Straightening Out Farm Policy Fallacies

From TikToks to online articles, it’s easy for misinformation to rapidly spread. We’re here as your trusted farm policy experts to set the record straight. You may have seen some recent TikToks claiming the U.S. Department of Agriculture is asking farmers to destroy their crops. Some videos have even gone viral racking up nearly 700,000…

America’s Sweetest Expert Talks Sugar Policy

“I’m very proud of the fact that we’ve sustained a sugar policy that has operated at zero cost to taxpayers,” Jack Roney, the veteran sugar economist, said on a recent episode of Groundwork while reflecting on his storied career at the American Sugar Alliance (ASA). “I’m particularly proud of that because I think our sugar…

Champion for Cotton Growers, Advocate for All Ag

For decades, West Texas cotton growers have had a fearless champion on their side: Steve Verett. As the recently retired CEO of Plains Cotton Growers, Verett advocated for both cotton growers and all of agriculture with passion and authenticity. Verett joined Farm Policy Fact’s Groundwork podcast to reflect on his career and talk about what…

Rockefeller Foundation Study: Tear Down the U.S. Food Supply Chain and Rebuild It so Americans Pay More for Their Groceries

The Washington Post recently ran a story on a Rockefeller Foundation report in which the president of the Foundation referred to the U.S. food supply chain as “broken”, costing Americans three times what we’ve been led to believe, thanks to hidden costs. In the actual report, a slight bow is made to what we think are…

Cattle Producers Help Feed a Hungry World

A small group of radical environmentalists have declared war on America’s cattle producers and sworn off burgers, all with the dubious claim of fighting climate change. We wanted to dig into the real story behind this beef with beef. So, we called up Dr. Tryon Wickersham, an Associate Professor of Animal Nutrition at Texas A&M…

Farm Policy Critics Hit Farmers Facing Catastrophic Conditions

We all rely on American farmers and ranchers to grow the crops and raise the livestock that keep us fed, fueled, and clothed – often working long hours and tiring days. Thanks to American agriculture, we all benefit from the world’s safest and most abundant food supply, even during crises such as a global pandemic.…

A Farmer’s Perspective on Climate Change

“Look to the farm.” That was Arkansas rice farmer Mark Isbell’s advice to Congress when Groundwork asked what policymakers can do to help rural America address climate change. While it can be easy to get caught up in buzzwords or trending policy ideas when it comes to climate change, America’s farmers and ranchers are already doing the hard…

Former House Ag Chairman Talks Farm Bill, Climate

Collin Peterson, former Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, recently retired from Congress after thirty years of service to America’s farmers and ranchers. His retirement was short-lived. “I’m not very good at being retired,” he quipped on the most recent episode of Farm Policy Fact’s Groundwork podcast. Collin Peterson is utilizing his decades of farm policy expertise…

New Episode: Former USDA Chief Economist Discusses Importance of Farm Safety Net

We must not weaken the farm safety net. That was one of the messages esteemed ag economist Dr. Rob Johansson shared on this month’s episode of Groundwork. Dr. Johansson is the Associate Director of Economics and Policy Analysis at the American Sugar Alliance (ASA), a position he recently assumed after previously serving as Chief Economist at…

After a Year of Hardship, Hope Lies Ahead

Spring represents a time of renewal. This especially rings true throughout rural America as farmers plan for the upcoming planting season and many ranchers welcome the next generation to their herd. Last spring, however, America was just beginning its fight against an unknown enemy: the COVID-19 virus. It’s been one year since the full weight…

Ag Looks Forward to Having an Advocate in Secretary Vilsack

“If I had to describe [Secretary Tom Vilsack] in one word: driven.” That’s how Brandon Willis, former Administrator of the Risk Management Agency and a previous Senior Advisor to Secretary Vilsack, described the Secretary of Agriculture nominee to Groundwork listeners on our most recent episode. Willis joined the podcast to share some insights about his time working with…

