In Farm Bureau
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ArFB supports Issue #1 Arkansas Farm Bureau is supporting Issue #1 on the Nov. 6 ballot. If the ballot issue passes, it will create a temporary ½ cent sales tax (10 years only) to finance $1.3 billion in bonds for highway improvements and maintenance. The tax also will generate $700 million for county and city road work. ArFB has a long history of sup-
Ellen Dalton shows off one of the many multicolored gourds and pumpkins she and her husband Darrell raise at Pumpkin Hollow farm near Piggott, the largest commercial gourd operation in the Mid-South. Pumpkin Hollow will attract several thousand visitors for family-oriented activities in October. porting highway programs. The bonds will be used to expand road projects throughout the state. A map of road projects and an estimate of individual county and city turnback funds are available at www.Move ArkansasForward.com. Some facts about Issue #1: • Issue #1 will not raise taxes on groceries, medicine or gasoline. • The new state turnback revenue will be available for use in every Arkansas city and county: $350 milNewton Co. FB President Stan Taylor (left) honored the Newton county Farm Family of the Year — (l to r) Zachre, Stacy, April and Jesse Root — with a FB plaque and legislative citation on Sept. 24 in Jasper. Stacy and April raise turkeys and beef cattle near Kingston.
lion for counties and $350 million for cities. • Cities and counties will have discretionary control over funds they receive from Issue #1, but the sales tax funds can only be used for roads and highways. • Issue #1 will create a permanent $20 million a year State Aid Street Fund for cities and towns to apply for grants for local street and bridge projects. • Issue #1 will support 40,000 statewide jobs and improve Arkansas’ economy while making roads safer for all, including school buses, emergency vehicles and drivers sharing the highways with big trucks. • ArFB policy supports this method of highway funding. We recommend the first alternative for paying for a highway program be a users’ tax, and the second alternative be bonds in conjunction with a sales tax, toll roads (where feasible) or other measures. We request adequate funds for rural road improvements.
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A Publication of Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation
October 12, 2012 • Vol. 15, No. 19
ArFB President Randy Veach was keynote speaker at Boone County Farm Bureau’s annual meeting Sept. 25. A crowd of about 200 turned out for the event, which included a barbecue dinner at North Arkansas College in Harrison.
Ag Hall of Fame solicits nominations The Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame is accepting nominees for induction into the class of 2012. The public can nominate new or previously nominated candidates who were not inducted. The AAHOF Committee makes final selections. AAHOF chairman Cal McCastlain said nominations can come from anyone. “We seek to honor worthy individuals who made a profound impact on Arkansas agriculture and contributed to improving the quality of life for rural Arkansans,” he said. Established 25 years ago, the AAHOF is housed in the Farm Bureau Center in Little Rock. The accomplishments of 131 men and women are showcased there. The nomination deadline is Nov. 9. Additional information and nomination forms are available at
firstname.lastname@example.org or from Gary Keathley at 501-228-1298. The induction ceremony will be March 8, 2013 in Little Rock. M*A*S*H donations near $13,000 County contributions to the M*A*S*H program are in and once again the county Farm Bureaus have been very generous, with a combined contribution of nearly $13,000. A big thank you goes out to all who provide continued support of this important program. ArFB’s Rural Health and Safety Committee reported to the board of directors that 29 M*A*S*H camps were held this summer. More than 400 students attended.
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YF&R Conference The state Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee recommended to ArFB’s board of directors that the 2013 state YF&R Conference be held in February in Little Rock to allow greater participation by that group in the annual Officers and Leaders Conference. The board approved this action, and the dates for the YF&R Conference are Feb. 22-23. The meeting will be held at Little Rock’s Embassy Suites hotel.
More than 150 students from Prairie Grove Elementary visited Davis Riverview Farms in Washington Co. Oct. 4-5 to learn about dairy production from owners Scott and Cassie Davis.
ArFB state board member Allen Stewart (left) recognized the family of Rodney and Kay Bowen as Polk County’s Farm Family of the Year at Polk County Farm Bureau’s annual meeting in Mena Sept. 10.
