and developments that might help those in need.

“As a farmer, I am well aware of the devastating economic impact caused by these extreme weather conditions. The drought is not only going to hurt farmers, ethanol producers and our livestock producers; it will also lead to higher food prices for families,” Morthland said. “I look forward to helping distribute any updates or new financial assistance opportunities to my constituents who may qualify for the programs.”

U.S. and South American Farmers Unite to Support Biotech PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by United Soybean Board   
Tuesday, 17 July 2012 09:15
United Soybean Board Directors and South American Farmers Meet with European Union Officials
ST. LOUIS (July 17, 2012) – Farmers who produce 90 percent of the world’s soybean exports have joined forces to support biotechnology in the European Union.

Soybean farmers from the United States and their counterparts from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, though competitors in global soy trade, are presenting a united front in meetings with members of the European Union (EU) food and feed chain and representatives of the EU government. The farmers, part of a group formed in 2007 known as the International Soy Growers Alliance, plan to discuss the importance of biotechnology to feed a growing population and how slow government-approval processes and restrictions based on non-scientific reasoning cause trade disruption.

“This has been a very important meeting for us,” says Bob Metz, soybean farmer from West Brown Valley, S.D., and vice chair of USB’s Global Opportunities program. “The European Union is a very important customer for us and obviously a large population. They only produce about two percent of their protein needs in the European Union so they have a great dependence on the rest of the world for soybeans.”

USB and the soy checkoff help collect and disseminate information about the safety of biotech soybeans to keep decision makers informed. The EU has a lengthy approval process on new biotech varieties, which have not only affected soy exports to these 27 countries, but also to other European countries as well as countries that trade with the EU.

“We have delivered a very strong message as we stand together with our South American friends saying that the market is moving forward with biotech events, not only from the United States but from universities in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay as well,” adds Metz. “As these new traits come forward, the European Union really needs to find a way to accept these traits in a more timely fashion.”

The 69 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soy meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and to meet the needs of U.S. soy’s customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.

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USDA Announces 2.0 Version of Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Communications   
Tuesday, 17 July 2012 09:14
Updated Compass offers new case studies, updated map data, and enhanced search functions

WASHINGTON, July 17, 2012—USDA today unveiled an updated version of its Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass. The KYF Compass is an interactive web-based document and map highlighting USDA support for local and regional food projects through successful producer, business and community case studies.

"Local food is a rapidly growing trend in American agriculture. It offers additional market opportunities for farmers, ranchers and food business entrepreneurs while enabling consumers to develop a deeper understanding of where their food comes from and how it is produced," said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. "The new stories and data in the 2.0 version of the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass offer a comprehensive look at the impact local food is having across the country."

The updated version includes new case studies and additional mapped data, including locations of farmers markets, food hubs, and meat processing facilities. The map also features enhanced search functions that allow for easier navigation.

To celebrate the release of the Compass 2.0, USDA and the White House Office of Public Engagement are co-hosting a Google+ Hangout on Tuesday, July 17, at 3 pm EDT. The event will be moderated by Deputy Secretary Merrigan and White House Director of Public Engagement Jon Carson. The Hangout will feature women leaders in local food from around the country and can be viewed on or on the White House Google+ Page. USDA will also host a follow-up #ASKUSDA Twitter chat on local food and the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative on Thursday, July 24, at 1:30 pm.

In September 2009, USDA launched the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative to coordinate USDA resources and expertise on local and regional food systems. In February, 2012, USDA first released the KYF Compass to document the ways in which USDA has collaborated across its 17 agencies and additional offices, enhanced transparency and met congressional mandates from the 2008 Farm Bill on local and regional food. KYF is not a separate USDA program or agency. It is a management initiative to increase inter-agency coordination.

For more information, visit the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food website at or join the conversation on Twitter by using the hash tag #KYF2.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).


