Iowa FFA State Leadership Conference: Meals from the Heartland PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Steven Brockshus   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 09:24


On April 23-24, more than 5,000 Iowa FFA members and guests will attend the 84th Iowa FFA Leadership Conference in Ames, Iowa to celebrate the accomplishments of FFA members and agricultural education. During this event, members will compete in Career Development Events and be recognized for accomplishments in their communities and local chapters.

Service is a key part of FFA and thanks to a partnership with the Iowa FFA Foundation, Iowa Food and Family Project, and Cargill; more than 250,000 meals will be packaged by progressive agriculturalists, united by the cause of helping the devastated citizens of Haiti. During this “Meals from the Heartland” service project, agricultural students, farmers, adults, and others will join together for the greater means of fighting world hunger. Please join us in Hilton Coliseum in Ames on the evening of April 22 and morning of April 24 this event makes state history.

FFA is an integral part of agricultural education. Agricultural instructors encourage students to take the knowledge and skills they have acquired in class and apply to FFA event, such as the career development events, which help students explore a career  interest in agriculture. Members of the State FFA Officer Team are ambassadors for agriculture and the FFA for one year. They are elected in April and spend the year promoting FFA and agriculture education throughout the state. Each officer is elected at the state FFA convention by Iowa FFA members.

The Iowa FFA Association is comprised of more than 220 local chapters preparing more than 12,500 students for careers in agriculture. FFA activities and award programs complement instruction in agriculture education by giving students practical experience in the application of agricultural skills and knowledge gained in classes. FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Laurie Johns   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 09:19

“Will Today’s Agriculture Boom be Tomorrow’s Bust: Are You Prepared?”

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – April 17, 2012 – As Iowa farmers head to the fields to plant what could be one of the largest corn crops on record, the state’s largest grassroots farm organization is bringing a line-up of heavy hitters to Iowa, to make sure today’s boom, doesn’t turn into tomorrow’s ‘bust.’  The summit will take place July 23-24 at the Iowa State Center Scheman Building on the ISU campus.

“The Farm Crisis of the 80’s taught farmers that no industry is invincible to a downturn, and with Iowa’s thriving farm sector insulating much of our state from the worst hits of the recession, we have to look towards new expertise, new risk management tools, to make sure farming doesn’t go the way of the auto industry,” says Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) President Craig Hill.

“There are commonalities and differences in place today that we also saw prior to the 1980’s Farm Crisis; then and now, we’ve seen land prices and commodity prices double or triple in a relatively short period of time,” says IFBF Director of Research and Commodity Services David Miller.  “Although most of today’s farmers have better cash flow and less debt because of low interest rates, there are other risks which threaten Iowa’s agricultural prosperity, which center around unprecedented federal debt and the very real possibilities of farm program cuts, which affect the sustainability of many types of farming.  Today, our market strength is more tightly connected to global markets, global weather disasters, global trade and those are the things that bring new vulnerabilities to the business of farming,” says Miller.

National experts ranging from economist Danny Klinefelter of Texas A&M University and Jeff Plagge, president-elect of the American Bankers Association, to Iowa State University weather expert Elwynn Taylor, a panel of D.C. experts from the Senate and House Ag Committees and Daniel Mitchell of the D.C. ‘think tank,’ the CATO Institute, are among the nationally-recognized monetary, policy, trade and economic experts tapped for the July IFBF economic summit.

The price of the two-day summit is $50 for Iowa Farm Bureau members and $150 for non-members.  Information about the summit, lodging, on-line registration forms and a complete listing of the panelists and schedule can be found at  Registration deadline for the IFBF economic summit is July 17.

-30 -

Take the Leap into Organic PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Elisha Smith   
Tuesday, 17 April 2012 14:55

By John Crabtree,, Center for Rural Affairs

The steady growth of organic farming and ranching across rural America and the economic impacts of organics on rural communities cannot be ignored. In 2012, the USDA is again investing $50 million in funding for the EQIP Organic Initiative, which provides a 75% share of the estimated cost of implementing organic conservation measures to those who qualify - 90% for beginning, limited-resource and socially-disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.

Farmers and ranchers transitioning to organic as well as established organic producers have another opportunity to apply for Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Organic Initiative funding to assist their organic efforts. Friday, June 1st is the third and final 2012 deadline to file an application through your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office.

Fifty million dollars in national funding available this year provides farmers and ranchers a tremendous opportunity to take the leap into organic. Rural cities and towns as well as local food systems will reap rewards as well.