Baxter Co. FB President James Rhein (left) and State Sen. Johnny Key (right) recognized the families of Kevin Litty (second from left) and Steve Litty as Baxter Co. Farm Family of the Year at the county’s annual meeting in Mountain Home.
In Arkansas Comments sought on NWR expansion The U.S. Department of the Interior has opened a comment period on the proposed expansion of Cache River National Wildlife Refuge. The expansion would add up to 102,000 acres to the refuge. This proposed expansion represents a significant purchase of private property in several Arkansas counties. Such an expansion has the potential to impact property outside of the refuge simply because of land-management practices within the refuge itself. The proposed expansion would include property in Monroe, Prairie, Woodruff, Jackson, Cross and Poinsett counties. Farmers and other interested parties are encouraged to submit comments by the Oct 31 deadline. To view a copy of the draft document, call 870-347-2074 or go to www.fws.gov/southeast/cacheriverexpansion . A public meeting on the Cache River NWR expansion will be held Oct. 16 from 6-8 p.m. at Augusta High School on Main Street in Augusta. Comments also may be sent to Tina Chouinard, Refuge Planner, 49 Plainsbrook Pl., Jackson, TN 38305 or emailed to email@example.com. Farm Labor Conference Would you like to increase your understanding of today’s increasingly
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ArFB at the State Fair ArFB will once again have a major presence at the Arkansas State Fair and Livestock Show, which runs Oct. 12-21 at the state fairgrounds on Roosevelt Road in Little Rock. ArFB continues as an overall fair sponsor, as well as a major contributor to the Junior Livestock Auction and Scholarship Program. ArFB also is the exclusive sponsor and coordinator for The Purple Circle Club, a recognition program for all state fair champions. If you go to the fair, you’re encouraged to stop by and visit ArFB’s booth in the Hall of Industry. The exhibit will promote Arkansas agriculture through interactive displays and a hands-on children’s activity center. Also plan to visit the Ag in
Dr. Tom Troxel, professor and associate head of UofA’s animal science department, was special guest speaker at N. Logan Co. FB’s annual meeting in Subiaco on Oct. 2.
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complex issues regarding the hiring of agricultural labor? If so, you might want to attend the one-day Farm Labor Conference that will be held Nov. 16 at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service headquarters, 2301 S. University Ave., in Little Rock. Sessions will include Nuts and Bolts of Agricultural Labor, Local vs. Migrant Labor Issues, Growers Perspective, Agricultural Labor Policy Update and Overview of Legal Issues by the National Agricultural Law Center. Contact your county Extension office for more details.
Cody Anglin baled Bermuda hay Oct. 2 on his family farm near Bentonville. After this summer’s extreme drought dried pastures and forced some ranchers to purchase hay, recent rains have allowed for regrowth. Northwest Arkansas ranchers are grateful to stockpile hay for this winter.
Action Learning Center and FFA barnyard sponsored by Arkansas FFA, ArFB and the Arkansas State Fair. The learning center will have several interactive exhibits for children including the Seed Survivor display, petting zoo and a swine birthing center. Highlights of the fair will be published in an upcoming edition of Farm Bureau Press. Bell recognized by LR C of C Delta Grass Masters, owned by Bobby Bell Jr. of Little Rock a member of Pulaski Co. FB’s board of directors, was recognized by the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce as Minority Business of the Year at an awards luncheon at Philander Smith College Sept. 24. Bell established the company in 2004 in North Little Rock. Since that time, he has expanded his company’s span of work from the metropolitan area to all of Arkansas and Mississippi where he has successfully worked with a number of the region’s top construction firms. His commercial irrigation and landscape business projects have ranged from work on the Isle of Capri and Fitzgerald casinos, West Helena WalMart and Helena Regional Medical Center in Mississippi to Maumelle
High School, Conway Elementary, Mosaic Templars and Verizon Call Center in Arkansas.
