FARGO, N.D. — Happy anniversary, land grants.
North Dakota State University hosted a Great Plains Land-Grant Summit June 12 and 13 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of federal legislation that made possible state college and universities such as NDSU, the University of Minnesota, South Dakota State University and Montana State University. More than a century later, those universities remain vital for teaching, research and extension of agricultural and other information to the masses.
WASHINGTON — In December, when the first new Massey Ferguson tractor built in America in many years rolled off the AGCO assembly line in Jackson, Minn., it was a sure sign that the farm economy is helping to lead the economic recovery in Minnesota and across the country.
WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack may have thought he was complying with the mood in Congress recently when he presented a budget with a minimum of increases, but at a four-hour hearing before the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee he got a full dose of members’ views on cuts to the programs they think are important.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The crop insurance industry should help Congress write a farm bill in 2012, but also should think about its role longer term as crop insurance becomes the “foundation” of the farm program, a former U.S. Department of Agriculture official who is a top aide to Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said at a crop insurance industry convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.
President Barack Obama may not be getting much in the way of positive feedback as it relates to the national economy, but the agricultural industry is. Forbes magazine recently named the Agricultural Heartland as one of five U.S. regions to watch in 2012 — other key regions are: the Energy Belt, the New Foundry, the Technosphere and the Pacific Northwest — highlighting them as poised to flourish economically.
As a member of Congress representing South Dakota in both the U.S. House and Senate, and a member of the Agriculture Committee in both bodies, I have had the privilege of being actively involved when the last three farm bills were written.
The subsidy, free insurance that would cover farmers' "shallow crop losses" before their paid insurance kicks in, has been pushed by corn and soybean farmers who could benefit the most from the program. It would replace for the most part several other subsidy programs, including direct payments preferred by Southern rice and cotton farmers.
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