Letter to the Editor

Celebrating food, fiber production

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

March 20 is National Agriculture Day Ė a day designated each year by the Agriculture Council of America to celebrate the accomplishments of agriculture.

The Farm Service Agency joins the council in thanking American agricultural producers, especially in Nebraska, for their contributions to the nationís outstanding quality of life.

This yearís theme, Agriculture: Food for Life, spotlights the hard work of American farmers, ranchers and foresters who diligently work to provide food, fiber and more to the United States and countries around the world.

To ensure a prosperous future for American agriculture, FSA provides continuous support to agriculturalists across the country.

FSA is rural Americaís engine for economic growth, job creation and development, offering local service to millions of rural producers.

In fiscal year 2017, USDA Farm Loan programs provided $6 billion in support to producers across America, the second highest total in FSA history.

FSA also distributed $1.6 billion in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) payments to over 375,000 Americans to improve water quality, reduce soil erosion and increase wildlife habitat.

For agricultural producers who suffered market downturns in 2016, USDA is issuing approximately $8 billion in payments under the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs.

USDA also continues to provide extensive assistance in response to natural disasters throughout the country, including last yearís hurricanes in Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, drought in the northern high plains, wildfires in the west and central plains, floods, tornados, freezes and other catastrophic weather events.

To support beginning farmers and ranchers, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue signed a Memorandum of Understanding with officials from SCORE, the nationís largest volunteer network of expert business mentors, to support new and beginning farmers.

The agreement provides new help and resources for beginning ranchers, veterans, women, socially disadvantaged Americans and others, providing new tools to help them both grow and thrive in agribusiness.

I am honored to administer programs that enable our producers to manage their risks when the agriculture industry faces hardship. On behalf of the Farm Service Agency here in Nebraska, I would like to thank our agricultural producers for continuing to feed our nation and the world.

For more information about FSA programs and services, visit https://www.fsa.usda.gov/.

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  • American Farmer and Ranchers should strive to be able to not only survive but thrive without government support. All of these government programs only prolong the elimination of the production of crops that require much more input that the selling prices will support.

    -- Posted by dameister on Tue, Mar 20, 2018, at 11:58 PM
  • Survive without government support? What about the millions of people who don't farm that are supported by the government? Farmers break their backs trying to support others not just their family even during times of bad economic times, natural disasters, drought, and yet we have those who milk the government and sit on their behinds all day doing nothing acting like it's expected just because they keep having babies? I think you just barked up the wrong tree and are blaming the wrong people.

    -- Posted by Rural Citizen on Wed, Mar 21, 2018, at 11:14 AM
  • It seems to me that Darrell is referring to a paradigm shift and am quite certain he is on your side Rural. This is a classic example of not understanding. Pretty sure Darrell is pointing out to you just who is driving the new vehicles, the seed salesman, the banker, the equipment dealer, and the chemical salesman.The writer is trying to boost you up and get you to truly be profitable, most likely because he knows when the producers here make money, it is easier for us all.

    -- Posted by hulapopper on Thu, Mar 22, 2018, at 6:18 AM
  • Rural Citizen let me foremost state that I admire and respect all persons in agriculture that have committed their lives to producing quality food and fiber for the world. As I have told many over my near 60 years "A person in commercial agriculture has chosen a way of life not a career /living.

    You are absolutely correct that government does have programs that do provide assistance to many that by no means take the risk or work as hard as our agriculture producers - yes sit on their behinds. I'm confident these programs are a much larger percentage of the federal budget than the support provided agriculture and I find them generally a waste since no incentive is attached to advance in getting off support.

    At the same time we must recognize the Federal Budget deficit.

    What is the national debt?

    On January 26, 2016, debt held by the public was $13.62 trillion or about 75% of the previous 12 months of GDP. Intragovernmental holdings stood at $5.34 trillion, giving a combined total gross national debt of $18.96 trillion or about 104% of the previous 12 months of GDP.

    These numbers do not bode well for the future generations of Americans. This over spending will require sacrifice form all to contain, including the agriculture sector.

    Let me close I am one of the strongest supporters of responsible, profitable agriculture. This means that products produced must have input costs that will provide a profits in many market conditions and at the same time use the limited natural resources in a manner that insures future generations will have access to them ( Ground Water for example).

    I recognize the fact many in the area might find might my Bison project silly and a return to a time that has come and gone. Few realize that Nebraska is the second largest producer of Bison in the USA only behind South Dakota. Demand continues to grow and prices are very strong with heifer calves selling around $2000 each. The only other supplier of Bison is Canada and 30% of Bison consumed in the USA comes out of Canada. Just maybe as I have demonstrated cattle and Bison can be produced together and compliment an operation.

    Hulapopper was spot on - I'm trying to suggest ways to improve the producer that some might not appreciate.

    -- Posted by dameister on Fri, Mar 23, 2018, at 12:35 AM
  • Popper and Meister are correct. The folks driving the new $80,000 SUVís and corvettes are not the teachers, Valmont workers shop keepers, city and county employees but they are the same folks that already get massive tax breaks and are wanting others to pay for their property tax by asking for tax shifts to others. Very proud of the American farmers but wish they and others would be less reliant or government.

    -- Posted by dennis on Sun, Mar 25, 2018, at 9:03 AM
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