Elsewhere Farm bill on hold Congress has recessed until after the November election without taking action on the farm bill, which will most likely be considered in a lame-duck session. Some House members, including Rep. Rick Crawford, signed a discharge petition to force consideration of the bill, but it was well short of the necessary 218 signatures needed to call the legislation to the floor. At last count, the petition had only 79 signatures. Supportive members of Congress and farmers alike are expressing more urgency to pass a farm bill. Other groups, perhaps sensing an opportunity, are attacking the farm bill and calling for more drastic changes. During the recess, ArFB members are asked to stress to leaders that they must pass a farm bill when Congress returns to D.C. If you would like to use the Farm Bureau Legislative Action Center, visit www.capwiz.com/ arfb/home/ to send a message. Editor Keith Sutton
been mostly sideways between $8.25 and $8.60 after a brief move to $8.95 quickly failed. The $8.95 high now becomes major resistance.
In the Market As of October 9, 2012: SOYBEAN yields are exceeding expectations as the harvest drives toward conclusion. Yields in the western cornbelt, while not fantastic, are expected to buoy this month’s supply/demand report due later this week. The average prereport puts production at 2.759 billion bushels, up 124 million bushels from the September report. USDA will likely offset a portion or all of this with increased demand. China continues to be a strong purchaser, and the September export estimate of 1.055 billion bushels should rise. The U.S. will be the seller of choice as old crop supplies in South America dwindle. New crop there is being planted, and the acreage is projected to be huge. With all this being said, November futures completed a 50 percent retracement of the JuneSeptember increase when it fell to $15.04 last week. The market could move to the gap area between $14.78 and $14.93, or the 62 percent retracement objective of $14.57, with a close below $15.04. However, holding that level would suggest a potential rebound toward $16.50. December CORN futures made a huge reversal low at $7.05 the last week of September and have been in a consolidation phase since. Retracement objectives of $7.77 and $7.94 rest just above the top of the consolidation area. The October report to be released later this week could determine whether the market heads higher or retests support at $7.05. Yields are said to be improving, but harvested acreage is said to be declining. Both will determine the production, which averages 10.6 billion bushels in prereport trade estimates. That is 126 million bushels below the September report. A lower estimate likely sends the market toward the upside retracement objectives. Old-crop WHEAT futures continue a gentle slide lower despite indications. Black Sea region exports will decline sharply in the next month. Little demand has come to the U.S., suggesting price is thought to be too high. Support around $8.50 continues to hold, but that may not last. On the new crop side, July has
RICE. After declining from the early August high near $16.40, November rice futures bottomed at $14.55 then made a 50 percent retracement near $15.50. That has become solid resistance over the last month. Losses from Hurricane Isaac and poor milling yields haven’t triggered any buying fervor. Prospects of smaller plantings in South America and in the U.S. in the spring could provide a market bounce at some point. Thai supplies remain a burden hanging over the market, even though in many respects it is a world away. After suffering through three adverse crop years for rice, some acreage in the Mid-South production area is sure to find its way to corn or soybeans. How much could determine how big the bounce in the market is. COTTON. Since late June, December cotton futures have traded between 70 cents and 77.5 cents. Recently the trade fell back to the bottom of that range as harvest activities increased, and yields appeared to be good. Drought again consumed large amounts of the Texas crop. However, world stocks are bountiful and will continue to limit upside potential. China has huge stocks and is expected to purchase significantly less U.S. cotton in the coming year. They are, however, bargain hunters and are still making significant value purchases. For now, December 2013 is trading the same pattern as December 2012, but about 4 to 5 cents higher. Cattle December live cattle futures have established a short-term uptrend in the past couple of weeks, with support in the $125 area. Longer term support is between $123 and $124. A test of
resistance at the 40-day moving average of $127.22 is possible. November feeders are trending higher as well, with support near $144. Significant resistance near $149.50 could limit upside potential. Improving beef cutout values this week will help boost weak packer margins. hog futures continue to trend higher. December has significant resistance at $77.75, and futures need to close above that level to signal another leg up. The CME lean hog index has rallied 20 percent in just 13 market days, providing the impetus for strong futures movement. Hog supplies are adequate to meet demand at the present time, though, and cash values are mostly flat as a result. DAIRY. The CME cash butter price continued its firm trend. The market turned sharply lower on Friday with 13 sales reported and the price down $0.0925 to $1.8600. Butter orders are strong for both retail and food service needs. Butter export assistance continues to be extended through the CWT program. Most recently, assistance was extended for the export of 91 MT (200,621 pounds) now through the first quarter of 2013. Cheese prices across the U.S. continued to move higher. Monthly average prices for barrels for September at the CME Group are more than 17 cents higher than prices a year ago, but production is slowing. Blocks are also nearly 17 cents higher for the same period. In the West, tight milk supplies have slowed cheese making. Cheese demand for retail accounts is good, with food service accounts adding to their orders. Trading at the CME Group closed the week with barrels at $2.06, and blocks closed Friday at $2.10. Milk production is increasing by varying degrees. Eastern milk production is increasing with import loads needed in the Southeast and Florida to meet Class I demand.
