Agribusiness
Center for Rural Affairs applauds Beginning Farmer and Rancher Bill PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Elisha Smith   
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 12:46

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act introduced Today

Lyons, NE - Lyons, NE - The Center for Rural Affairs praised the Senate introduction today of the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2011, a cross-cutting initiative aimed at helping the next generation of farmers and ranchers enter into agriculture and take advantage of emerging markets. The bill is sponsored by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and nine other Senators. A companion bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Representative Tim Walz (D-MN) several weeks ago.

“I am proud of the initiatives we have previously enacted to help beginning farmers and ranchers create and pursue opportunities and realize their goals and dreams,” said Senator Harkin as he concluded his floor speech introducing the bill. “By building on the success of the existing programs, this legislation will lend more help to beginning farmers and ranchers and in doing so strengthen American agriculture, our rural communities, and our nation as a whole.  I am grateful to the cosponsors of this bill and urge all of my colleagues to support it." 

“We commend Senator Harkin and the other sponsors for introducing this bill. Their legislation is smart, cost-effective public policy that will create jobs and invest in the future of rural America,” said Traci Bruckner, Assistant Director for Rural Policy of the Center for Rural Affairs. “It addresses obstacles that often prevent beginning farmers and ranchers from getting their operation started.”

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act contains several key elements, including:

  • Reauthorizing the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, a beginning farmer and rancher training and support initiative. It would increase mandatory funding from $75 million to $125 million over the next 5 years to help meet growing demand for the program, and include a new priority on agricultural rehabilitation and vocational training programs for military veterans.
  • $30 million in annual funding for the Value Added Producer Grants Program and will retain the priority for projects benefiting beginning farmers and ranchers as well as a set-aside of program funding for these projects.
  • Creating savings and enhancing lending provisions that help beginning farmers and ranchers access credit and establish a pattern of savings.
  • Providing conservation incentives to assist beginning farmers and ranchers and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers to establish conservation practices and sustainable systems on their farms and ranches.

Senator Harkin is joined by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), Senator Robert Casey (D-PA), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), Senator Al Franken (D-MN), Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) as original co-sponsors of the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2011.

“When you compare the numbers from the 2007 and 2002 Census of Agriculture, you see a big drop in the number of younger farmers in agriculture as their primary occupation. The revitalization of rural America depends, in large part, on reversing that trend,” explained Bruckner.

“It can be difficult to get started in the world of agriculture,” said Garrett Dwyer, a beginning rancher and former Marine infantryman from Bartlett, NE. “Skyrocketing costs of buying or renting land make entry into farming and ranching a daunting task.” Dwyer traveled to D.C. in June to participate in a nationwide fly-in called, “Sound Investments to ensure the Next Generation of Beginning Farmers and Ranchers.”

According to Dwyer, more beginning farmers and ranchers are needed because without a new generation of beginners, the land will concentrate in large farms. “And that will cause the permanent loss of opportunity for family farms, ranches, and rural communities and squander the chance to shift to a more sustainable system of agriculture,” explained Dwyer.

Bruckner explained that the introduction of these bills in both the House and the Senate is a crucial step in focusing more of the public investment in the 2012 farm bill on the next generation of farmers and ranchers. Congressional investment in beginning farmers and ranchers is an investment, by all Americans, in the future of rural America.  

“And it is money well spent,” continued Bruckner.

 
ISU Extension and Outreach Scott County Calendar and News Releases PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Joy L Venhorst   
Friday, 11 November 2011 14:41
Producers Reminded to Register for ISU Beef Nutrition Research Showcase.docxCalendar.DOC
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Parties at Your Home.docx Parties at Your Home.docx
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11th Annual Iowa Organic Conference Set for Nov. 21.docx 11th Annual Iowa Organic Conference Set for Nov. 21.docx
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Checkoff Wants Cities to Use More Biodiesel and Bioheat® PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by United Soybean Board   
Friday, 11 November 2011 12:01
Soybean checkoff to partner with Clean Cities to communicate benefits of biodiesel, Bioheat for fourth year


ST. LOUIS (November 7, 2011) – U.S. soybean farmers will receive a helping hand to spread the word about the positive benefits of soy biodiesel and Bioheat®. For the fourth year, the United Soybean Board (USB) and the soybean checkoff will partner with U.S. Department of Energy-affiliated (DOE) Clean Cities to build demand for soy biodiesel and Bioheat in major urban areas.

The checkoff continues to promote theses homegrown, green sources of energy by working with municipalities that participate in the DOE Clean Cities chapters to increase the availability and use of soy biodiesel and the heating oil alternative known as Bioheat.

