Friday, July 13, 2018

Farm Bureau Supports Endangered Species Act Reforms

WASHINGTON– The following statement may be attributed to Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation:

“The Western Caucus today introduced eight separate bills to reform the Endangered Species Act. The ESA, despite the good intentions it was built on, has failed in recovering endangered wildlife. Instead, it has threatened our ability to make productive use of the land. Perhaps the only ‘species’ that have benefited from the ESA have been lawyers and special interest groups.

“Farmers and ranchers want to take care of the land and wildlife. We are blessed to live and work out in nature and we want to preserve it. Unfortunately, the ESA discourages voluntary practices and targets farmers and ranchers rather than working in partnership with them. There is a better way.

“These measures will restore common sense to a regulatory regime that has gone unchecked and grown out of control. ESA reform is long overdue. We urge all members of Congress to support the bills introduced today, to return the ESA to what it was intended to be.”

Thursday, July 12, 2018

NewCold Storage holds topping off ceremony

Pictured here,Right to Left: Representative Scott Bedke, Idaho State Legislature; Doug Manning, Director, Economic Development, City of Burley, ID; Governor of Idaho, C.L. “Butch” Otter; Dale Mccarthy, Vice President, Integrated Supply Chain, North America, McCain Foods USA Inc.; David Richardson, NewCold’s Vice Chairman; Dan Powers, President, and CEO of Fisher Construction Group; Jonas Swarttouw, USA Country Manager, NewCold.

Burley--NewCold Storage held topping off ceremonies Wednesday in Burley. The ceremony took place at the companies 180,000 square foot, state-of-the-art cold storage facility still under construction. The primary tenant for the facility is McCain Foods USA.  

Once open, NewCold’s investment will make the facility one of the largest frozen storage facilities of its kind in the USA, with an estimated 75 jobs to the area.

Canals and Ditches are not Landfills

Nampa--That canal or ditch next to your backyard is not a convenient trash disposal system as a place to dump your lawn clippings, old tires, fence, garden waste or debris from landscaping, so don’t use it like it is.

That’s the message from Treasure Valley irrigation delivery entities that operate approximately 1,500 miles of canals, laterals, and ditches that carry and deliver precious irrigation water to agricultural and residential water users.

“We find household trash, grass clippings, tree limbs, tires, batteries, and quite a few old televisions. When water was coming in this year, we found a pile of trash that consisted of tv’s, mattresses, coffee tables and a recliner. It would’ve been a real mess had the ditchrider not made an additional trip ahead of the water being turned in and cleared it all,” said Mark Zirschky, Pioneer Irrigation District water superintendent.

Zirschky noted the dumping problem seems to have been a lot worse since the landfill has been more selective on items allowed to be discarded.

“It is a serious problem for our irrigation delivery folks every summer, and it has only gotten worse with the strong residential and commercial growth we are experiencing,” noted Roger Batt, executive director of the Treasure Valley Water Users Association.

The safe and efficient delivery of irrigation water is so important that Idaho Statute (42-1209) specifically prohibits dumping any material into canals and ditches that can interfere with the delivery of irrigation water.

“For the new Idaho resident, the canal behind their home is an ‘out-of-sight-out-of-mind’ place to get rid of their lawn and garden litter, including the limbs they have trimmed from their trees, even the remnants of building materials left by the homebuilder,” said Mack Myers of Settler’s Irrigation District whose system serves a large contingent of residential areas that is experiencing a growing problem with unlawful dumping in the system’s canals.”

What happens is that out-of-sight debris floats down the canal and become someone’s else's problem. The junk then builds up as it lodges against trash racks and creates a potential for serious flooding and damage to private property. It can also reduce the amount of water available to downstream users who have paid for the use of their irrigation water.

The amount of residential landscaping waste being dumped into canals has been growing steadily with the population expansion in the Treasure Valley.

“Our ditch riders are checking the system every day just to keep the racks free of trash and it is consuming more and more of their time. It is also a problem when people dump debris onto an easement or right-of-way (usually over a fence) that may be above or near a canal or ditch, and then the debris eventually ends up into the water,” Batt added.

Debris in canals and ditches is also causing increasing problems for residents using pressurized irrigation systems that rely on pumping stations to supply water to their lawns, gardens, and community park areas. Trash in the water can easily plug the pumps, cutting off the subdivision’s irrigation water supply.

