Weekly Column

New Grassfed Beef Option for Small Farms

In April, small grass-fed beef producers received some great news. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service announced the creation of a new certification option for smaller, grass-fed beef producers. The Grass-Fed Program for Small and Very Small Producers arose out of the Grass-Fed Marketing Claim Standard within USDA’s Process Verified Program.

Medicaid Expansion Life and Death Issue

Charlene Dill was a 33 year old mother of three in Orlando, Florida. She worked three jobs to support her family. She had a treatable heart condition. Charlene also fell into the “coverage gap” – she made too much money (a whole $9,000 per year) to qualify for Medicaid in Florida, too little to qualify for a subsidy to purchase insurance on the new health insurance marketplaces, and none of her jobs provided health insurance. She was uninsured. Florida decided not to expand their Medicaid program as allowed under the Affordable Care Act to cover low-income working people like Ms. Dill.

Opportunities and Challenges in Ag Census

USDA’s Census of Agriculture provides statistical information that should help the agency respond to opportunities in American agriculture, such as the 14,000 more farms claiming farming as their primary occupation than there were in 2007.

However, in the size categories from 50 to 999 acres nearly 56,000 fewer farms were reported nationally. 
And there was a net loss of over 96,000 farms in the 35-54 age group categories.