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  • SARL joins hundreds of organizations requesting White House support for rural infrastructure | Rebuild Rural Letter

    Dear Mr. President:
    On behalf of our respective organizations, which collectively represent U.S. agricultural producers, rural businesses, rural communities, and rural families, we are writing to ask your support for rebuilding infrastructure in rural America. We were very pleased to hear your comments about the importance of rebuilding U.S. infrastructure. Those of us in rural communities have seen our infrastructure deteriorate, jeopardizing jobs, our agricultural competitiveness, and the health of rural families. Past infrastructure initiatives often focused on urban and suburban infrastructure while not adequately addressing the unique needs of rural communities. We ask that you address this as part of your administration’s comprehensive infrastructure renewal efforts. American agriculture truly feeds the world and creates millions of jobs for U.S. workers. Our nation’s ability to produce food and fiber and transport it efficiently across the globe is a critical factor in U.S. competitiveness internationally. Infrastructure that supports rural communities and links them to global markets has helped make the U.S. the unquestioned leader in agricultural production. Our deteriorating infrastructure threatens that leadership position. Transportation infrastructure improvement is the most obvious need in rural communities, but not the only one. Highways, bridges, railways, locks and dams, harbors and port facilities all need major investment if we are to continue efficiently getting our agricultural products to market. For example, onequarter of our road system’s bridges require significant repair, or cannot efficiently handle today’s traffic and many of the 240 locks and dams along the inland waterways are in need of modernization. In addition, though, critical needs exist in providing clean water for rural families, expanding broadband to connect rural communities to the outside world, and enhancing the ability to supply affordable, reliable and secure power for the rural economy.

    Post date: Fri, 02/24/2017 - 12:56
  • Farm income trend looks to continue in 2017 | Agri-Pulse

    Speaking at the 93rd Annual USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum in Arlington, Va., a trio of farm economists offered a somewhat gloomy picture of the farm economy for the year ahead, although one not unlike the trends observed in recent years. Net farm income is projected to drop almost $6 billion in 2017, tumbling primarily on decreases in the crop sector to a $62.3 billion total. The drop is a decrease of about 8.7 percent, the fourth consecutive year of declines after record highs were observed in 2013. If realized, the projected figure would be the lowest since 2002. The potential saving grace for farm families could be a projected bump in farm household income, which also includes income into off-farm enterprises. Median farm household income is projected to rise about 3.4 percent to $79,733.

    Post date: Fri, 02/24/2017 - 12:54
  • Pioneering project combines wind and solar | Innovators Magazine

    America’s first ever solar-wind hybrid power generation project is set to harness innovative technology supplied by GE Renewables.Expected to enter commercial operation in August, the 4.6MW community based project in Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, is being developed by Juhl Energy. It will use two 2.3-116 wind turbines from GE Renewable Energy’s Onshore Wind business supported by 1MW of solar power conversion equipment provided by GE’s Current business.Using GE’s Wind Integrated Solar Energy (WiSE) technology platform, the hybrid design gives the project the ability to produce power when it is most needed. In short, the solar provides summer peak energy, and the wind provides winter peak energy.

    Post date: Fri, 02/24/2017 - 12:53
  • Nebraska coalition aims for property tax reform, stable school funding | Omaha World Herald

    Nebraska taxpayers, farmers, ranchers, teachers and others ratcheted up the pressure for reducing property taxes.Sixteen organizations representing thousands of state residents announced they have joined forces as Nebraskans United for Property Tax Reform and Education.Leaders said the new coalition represents an expansion of efforts to reduce the state’s reliance on property taxes, while providing adequate and sustainable education funding. The coalition includes the Farm Bureau and the Nebraska Farmers Union — two groups that often differ on agricultural issues.

    Post date: Fri, 02/24/2017 - 12:38
  • Irish study says people with highest dairy consumption have lower BMI | Dairy Reporter

    A new study looking at dairy consumption and its relationship with metabolic health has delivered some promising results for the dairy industry. The study examined the impact of dairy foods on markers of fatness and metabolic health.   Cheese consumption was not associated with body fatness or LDL cholesterol.

    Post date: Fri, 02/24/2017 - 12:33

Ag and Rural Leaders

STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS is dedicated to promoting and fostering cooperation, leadership and educational opportunities among and for state and provincial legislators that are passionate about agriculture and rural communities.

STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS is organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, to provide and promote educational opportunities for state officials and others on technology, policy, processes and issues that are of concern to agrculture and rural communities.

STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS produces the national agriculture and rural enewsletter - Ag Clips, webinars, white papers and the annual Legislative Ag Chairs Summit.

STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS is managed by an elected board of state and provincial legislators.

STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS is where state leaders find the answers they need on agriculture and rural policy issues.


Farmland Taxes Under Discussion in the Midwest Again

23 January, 2017

Senator Jean Leising knows it’s going to be another tough year for beef and hog producers, and 2016’s record national yields for corn and soybeans indicate that farm profitability will decline for the third straight year.  She is convinced that “the drop in net farm income again this year makes the changes Indiana made to the farmland taxation calculation in 2016 even more important.”  


Are corporations taking over America’s food supply?

15 March, 2016

Family farms.  The foundation of America’s food security.  According to the USDA, 97 percent of farms are family farms, and they grow 90 percent of the food produced. But national policies to keep food affordable (American’s spend less than 7 percent of their paycheck for food) and the boom and bust cycles of farming have resulted in larger, more concentrated farming practices.