Weekly Column

Beginning farmers stand to benefit from proposed act

The average age of today’s farmer is 58 years old. Over the course of the next five years (the duration of the next farm bill), nearly 100 million acres of farmland are predicted to change hands.

Some retiring farmers and ranchers will pass their land and operations to their children or other relatives, however, many are heading toward retirement without a succession plan in place.

Municipal electric utilities can be independent

When it comes to rural development, the town of Bloomfield, in southeast Iowa, is holding its own, and can act as a model for other municipal electric utilities.

A 2014 study concluded Bloomfield (population 2,643) could become energy independent in its use of electricity by 2030. The city council is now pursuing a combination of efficiency upgrades and investments in clean, renewable energy.

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