In that single moment, I realized that there are no guarantees and certainly not with farming. We operate at the will of Mother Nature. As a result, we have to do our part to minimize the risk as best as we can, so we can get back on our feet when a disaster strikes.
New Study: Heritage Foundation’s Farm Policy Proposal Would ‘Devastate’ U.S. Farmers & Prove ‘Ineffective’ in Advancing Free Trade in Agriculture
The new report entitled, “The Heritage Foundation’s Farm Policy Proposals: Harmful to U.S. Farmers and Ranchers and Ineffective in Advancing Free Trade,” addresses what the author believes are fundamental flaws in Heritage’s “blueprint” for agricultural policy, which calls for unilaterally eliminating U.S. farm policy.
It’s still unclear how things will turn out in the ongoing situation with Mexico’s subsidized sugar industry, or with China’s trade abuses against corn, rice, and wheat. But one thing is for certain: U.S. agriculture wins when it trades, and trade only works if everyone plays by the rules.
Policy experts are hopeful the momentum will continue, especially if Congress makes sound decisions regarding farm policy, which provides a foundation for the rural economy. But, there’s still a long way to go.
If the Trump administration’s first major budget plan became law, it most assuredly would harm our farmers, ranchers, and agricultural production.
I understand how crucial farming and ranching are. I also know that our agricultural producers are facing serious challenges.
Efforts to keep farmers farming during dark days are why a farm bill exists. We call it a farm bill for a reason. It all starts on the farm.
All told, farm exports account for $340 billion in economic activity and support more than a million jobs, according to Agexportscount.com.
Just hours after being sworn in as the 31st Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue had his first assignment before him.
We wish the Heritage Foundation and all opponents of farm policy would understand: there is no free market when it comes to agriculture.
As Winston Churchill once said, “if you’re going through hell, keep going.” These days, there are plenty of reasons for farmers and ranchers to be anxious and feel like they are going through a similar journey.
Farmers and ranchers have found a champion in Governor Sonny Perdue, the nominee for Secretary of Agriculture.
A group of 59 wildlife, environmental, agricultural and farm credit advocates sent letters to Congress this week asking officials to back crop insurance during budget debates.
It is more of the same as EWG tries to push another false story.
If we needed a reason for why a strong farm bill must be reauthorized without delay then this week provided one. Actually, this week provided 649,355 reasons.
“As we begin negotiations around a new Farm Bill, I for one will be an outspoken advocate for crop insurance. It is not just an ‘insurance policy’ for farmers, but also an ‘insurance policy’ against disruption and financial instability in the food production sector.”
“No one saw this large and sustained drop coming,” explained Dr. Joe Outlaw of the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University.
Americans still enjoy the lowest prices for food and basic necessities of any society due to our continued commitment and investment in sound farm policy.
As we begin 2017 with a new president, a new Congress, and soon a new, confirmed agriculture secretary, as well as an expiring farm bill, we wanted to make certain this message made it to Washington.
With a new year on the horizon, Farm Policy Facts is taking a look back at some of the top stories of 2016.
Farm policy opponents love to rail against “corporate farms.” These
Farmers and ranchers have been dealing with “fake farm news” for years – not only from the mainstream media, but also from special interest groups.
“A lot of what Washington does is harmful to American agriculture. And, what good it does costs very little” writes former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Larry Combest.
What if we could truly open up foreign markets and create a level playing field for our farmers and ranchers that actually passes the smell test?
Farm Policy Facts is beginning a new series this month on its digital platforms called #FarmerPortraits.
As the Secretary of Agriculture, during World War II, said time and time again: “Food will win the war and write the peace.” Or, translated for modern-day: “Hold the thin green line.”
Halloween is big business these days. But how much of the record-setting revenue will be flowing to the sugar farmers that made the sweet treats possible?
There are no food lines. The grocery stores are all stocked. It is our investment in farm policy that enables this phenomenon and highlights how necessary farm policy is to our country.
With crop insurance’s popularity rising in rural America and on Capitol Hill, and with the policy’s budget outlays falling, we’re guessing one of its harshest critics, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), is running out of believable critiques. So now it’s resorted to pure fiction.
On September 13, U.S. trade officials announced that the United States was targeting China in an international trade case over the legality of its rice, corn, and wheat subsidies. The U.S. agricultural community cheered, as U.S. negotiators showed a desire to start rooting out the trade-distorting policies that are so manipulating world commodity markets.
Our nation’s farm families provide us with the safest, most abundant, most affordable food and fiber supply in the history of the world. A fact that is so true it has become a cliché.
When it comes to farming, it seems the critics always have the easy answer. They portray this line of work as if every day brings blue skies and no worries. The reality is the farming business comes with a fair share of challenges; chief among them is the unpredictability of weather and markets. Anything can and will happen.
Thank goodness we have lawmakers and officials in Washington who understand that free markets can’t exist in a world of bad actors. Thank goodness these lawmakers understand that we must not only stand up to these countries, but we must also maintain strong farm policy, in part, as a pragmatic and realistic response to those who refuse to play by the rules.
“Agricultural production in this country is the envy of the world. One of the reasons it has been successful is because of the investments we have made in farm policy and crop insurance through the years.”
The Heritage Foundation has long opposed U.S. farmers and ranchers having any kind of meaningful safety net to protect against weather disasters, volatile markets, and predatory trade practices abroad. So, the fact that they published a report suggesting the elimination of farm policy is not new or noteworthy.