“It’s really frustrating. In addition to landscape waste such as tree branches that have been obviously cut, we spend about $500 a year just hauling off tires that have been thrown in the canal. We have found car batteries, transmissions, even car engines. TV’s and computer monitors are also turning up more often,” said Greg Curtis, water superintendent for Nampa & Meridian Irrigation District, the largest district in the Treasure Valley.

The idea that the canal is a waste disposal system really shows when residents walk along the canal banks with their dogs, which is trespassing, pick up the animals waste with a plastic bag and then turn around and throw it in the canal, Curtis added.

Lawn and garden waste dumped into canals can also create a potential environmental hazard to users due to the chemicals, including pesticides, that are used to treat the grass and other vegetation.

“That powerful pesticide that was applied to your lawn to kill bugs or weeds ends up on the clippings that were dumped into the canal. The residue then mixes with the water which moves downstream where it can end up on someone else’s garden vegetables or flower beds. It’s all about being a good neighbor to others. Remember, you live downstream from someone else who may be doing the same thing,“ Batt said.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Young Cattle Producer’s Conference Builds the Next Generation of Beef Leaders

By Sara Baker
Challis-The second annual Idaho Young Cattle Producer’sConference (YCC) was recently held in Caldwell and the surrounding area. Twenty-two emerging beef leaders, under the age of 40, successfully completed the intensive 3-day program, which was presented by University of Idaho Extension and the Idaho Cattle Association.

The conference kicked off with an overview of the beef industry in Idaho. The opening session titled“The Beef Cattle Industry in Idaho”, was moderated by University of Idaho Extension Educator SarahBaker and featured speakers from all aspects of the industry, including JW Wood with AgriBeef, who gave an overview of the packing and feedlot sectors. Scott Bedke, cattle producer from Oakley, talked about his stocker operation, grazing program, and forage production system. The next presentation was given by Robert and Rochelle Oxarango from Emmett. They discussed their commercial cow-calf operation. Guy Colyer, with Colyer Herefords and Angus, concluded the session with an overview of his family’s operation, and the purebred industry.

Following the opening session, YCC Chairman Jim Church moderated the next session which included a Marketing Panel. The panel consisted of speakers from a variety of marketing channels in the Pacific Northwest including Eric Drees, representing 7 Rivers Livestock Commission and Superior Livestock Auction, as well as Alec Oliver with Country Natural Beef, and Maddee Moore with IMMVAC. Panelists discussed ways to market cattle, how to capture the best value for them, and encouraged the young producers to not just “sell” your cattle, but to “market” them.
Day one of the conference was concluded with a delicious steak dinner at Indian Creek Steakhouse in Caldwell, sponsored by Zoetis.

The next morning, participants were up bright and early for the second general session which focused on “Current Issues Facing Young Producers” and was moderated by Carmen Willmore with University of Idaho Extension. Cody Hendrix with Northwest Farm Credit Services presented how to finance a cattle operation, followed by Ben Eborn, Agricultural Economist with the University of Idaho Extension, who discussed risk management tools that are available for cattle producers, and how to use them. The session was wrapped up by Brenda Richards, who discussed public lands issues facing cattle producers in the West, and the resources that are available to help, including the Public Lands Council.

Sarah Baker, with the University of Idaho Extension, gave a meat cutting demonstration next, showcasing the Beef Alternative Merchandising Program. She explained how this innovative program generates new cuts from larger subprimals to provide consumers with leaner and higher yielding portions. Baker also discussed how to quality and yield grade beef carcasses and stressed the importance of emphasizing end-product quality as a beef producer. Participants enjoyed a taste testing following the cutting demonstration.

Immediately following the cutting demonstration, participants grabbed boxed lunches and boarded vans to embark on a tour of the beef industry in western Idaho. The first stop was CS Beef Packers in Kuna, followed by Boise Valley Feeders in Parma, and concluded at Shaw Cattle Company in Notus. Each stop featured keynote speakers discussing their operations and participants received an in-depth look into the packing, feeding, and purebred industries at each location. The day was concluded by a delicious tri-tip dinner catered by Grubbin’ BBQ, hosted by the Shaw family at their ranch, and sponsored by IMMVAC and Certified Hereford Beef. 

