Successful Conference Making a Comeback in 2008

Maybe you were one of the 500 people that participated in last years MarketPlace: Opening Doors to Success rural entrepreneurship conference. If so, you will remember what a wonderful opportunity it was. But if you missed the event then you should make it a priority to attend this year’s conference!

How it All Went Down

As we’ve mentioned many times, the fight over payment limitations usually breaks down by region- which actually means by crop. There are five main program crops- corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and rice. Cotton and rice receive the highest per-acre payments by far, and are primarily planted in the South (plus California). Because of those high per-acre payments (over $200 for cotton and rice vs.

Crisis in Rural America

There is a crisis in rural America. There were 350,000 farmers under the age of 35 in 1982; today there are fewer than 70,000 (only 8% of all farmers).

Cracks in the Facade

A mere three weeks ago, the House of Representatives passed a farm bill that it attempted to portray as true reform. It wasn’t, and now that a growing chorus of voices are condemning the bill, cracks are appearing in the façade of House farm bill enthusiasm. And that only bodes well for family farms and rural communities when the Senate takes up the farm bill next month.

Promoting Local Ownership

We’d like to direct our attention to a non-farm bill issue for a moment. As everyone knows, ethanol and renewable energy have dramatically reshaped agriculture markets and is in the process of reshaping the rural landscape, and not always for the better. But no matter what one thinks about ethanol, the sheer amount of money invested in the sector means it is here to stay for some time.


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