“USB’s Clean Cities program multiplies our opportunity for outreach,” says Mike Beard, USB director and soybean farmer from Frankfort, Ind. “These Clean Cities chapters do a tremendous job of communicating the benefits of soy biodiesel and Bioheat to the public.”

The Clean Cities program serves as a government-industry partnership sponsored by DOE and has more than 90 local chapters across the United States. These chapters work in their local areas to reduce petroleum consumption. USB asks that Clean Cities applicants develop programs that communicate the benefits of soy biodiesel through education, demonstrations and promotional activities in suburban and urban areas to help improve availability and use of soy biodiesel.

“Hopefully we’ll see more applications for programs that reach out to potential biofuel users in the commercial area, such as heavy trucks and contractor fleets,” adds Beard. “We also want to continue to reach those who make decisions in municipal governments.”

The checkoff has opened the biodiesel reimbursement application process and encourages Clean Cities chapters to partner with Qualified State Soybean Boards for this project. The application period will close November 14. Participating chapters will be selected by USB farmer-leaders. USB has provided up to $150,000 to use toward the funding of these soy biodiesel and Bioheat® communications programs. Selected participants in this reimbursement program will be announced in mid-December.

In addition, USB has a second reimbursement program opened for Clean Cities. This will focus on creating demand for soy-based products, many developed with the help of the soybean checkoff. This program will award three reimbursements for up to $10,000 and four reimbursements for up to $5,000. Find more information about both programs by clicking here.


USB is made up of 69 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean 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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NEW NASS ANALYSIS SHOWS IOWA AG STILL A POWERHOUSE PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Iowa Farm Bureau   
Tuesday, 08 November 2011 13:26

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – Nov. 4, 2011 – Livestock production continues to provide important support to Iowa’s economy. According to the recently-released Iowa Agricultural Statistics booklet, Iowa’s cattle, hog and sheep producers’ receipts grew by 20 percent last year, growing to $8.32 billion.

Information in the 136-page book is compiled by the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) Iowa Field Office, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The book consists of five sections: general information, county information, crops, livestock and farm economics. It also lists several agriculture-related websites on the back cover.

Iowa’s farm sector dominance carries across several commodities, from livestock to crops. According to the booklet, the state continues to rank number one in hogs in the United States, raising 29 percent of the nation’s hogs. Iowa also leads the nation is raising layer hens (and eggs) and is in the top ten for raising cattle and calves (seventh) and sheep and lambs (tenth).

“The livestock and poultry industries are positive economic factors that contribute to job growth in Iowa's rural communities. Our farmers continue to be more efficient and productive in the face of rising feed and energy costs,” said Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) President Craig Lang. “They are poised to move forward, grow their businesses and continue to be national agricultural leaders.”

Despite the cold and wet temperatures that led to planting and harvest delays last year, Iowa farmers continue to lead the nation in the production of corn and soybeans. May began with heavy rains, cold temperatures and widespread frost that caused soil erosion and planting delays. But, after dealing with the wettest June on record and snow during the second week of November, Iowa farmers raised the fourth-largest corn crop and the second-largest soybean crop on record.

The combination of strong livestock and crop sectors helped boost Iowa’s overall ag economy, with Iowa farmers selling farm commodities worth $23.2 billion in 2010, up 6 percent from the previous year. The number of Iowa farmers dropped just slightly to 92,400.

“Continued improvements in the general economy during 2010, in both the United States and the world, supported higher commodity prices for Iowa farmers and improvements in net farm income,” explained Dave Miller, IFBF director of research and commodity services. “Higher commodity prices helped farmers to overcome higher input prices and poor growing conditions across a significant portion of the state in 2010.”

Greg Thessen, director of the NASS Iowa office, said the booklet is an important resource for many different audiences, including farmers, bankers, insurance agents, agribusinesses and more.

“This book wouldn’t be possible if farmers didn’t participate in our surveys that gather this information. The data not only offers historical perspective, but helps them as they plan for the next season and the future,” said Thessen.

Iowa Farm Bureau publishes the book for Iowa Agricultural Statistics. No public funds are used to publish the book.

The book costs $12 and can be ordered from the Marketing and Communications Division, Iowa Farm Bureau, 5400 University Avenue, West Des Moines, Iowa 50266. In addition, a CD-version of the document is available for purchase for $10. Checks should be made payable to the Iowa Farm Bureau.

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ISU Extension and Outreach Calendar and News Releases PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Joy L Venhorst   
Tuesday, 08 November 2011 09:16
Calendar.DOC Calendar.DOC
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