During dinner, there was a roundtable discussion on the importance of being involved in local, state, and national cattle organizations, and participants were able to reflect back on what they had learned from the previous two days and shared them with each other. Jim Church concluded the evening with a short presentation on the important role that the University of Idaho Extension and land-grant Universities play in agriculture, including the resources they provide to the cattle industry in the state.
The next morning, YCC committee member Sara Somsen-Fowler moderated the last session titled“How to Become Involved”. Speakers TK Kuwahara (Idaho Beef Council), Gretchen Hyde (IdahoRangeland Resource Commission), Cameron Mulrony (Idaho Cattle Association), and Neil Durrant(Idaho Young Farmer’s and Ranchers Program/Idaho Farm Bureau) gave an overview of their respective organizations and the important role they play in the cattle industry.
The YCC program concluded just before noon with a graduation ceremony, where each member was recognized with a graduation certificate.

The goal of the Idaho YCC is to provide young cattle producers an opportunity to receive in-depth education on the cattle industry in Idaho. The program is offered annually to young producers between the age of 18 and 40. Participants can apply to attend the conference themselves or be nominated by another producer or organization. They are then selected to attend the conference by the planning committee. Space is limited to approximately 20 participants. There is no cost to attend, thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. The 2018 YCC Platinum sponsors were Allflex USA, Northwest Farm Credit Services, Magic Valley Cattle Association, Merck Animal Health, Bayer Animal Health, Zoetis, IMMVAC – Endovac Beef, Simplot Western Stockmen’s and Simplot Livestock Company. Gold sponsors included Idaho Angus Association, Snake River Cattle Feeders, the Idaho Beef Council and Jan Ford – H&P Company. Silver Sponsors were Pristine Springs Angus – Curtis & Amber Gay, Idaho/Lewis County Cattle Association, and Certified Hereford Beef. Bronze Sponsors were Idaho Ag Credit.

If you are interested in participating or know someone who would benefit from this outstanding educational opportunity, please contact Jim Church, the University of Idaho Extension at 983-2667 Planning efforts are already underway for the 2019 program and the committee is currently seeking sponsorships. Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels are available. There is also an opportunity to sponsor individual attendees. If you are interested in donating to the Idaho YCC, please contact Jim Church or Jesse Brown for further information.

Idaho hop acres increase 18 percent in 2018

By Sean Ellis

Idaho Farm Bureau Federation

POCATELLO – Idaho farmers added an additional 1,224 acres of hops this year, an 18 percent increase over 2017, while U.S. hop acres increased 4 percent to a record 55,339.

Idaho for the first time ever took over as the nation’s No. 2 hop producing state last year, surpassing Oregon in total production but not acres. This year, Idaho, which typically enjoys higher hop yields than Oregon, will be No. 2 in acres and production.

Idaho growers strung 8,217 hop acres for harvest in 2018, up from 6,993 in 2017, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, which released the numbers July 2.

Oregon farmers strung 7,849 hop acres, 2 less than during 2017.

Washington remained the unchallenged No. 1 hop state with 39,273 hop acres, a 2 percent increase over the 38,438-acre total for that state in 2017.

According to NASS, Idaho farmers produced 13.7 million pounds of hops last year from 6,993 acres, while Oregon growers produced 11.9 million pounds from 7,851 acres. Idaho hop yields averaged 1,968 pounds per acre in 2017 compared with 1,517 in Oregon.

U.S. and Idaho hop acres have expanded at a rapid rate in recent years, driven by soaring demand for aroma hops from the craft brewing industry.

Idaho hop growers strung 2,423 acres for harvest in 2012 and that number grew to 3,376 in 2013, then to 3,745 in 2014 and then to 4,863 in 2015, 5,648 in 2016 and 6,993 in 2017.

Prior to 2018, U.S. hop acreage increased 80 percent since 2012 and production by 77 percent.

But the supply and demand situation has begun to balance out and according to Hop Growers of America’s annual Statistical Report, released in February, “many industry leaders cautioned against additional acreage being added in the U.S. for the 2018 crop.”

But this year’s increase in acreage didn’t surprise industry leaders, who expected a slight bump because of previously entered hop contracts.