Where would we be without our farmers? It’s a question we never want to have to answer.
As farming and farm products change to meet market needs, crop insurance will continue to adapt and expand to meet the needs of our producers.
“We find people who are vital in this country, doing something great, doing something that this country depends upon, who don’t have a voice for political reasons, or political forces organized against them and we go in there and make sure they have a platform for millions of people to hear their voices.”
A pair of videos, released this week from agricultural groups, seeks to educate Americans on the bipartisan support for America’s farmers.
India’s massive sugar handouts have kept inefficient producers in business, promoted overproduction, and helped depress global prices, according to a new study.
Crop prices are low, which means it’s high time for farm policy critics to trot out one of the most absurd criticisms of farm policy ever used.
A major medical journal with a private vetting process published a study from authors with a clear agenda to attack one part of farm policy by using old data and one title of an even older farm bill to make a dubious association between farm policy and obesity.
Agriculture continues to be a source of national wealth, an integral part of national security, the foundation of civilized society, and the pride of American families.
What I have learned during this time is this: farming is an enormous game of risk management. It’s not if something bad is going to happen, it’s when.
Farm Policy Facts is pleased to publish a guest editorial on why the farm bill is critical for growing our food and fiber supply while also protecting our natural resources.
As farmers, we have no control over weather. We have no control over markets. We have no control over our foreign competitors. We cannot just turn our operations on or off. We have to take care of the land 365 days a year. We need a safety net when commodity prices fall. We need affordable and reliable crop insurance to protect our yearly investments.
Earlier this month, Heritage Action CEO, Michael Needham, wrote an op-ed playing their old song that trashes farmers and farm policy that was published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. This time, in an incredible act of duplicity, Needham tried to portray the Arkansas Farm Bureau, a grassroots organization if there ever was one, of being part of “the establishment” in Washington, D.C. Friend of Farm Policy Facts and Former Congressman Larry Combest wrote a response in kind to set the record straight as to who is the real Washington insider.
Our View: With a Depressed Farm Economy, America’s Agricultural Producers Should Be Able to Count on the Farm Safety Net
Farmers like to call themselves the eternal optimists, but these real world conditions that Chairman Conaway and others have described have provided plenty of reasons to keep them up at night. The ability to count on farm policy to get them through a tough year or more shouldn’t be one of them.
In an election year that has seen sharp divides among candidates and voters on the major issues of the day, there is one policy area that is receiving widespread, bipartisan support: farm policy and crop insurance.
Farm Policy Facts is pleased to publish a guest editorial from Rep. Jim Costa on the importance of maintaining a strong safety net for farmers.
Last week, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) sent out a report with this headline: “The Rich Get Richer: 50 Billionaires Got Federal Farm Subsidies.” The piece was meant to draw attention to the “problem” of well-known billionaires and celebrities pocketing farm subsidies. The only problem is, there isn’t a problem.
On this Earth Day, we are pleased to publish an editorial from the chairmen of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees celebrating the efforts of America’s farmers and ranchers in protecting our natural resources.
Circulating half-truths and misinformation is how agriculture’s opponents have operated for decades, and they’re not about to let pesky things like facts and expert analysis get in the way.
Farm Policy Facts is proud to publish a guest editorial from Krysta Harden, the former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
It is not every day that there is widespread agreement in our nation’s Capitol, especially when it comes to budget matters. So, it is significant to highlight when such accord is demonstrably on display.
“As Congress and the White House wrestle with their respective budgets in the coming weeks, I hope good sense will prevail and they’ll leave crop insurance and farm policy alone.”
Congressman Frank Lucas discusses how Future Farmers of America is growing the next generation of leaders, and how his membership in the local chapter as a young person helped shape and inspire a life of public service.
A new survey demonstrates a strong level of support for crop insurance among farmers growing a diverse set of crops across the country, and opposition to any legislative proposals that weaken this important risk management tool.
“Where are the women?” was not an existential question Marji Guyler-Alaniz asked herself one day after leaving her corporate job of 11 years. Rather it was a realization that the imagery – and perhaps even the perception – of the American farmer needed an update.
On this President’s Day, Farm Policy Facts combed through a bit of presidential history to find the words and views of some of our past leaders on the importance of American agriculture.
It is easier to sell fear than facts. This is a concept that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) knows all too well and has built a brand and an empire based on that business model. But, people are catching on to that game.
To dismantle U.S. sugar policy without concessions from foreign governments only puts America at a distinct disadvantage. Farm Policy Facts agrees wholeheartedly with Rep. Yoho: we stand with American workers over foreign cheaters.
If cotton production leaves our state and local communities, the infrastructure of cotton gins, warehouses and associated businesses will go with it, and history tells us it will not return.
Narobi is a good first step that publicized some of the schemes America’s competitors use to manipulate markets, and it proved that global reforms are possible.
From continued attacks on the farm safety net in Washington to a sour farm economy, Farm Policy Facts takes a look at the top agriculture stories of 2015.
The National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) recently released a new educational video to illustrate how Americans benefit from crop insurance and to push back on the tactics of farm policy opponents who try to misrepresent the facts surrounding crop insurance and other important facets of U.S. farm policy.