Sharing Our Generous Bounty: From U.S. Farms to Foreign Tables

During this season of gratitude, we are giving thanks to America’s farmers and ranchers. Not only do America’s strong federal farm policies ensure that we all have reliable access to affordable food, they also share our generous bounty with our neighbors. Nicole Berg, a fourth-generation farmer from Washington State and Vice President of the National…

Farmers Feed America While Critics Say “Let Them Fail”

The farmers and ranchers who produce our nation’s food are among the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve put their own fears aside to keep America fed during this uncertain time. So, it’s unconscionable that as many farmers are in the field harvesting, farm policy critics are now ramping up their same old criticisms.…

Crop Insurance Vital to Long-Term Success of Agriculture

An August storm in Iowa flattened millions of acres of corn with more than 100 mile-per-hour winds, wildfires in the West continue to do untold damage to fruit and vegetable crops, and hurricane season in the Atlantic has already generated a historic number of storms. Farmers are sure to face even more challenges as extreme…

America’s Sugar Industry Gives Back During Crisis & Sustains Communities

During the COVID-19 crisis, it has been more important than ever that we come together to support one another. America’s sugar farmers are doing their part, keeping sugar moving from farm to table while also helping sustain rural communities and support workers during this tough time. On this episode of Groundwork, Farm Policy Facts talked to two guests from the sugar industry about how they’ve adapted their work to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Discredited Environmental Working Group Stabs Farmers in the Back – Again

The EWG has proven once again how low it will stoop to carry out its ideological vendetta against American farm and ranch families who feed, clothe, and fuel this nation in a manner that is unrivaled in history.

Conaway: More Emergency Funds Likely Needed for Agriculture

America’s farmers and ranchers will likely need more assistance from the federal government to recover from the downturn in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Agriculture.

Our View: Survival of American Agriculture Requires Decisive, Effective Relief

After seven straight years of rural recession, compounded in recent years by unjustified retaliatory tariffs by China, U.S. farmers and ranchers were already standing on a precipice.  Now, without immediate action by Washington, the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic may well push them over the edge.

Farmers, Lawmakers Seek Solutions to Food Supply Chain Problems

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.

Our View: Support America’s Farmers and Ranchers as They Feed America

The government has rightly declared our farmers and ranchers essential workers and Congress is backing rural America with aid designed to help the economy during the pandemic. It’s a good step and one that will need to be revaluated as the true impact on farming and rural communities evolves. Now is the time to support our farmers and ranchers with strong farm policy.

Our View: America’s Farmers Need Relief as they Keep Calm and Plant On

From the farmer who plants the seed to the grocer who sells the produce, we applaud every single person who supports our food chain. Thank you for setting aside your own fears. For working hard days and long weeks. For feeding our families.

Our View: Sustainability is Way of Life for America’s Farmers

Protecting farm policy is key to supporting rural America’s efforts on sustainability. Farmers have to be able to earn a living and maintain economic stability in order to invest in sustainability. Farm policy provides a helping hand during the tough times and makes that possible.

Our View: Farm Forecasts Remain Gloomy, Congress Must Reject Ag Budget Cuts

Combined with the Farm Bureau’s analysis that Chapter 12 family farm bankruptcies last year increased by nearly 20 percent over 2018 and projections that major commodity prices will remain low, things look outright dismal for farm country. In now its 7th year of recession, the rural economy is struggling. And farmers are feeling the pressure.

Our View: New Year, Same Tired Criticisms of Farm Policy

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).

Farmers Hoping for A More Prosperous New Year

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.

Our View: Alarming Trends in Rural America as Farmers Try to Hold On

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.

Our View: USMCA Secures Wins for Wheat, Advances for Agriculture

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.

Our View: Trade Aid Appreciated as Farmers Seek Trade Truce

As China continues to raise barriers blocking the import of American farm products, the USDA recently announced registration for the second round of Market Facilitation Payments (MFP). President Trump has authorized up to $14.5 billion in MFP payments, meant to help mitigate the negative effects of retaliatory tariffs stemming from ongoing trade disputes. 