Contact •Gene Martin (501) 228-1330, firstname.lastname@example.org. •Brandy Carroll (501) 228-1268, email@example.com. •Bruce Tencleve (501) 228-1856, firstname.lastname@example.org. •Matt King (501) 228-1297, email@example.com.
October 12, 2012 Vol. 15, No. 19 www.arfb.com
2012 election supplement Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation is an independent, voluntary organization of farm and ranch families united for the purpose of analyzing their problems and formulating action to achieve educational improvement, economic opportunity, social advancement and promote the national well-being. Farm Bureau is nonpartisan, nonsectarian, nongovernmental and nonsecret in character. We encourage our members to closely evaluate the issues and candidates in each election. Included in this election supplement are the ballot titles of the issues that will appear on the November 6 ballot. The supplement also includes the responses of Congressional candidates about agriculture related topics. All candidates running for one of the state’s four Congressional districts were contacted about participating in this Election Supplement. Unfortunately, some candidates were unable to participate.
BALLOT ISSUES ISSUE NO. 1
(Referred to the People by the Arkansas General Assembly – 2012) POPULAR NAME: An amendment to provide additional funding for state highways, county roads, city streets, bridges, and other surface transportation BALLOT TITLE: A proposed amendment to levy a temporary sales and use tax of one-half (0.5%) for state highways and bridges, county roads, bridges and other surface transportation, with the state’s portion to secure state of Arkansas general obligation four-lane highway construction and improvement bonds in the total principal amount not to exceed $1.3 billion for the purpose of constructing and improving fourlane highways in the state of Arkansas; prescribing the terms and conditions for the issuance of such bonds which will mature and be paid in full in approximately 10 years, which payment in full shall terminate the temporary sales and use tax; permanently dedicating a portion of the proceeds derived from the existing motor fuel and distillate fuel taxes to the state aid street fund; and prescribing other matters pertaining thereto. Farm Bureau supports Issue No. 1
ISSUE NO. 2
(Referred to the People by the Arkansas General Assembly – 2012) POPULAR NAME: An amendment concerning municipal and county financing of sales tax anticipated revenue bond projects, unfunded liabilities of closed local police and fire pension plans, and real and tangible personal property. BALLOT TITLE: An amendment authorizing cities and counties to create districts within the city or county for development and redevelopment projects within the district and to issue bonds payable from the increased amount of city and county sales and use tax collected within the district for financing such projects; authorizing a municipality or county to issue bonds and levy a local sales and use tax for the purpose of retiring unfunded liabilities of closed local police and fire pension plans; and amending Amendment 78 of the Arkansas Constitution to provide that annual principal and interest payments on short-term financing obligations shall be charged against and paid from general revenues for the fiscal year and special revenues authorized to be used for the property financed. Issue No. 3 and 4 concerning casino gaming will appear on ballots but the votes for these issues will not be counted. Both Issues were ruled ineligible following court decisions by the Arkansas Supreme Court.