“I think a lot of the increase is due to contracts that people already had in place,” said Idaho hop farmer and Idaho Hop Commission Chairman Brock Obendorf.

HGA Administrator Ann George agreed, saying the increase in acres this year has mostly to do with growers fulfilling multi-year contracts. It took awhile for enough planting stock, particularly for newer hop varieties, to become available to fulfill those contracts, she said.

“Now we’re seeing the last of those acres go in,” George said. “It wasn’t surprising. We knew those were in the pipeline.”

As many contracts come up for renewal next year, it’s likely that U.S. hop acres will level out in 2019 or even decrease, George said.

“As we move into next year, I think we’ll probably see things stabilize at this level or pull back somewhat,” she said.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

American Farm Bureau Statement on Hammond Pardon

WASHINGTON– The following may be attributed to American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall:

“President Trump’s pardon of Oregon ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond tells us there is still hope for justice in environmental law enforcement. The Hammonds were thrown into prison for nothing more than burning an invasive species that threatened their ranch – a standard ranching practice that is both lawful and widely accepted. The fire spread further than it should have, and consumed more than 100 acres of federal grazing land, but that hardly makes the Hammonds criminals. Pardoning them was the right thing to do, and we thank Rep. Greg Walden for advocating so effectively for these men.

“Farm Bureau was shocked by the minimum five-year sentence the Hammonds faced. Even worse was the Justice Department’s decision to use anti-terrorism laws to prosecute them. We could not be happier this ugly chapter in governmental overreach has come to an end.”

House Committee Approves Bill to Help Improve Irrigation

Washington--A bill recently approved by the House Ways and Means Committee would help farmers and ranchers more efficiently operate mutual ditch, irrigation and water companies, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The Water and Agriculture Tax Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 519) would multiply the sources from which mutual ditch, irrigation and water companies can obtain capital to expand and improve their water systems. Current law requires mutual ditch, irrigation and water companies’ capital improvements are 85 percent shareholder financed, which can be limiting.

“Mutual ditch, irrigation and water companies are important to agriculture because they allow farmers, ranchers and others to form collaborative businesses to install and maintain vital infrastructure,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said in a letter to the bill’s author, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.). “The bill multiplies sources from which mutual ditch, irrigation and water companies can obtain capital to expand and improve their water systems.”

Specifically, the legislation would allow mutual water and storage delivery companies to retain their nonprofit status even if they receive more than 15 percent of their revenue from non-member sources. Additional non-member revenue raised must be used for maintenance, operations and infrastructure improvements.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Internet Sales Tax Collection

Washington--The Supreme Court’s ruling that states have the authority to require retailers to collect and remit sales taxes on remote internet sales is a victory for Main Street retailers and local stores, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. The ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair overturns a 1992 precedent that only allowed a state to mandate the collection of sales taxes from online merchants that maintained a facility inside the state’s borders. AFBF and South Dakota Farm Bureau together filed an amicus brief in support of South Dakota.

“When a family-owned grocery, drugstore, or gift shop is forced to shutter its doors after generations of serving a town’s citizens, it does not merely represent the loss of one business. It also often means another empty store-front in an already struggling downtown, the loss of jobs (including off-farm jobs of family farmers and their spouses), and less foot traffic for the neighboring shops. It also inevitably means less revenue for critical public services, such as emergency responders, law enforcement, and educators,” AFBF and SDFB said in their amicus brief.

Like the court decision, two Farm Bureau-supported measures would have allowed states to collect sales tax on remote sales, but they also would have provided a framework for the collection of the tax. For example, the proposed legislation included an exemption for small sellers, as well as a requirement that software for collecting the tax be provided to ease the administrative burden. It is possible that Congress will move to establish exemptions and guidelines through legislation.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Idaho potato growers like 2018 acreage estimates

By Sean Ellis
Idaho Farm Bureau Federation

POCATELLO – Idaho wheat, potato, corn and hay acres are estimated to be up slightly this year compared with 2017, while sugar beet, garbanzo, and lentil acres are estimated to be down slightly.

Dry bean acres in Idaho are forecast to be way down, according to USDA’s most recent planting intentions report, which was released June 29.