Our View: Time is Ticking as Farmers Ask Congress to Pass USMCA

Trade has always been a vital part of farm income, and the importance of creating a level playing field for America’s farm and ranch families has only grown as the world population expands and demand for high-quality, home-grown American agriculture products rises.

Our View: Financial Woes on the Farm Bode Ill for the Nation

Rural America is resilient. Our farmers will continue to work the land in hopes that the next season will bring renewed abundance. But they are also relying on Washington, DC to take decisive action to stand by U.S. farm families as we negotiate a quick end to ongoing trade disputes. Standing idle and allowing rural America to endure another farm crisis like the one we faced in the 1980s would set our economy back in incalculable ways.  We must support our farmers through these challenging times, just as they support us every day.  

Our View: Trade Can Kickstart Ailing Farm Economy

The USDA quietly released a statistic in March that should alarm us all. More than seven dairy farms folded every day in 2018, and it’s easy to see why. America’s farmers and ranchers are in their 6th straight year of economic recession, with no end in sight.  

Our View: OMB Budget Cuts Twice, Measures Once

Escalating debt-to-asset ratios reported by USDA last week and rising farm bankruptcies have spurred an increasing number of farm and ranch leaders to call for an extended Market Facilitation Program or congressionally enacted relief, whether in the form of a strengthened Farm Bill safety net or one-time legislative relief.

Our View: Unifying a Divided Nation

By this point, we are all exhausted by the endless rhetoric about America being a divided nation – a country of haves and have-nots. But, we think it’s important right now to explore this concept of division a little further. We’re not talking about partisan sniping. We’re talking about moisture and weather.

Our View: Making the Ag Vote Count

Selling more U.S. farm product overseas is the most important issue for farmers this time around – outranking even the war on terror, deficit reduction and healthcare. Not far behind on the list was passing the new Farm Bill, which was more important to farm voters than rural job creation, infrastructure improvements, immigration and lowering taxes.

Our View: Time to Go to Work

Summer is just about over, and Labor Day on the horizon signals that harvest is near. That means, it’s time to go to work. Farmers are watching Washington, D.C. as lawmakers return to finish some important Farm Bill business.

Our View: They’re Baaaack…and They’re Still Wrong

It’s been a lively Farm Bill season, with a slew of anti-farmer amendments going down in flames. But one of farm policy’s most vocal opponents has been conspicuously quiet…until now. The Environmental Working Group came roaring back this week with a new “study” that – true to form – breaks no new ground and is largely a recycling of old irrelevant data.

Our View: 2018 Farm Bill Proves Sunshine is Still the Best Disinfectant

In our view, this kind of open, honest debate beats the sneaky subterfuge of some past farm bill debates where pernicious amendments to gut U.S. farm policy have masqueraded as “reforms” in order to confuse the debate. The Heritage Foundation has made it perfectly clear that it opposes any safety net whatsoever for America’s farmers or ranchers because Heritage denies any unique risks to farming and ranching.

Our View: If You Support Farmers, Reject Anti-Farmer Amendments

A Farm Policy Facts writer was in the Red River Valley of Minnesota and North Dakota yesterday, visiting with sugarbeet farmers who are planting this year’s crop. Farmers there are worried. Worried about the weather, which delayed planting. Worried about the markets, which have been slow to recover after Mexico illegally dumped subsidized surpluses here and…

Our View: Beware of Anti-Farm, Socialist Rhetoric

How does the bill “modernize” sugar policy? It mandates that the U.S. Department of Agriculture invite heavily subsidized foreign imports into the U.S., artificially depressing farmer prices and rewarding bad actors abroad. Worse yet, the bill denies sugar producers the basic non-recourse loans available to other commodities, meaning failure to repay would result not just in the loss of crops pledged as collateral but in total bankruptcy.

Our View: ‘Get A Second or Third Job’ Is Not Sound Farm Policy

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal revealed a rarely-discussed phenomenon of farmers being forced to take second and even third jobs as they try to keep their family farms afloat.