In the midst of dire economic conditions, U.S. cotton farmers can find encouragement from a growing chorus of support for a proposal to help mitigate their current financial struggles.
To be clear, farmers aren’t asking for a headline or a pat on the back. They’re asking for a fair shake when disasters strike and the ability to compete on a global stage. Honestly, it’s the least we can do for the folks who provide the nation with food and fiber.
Now is the time to protect the one thing beginning farmers and their bankers can count on.
It is a fact that strong farm policy and support for crop insurance goes beyond the farmer, not only benefitting rural America but consumers as well.
As President George W. Bush once said, “A nation that can feed its people is a nation more secure.” But, the reality is, the more we chip away at the investment in our national food and fiber supply, the more vulnerable we become.
If my family had kept the farm, I would have been a fourth-generation farmer of a grain operation. But they couldn’t.
Rural America Reminds Lawmakers to Keep Their Promise to Protect Crop Insurance from Cuts in Spending Bill
“It ain’t over till it’s over,” said the great Yogi Berra. He was referring to the New York Mets’ season in 1973, but the sentiment could easily describe the fight to stave off cuts to federal crop insurance this year.
Rather than stack the deck against agriculture, let’s ensure farmers and ranchers have the tools they need to feed the world.
The United States should stop trying to balance its budget on the backs of farmers. It is bad policy, and there’s no room for further reductions.
The Farm Bill is needed now more than ever, and no thinly veiled plot by anti-farmer forces to pry open the Farm Bill is acceptable. An attack on one farmer’s policy is an attack upon all as far as we are concerned.
“Agriculture, as a whole, rose up and said enough is enough,” said Steve Verett, the Executive Vice President of the Plains Cotton Growers.
As Congress prepares to vote on a budget agreement that includes cuts to a key component of the farm safety net, Larry Combest, the former chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture and the Select Committee on Intelligence, makes clear to lawmakers what is at stake if it comes to pass.
Without any consultation with America’s farmers, or apparently even elected leaders from rural America, a handful of lawmakers fast-tracked a new budget proposal that would decimate crop insurance.
The full-scale reality of what American farmers are up against when it comes to competing with foreign treasuries rather than foreign farmers was the topic of a hearing at the House Committee on Agriculture this week.
“2011 was a game changer. It altered the lives of all of us in production agriculture,” explained Rick Kellison, the project director of the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation (TAWC), during a farm tour near Lubbock, Texas where the Southwest Council of Agribusiness (SWCA) convened its annual meeting last week.
The next few years very well may be defining for the future outlook of agriculture. And the whole world has a lot riding on the outcome.
Protecting our farms is good economic policy and it is critical to the health and safety of our nation. As the proud representative of the First District of Michigan, I will do everything I can to ensure that my farmers have a voice in the decisions made in Washington.
The importance of crop insurance to meet the needs of a growing world population took center stage this week in Kansas City as agricultural leaders from more than 30 countries gathered for the International Association of Agricultural Production Insurers (AIAG) to learn more about the American system.
As a fourth generation Mississippi farmer, I grew up knowing that I worked in a field full of risks. When the weather cooperates, prices dive. When prices are great, foreign markets collapse, sending prices into a sudden nosedive. It’s always something. However, it wasn’t until I actually set out on my own in farming in 2011 that I fully understood just how financially exposed farmers are when they put a crop in the ground.
American wheat farmers lose close to $1 billion in revenue each year because certain countries are violating trade rules under the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements, according to a new study.
USDA forecasts that when all is said and done, American farmers will have a combined farm income that is less than half of what it was just two years ago. This alone is staggering. But it may well mark just the beginning of a depressed farm economy the effects of which may very well adversely impact the entire sector and cascade across other sectors of our economy.
It’s bizarre that groups claiming to carry President Reagan’s mantel, such as Heritage Action, have targeted U.S. farm policy for elimination.
“Heritage Action and groups like it had better get serious because they are losing credibility fast and they are damaging the conservative cause.”
If ever we lose the hard-working independent family farms that take care of the nation’s landscape while producing a diverse set of crops more reliably and efficiently than any farm sector in history, then, and only then will we truly understand the value they provide.
Nearly a decade ago, the World Trade Organization found the European Union guilty of violating trade rules. Since that ruling, the EU has implemented radical changes to its sugar policy. But, will those changes help further free trade and lead to a subsidy-free system as some in the EU are claiming?
Whether you’re a peach grower in South Carolina like me or a corn farmer in Iowa or a cherry grower in Michigan or a cotton farmer in Texas, crop insurance is designed to cover you when disasters strike. And the more farmers buying policies, the better we all are in the long run because that spreads the risk.
“The group claims it wants to measure farmers’ attitudes on crop insurance, but instead of asking unprejudiced questions, it simply requests farmers to back its inaccurate representation of crop insurance.”
Lawmakers should oppose any effort to undermine the farm safety net for any crop during the appropriations process. Congress has already held this debate, and rural Americans have made long-term business decisions based on the bill approved in 2014. To introduce uncertainty into the marketplace so soon thereafter would simply be irresponsible.
Unilateral disarmament will do nothing to help U.S. consumers or a U.S. economy that depends on a thriving agricultural sector. It will only reward China and other bad actors, while leaving hardworking American farmers powerless the next time storm clouds gather.