Schilling Supports Bipartisan Farm Bill PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Andie Pivarunas   
Friday, 13 July 2012 12:20

Bill protects safety net, strengthens rural America, should continue forward

Washington, DC – Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) released the following statement today after the House Agriculture Committee held 14 hours of debate and early this morning approved H.R. 6083, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act by a vote of 35-11, with his support:

“As the Ag Committee has been working towards passage of the next farm bill, I’ve appreciated all the feedback from our area’s farmers and producers,” Schilling said. “Illinois’ 17th District is an agricultural powerhouse, and their input on the needs of the ‘final three feet’ has been invaluable to me as the Committee has worked to produce a farm bill that works for America and provides farmers and producers the tools they need to manage their risk and do what they do best, which is feed our country."

Ag Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (OK-03) and members of the Committee joined Schilling at Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg last March for a field hearing on the area’s priorities for the next farm bill.  Witnesses at that hearing expressed the importance of developing policy that appreciates and recognizes the risks involved with growing food and fiber.  They stressed the need for an effective safety net and a choice of risk management tools to enable farmers to continue producing a stable food supply and competing in a global marketplace.

The five-year FARMM Bill that passed the Committee this morning has a strong crop insurance title, and would save $35 billion in mandatory funding over 10 years.  Sixteen billion dollars in savings comes from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Programs (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, which account for about 80 percent of farm bill funding.  

“The SNAP program is vital, and it’s important to me that those who are most in need continue to receive help,” Schilling said. “I’m grateful that Chairman Lucas and Ranking Member Peterson adopted ideas supported by both Democrats and Republicans to ensure that this farm bill closes loopholes and eliminates waste, fraud, and abuse in SNAP law, such as preventing lottery winners from receiving benefits, while continuing to provide assistance to those that need it.  With 8.2 percent unemployment, the more people we can put back to work, the fewer people on programs like SNAP.  From day one, I have been focused on relentlessly advocating for polices that help put Americans back to work with good paying jobs.

“With the Ag Committee having passed this bill, it should be brought to the floor to ensure that farmers and producers have the certainty of a five-year farm bill and needy families have the certainty of continued assistance.”

At $136.3 billion, 2011 was a record year for U.S. agricultural exports.  According to the United States Department of Agriculture, every $1 billion in AG exports provides for 8,400 related jobs for men and women here in America.


What is the Farm Bill? This 12 title bill sets forth policies on commodities, conservation, trade, nutrition, credit, rural development, research, forestry, energy, horticulture, crop insurance and miscellaneous issues.

How much money would the House Agriculture Committees Farm Bill Save? $35 billion ($16 billion from nutrition/SNAP, $14 billion from commodity programs and about $6 billion from conservation).

The Senate Farm Bill would save about $23 billion.

Where does the money go? Over a period of ten years, the Congressional Budget Office has determined that these programs receive $995 billion in budget authority.  $772 billion, or 78 percent, goes to food stamps.  While called “the Farm Bill”, this legislation is really a food and nutrition bill.

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To send Congressman Schilling an e-mail, click here

Loebsack Stands Ready to Support Iowa Farmers Affected by Drought-like Conditions PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Joe Hand   
Thursday, 12 July 2012 14:41

Encourages Eastern Iowa Farmers to Attend Drought Meeting July 18th

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today offered his support and assistance to Iowa farmers whose livestock and crops have been damaged by the recent heat wave and lack of rain across the state.  Loebsack has been traveling throughout Iowa, meeting with farmers and livestock producers and has heard firsthand of the worsening conditions, which provided him information to make USDA aware of the conditions on the ground.

“I have kept in close touch with Iowa farmers and livestock producers that have been hurting from the heat wave and lack of rain.  Iowans have lost livestock, are worried about the quality of the crop, and are seeing grazing land dry up. I have taken those concerns directly to USDA to let them know about what I’m hearing from farmers.  I am pleased Iowa farmers will have an opportunity to talk with the Governor about their concerns.  I stand ready to assist the Governor in pursuing assistance for farmers from USDA if necessary.  This is why I also pushed to have a livestock disaster aid program included in the new farm bill and I’m happy to say it’s been included in the proposal.”

Tuesday, July 18, 2012


9am                 Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds hold public meeting on dry and D1 Drought conditions

Mt. Pleasant High School gymnasium

2104 South Grand Avenue

Mount Pleasant, IA

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