The report was compiled by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, which asked farmers what crops they planted and hay acreage they expect to be cut for the 2018 growing season. The total sample size for the survey was 2,008 in Idaho.

Data was collected from May 30-June 15, while the previous report, released March 29, was based on data collected from Feb. 27-March 19, so the recent report gives a more accurate picture of the makeup of Idaho’s 2018 farm acres.

NASS estimates total Idaho wheat acres at 1.21 million in 2018, up 3 percent from 1.17 million in 2017. Winter wheat acres are forecast at 760,000, up from 720,000, while spring wheat acres are estimated at 430,000, up from 420,000 last year. Durum wheat acres are forecast at 20,000, down from 25,000.

Nationally, wheat acres are forecast to total 47.8 million, up 4 percent from 46 million last year.

“I think wheat acres are up because prices have been rallying a little bit,” said Idaho Wheat Commission Executive Director Blaine Jacobson.

NASS estimates potato acres in Idaho at 315,000 in 2018, up from 310,000 acres in 2017.

A separate estimate of Idaho potato acres by United Potato Growers of Idaho puts the state’s 2018 spud acreage at 311,000, up slightly from 307,000 in 2017.

Potato growers said they were expecting a bigger acreage increase given that McCain Foods USA’s $200 million expansion of its Burley processing plant was expected to add about an additional 12,000 acres in Idaho this year.

Subtracting those additional 12,000 acres, which are contracted, that means fresh potato acres in Idaho actually dropped this year, which is great news for Idaho potato farmers because it means a better supply and demand situation, spud growers said.

“That’s a really good thing,” Oakley spud farmer Randy Hardy said about the acreage estimate. “We’re extremely excited about it.”

The potato acreage estimates indicate about a 7,500- to 10,000-acre drop in fresh potato plantings in Idaho, said Aberdeen potato farmer Ritchey Toevs.

“That’s definitely a good surprise,” he said. “That’s a really positive move for the industry.”

The NASS plantings report has Idaho dry bean acres, excluding garbanzo beans, falling from 63,000 last year to 38,000 this year, a 40 percent decrease.

Idaho dry bean growers generally expect acres to decrease substantially this year but not 40 percent. Dry beans are grown in the Treasure Valley of southwestern Idaho and the Magic Valley of southcentral Idaho

“I have trouble accepting that number,” said Don Tolmie, production manager for Treasure Valley Seed Co. in Homedale. “That’s a precipitous drop.”

Tolmie said dry bean acres in the Treasure Valley are on par with last year, but Magic Valley growers said bean acres in their region are down significantly.

“I don’t know if it’s off (as much as the NASS estimate) but I would bet anything they’re down at least 30 percent in the Magic Valley,” said Kimberly farmer Monty Hamilton. “Everybody is battling huge inventories.”

Nationally, dry bean acres, not including garbanzos, are forecast to decline 23 percent.

NASS estimates Idaho barley acres at 530,000, even with last year, and it pegs all hay harvested in Idaho this year at 1.49 million acres, up 4 percent from 2017.

Idaho corn acres are estimated at 350,000, up 10,000 acres over 2017, and corn harvested for grain is forecast to increase 9 percent to 125,000 acres.

Idaho sugar beet acres are estimated at 163,000, down 4,000 acres from 2017.

Idaho acres for garbanzo beans, also called chickpeas, are estimated at 112,000 in 2018, down from 117,000 in 2017. Large chickpea acres are forecast at 63,000, down 8,000, while small chickpea acres are forecast at 49,000, up 3,000 from last year.
Lentil, dry edible pea, oat and Austrian winter pea acres in Idaho are all forecast to be down slightly from last year, while canola acres are forecast at 48,000, up 109 percent from 23,000 in 2017.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Farm Bill Ready for Conference

Washington--With Senate passage last week of its farm bill, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (S. 3042), congressional lawmakers are expected to soon head to the conference to iron out the differences between the House and Senate legislation. The House passed its version of the bill, the Agriculture, and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2), on June 21.

Noting the tough circumstances farmers and ranchers are up against, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said progress on the farm bill is very timely.

“The Senate pushed the farm bill one big step closer to the finish line and it could not have come at a better time. America’s farmers and ranchers continue to face a challenging agricultural economy, a shaky outlook for our export markets and a dire ag labor shortage. It was time for some good news and the Senate delivered it in a bipartisan fashion,” Duvall said in a statement.