We cannot afford any animosity within our own ranks. It is fodder for our foes. It is an excuse for policymakers to cut up what remains of the farm safety net. It is a deterrent for recruiting the next generation of leaders on Capitol Hill and beyond.
Despite what farm policy critics would have you believe, farm policy is anything but a handout for farmers. In fact, newly released data from the National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) demonstrates that farmers are taking care of their own and in the process reducing the cost to the federal government.
Crop insurance is the cornerstone of the farm bill’s safety net and our job now is to make sure we don’t do anything to mess it up.
This recent headline says it all. The diversity of American agricultural production coupled with the varied growing conditions across the country and the swings in weather explains why farmers need a safety net. More importantly, it describes why crop insurance is the centerpiece of the farm safety net.
And a new study commissioned by U.S. sugar producers sheds light on the intricate web of Thai subsidies.
Farmers face a lot of risks the rest of us don’t. And given the capital requirements of farming today, each of these risks has big financial consequences.
The headline in a recent Wall Street Journal editorial read: “Paying for ethanol at the pump and on the plate.” It caught our eye for the fact that it doesn’t even pass the commonsense test. Gas prices are way down and projected to stay that way. So, too, are corn prices.
A financially healthy rural economy requires a financially healthy farm production sector. And that sector relies on a safety net when catastrophic events happen. It is a modest investment considering the return, which is a stable and affordable national food and fiber supply.
We have a strong foundation for cultivating the next generation of farmers in the 2014 Farm Bill, but the law needs to be fully implemented for any of this to matter. Although it is on the books for five years, it is likely to be under attack during the annual appropriations process.
Crop insurance products were improved in the recent farm bill because Congress recognized that these products are a necessity for farmers regardless of size. To me, a federally-supported crop insurance policy is defensible because a portion of the product’s cost is borne by the farmer.
In the midst of the spring planting season, a couple of farmers took to the opinion pages over the weekend to explain the importance of their primary risk management tool: crop insurance.
Some stereotypes about U.S. farm policy just won’t die. For example, the belief that farmers get paid for not growing; or that benefits just go to big agribusinesses; or that farm spending is out of control. Such criticisms make splashy headlines but are no longer relevant thanks to the significant evolution of farm policy over the past 20 years
“EWG has no credibility.” Farm Policy Facts has been saying this for years about the Environmental Working Group (EWG), and it looks like quite a few Capitol Hill leaders agree. The direct quote came from House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), who spoke last week to The Hagstrom Report. Peterson was not alone in giving EWG a congressional smack down.
Maintaining a modest response to the cheaters by preserving U.S. farm policy is not only the right thing to do, it is also an essential means of maintaining support for trade and the only leverage the United States has in getting our trading partners to one day tear down the walls they have been so busy building.
There’s a reason the 2014 Farm Bill made crop insurance the centerpiece of U.S. farm policy. It is an effective risk management tool for not only farmers, but also taxpayers.
Sometimes it seems like farm policy critics are stuck in the past, using the same old set of talking points for every congressional debate instead of taking the time to update them to reflect the real reforms that are underway.
A recent study released from the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) sheds light on significant trade barriers American goods and services face in some of the largest export markets like China, Canada, the European Union (EU), and others.
My husband and I have been farming in Southeastern Colorado for more than 40 years, and during that time the biggest policy change through the years has been the affordability and availability of crop insurance.
We can’t assume policymakers understand the anxiety we feel when we’re days away from harvesting a good crop and it’s destroyed in a matter of minutes by something beyond our control.
Farm Policy Facts is pleased to publish a guest editorial from U.S. Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska that addresses the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule.
Keith Mussman, a farmer and president of the Kankakee County Farm Bureau, took to the editorial pages of The Daily Journal a few days ago to express what is on the minds of farmers all across the country: give crop insurance and the 2014 Farm Bill a chance to work.
In times like these, Washington should be applauding the agricultural community for the contributions it has already made, not working to make things even harder by jeopardizing the one thing farmers should be able to count on: the just-passed farm safety net.