ISSUE NO. 5 (Proposed by Petition of the People â€“ 2012) POPULAR NAME: The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act BALLOT TITLE: An act making the medical use of marijuana legal under Arkansas state law, but acknowledging that marijuana use, possession, and distribution for any purpose remain illegal under federal law; establishing a system for the cultivation, acquisition and distribution of marijuana for qualifying patients through nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries and granting those nonprofit dispensaries limited immunity; allowing localities to limit the number of nonprofit dispensaries and to enact reasonable zoning regulations governing their operations; providing that qualifying patients, their designated caregivers and nonprofit dispensary agents shall not be subject to criminal or civil penalties or other forms of discrimination for engaging in or assisting with the patientsâ€™ medical use of marijuana; authorizing limited cultivation of marijuana by qualifying patients or designated caregivers if a qualifying patient lives more than five miles from the nearest nonprofit dispensary; authorizing compensation for designated caregivers; requiring that in order to become a qualifying patient, a person submit to the state a written certification from a physician that he or she is suffering from a qualifying medical condition; establishing an initial list of qualifying medical conditions; directing the Department of Health to establish rules related to the processing of applications for Registry Identification Cards, the operations of nonprofit dispensaries, and the addition of qualifying medical conditions if such additions will enable patients to derive therapeutic benefit from the medical use of marijuana; setting maximum registration fees for nonprofit dispensaries; establishing qualifications for Registry Identification Cards; establishing standards to ensure that qualifying patient and designated caregiver registration information is treated as confidential; directing the Department of Health to provide the legislature annual quantitative reports about the medical marijuana program; setting certain limitations on the use of medical marijuana by qualifying patients; establishing an affirmative defense for the medical use of marijuana; establishing registration and operation requirements for nonprofit dispensaries; setting limits on the amount of marijuana a nonprofit dispensary may cultivate and the amount of marijuana a nonprofit dispensary may dispense to a qualifying patient; prohibiting certain conduct by and imposing certain conditions and requirements on physicians, nonprofit dispensaries, nonprofit dispensary agents, qualifying patients, and designated caregivers; establishing a list of felony offenses which preclude certain types of participation in the medical marijuana program; and allowing visiting qualifying patients suffering from qualifying medical conditions to utilize the Arkansas medical marijuana program.
DISTRICT CANDIDATES U.S. Congressional District 1
U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford
Farm Bill 1. What elements of the farm bill are critical/ effective and must remain in future legislation? We must maintain an adequate safety net for Arkansas commodity producers through multiple programs, including a marketing loan program, a viable crop insurance program and a catastrophic revenue loss program with an adequate price floor trigger to ensure against multiyear lower price scenarios. Also I think itâ€™s important for Congress to remember that a one-size-fits-all program will not work for all models of agriculture production. 2. Like most programs this bill is under close budget scrutiny and probably will face cuts. Where do you believe those cuts should be made? Direct payments and crop insurance should not
take the full force of cuts as proposed by the Administration. We need a balanced approach to reducing spending in this budget environment. Cuts to farm bill spending should also come from nutrition and conservation programs. Trade 1. What is your position on international trade? I strongly support efforts to open foreign markets to U.S. goods and services. Through the farm bill and ongoing trade negotiations we should continue programs aimed at increasing the availability and viability of U.S. agricultural products in foreign markets. In FTA negotiations everything should be on the table so that no commodity is left out. 2. Do you support lifting trade and travel restrictions to Cuba? I support expanding trade with Cuba by removing barriers to exports. Cuba imports about 85 percent of its food, and right now most of that comes from countries like China and Vietnam. Under current policy American agricultural products are too expensive or unavailable. We should act to remove export barriers and attempt to open Cuba as a new market for U.S. agricultural products.