Our View: One for All

America enjoys the most affordable, widely available food supply in the history of mankind for about one-quarter of 1% of the federal budget. That’s why it’s so odd that organizations dedicated to defending taxpayers spend so much time focused on gutting farm policy.

Our View: A Presidential Start to 2018

American agriculture will take center stage in the national discussion next week when President Trump addresses Farm Bureau members in Nashville, Tennessee.

Our View: Christmas Reflection

Thank you the farmers of this nation who put food on our tables, conserve our landscape and make our economy hum.

Our View: Anti-Farmer Legislation Rings Hollow

Last week was busy for the anti-farm crowd in their quest to leave farmers with fewer tools to deal with depressed crop prices and weather disasters.

Our View: Will Anything Ever Satisfy Farm Critics? No

“No” appears to be the only message the EWG, Heritage, PIRG, Club for Growth, and other perennial farm policy opponents are capable of delivering.

Our View: Heritage Foundation On an Island When it Comes to Opposing Farm Policy

A former 2016 presidential contender and one of the most conservative members of Congress wanted to make clear his support for American agriculture.

Our View: Congress Needs More Ag Committees

At the end of the day, the Agriculture Committees are the workhorses that get it done.

Our View: The Short Straw for Farmers Once Again

If the Trump administration’s first major budget plan became law, it most assuredly would harm our farmers, ranchers, and agricultural production.

Our View: It’s Called a Farm Bill For a Reason

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.

Our View: Stick Together & Keep Going

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.

Our View: 649,355 Reasons to Write a New Farm Bill

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.

Our View: The Farmer Must Feed Them All

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.

Our View: “Fake News” is Nothing New for Farmers

Farmers and ranchers have been dealing with “fake farm news” for years – not only from the mainstream media, but also from special interest groups.

Combest: Why Trump needs a strong Agriculture secretary

“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.

Our View: Hold the Thin Green Line

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.”

Our View: EWG Stoops to New Low, Resorts to Pure Fiction in Latest Attack

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.

The U.S. Files WTO Complaint Against China on Behalf of American Farmers

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.

Our View: Heritage Recycles Old Proposal to Nix Risk Management Tools for Farmers

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.

Our View: Where Would We Be Without Our Farmers?

Where would we be without our farmers? It’s a question we never want to have to answer.

Our View: A Big Fat Farce Returns

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.

Our View: Remembering our Ag Roots on Independence Day

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.

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.

Our View: Nairobi Sets Stage for 2016 Foreign Subsidy Focus

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.

Our View: An Attack On One Farmer’s Policy Is An Attack Upon All

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.

Our View: Farmers Deserve Better

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.

Our View: Heritage Action is Out of Step

It’s bizarre that groups claiming to carry President Reagan’s mantel, such as Heritage Action, have targeted U.S. farm policy for elimination.

Our View: Appropriators Shouldn’t Pry Open 2014 Farm Bill

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.

Our View: A Timely Reminder To Stick Together

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.

Our View: Fight Foreign Subsidies, Don’t Unilaterally Disarm

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.

Our View: Cultivating the Next Generation of Farmers

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.

Our View: Despite Reforms, Farmers Face Same Old Depressing Attacks

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.

Our View: America’s Farmers Have Answered the Call for Budget Cuts

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.

Our View: Common-Sense Lessons for Critics of American Agriculture

The critics of farm policy are so desperate to be relevant in a town bent on reform that they continue to gin up so-called news stories where none exist, using outdated numbers to point to issues long ago corrected. Poor L.A. Times for taking the bait recently and printing propaganda, instead of real news. But,…

Our View: American Agriculture Remains a Driving Force Behind America’s Success

“The farm – best home of the family, main source of national wealth, foundation of civilized society, the natural providence.” One will find these wise words inscribed on the façade of Union Station in Washington, D.C. The historic site was built around the turn of the century when the nation was experiencing progress of every…