By Charles F. Conner Some of America’s best loved brands—Land
The critics of U.S. farm policy should feast their eyes
Much has been made about the President’s FY2016 budget and
The critics of farm policy are so desperate to be
Last week, newspapers in two different and diverse regions of
Coalition Opposes President’s Proposed Crop Insurance Cuts, Urges Legislators to Protect Farm Safety Net
On the heels of the president’s budget release that proposed
The merits of having a strong farm policy, including risk
“The farm – best home of the family, main source
In true Ebenezer Scrooge-like fashion, opponents of farm policy used
Months after receiving preferential government loans, farmers in India soon
Matthew King, a farmer from central Ohio, recently took to
When it comes to economic conditions on the farm, the
Farm Policy Facts has long stressed the importance of crop
The popularity of crop insurance was on full display during
The passage of the 2014 Farm Bill marked a pivotal
When commodity prices were strong, farm incomes were up, and
Thailand is a behemoth in the world rice market by
During its recent annual convention, the American Sugar Alliance unveiled
The number of young farmers is trending modestly upwards, according
Farm Policy Facts has never shied away from calling out
During the Farm Bill debate, many agricultural leaders pointed out
Sugar prices are in the tank, production efficiency in foreign
Our country is blessed with the most diverse and affordable
The following column by Senator Mike Johanns is the most
As you fire up the grill this Independence Day, be
In addition to the list of harmful amendments FPF circulated
Moments after Farm Policy Facts sent out a note urging
Farm Policy Facts urges members of Congress to oppose any
More than 30 agriculture groups are calling on Congress to
America’s farmers and ranchers can certainly relate to a former
Editor’s Note: The following guest op-ed by Max Claybaker, a
It is fair to say that things are a little
Editor’s Note: This column appeared in the May 23, 2014
The Heritage Foundation recently published a new report detailing its
The following guest editorial by Bing Von Bergen, past president
On April 14, more than two months after enactment of
Nine in 10 Americans who will be celebrating Easter this
The 2014 Farm Bill represents a big transition for a
When the 2014 Farm Bill was passed, Farm Policy Facts
The United States was not the only nation re-examining its
Farm Bill Cements Crop Insurance as Cornerstone of Farm Policy: Senator Stabenow Notes New Coalitions Will Be Needed to Fend Off Attacks
Just days after the 2014 Farm Bill was signed into
Everybody knows at least one person like that. The
After four years of work and tireless efforts by the
WASHINGTON—The agriculture community applauded the filing of the Farm Bill
China is more than just the 800-pound gorilla in the
As the worst drought in three decades unfolded last year,
If you’re in need of some lining for your puppy
The following editorial appeared recently in the Grand Forks Herald: OUR OPINION:
We didn’t think it could get more egregious than the
by Tonya Allen It’s a novel concept—folks sitting down together
An unprecedented flood of sugar imports from Mexico has sent
by Rene Pastor The arms race in farm subsidies is
By Rene Pastor It is called the Thai rice
During a meeting with reporters this week, Agriculture Secretary Tom
“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”
by Cristina Pastor Approximately 86 percent of planted cropland in
Global sugar industry leaders and U.S. government officials met in
Tom Sell, regular contributor to Farm Policy Facts, recently penned
In the days before the Internet, it was difficult to
by Cristina DC Pastor Small-town Bourg near New Orleans boasts
Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) is urging his colleagues
Two Dear Colleagues currently circulating highlight the importance of voting
In just about every walk of life, we look for
Members of the agriculture community applauded the House Committee on
Farm Policy Facts, a diverse coalition of agricultural organizations dedicating to
Guest opinion by Mark Gerdes, as appears in Ames Tribune One
by Tonya Allen As Farm Bill negotiations continue, opponents of
A new comprehensive analysis of the recently released National Trade
On the issue of means testing in crop insurance, the
by Rene Pastor It’s hard to imagine food rationing was
Total government spending on farm safety net programs – including
by Tonya Allen As the United States Congress begins negotiating
by Tonya Allen The old saying is that politics makes
By Thomas P. Zacharias Admittedly, opponents of farm policy attract
by Bing Von Bergen There is a lot of buzz
This is the first in a series of articles that
by Rene Pastor To many people, Brazil’s image in the
by Cristina DC Pastor USA Rice Federation (USA Rice) and
As crop insurers prepare for the Farm Bill and funding
When putting together a Top 10 List of agriculture-themed videos
Farm Policy Facts has released Farm Bill 101, a current
Former USDA Chief Economist Keith Collins, Ph.D., predicts a smaller
by Rene Pastor It was the one thing that was
As lawmakers debate the next Farm Bill, more than 40
Farm Policy Facts has released its Top 10 list of
(OVERLAND PARK, Kan.) — Critics who said that farmers who
Published in The Hill Congress Blog There is a huge
By Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam Published in the
By Tonya Allen The U.S. Interagency Trade Enforcement Center (ITEC)
By Rene Pastor It seems simple enough. What is a
By Cristine Pastor When the Mardi Gras celebration returned to
Mother Nature pulled few punches in 2012. By the end
WASHINGTON (February 4) – A diverse coalition of agricultural organizations
Last week the National Journal headlined, “BIG OIL TAKES GLOVES
Libertarian and environmental groups are urging the House of Representatives
“The weather forecast could have a big effect on America’s
With less than a month left in the 2012 presidential
While the nation’s farmers have been busy fighting the effects
Editor’s note: The following is a guest column written by
Our nation’s farmers are less optimistic about their circumstances than
The U.S. food and beverage industry should be proud. This
By Rene Pastor On land where wheat stalks, heavy with
They want a Farm Bill, and they want it now.
Two years ago, The Hand That Feeds U.S. reported on
The Hand That Feeds U.S. (THTFUS) has launched a new,
As one of history’s longest, most widespread droughts continues to
As the members of the Ag Committee await the fate
A coalition of more than 75 farm groups sent a
According to the American Academy of Actuaries, “for a risk
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released its latest rendition
Although extreme environmental groups and other high-powered special interests have
With payments from crop insurers to farmers approaching the $11 billion
For those who have espoused the view that farm policies
The 2012 Farm Bill will include major funding cuts for
The House Agriculture Committee spent much of last week discussing
New York City is the fashion and financial capital of
Earlier this week, National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) released the
Capitol Hill has been blanketed by propaganda in recent weeks
DODGE CITY, KS (April 20) – Texas cotton producer Woody
Unfortunately, when it comes to getting out the facts on
U.S. agriculture is a driving force in our national economy,
The Senate Agriculture Committee met last week to discuss the
As Congress gears up to write another Farm Bill, some
The United States recently filed a case against India in
A new study by Health Economics throws a bucket of
From Commodity Classic (Nashville, Tenn.) – The following statement on
By Larry Combest Growing up and working on my own
Bloomberg News ran an editorial titled “Farmers Making $100 Billion
Together, America’s farmers make up an economic powerhouse. They are
You have to hand it to the National Association of
As a former chief economist for the U.S. Department of
Given Bloomberg News’ expertise in financial markets and the U.S.