The Center for Rural Affairs’ long history of helping family farmers and ranchers access new conservation programs offers opportunities. We’ve created an Organic Initiative fact sheet available at - We also operate a Farm Bill Helpline where producers can call (402) 687-2100, ask for the helpline and receive assistance in accessing EQIP Organic funding and other related initiatives, such as the Conservation Stewardship Program, the Cooperative Conservation Partnerships Initiative, Value Added Producer Grants and a host of beginning farmer and rancher programs.

griculture Secretary Vilsack to Travel to Wisconsin and Iowa, Highlight Administration Efforts to Spur Economic Development Through Education and Workforce Training PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Communications   
Tuesday, 17 April 2012 13:56

WASHINGTON, April 16, 2011 – This Wednesday and Thursday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will travel to Platteville, Wis. and Waterloo, Iowa to host White House Rural Council events with local producers and stakeholders to discus Administration efforts to spur economic development through education and workforce development.

On Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will host a White House Rural Council event with agriculture teachers from across Wisconsin to discuss the RESPECT (Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching) project. RESPECT is an Administration proposed initiative to make teaching America’s most important and respected profession. The Secretaries will discuss how important agriculture educators are to the nation’s economy and future, the need to provide better support for current teachers, and how to inspire the next generation to teach. This event will be live streamed at, and viewers can participate in question-and-answer via Twitter, hashtag  #ruraled.

On Thursday, Agriculture Secretaries Vilsack and Education Secretary Arne Duncan will travel to Waterloo, Iowa where they will be joined by Jay Williams, executive director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers at the U.S. Department of Labor, and local students, faculty, and business leaders, to host a White House Rural Council workforce training roundtable discussion. The discussion will focus on improving rural economies by training and retraining workers for in-demand careers.


WHO: U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Wisconsin Agriculture Teachers

WHAT: White House Rural Council Town Hall on the Teaching Profession

WHEN: 12:25 p.m. to 1:25 p.m. CT

A media availability will be held from 1:35 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. CT

WHERE: University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Pioneer Farm, 29200 College Farm Rd., Platteville, Wis.



WHO: U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Executive Director for the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers Jay Williams, U.S. Department of Labor


Waterloo Community Schools Superintendent Gary Norris

WHAT: White House Rural Council Roundtable on Workforce Training

WHEN: 9:10 a.m. to 10:10 a.m. CT

A media availability from 10:20 a.m. to 10:35 a.m. CT

WHERE: Hawkeye Community College’s Fennemen Center Farm Lab, 5503 Hammond Ave., Waterloo, Iowa



Nominate the next America's Farmers Mom of the Year! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Nancy Hallahan   
Tuesday, 17 April 2012 13:55



April 23 is the deadline to nominate a farm mom for the national title and $10,000 grand prize


ST. LOUIS (April 16, 2012) - Monsanto’s search for the next America’s Farmers Mom of the Year is winding down, but there’s still time to nominate your favorite farm mom for the national title and up to $10,000 in prize money. Nominations will be accepted through April 23 at

For its third year, Monsanto will again partner with American Agri-Women to spearhead the judging process. Each of five regional winners will receive $5,000 and will be featured on from May 1–12, where online voting will determine the national winner. The new America’s Farmers Mom of the Year will be announced on the site on Mother’s Day, May 13, and she will receive an additional $5,000.

“From the outpouring of entries we’ve received thus far, it’s clear that farm moms are loved and appreciated by their families, students, neighbors and friends,” says Consuelo Madere, America’s Farmers spokesperson. “I encourage everyone whose life has been impacted by a farm mom to visit and nominate her before the contest ends this month. It’s one small way to say ‘thank you’ and ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ to that extra-special farm mom.”

April Hemmes, America’s Farmers Mom of the Year 2011 for the Midwest Region, feels the contest is a great opportunity to recognize women in the male-dominated farming industry. “I think this effort really brings awareness to farm women, who are often under-recognized,” she says. “This contest is a great way to tell her you love her and she’s doing a great job.’”

Bette Lu Lerwick, America’s Farmers Mom of the Year 2011 national winner, recalls the day she received the call telling her she had won. “I was very surprised, and a little astounded, to be honored for the things I do just living my life, here on the farm in my little Wyoming community,” she says. “I’m so glad that Monsanto is recognizing this very real, very necessary side of farming.”

Anyone can submit a nomination by visiting and explaining how their favorite farm mom contributes to her family, farm, community and the agricultural industry. Complete eligibility requirements and official rules can be obtained on the website or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to America’s Farmers Mom of the Year, 914 Spruce Street, St. Louis, MO 63102. The nomination deadline is Monday, April 23.

America’s Farmers Mom of the Year is an element of Monsanto’s America’s Farmers Grow America program, an advocacy effort promoting, recognizing and supporting U.S. farmers through communications, awards and special programs that highlight the importance of agriculture.


About Monsanto Company

Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit: Follow our business on Twitter® at, on Facebook® at, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.


About American Agri-Women

American Agri-women (AAW) is a national coalition of more than 50,000 farm, ranch and agribusiness women, representing state and commodity affiliates. “We are a force for truth, a reasoned, nonpartisan voice for the agricultural community to the public.”



<< Start < Prev 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 Next > End >>

Page 127 of 178