Farm Policy News

From the desk of our executive director: Get big or get out, a redux

Asked about the plight of dairy farmers in Wisconsin, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said, “[The] big get bigger and small go out and that’s kind of what we’ve seen here...

Everyone will have to make their own decisions economically whether they can survive.”

The Center for Rural Affairs was founded in 1973. Earl Butz was Secretary of Agriculture. Butz had a similar view, “Get big or get out.”

Butz believed farm consolidation was inevitable.

Cover crops have Kansas farmer covered

Gene Albers joined his family’s tradition of farming in south central Kansas in the 1970s.

After working the land with their father, Gene and his two brothers became farmers. Now, with years of experience behind him, Gene is beginning to retire from his 1,200 acre cattle, wheat, and soybean operation.

Beginning Farmer Tax Credit benefits new and retiring farmers

Ask any beginning farmer or rancher about the greatest challenge to starting an operation, and the most common answer is access to land and operational assets.

A program bringing together asset owners and new farmers aims to lessen those barriers.

Through Nebraska’s Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Act, administered under the NextGen program title, asset owners can earn state income tax credit each year, for three years, when they rent land or agriculture assets to approved beginning farmers.

Livestock producers fight for fairness with meatpacking giants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture soon will release new regulations that livestock and poultry producers hope will better protect them from what they see as unfair competition in the highly consolidated meatpacking industry.

The Packers and Stockyards Act was enacted by Congress nearly 100 years ago, but some experts say it hasn't been effectively enforced. Joe Maxwell, executive director of the Organization for Competitive Markets, said small and mid-size producers need rules to help level the playing field with the large-scale meatpacking companies.

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