Agricultural leaders representing most major crops convened January 31 and
Agriculture is a unique industry in so many ways. One
With claims still streaming in — only an estimated 81
Western Sugar, a company now owned by farmers, closed its
Opponents of U.S. ethanol—Brazil, Big Oil, and multinational food conglomerates
As the United States Congress begins debate of the 2012
Agriculture has had a strong year. We’ve been reading reports
A new study of official foreign government data unearthed by
The nation’s capital has become synonymous with gridlock—and not just
Following its anti-farm editorial last week, The Washington Post received
Sitting on a combine for 12 hours a day harvesting
Shoppers won’t be scared off by a rocky economic outlook
Short of a farm bill vote, or a piece of
Critics of farm policy often like to label it a
October 19, 2011 Dear Senator: We urge you to oppose
October 31, 2011 marks a milestone that might be far
It’s no secret that agriculture is vital to the American
This state’s motto is “Strength from the Soil.” It appears
The Administration is pushing a new plan that would injure
With the floodwaters rising and the nation’s attention focused on
Tourists may go to Georgia to pick the peaches, but
The House Agriculture Committee Chairman and Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking
By all accounts, 2011 looked like a banner year for
As the 46th state to join the Union, Oklahoma may
As Congress recessed in August, overworked staffers breathed a sigh
Agriculture is collectively holding its breath as the “super committee”
While Michigan may be known for its lakes and its
It’s no great surprise when a well-funded libertarian think tank
Texas is an exceptional state, and most Texans will be
In the film classic, “12 Angry Men”, jurors deliberate the
Issue Summary: Having a strong agricultural sector that provides an
Issue Summary: Ethanol is the only commercially viable biofuel alternative
Farm Bill to Determine Future Success Stories about the post
Sugar is an important ingredient in the U.S. food supply
Issue Summary: The National Journal recently reported about the ongoing
I believe there to be a set of basic guiding
When I first got word that Miss America 2011, Teresa
Though not often thought of as a Mecca for farmers—as
By an overwhelming bi-partisan majority, the Senate Agriculture Committee passed
Located in the middle of the heartland, Iowa has developed
When Congress takes up the next farm bill, there will
More than 130 organizations spanning the breadth of the agricultural
The weather has been so wild and so unpredictable this
Amid the long list of federal projects costing taxpayers far
The absurdity arguably began one chilly Monday night in December
Nebraska is well-known for its high rate of agricultural production.
In the May 17 issue of the National Journal Daily
It may be the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but in
As the nation struggles to regain its economic footing after
John Henry Newman wrote that, “The truer doctrines are, the
We have been taught from an early age that humans
Growth Energy, a leading ethanol association, sent a letter on
WASHINGTON (April 4, 2011)— In his December 1957 National Review
Throughout the past three years, there has been a deliberate
It’s always the same. Food prices rise, grocery bills get
On Feb. 17, at least one senior House member suggested
The men and women of American agriculture are as diverse
Earlier this month, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that U.S.
Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman, U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City might have well
Those of us in the farming community have long complained
Last week, tourists and congressional staffers walking down Independence Avenue
WASHINGTON (June 18, 2010)—Sometimes, it’s better to get something right
WASHINGTON (May 19, 2010)—The agricultural community gave valuable advice to
WASHINGTON (April 15, 2010)—Even though federal spending on farm policy
WASHINGTON (April 13, 2010)—In a letter to Secretary of Agriculture
WASHINGTON, DC (March 17, 2010)—Key U.S. senators sent a letter
WASHINGTON (March 16, 2010)—One of the nation’s biggest agricultural trade
WASHINGTON (March 12, 2010)—Special interests with no real hands-on experience
by: National Cotton Council The CQ Weekly cover story on
WASHINGTON (Feb. 5, 2010)—Just moments after President Obama released his
Opening Statement of the Honorable Blanche L. Lincoln, Chairman Hearing
In their crusade against the cotton industry, Post editors are
WASHINGTON (Jan. 14, 2010)—U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee
By: Larry Combest Since the G-8 Leaders and five of
By DeVonna Zeug It’s an odd thing—on one hand Uncle
WASHINGTON (Dec. 7, 2009)—In an era of bulging deficits, there
WASHINGTON (November 24, 2009)—Two top-level trade officials in the Obama
October 15, 2009 Jason Aldean Spalding Entertainment 1025 16th Avenue
MEMPHIS (Aug. 31, 2009)—In response to the WTO Arbitration Panel
WASHINGTON (Aug. 24, 2009)—Ten U.S. Senators sent a bipartisan letter
By: Larry Combest WASHINGTON (July 30, 2009)—This spring, world politicians
WASHINGTON (June 30, 2009)—Ideally, implementing rules provide a clear-cut “yes”
Beheading awaited a French Queen in the 1700s when she
WASHINGTON (Jun 08, 2009)—Members of the agricultural community have a