Biofuels 1. Do you support government measures to expand or support the biofuels industry? Yes, I support the extension of tax incentives designed to increase production and use of biodiesel and other clean, renewable, domestic energy sources. Congress should provide long-term extensions of those incentives to provide the certainty needed in the marketplace to encourage more investment in and production of renewable fuels. 2. Are there initiatives that you would support to increase the use or distribution of biofuels in the United States? In addition to production incentives and credits for renewable energy I support additional tax incentives for building biofuel infrastructure, including blender pumps and pipelines. Immigration 1. How do you think we should handle immigration reform and the many people who are currently living and working in the United States illegally? Any immigration reform measure should seek to address the unique needs of American agriculture. Congress must implement solutions that will ensure an adequate, stable and legal workforce is available
to American agriculture. I oppose amnesty for those persons currently in the United States illegally. However, I support reform that would provide additional renewable work visas for agricultural workers without providing a pathway to U.S. citizenship. Additionally, I will oppose efforts to implement a mandatory e-verify system until there is an agricultural guest worker program that works for Arkansas. Other 1. If elected, what three issues do you hope to address during your term? 1. I will continue fighting to reduce the deficit, work toward a balanced budget and find ways to pay down our national debt. 2. Arkansas farmers need a new farm bill with an adequate safety net and the continuation of programs designed to open foreign markets to Arkansas commodities. 3. The estate tax should be repealed so that Arkansas landowners are not forced to sell off their property in the unfortunate event of a death in the family. Keeping those funds invested in our local communities and in growing family farms will allow families to preserve their farms for future generations and will help the local economy. 2. Even more specifically, if forced to prioritize and you could orchestrate the passage of one piece of legislation, what would that be? Congress hasn’t passed a budget in more than 1,087 days. I believe we need a Balanced Budget Amendment to force Congress to complete the most basic responsibility of governing, to prioritize spending and to put us on a path to reduced deficits and a lower national debt.
Farm Bill 1. What elements of the farm bill are critical/ effective and must remain in future legislation? Any new farm bill must reduce the risk Arkansas farmers face. I understand there will be an emphasis on crop insurance which will probably be satisfactory for many farmers in the midwest and here at home. However, there should be additional protections for rice farmers and those who rotate rice and other crops. Crop insurance does not work for those who produce rice. The farm bill should have programs that not only cover yield loss, but also cover deficiency in market price. We must maintain a farm safety net 3
that is chest high not ankle high. One that ensures your children can farm like you, and granddad did. 2. Like most programs this bill is under close budget scrutiny and probably will face cuts. Where do you believe those cuts should be made? While I do not agree with those who put our farm support systems on the chopping block, I understand the days of direct payment are numbered. I will work to prevent other cuts to the farm bill and remind other members of Congress that the country’s largest export is agriculture products. Trade 1. What is your position on international trade? We’re all still waiting for President Obama to follow through with his pledge to renegotiate NAFTA. I will not support giving any President “fast-track” authority nor will I support or endorse any trade agreement that reduces Arkansas exports by a single ounce. 2. Do you support lifting trade and travel restrictions with Cuba? The trade sanctions against Cuba are a vestige of the Cold War and it’s well past time to set aside Florida politics and open markets for Arkansas exports. Biofuels 1. Do you support government measures to expand or support the biofuels industry? I am not going to support any measure that puts Arkansas farmers in second place. While ethanol isn’t a great fit for Arkansas, the Delta is rich with cellulose, soybean, and cotton seed sources perfect for biofuel production. We should make it the policy of United States to incentivize the development of these resources. I believe that Congress should restore the mixing credit for biofuels and invest in improving our agriculture infrastructure including highways, rail and parts throughout the agriculture community. Much of our infrastructure was built between World War II and the 1970s. We must upgrade those structures to keep the United States competitive. 2. Are there initiatives that you would support to increase the use or distribution of biofuels in the United States? I believe that farm waste and cellulose has immense potential to enhance the effectiveness of our national energy policy and I will be a vocal advocate for just that. I believe that Congress should restore the mixing credit and increase funding for research and development of biofuels. Immigration 1. How do you think we should handle immigration reform and the many people who are currently living and working in the United
States illegally? The American labor market requires a constant infusion of new people in order to drive productivity and return on investment. The notion that our agribusiness sector could thrive with a wall across our southern border is a dangerous lie. We must embrace a safe, sane and sober immigration policy that acknowledges the realities of the marketplace and respects the traditions of this great nation. Other 1. If elected, what three issues do you hope to address during your term? The government must either partner with the private sector to create jobs, or at least get out of the way. To me that means increasing opportunity by getting the national debt and annual deficit in check, end the costly wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and open trade again with the people of Cuba. 2. Even more specifically, if forced to prioritize and you could orchestrate the passage of one piece of legislation, what would that be? The Omnibus Trade and Farm Act of 2013. It’s time that farmers come out from the back of the bus to sit with Wall Street and Detroit as economic treasures worth supporting with all of the power of the national government. Highlights include: • A farm safety net that not only covers yield loss but also cover a deficiency in market price. • Robust crop insurance reform places premiums on peace of mind. • Pry open market access with current trading partners so we can compete, on par, with their imports into the American market. • Regulatory reform to modernize the EPA to conform to current science and practices. • Food labeling to keep consumers informed about the source of their foods and textiles. • Low cost loan guarantees from the government to mitigate the risk to lenders of drought, natural disasters and market swings. • Increase funding for agriculture research and development.
