AG Rural News

The rising cost of healthcare insurance is a major challenge for many U.S. farmers. In a recent non-scientific, online survey of Nebraska Farm Bureau members, 34 percent of respondents said their monthly premiums on insurance bought on the individual marketplace were greater than $1,500 a month, or $18,000 a year. In many cases, those costs have more than doubled since implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. Farmer Kent Lorens of Stratton, Nebraska says they’re feeling the pinch of those higher insurance costs. Continue reading Nebraska farmer feels pinch of higher health insurance costs at Brownfield Ag News.
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Iowa ag secretary Bill Northey was one of the participants in President Trump’s roundtable discussion of ag issues.  In a conference call this morning with reporters, Northey talked about the meeting and issues that were discussed.  He was also asked about reports that he may be in line for a top position at the USDA. AUDIO: Excerpts from Northey conference call Continue reading Iowa ag secretary Northey discusses Trump’s farm roundtable at Brownfield Ag News.
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A farmer who says she never expected to be in public service tells Missouri FFA members they don’t have to have a title before their names to be a leader, “They can lead from where they’re at. And even today being a member of the FFA, even if they’re not an officer of their chapter, they’re a leader for agriculture. So, I just want them to realize the importance of their ability to represent their rural community and represent agriculture in every day of their life.” That’s Missouri Agriculture Director Chris Chinn, a fifth-generation farmer from Clarence, Missouri. Continue reading Ag Director...
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A.G. Kawamura says he is “saddened” by the way agriculture is being treated in the U.S. “How different groups attack agriculture. How so many folks looks at agriculture as if we’re some entity that is conspiring to make things worse, whether it’s with the environment, whether it’s with food safety, whether it’s with the amount of water we use,” Kawamura says. “In California currently, there seems to be almost a ‘grow food, go to jail’ sentiment. Continue reading California ag leader ‘saddened’ by agriculture’s treatment in U.S. at Brownfield Ag News.
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Ag News

A letter calling for reform of commodity checkoff programs and signed by more than 80 organizations has been sent to Congress. The list of groups signing the letter includes various farm, environmental and activist organizations. The National Farmers Union, Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) and R-CALF USA are leading the effort. The letter expresses support for legislation that the groups say would “bring much needed transparency and accountability” to checkoff programs. Continue reading Groups call for commodity checkoff reform at Brownfield Ag News.
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Following yesterday’s threats, President Donald Trump has agreed not to immediately terminate US participation the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The White House said the three leaders agreed to proceed swiftly to enable the renegotiation of NAFTA to benefit Canada, Mexico, and the US. Tom Sleight, president and CEO of the US Grains Council says the news was welcomed.  “Support for US agriculture – that voice was heard,” he says.  Continue reading NAFTA renegotiation talks welcomed over immediate withdraw at Brownfield Ag News.
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American Farm Bureau’s tax policy specialist says she’s enthusiastic about the proposed tax reforms unveiled by the Trump administration today but there are a lot of unanswered questions for agriculture. Pat Wolff tells Brownfield it’s not clear if the lower business tax rate would apply to farmers, “It’s important to clarify that that 15% will apply to ALL farmers whether they’re corporations, partnerships or if they pay businesses as sole proprietors.” And, she says nothing was said about business deductions that are very important to farmers, “We can’t tell if – what’s going to happen with things like immediate expensing, cash accounting,...
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Fourteen farmers met with President Trump in Washington on Tuesday to share their top concerns, trade and labor. “Everyone spoke of the need of getting a program that allows agriculture to have the labor force that is necessary to not only work on our farms but harvest the produce that we have on our operations.” Michigan dairy and cash crop farmer Hank Choate tells Brownfield after several producers from diverse backgrounds shared personal accounts with the President of labor challenges including shortages and immigration issues, Trump promised to take action.  Continue reading Trump tells farmer roundtable labor issues need to be addressed at...
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