Three decades ago, TIME magazine took an in-depth look at
In addition to bad hairdos, Woodstock, and butterfly collars, the
opponents tell it, you’d think most farmers are raking in
Giving Thanks to an Extraordinary Example for Us All I
Nowadays, it’s pretty difficult to get a mainstream news organization
The Boston Globe’s May 26 editorial against farmers and farm
An elected official, Terry Wanzek is well known and well
WASHINGTON (Apr 02, 2009)—A national poll conducted by Harris Interactive
Often times you’re told to play the hand you’re dealt,
WASHINGTON (Mar 26, 2009)—The government is on a spending spree,
WASHINGTON (March 23, 2009)—Prompted by President Obama’s proposed budget—which would
By: National Cotton Council MEMPHIS (February 26, 2009)— The National
WASHINGTON (Feb 27, 2009)—While big businesses ranging from insurance giants
WASHINGTON (Feb 23, 2009)—Open any major newspaper in the country
WASHINGTON (Feb 18, 2009)—Although farm families across the country were
The name “farm bill” can be pretty misleading. Most who
By: Doug Albin When most people think about challenges farmers
WASHINGTON (Jan 13, 2009)—The Riverwalk was hopping as farmers from
By: Reece Langley VP, Government Affairs, USA Rice Federation Imagine
WASHINGTON (Dec 10, 2008)—Major farm organizations sent Agriculture Secretary Ed
Committee Letter to President Bush Twenty-two United States Senators from
WASHINGTON (Dec 9, 2008)—The Washington Post ran a front-page piece
Press release from the Senate Finance Committee Finance Committee Chairman
WASHINGTON (Dec 1, 2008)—Visit most any university-level journalism class across
WASHINGTON (Nov 20, 2008)—Larry Combest, the former Chairman of the
WASHINGTON (Nov 7, 2008)—If you’re miffed about grocery prices still
WASHINGTON (Nov 3, 2008)—Since 1973, farm bills have included a
By: National Cotton Council There are many remaining areas of
WASHINGTON (Oct 23, 2008)—While Wall Street crumbled, poison seeped through
About once a year “20/20” reporter John Stossel produces a
WASHINGTON (Oct 2, 2008)—In terms of farm policy, producers are
WASHINGTON (Sep 24, 2008)—Want to take a cooking class from
WASHINGTON (Sep 19, 2008)—During the farm bill debate, critics of
WASHINGTON (Sep 12, 2008)—The “farm bill” might sound like a
WASHINGTON (Aug 22, 2008)—Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada,
WASHINGTON (July 25, 2008)—Following the announcement of a trade concession
Talks in the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization
WASHINGTON (July 14, 2008)—Farmers on both sides of the pond
MEMPHIS – Criticisms of U.S. cotton farm programs are unwarranted.
WASHINGTON (June 27, 2008)—If it seems like Congress was voting
WASHINGTON (June 23, 2008)—Despite expressing some concerns with the farm
The farm bill has endured some rough obstacles in its
WASHINGTON (May 23, 2008)—Despite a technical error and widespread confusion,
By: Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) Excerpt from Congressional Record May
By: Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) Excerpt from Congressional Record May
By: Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) Excerpt from Congressional Record May
By: Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) Excerpt from Congressional Record May
By: Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) Excerpt from Congressional Record May
By: Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) Excerpt from Congressional Record May
By: Rep. Leonard Boswell (D – Iowa) Excerpt from Congressional
By: Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) Excerpt from Congressional Record May
By: Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) Excerpt from Congressional Record May
By: Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) Excerpt from Congressional Record May
WASHINGTON (May 15, 2008)—More than 1,000 farm, nutrition, and conservation
WASHINGTON (May 15, 2008) — After weeks of veto threats
By: Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo.) Excerpt from Congressional Record May
WASHINGTON (May 14, 2008) — A coalition of Texas-based businesses
WASHINGTON (May 14, 2008) — In a letter sent to
WASHINGTON (May 13, 2008)—More than 500 farm, nutrition, and conservation
Dear Representative: On behalf of the USA Rice Federation and
By: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) Excerpt from Congressional Record May
WASHINGTON (May 9, 2008)—Just moments after details of the farm
WASHINGTON (May 7, 2008)—The furor over grocery store sticker shock
WASHINGTON (Apr. 30, 2008)—With the farm community’s attention focused squarely
In the fifth installment of our ongoing series about the
In the fourth installment of our ongoing series about the
In the third installment of our ongoing series about the
In the second installment of our ongoing series about the
President John Adams once said, “Facts are stubborn things.” Opponents
By: Senator Norm Coleman After months of negotiations, congressional negotiators
WASHINGTON (Apr. 9, 2008)—“It has become painfully obvious that, even
WASHINGTON (Apr. 1, 2008)—In April 2002—as Congress was struggling to
By: Congressman Charlie Melancon My colleague, Congressman Charles Boustany (R),
Below is a letter from a concerned citizen and farmer
Easter candy is big business. Americans are projected to spend
WASHINGTON (Mar. 21, 2008)—Though U.S. shoppers still pay far less