Farm Bill 1. What elements of the farm bill are critical/effective and must remain in future legislation? Title 10: Horticulture and Organic Culture 2. Like most programs this bill is under close budget scrutiny and probably will face cuts. Where do you believe those cuts should be made? Direct payments to large staple crop producers
should stop forthwith and be replaced with a policy of sustainable production based on actual supply and demand.
Industrial Hemp Farming Act which requires the federal government to respect state laws allowing the growing of industrial hemp.
Trade 1. What is your position on international trade? Unfortunately, most farms in the United States are now owned by large multinational corporations. While international trade benefits large staple crop and grain producers it has done little to help small family farms and local producers. It is my opinion that U.S. agriculture should focus on producing higher quality and healthier foods to local markets. 2. Do you support lifting trade and travel restrictions with Cuba? Yes. If the United States can trade with China then it is a hypocritical policy that we are not trading with our local neighbors.
Other candidate: Jessica Paxton, Marion (L)
Biofuels 1. Do you support government measures to expand or support the biofuels industry? No, as of now, because the current policies do not reflect a solution to our energy problems but rather a huge give away to corporate agribusiness. I especially do not support corn based ethanol which is a waste of water, fertilizer and other natural resources and drives up food prices. 2. Are there initiatives that you would support to increase the use or distribution of biofuels in the U.S.? Yes. I would support the use of industrial hemp as a source of biofuel as this can be used a rotational crop and requires very little cost intensive inputs. Immigration 1. How do you think we should handle immigration reform and the many people who are currently living and working in the United States illegally? Authorize temporary worker visas for people already in the United States but with a penalty for those who are already here illegally. These temporary visas should not last more than six months and immigration policy should be strictly enforced. Other
1. If elected, what three issues do you hope address during your term? • Ending foreign wars for oil in the Middle East. • Creating a clean and renewable energy based economy. • Re-establishing the Glass-Stegall Act to regulate big Wall Street banks and prevent another financial crash like what happened in 2008. 2. Even more specifically, if forced to prioritize and you could orchestrate the passage of one piece of legislation, what would that be?