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 provides a solid framework for moving forward, Duvall continued.

“We do have concerns about some of the provisions that were added to the bill that make it harder for farmers to manage risk, but we are confident that those issues can be satisfactorily addressed by the House/Senate conference committee. We look forward to working with conferees from both houses to get the best possible farm bill done for rural America,” he said.

Once a final measure is approved by both chambers, the farm bill will be sent to President Trump for his signature.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Cotton farmers tour Idaho farm country

By John O’Connell

For Idaho Farm Bureau Federation

ABERDEEN – Though Wesley Spurlock raises corn and cotton in Stratford, Texas, he’s learned he has a lot in common with Idaho farmers when it comes to stretching a tight water supply.

Spurlock was one of 13 farmers from major cotton-producing states who participated in a June 24-29 tour of Idaho agricultural production areas. The Multi-commodity Education Program, administered by the National Cotton Council, began in 2006, with funding from John Deere, and is aimed at promoting camaraderie and dialogue among U.S. farmers in different growing regions.

“It’s designed to help agricultural leaders gain a better understanding of the economic and agronomic challenges that their peers face in different regions of the country,” explained John Gibson, the National Cotton Council’s director of member services.

Spurlock irrigates with Low Energy Precise Application – involving elongated hoses on pivots to apply water below the crop canopy to minimize evaporation and drift. During the tour, he saw a very similar irrigation approach in use at Justin Place’s farm in Hamer. While Spurlock has adjustable nozzles on his LEPA system, switching from a spray setting to a drip setting after the crop is established, Place uses spray nozzles all season long.

“None of us has got the best way of doing something, so we’re going to find out what works and how it does work,” Spurlock said. “There’s always knowledge we can take back. I’m not sure what all of the knowledge is yet, but when we get home and look at all of the pictures, there’s going to be something we will be able to glean out of all of this, and we will use it in our production.”

During a tour stop at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Aberdeen, Spurlock said he was particularly impressed by the diversity of Idaho crops, as well as how Idaho growers can face extremely different growing conditions within a small area. The group also heard a presentation on Idaho water rights and toured dryland and irrigated farms, the Monsanto plant in Soda Springs, trout farms, an Amalgamated Sugar Co. facility, a cattle ranch, a fresh potato packing operation, a dehydrated potato plant and a malt plant.

“Idaho is a more diverse state than I thought,” said Keith Allen, of Latta, S.C. “I thought they just grew potatoes here, and maybe barley.”

Allen believes the program serves a vital function by helping farmers cooperate to achieve goals.

“We all have to work together to have a unified voice in Washington, D.C. If we’re split, we’ll wind up with nothing,” Allen said.

The program alternates between sending a team of cotton growers to a northern state and sending northern growers south to cotton country.

The Idaho Barley Commission and Idaho Grain Producers Association set the agenda and recruited Idaho growers to ride the bus and spend time with the cotton farmers.

“It’s important that everyone in agriculture have a broad understanding so they can be supportive of others in agriculture as the Farm Bill or other issues come up,” said incoming Idaho Barley Commission Administrator Laura Wilder. “I’ve seen a lot of great dialogue this week among (cotton) growers with the local hosts about different practices in the South versus how they’re done here.”

The program visited Idaho once before, in 2016.

Scott Brown, a Caribou County dryland grain farmer, invited the group to his cabin for a prime rib dinner. Brown was among the Idaho growers who visited cotton farms in Lubbock, Texas, through the program early last winter. During the trip, he became friends with another grower, who provided him sorghum seed, which Brown included in the cover crop blend he planted this spring to improve soil health and reduce erosion.

“Those people are just like we are. They’re the salt of the earth and the fiber of America,” Brown said.

The program has made Brown realize that farmers in different regions raise different crops and face different challenges, but also share important concerns, such as Farm Bill renewals, trade, weather, and commodity markets.

“When it gets to Farm Bill time, we have an appreciation and understanding for the cotton industry’s issues and sorghum’s issues,” Brown said.

Farm Bureau Supports Endangered Species Act Reforms

WASHINGTON– The following statement may be attributed to Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation: “The Western ...