Farm Groups Ask Senate To Oppose Anti-Agriculture Appropriations Amendments

October 19, 2011 Dear Senator: We urge you to oppose amendments to the Fiscal Year 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Bill that propose to alter or negatively affect the mandatory funding for U.S. farm policies. As you know, the agriculture appropriations bill, as reported by the committee, fully complies with discretionary spending guidelines. This is the end…

President’s Proposed Farm Cuts Get Chilly Capitol Hill Reception

The House Agriculture Committee Chairman and Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member released the following statement on Sept. 19, 2011. Lucas & Roberts Respond to the President’s Debt Plan WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Frank Lucas (R-OK), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, and U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee,…

Look At The Whole Picture Before Swinging the Budget Axe

By all accounts, 2011 looked like a banner year for American agriculture.  In May, despite flooding and late planting, USDA forecasted a record crop in corn—by far America’s largest row crop—of 13.5 million bushels, covering 92 million acres of prime farmland.  With corn being an important crop domestically—producing food, fuel, and feed—and being a huge export…

12 Angry Men

In the film classic, “12 Angry Men”, jurors deliberate the fate of an accused on trial, the outcome of which could mean life or death. 11 of the 12 walked into the jury deliberation room ready to return a guilty verdict without a discussion, some because of personal, long-held prejudices and others because they just…

Issue Brief: Ethanol

Issue Summary: Ethanol is the only commercially viable biofuel alternative to gasoline available in the U.S. today.  In addition to creating thousands of jobs, cutting emissions and reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil imports, grain ethanol is also a bridge fuel technology, which, along with second generation biofuels, has the potential of eventually replacing up…

Issue Brief: Farm Budget

Issue Summary: The National Journal recently reported about the ongoing budget discussions on Capitol Hill: Fiscal watchdogs and lawmakers from both parties have painted the clash as an opportunity to make a significant step toward shifting the country off its unsustainable path, but a deal that doesn’t address revenue and entitlements, which would likely have…

Miss America, Farm Bill Author, Federal Reserve Offer Pearls of Wisdom

When I first got word that Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan, was interested in helping spread agriculture’s good message, I had some reservations. Blinded by stereotypes and generalizations, I figured an 18-year-old pageant winner couldn’t possibly be an effective spokesperson for an industry as serious and established as agriculture. An industry this revered, I thought,…

Spotlight on Maryland

Though not often thought of as a Mecca for farmers—as one of the original 13 colonies, Maryland has always been a major player when it comes to agriculture and this country’s economy. In fact, agriculture is Maryland’s largest industry, supporting over 350,000 jobs and generating more than $2 billion in revenue. Outside the sprawling metropolitan…

Spotlight on Iowa

Located in the middle of the heartland, Iowa has developed a reputation for being everything that is quintessential America. It’s hard to believe it ever belonged to France. Thankfully, our founding fathers had the foresight to purchase the territory that would one day become a booming economic engine and top agricultural exporter. Iowa is often…

Broad Spectrum Of Agriculture Draws A Line in the Sand Against Unfair Cuts to Farm Policy

More than 130 organizations spanning the breadth of the agricultural spectrum – from small community based groups to the largest commodity trade associations – informed President Obama and Congressional leaders of their strong opposition to efforts to balance the federal budget on the backs of farmers and rural America. “We are extraordinarily concerned about the…

Spotlight on Nebraska

Nebraska is well-known for its high rate of agricultural production. The state leads the nation in per capita agricultural output, generating about $15 billion—five percent of the U.S. total—despite being the 13th least populous state with just over 1.8 million residents. And with almost 93 percent of Nebraska’s land now used for farming, the area…

Spotlight on Minnesota

It may be the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but in Minnesota, agriculture reigns supreme. With 81,000 farms occupying about 26.9 million acres of farmland—almost half of the state—Minnesota leads the nation in the production of several commodities including sugar beets, turkeys, and oats, as well as sweet corn and green peas for processing. The state…

Reality Shrugged?

WASHINGTON (April 4, 2011)— In his December 1957 National Review column, “Big Sister Is Watching You,” Whittaker Chambers tore apart Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged for a lot of reasons, many of which remind me of today’s critics of U.S. farm policy. For instance, Chambers said that Rand “deals wholly in the blackest blacks and the…