Agribusiness
ISU Scott County Extension & Outreach PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Friday, 18 May 2012 14:52

 
Braley Op-Ed: Listening Closely to Improve the Farm Bill PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Friday, 18 May 2012 14:17

By: Rep. Bruce Braley

The Farm Bill is arguably the single most important piece of federal legislation that affects Iowa jobs and the Iowa economy.  From renewable energy to conservation programs, from crop insurance to agricultural research and rural development, the Farm Bill has an enormous impact on our state.  There just isn’t much that the Farm Bill doesn’t touch here in Iowa.

Every five years, Congress has the opportunity to improve the Farm Bill so that it more effectively enables American farmers to provide for themselves and produce high quality, affordable food for Americans and people all over the world.  The current Farm Bill expires on September 30th of this year, meaning Congress is due to debate and pass a new bill this summer.

I’ve embarked on a series of Farm Bill listening sessions with the USDA’s Iowa Rural Development Director, Bill Menner, in communities across eastern Iowa to listen to Iowans and get their feedback on what needs to be included in this important bill.  Maybe I’ve already seen you in Independence, Vinton, Marengo, Grinnell, Toledo, or Marshalltown.  Or maybe I’ll see you soon in your area.

I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback from the sessions already.

I’ve heard a lot about the recent successes of Iowa’s agriculture economy.  Even in the face of the economic downturn that began in 2009, U.S. farm exports have enjoyed double digit gains every year. American agricultural exports to China alone have increased by 50% since the last Farm Bill in 2008.   In 2011 agricultural trade resulted in a net positive balance of nearly $43 billion, and total exports are expected to exceed $136 billion in 2012.  So the next Farm Bill must ensure our farmers are able to continue working in the face of market fluctuations, to both safeguard our domestic food supply but also to sustain this growing international competitiveness.

Another frequent concern is the crop insurance program.  In 2011, devastating flooding on the Missouri River caused an estimated $207 million in losses for Iowa farmers in just six counties along the river. Cases like this highlight the importance of crop insurance in protecting farmers during unexpected catastrophes.  Maintaining and strengthening the crop insurance program is important to many, many Iowans.

Congress has a lot of work to do to create a bill that will benefit both producers and consumers by the September 30th deadline, but doing nothing is just not acceptable.  There’s a lot of division and disagreement in Washington, but the Farm Bill isn’t a political game.  Both parties in Congress should rally around farmers and agree on a Farm Bill framework that expands opportunities in the growing agriculture industry.

In the meantime, I hope to see you at my Farm Bill listening sessions in the near future.

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See for Yourself Participants Will See Checkoff in Action in 2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by United Soybean Board   
Friday, 18 May 2012 13:46
United Soybean Board announces participants for annual program
ST. LOUIS (May 16, 2012) – What happens to U.S. soybeans after farmers unload their trucks at local grain elevators or processors? A group of U.S. soybean farmers are about to find out. The United Soybean Board (USB)/soy checkoff has selected 10 farmer-participants for the 2012 See for Yourself program, which will give attendees a firsthand look at how and where their soybeans are being used both domestically and internationally. The program, which also offers farmer participants an opportunity to evaluate specific, checkoff-funded research and promotional activities, will be held August 5-11 in St. Louis and Guanajuato, Mexico.

The soy checkoff selected 10 farmers who applied to take part in the fifth annual See for Yourself program. These farmer-participants will see their checkoff dollars in action by visiting a number of sites related to the national soy checkoff objectives to improve the value of U.S. soybean meal and oil, ensure the industry and soy customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and meet the needs of U.S. soy customers. The locations will also demonstrate USB’s work to protect and support animal agriculture and increase public and private investment in transportation infrastructure.

Rick Stern, USB Audit & Evaluation program chair and a soybean farmer from Cream Ridge, N.J., believes the See for Yourself program helps inform farmers about the checkoff and allows them to evaluate and provide feedback on checkoff-funded programs. “There’s no better way to show someone the value of their investment than to show them the results firsthand,” Stern says.

For example, participants will learn about the use of soy biodiesel at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, tour a barge-loading facility and visit a laboratory to see soy research taking place, all before heading to the number one market for U.S. soybean meal – Mexico. While south of the U.S. border, participants will get a firsthand look at a large user of U.S. soy in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato.

The following U.S. soybean farmers will participate in the 2012 See for Yourself program:

•    Cory Atkins, Seaford, Del. •    Jonathan Miller, Island, Ky.
•    Timothy Clark, Lomira, Wis. •    Doug Singleteary, Bogota, Tenn.
•    Stephanie Essick, Dickens, Iowa •    Kristina Sutton, Potosi, Mo.
•    Andrew Fabin, Indiana, Pa. •    Craig Williams, Oaktown, Ind.
•    David Foster, Fort Scott, Kan. •    John Yeargin, Greenfield, Tenn

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.

For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit www.unitedsoybean.org
Visit us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/UnitedSoybeanBoard
Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/unitedsoy
View our YouTube channel:www.youtube.com/user/UnitedSoybeanBoard

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Braley Hosts Farm Bill Listening Sessions in Independence, Vinton, Marengo, and Grinnell PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 08:41

Braley seeking feedback from Iowans as Congress takes up Farm Bill this year

Waterloo, IA – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) traveled to Independence, Vinton, Marengo, and Grinnell today as part of a two day series of listening sessions focused on the upcoming Farm Bill.

Bill Menner, Iowa Rural Development state director for the US Department of Agriculture, joined Braley at the events.  Braley and Menner will travel to Toledo and Marshalltown on Monday, May 14th, to continue the series of Farm Bill listening sessions.

“The Farm Bill is the single most important piece of legislation this year that affects Iowa jobs and the Iowa economy,” Braley said.  “From renewable energy to conservation programs, from crop insurance to agricultural research and rural development, the Farm Bill has a huge impact on our state.  It’s my job to listen to Iowans and get their feedback on what needs to be included in this important bill.  I’m working to make the Farm Bill a job creator in Iowa.”

 

The Farm Bill listening session events were free and open to the public.

The current Farm Bill expires on September 30th of this year.  If Congress fails to act by that date, existing agricultural programs will end and America’s farm policy will revert to the programs outlined in the 1949 Farm Bill – legislation written more than 60 years ago.

Last month, the US Senate passed a draft Farm Bill out of the Agriculture Committee – a significant step forward toward getting a bill passed this year.  The US House has not yet seen significant action on a Farm Bill.

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