WASHINGTON (Mar. 17, 2008)—Any farmer can tell you that thriving
WASHINGTON (Mar. 13, 2008)—Growing frustrated and worried about the endless
WASHINGTON (Mar. 11, 2008)—Members of the Texas Congressional delegation could
WASHINGTON (Feb. 14, 2008)—Forty-two farm groups today sent a letter
WASHINGTON (Feb. 11, 2008)—More than 20 farm organization told lawmakers
WASHINGTON (Feb. 7, 2008)—Although it has been nearly two months
ORLANDO, FL. (Feb. 5, 2008)—As bleak as the budget situation
Wheat farmers fed up with hunger are showing that community
Washington (Jan. 29, 2008)—Farmers and ranchers from across the country
NEW ORLEANS (Jan. 17, 2008)—The message coming out of the
Washington (Jan. 16, 2008)—Most priorities championed during the writing of
Soaring commodity prices…farm incomes on the rise…increasing land values…banks happy
By: John Thaemert, President, National Association of Wheat Growers It’s
U.S. farm programs were recently being attacked by big-city editorial
Washington (Dec. 19, 2007)—Organizations representing most farmers in America sent
In early January, thousands of farmers and ranchers from Hawaii,
Washington (Dec. 14, 2007)—Farmers and ranchers today applauded as the
Washington (Dec. 12, 2007)—Groups representing farmers from coast to coast
WASHINGTON (Dec. 12, 2007)—Farmers and ranchers applauded as the Senate
WASHINGTON (Dec. 11, 2007)—Former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Larry Combest
Excerpt from a Dec. 11 Statement on the Senate Floor
We were wrong: Not all big-city newspapers oppose the farm
Excerpt from Dec. 3 Speech by Larry Combest to USA
Washington (Nov. 28, 2007)—Nineteen agricultural groups wrote to the Democratic
Washington (Nov. 28, 2007)—Groups representing most Louisiana farmers today wrote
Washington (Nov. 20, 2007)—Twenty-six organizations representing farmers and ranchers from
WASHINGTON (Nov. 16, 2007)—As word spreads in rural America about
WASHINGTON (Nov. 16, 2007)—Oppose the Grassley-Dorgan Amendment Senate Agriculture Committee
Washington (Nov. 13, 2007)—In a letter sent today to Senate
Washington (Nov. 8, 2007)—As the U.S. Senate begins consideration of
Excerpt from a Nov. 8 Statement on the Senate Floor
By: Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) [D]espite the fact that our
WASHINGTON (Nov. 6, 2007)—Last week, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) announced
WASHINGTON (Nov. 6, 2007)—The farm bill unanimously passed by the
Washington (Nov. 5, 2007)—Major agricultural groups from across the country
Any businessperson worth their salt has, at minimum, a 5-year
“When you feed the world, you are as important as
Roberts Amendment Allows Farmers to Elect Revenue Option Without Sacrificing
Being a fresh college graduate is one of the scariest
WASHINGTON (Oct. 19, 2007)—A letter from 15 organizations sent to
If they spent some time in rural America, witnessing the
“Little House on the Prairie” Opposes Grassley-Dorgan Pay Limits Amendment
David Kragnes sits on the Board of Directors for a
He is a cotton farmer, soybean farmer, wheat farmer and
When John Thaemert isn’t sporting a suit and sitting behind
WASHINGTON (Sept. 28, 2007)—With just two days remaining before the
This much we know for certain: A new farm bill
By: Congressman Marion Berry Most Americans start their days the
WASHINGTON (Sept. 11, 2007)—More than 20 organizations representing farmers and
By: U.S. Senator Max Baucus Standing Up For American Agriculture
Sept. 24 marks the two-year anniversary of the “big flood”
By: U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln “Our farmers deserve praise, not
WASHINGTON (August 29, 2007)—SpongeBob Square Pants, Curious George and Thomas
WASHINGTON (August 17, 2007)—Much to the delight of farmers and
CALIFORNIA (August 8, 2007)—At the American Sugar Alliance’s 24th International
Nowadays, everybody seems to be hopping on the ethanol bandwagon.
If you’ve eaten rice one night this week for dinner,
WASHINGTON (July 31, 2007)—In a victorious moment for America’s farmers,
WASHINGTON (July 27, 2007)—After an intense buildup to what most
WASHINGTON (July 25, 2007)—In a Dear Colleague letter to Members
WASHINGTON (July 24, 2007)—Farmers from across the United States are
WASHINGTON (July 23, 2007)—The farm bill plan introduced by two
By now, the opponents of farm policy sound like broken
All too often we hear from self-anointed advocates who claim
The last vote had barely been cast on the House
WASHINGTON (July 18, 2007)—U.S. agriculture is under siege and the
By Farmer X WASHINGTON (July 17, 2007)—According to the Environmental
By: Jeff Nunley Recently, one of my neighbors in town
WASHINGTON (July 11, 2007)—The German Marshall Fund put out a
The Vietnam veteran from Erath, Louisiana, and his father were
Many Americans wrongly think that farmers are uneducated and not
For more than 200 years, sugar production has been a
Theresia Gillie is sick of the stereotypes of women on
WASHINGTON (June 19, 2007)—An investigation by FarmPolicyFacts.org into the new
By: USA Rice Federation Every day we see a steady
ST. LOUIS, MO – While Brazilian officials were in Geneva
WASHINGTON (June 7, 2007)—Every member of the U.S. Senate today
By: Bryan Hest, Steve Williams, Jerry Demmer Farming does a
By: Norm Knochel I recently saw a clever bumper sticker
A recent New York Times article, “Catfish With a Side