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Diversity among America’s agricultural producers is increasing, with the number of Asian farm operators growing by 40 percent, the number of Hispanic-owned farms increasing by nearly 10 percent and farm ownership by women increasing by 30 percent between 2002 and 2007. The age of U.S. farmers is also diversifying, with significant numbers of operators under 25 years old. Farm Credit customers like Orlando Cadena, Natalie Gilbert and Andrew Hartshorn exemplify the changing face of America's farmers and ranchers. Read More
Another month has gone by without the passage of a new Farm Bill, as Congress continues negotiations. Yet November was a month of thanks and giving for Farm Credit -- on Veterans Day we announced a significant two-year contribution to the Farmer Veteran Coalition’s “Homegrown By Heroes” program, which will help increase sales of veteran-grown agricultural products. Later in the month, a group of five Farm Credit organizations donated $175,000 to help the South Dakota ranchers devastated by the October blizzard, and we gave thanks all month long for many of the diverse producers and organizations that help make U.S. agriculture so successful. Read More
The already slow advance of the Farm Bill was stalled in October during a 16-day federal government shutdown, which stopped USDA activities and FSA payments. Currently House and Senate negotiators are meeting to hammer out a final bill. During the shutdown, a major, unseasonable blizzard struck South Dakota, killing thousands of livestock, but the shutdown government response was delayed. Several organizations stepped in to help, including Farm Aid, the USDA, a coalition of South Dakota non-profit groups, and Farm Credit. The economic loss is estimated at $1.7 billion, and it will take years for ranchers to rebuild their herds. Read More
The Farm Bill continued to dominate the ag media headlines in the past month, with the Senate passing its Farm Bill early in June, and the House rejecting its bill last week. On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid urged the House to vote on and pass the Senate’s bill, saying that the Senate will not vote to pass an extension of farm policy. Here’s a roundup of all of the top ag news from the month of June. Read More