Federal farm policies account for less than a quarter of a percent of the total federal annual budget, but they have been key to securing the most abundant and most affordable food supply in the world. The U.S. Department of Agriculture calculates that the average American spent only 4.9 percent of their income purchasing food to eat at home in 2019.
It’s time for the federal government to step up and help farmers and ranchers when they need it most. Secretary Perdue announced on Friday a modest aid package that will bring some relief to the heartland. But we need to provide America’s farmers and ranchers with a comprehensive plan for assistance that ensures farmers and ranchers can continue to provide our nation with essential food and fuel supplies.
For much of rural America, 2019 was defined by hardship. Severe weather conditions and a farm economy in a seemingly endless recession left many farm families wondering how they would pay their bills. Thankfully, America’s farmers found some relief in the aid provided through the Market Facilitation Program (MFP).
This month, Groundwork spoke to Dr. John Newton, Chief Economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation, and one of the foremost experts on farm economics to discuss rural America’s hopes for a prosperous new year.
In what might be our most mouth-watering episode to date, Groundwork spoke with Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union (NFU), to talk about Thanksgiving dinner. More specifically, to discuss NFU’s annual study examining the farmer’s share of the Thanksgiving food dollar.
Farmers across the heartland are scrambling to finish this year’s fall harvest before winter descends. That is, if they were even able to get their crops in the ground in the first place after historic flooding this spring.
Fair and reciprocal trade does more than ensure equitable treatment for the high-quality Made-in-America goods our farmers and ranchers produce. USMCA will spur even greater economic activity in our rural communities that often need it most.
Just last week, the Federal Reserve reported in their October “Beige Book” the dismal news that agricultural conditions have “deteriorated further due to the ongoing impacts of adverse weather, weak commodity prices, and trade disruptions.” Brian Thalmann, farmer and chairman of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, recently spoke with Groundwork about these persistent challenges and others facing farmers as they head into the harvest season.