Agribusiness
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
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LIVESTOCK WATERER BUSINESS EARNS IOWA FARM BUREAU’S RENEW RURAL IOWA ENTREPRENEUR OF MONTH AWARD PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Iowa Farm Bureau   
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 09:53

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – Oct. 27, 2011 – A Conrad company focused on providing fresh water for livestock has earned the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s (IFBF) Renew Rural Iowa Entrepreneur of the Month award.

Ritchie Industries started in Oskaloosa in 1921 when Thomas Ritchie patented his first watering device. He connected underground running water to automatic float-controlled watering equipment. The water was heated with a kerosene lamp, saving farmers time and labor.

As the countryside grew, the business worked with the local rural electric cooperative as it installed electricity to area farms. Even though technology and farming practices have changed, the need for waterers remains strong for livestock farmers. The company was purchased and moved to Conrad in 1943. Today, the company focuses on providing equipment to the beef cattle, dairy and equine industries; selling to customers all over the United States and Canada.

While the company’s reach is wide, it remains committed to its 65 employees and local community.

“They (Ritchie Industries) made the investment to stay and grow and be a part of our community and county,” said Brian Feldpausch, Grundy County Farm Bureau president, who nominated the company for the award. “They also support ag education in our schools and donate to the library. They’re a mainstay and add support for future growth (here).”

Renew Rural Iowa (RRI) is an IFBF initiative supporting new and existing businesses through education, mentoring and financial resources. Registration is open for the Nov. 2 “Business Success” seminar, featuring Curt Nelson, president of the Entrepreneurial Development Center. The register for the seminar, to be held at Iowa Farm Bureau in West Des Moines, go to www.renewruraliowa.com.

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Investing in Rural America’s Future PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Elisha Smith   
Monday, 31 October 2011 14:31

Rural development program has great potential for rural job creation nationally

Lyons, Nebraska -  A Center for Rural Affairs report released today examines USDA’s Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP), which was the only new rural development initiative to receive mandatory funding in the 2008 Farm Bill, and the extent to which grant recipient organizations provide microenterprise development services on a national scale.

“Congress should reauthorize RMAP and continue mandatory funding,” said Jon Bailey, Center for Rural Affairs Director of Rural Research and Analysis and author of the report. “RMAP has had barely a year to demonstrate its merit. Excluding it from the next Farm Bill would destroy a promising and needed strategy in its infancy.”

According to Bailey, RMAP is designed to provide funding to development organizations in the form of loans to relend to rural small businesses and grants to provide training and technical assistance to those small business borrowers or potential borrowers, with the goals to create jobs in and strengthen America’s rural communities. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the agency overseeing RMAP, has announced three rounds of RMAP grant awards (October 28, 2010, March 9, 2011, and June 30, 2011, and a total of 89 awards were made to the same number of entities representing all or parts of 39 states.

The Center for Rural Affairs report, which can be viewed in full or downloaded here -- http://files.cfra.org/pdf/rmap-2011.pdf -- also maps the location of all RMAP awardees and their service areas.

“The economic future of rural places will be done a disservice by the next Farm Bill if initiatives such as RMAP that create rural jobs and opportunities for economic growth are not afforded time to prove their long-term worth,” Bailey explained. “In the current budgetary climate, we know that Farm Bill funding faces serious cuts. But we have maintained for years that real reform of farm programs and crop insurance, with effective subsidy limits and closure of payment limit loopholes, can save money to be reinvested in initiatives like RMAP as well as deficit reduction.”

According to Bailey’s report, self-employment and small business is the core of the rural economy, and the real job creators in rural areas. For example, since 1969, the number of self-employed workers in rural areas has grown by over 240 percent (by comparison, rural wage and salary workers witnessed only a 61 percent growth over the same period). RMAP represents the largest ever expansion of rural microenterprise business development resources, an investment intended to tap into the obvious potential of rural entrepreneurial development.

Other key findings in Bailey’s report include:

  • the total service area population of the RMAP awardees is 115.1 million people, about 37 percent of the total population of the United States (based on the 2010 Census);
  • a total of 32.7 million rural residents in RMAP awardee service areas, about two-thirds of the total U.S. rural population;
  • 324 counties in RMAP service areas are also counties that have suffered high levels of outmigration and declining population.

“This is a rural development program that has demonstrated real potential for creating jobs and economic opportunities in rural communities across the country, and even in the current budgetary climate, is a worthy investment in America’s future,” concluded Bailey.

 
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