Skip to content Skip to navigation



  • 4 takeaways from USDA's 2016 Farm Sector Income Forecast | Ag Web

    Here are several notable highlights from the report: 1. Overall cash receipts are expected to decline in 2016, but this decline is not universal across all commodities. Turkeys, rhe, cotton, miscellaneous oil crops and tobacco could see increases of more than 10%. 2. Direct government farm program payments could rise by $2.1 billion in 2016, a 19.1% increase from a year ago. 3. Total farm sector equity is down $79.9 billion, or 3.1%, in 2016. The bulk of this can be attributed to falling real estate values (down $12.0 billion); inventory value of crops, animals and purchased inputs (down $17.4 billion); 4. Production expenses were a mixed bag in 2016. Several categories increased from last year, including feed purchases, labor, pesticides and property taxes/fees. This was more than offset by decreases in other categories, including livestock/poultry purchases, fertilizer, seed, net rent, interest and fuel/oil.

    Post date: Fri, 12/02/2016 - 13:56
  • Protesting agriculture becoming a professional sport | National Hog Farmer

    adly, it seems the fewer who farm, the louder the opposition against this noblest profession has become. As eloquently said by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his 1956 address at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill.: “Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.” Critics are easy to find in this world. They are a dime a dozen and probably the one thing that remains constant throughout the history of time. Agriculture practices have always been an open arena for assessment, criticism and regulation.  We have the freedom to voice our opinion and honestly, I am thankful for those who fought for that freedom, allowing us to speak freely. Healthy discussion with both sides of the argument presented can result in progressive results.  Nevertheless, I have to ask at what point in America’s history has it become quite the sport to protest agriculture. We have seemed to have turned a corner. New technologies, innovations and expansion are met with inflexibility and simple “NO”. After all, is it not easy to just say “NO” to change?

    Post date: Thu, 12/01/2016 - 14:54
  • Cage-Free Layers: How Far Will the Pendulum Swing? | The Poultry Site

    Consumer demand is pushing the pendulum toward cage-free egg production, but just how far that pendulum will swing remains to be seen.  For hens, the trend toward cage-free housing certainly has some benefits. If you’ve ever been in a cage-free poultry operation, you can observe birds exhibiting many of the same natural activities you’d expect to see wild birds demonstrate — short flights, dust bathing, wing flapping, running around and grooming, to name a few. The birds appear happy. Nevertheless, there are risks that come with this more open environment — the same risks that many years ago prompted producers to move hens from the floor into cages. Moving hens out of cages could also have a negative impact on food safety, the environment and on producer and consumer costs.  Should production costs and the cost of eggs increase significantly and the economy doesn’t improve, more consumers may opt for the cheapest egg available rather than the more expensive cage-free egg, and that could slow down cage-free market growth. Consumers with more disposable income who favor cage-free eggs may continue to buy cage-free eggs, never mind the cost. We don’t know yet if the consumer demand will be affected by the environmental impact of the additional grains needed for the hens, the additional land needed for housing and grain production, and the additional carbon footprint. We’ll have to stay tuned to find out. What I think the industry has learned from the experience so far is that we have to respond to the needs of the consumer. all deserve the option to buy the egg that fits their beliefs and their budget.

    Post date: Thu, 12/01/2016 - 14:53
  • Multi-state Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak linked to dairy bull calves | Meatingplace (registration required)

    Epidemiologic, traceback and laboratory findings have identified dairy bull calves from livestock markets in Wisconsin as the likely source of infections in a multi-state outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg infections.   The CDC is working with Wisconsin health, agriculture and laboratory agencies, several other states, and USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to investigate an outbreak that has infected 21 people from eight states.

    Post date: Thu, 12/01/2016 - 14:51
  • Cuomo announces Taste NY sales |

    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the Taste NY initiative has surpassed his goal of doubling gross sales of participating businesses in 2016. In less than one year, total gross sales of New York products from Taste NY stores, concessions and events have jumped from approximately $4.5 million in 2015 to more than $10.5 million to date in 2016. The increase in sales reflects the growing consumer demand for local products, which supports New York’s agriculture industry and small businesses.

    Post date: Thu, 12/01/2016 - 14:50

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.



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.