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Surprise, Surprise

As we all know, renewable and "alternative" fuels are all the rage lately. Sometimes we forget that promoting conservation is the single most important thing we can do to lessen our dependence on foreign energy sources, decrease carbon emissions, and generally lessen pollution of all sorts. It cannot be emphasized enough. And lo and behold, in today's NY Times, experts everywhere agree:

Memorial Day

If you only read this blog, you might think that the 2007 farm bill is just about the only thing of any import going on in the world. That, obviously, is not the case. There are many other issues that are important to rural America that the Center for Rural Affairs does not have the time, resources, or expertise to work on.

CSP Goes Down, and the Anonymous Quotes Begin

It is official- The House Conservation Subcommittee's mark of the 2007 farm bill Conservation title will not include any money for new Conservation Security Program sign-ups for the next five years. The mark will now be sent to the full House Agriculture Committee, where the next opportunity to find money for this vital program will occur.

The Importance of Imaginary Money

As most of us are aware, the budget outlook for all Congressional committees is tight. For the Agriculture Committee, it is more than tight- it's a lot less than they had last time, as a result of high grain prices. Additionally, both the House and the Senate have committed to "paygo" rules that require them to find offsets for new spending- either by saving (cutting other programs) or revenue increases (i.e. new taxes).

Matched Savings Program Builds Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers

The first Individual Development Account program specifically targeted to beginning farmers is currently underway in California. This Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual Development Account uses special matched saving accounts to promote a new generation of farmers and ranchers by assisting those of modest means to establish a pattern of savings. The account proceeds may be used toward capital expenditures for a farm or ranch operation, including expenses associated with the purchases of land, building, equipment, infrastructure, livestock, or toward training.

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