U.S. Congressional District 2
U.S. Rep. Tim griffin
R, Little Rock
Farm Bill 1. What elements of the farm bill are critical/ effective and must remain in future legislation? Arkansas agriculture is a $16 billion business accounting for more than a quarter million Arkansas jobs, and Arkansas is home to nearly half of all rice production in the United States As I wrote to the House Agriculture Committee recently, the overriding principle is that the farm bill should be equitable to all crops and regions from both a policy and budget perspective. It cannot be a one-size-fits-all policy. Finally, I support efforts to improve and protect crop insurance and have asked the House Agriculture Committee to ensure that any supplemental coverage policy is designed to take into account the unique risk management needs of rice producers and allows rice producers full participation. 2. Like most programs this bill is under close budget scrutiny and probably will face cuts, where do you believe those cuts should be made? I anticipate that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be scrutinized closely, as it should be. In 2000, 17 million Americans were receiving assistance at a cost of $17 billion. As of April 2012, however, 46 million Americans were receiving assistance at a cost of $78 billion. Further, recently it was revealed that the federal government is spending $3 million on advertising to encourage Americans to enroll in the program. The cost of SNAP – to say nothing of the explosive growth – is unsustainable, and the program is in need of urgent reform. Trade 1. What is your position on international trade? I support free trade provided that there is a level playing field between the United States and other countries, including basic labor and environmental standards. While exports would increase, the most
important benefit to freer trade is faster economic growth and rapid job creation. 2. Do you support lifting trade and travel restrictions with Cuba? I support lifting the restrictions on trade to the benefit of Arkansas. As with any trading partner where our products are to be sold, Arkansas will see new jobs created if more of our agriculture products are allowed into Cuba. I support easing the path for Cuban-Americans to travel to the country to visit family. I would not support lifting restriction on tourism, as I believe the repressive government of Cuba is sustained by the influx of tourism dollars. Biofuels 1. Do you support government measures to expand or support the biofuels industry? Like most hardworking Arkansas taxpayers, I’m concerned about the rising costs of gas, electricity and food. To reverse this expensive trend, we must have an “all-of the-above” American-made energy strategy, which includes the use of biofuels. As Congress makes tough choices to reign in the deficit spending of the federal government, I support efforts to encourage the private sector to develop an effective and efficient way to expand the use of biofuels, including the elimination of overly burdensome regulations that would discourage the development of this, literally, home-grown resource. 2. Are there initiatives that you would support to increase the use or distribution of biofuels in the United States? I would support a competitive grant program for states that would encourage the creation of distribution outlets and other infrastructure that would allow biofuels in Arkansas to be a part of our country’s ‘all-of-the-above’ strategy. Immigration 1. How you do think we should handle immigration reform and the many people who are currently living and working in the United States illegally? Illegal immigration is at critical levels in our nation’s history in large part because the federal government has failed in one of its core constitutional responsibilities: securing our borders. Any attempt at immigration reform must start with securing our borders. The unsecured U.S. border is first and foremost a national security issue and should be regarded by every American that way. I support a fair and commonsense approach to immigration reform that gives priority to those who have followed the rules and waited their turn to become American citizens. I oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants because we should not reward lawbreakers. I have also voted in support of an electronic employment eligibility verification system to
ensure only those legally in the country can work. Other 1. If elected, what three issues do you hope address during your term? First, we must reform our “mandatory” or “entitlement” spending – such as Medicare and Medicaid – to save them before they go bankrupt. Our mandatory spending – to say nothing of hundreds of billions of dollars in interest payments we flush down the toilet each year – has got to be reined in. Mandatory spending is crowding out and will eventually suffocate the activities Americans would like to see us spend money on, such as, medical and scientific research, repairing our crumbling infrastructure, and maintaining a strong, well-equipped national defense. Second, when I ran for Congress, I pledged that I would not accept a Congressional pension and would reform the pension plan for Members of the House and Senate to save taxpayers millions of dollars each year and allow us to have a legitimate discussion about reforming the pension program for federal employees and saving the government hundreds of billions of dollars. Third, I will also continue to support ways to encourage the development of our domestic energy sources, especially the biofuel and natural gas sources found in Arkansas, leading to a truly energy independent America. 2. Even more specifically, if forced to prioritize and you could orchestrate the passage of one piece of legislation, what would that be? The Balanced Budget Amendment.
Trade 1. What is your position on international trade? Expanding trade is a priority of mine. It is important to the Third District, the state, and our country. Indeed, one of the most important things we can do to speed up our economic recovery is to give American farmers and businesses the tools they need to grow and expand their businesses. That’s why I am proud to have voted for the free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea and will continue to support efforts to increase exports. 2. Do you support lifting trade and travel restrictions with Cuba? The United States must take a measured approach in balancing the foreign security implications of any change in its policy toward Cuba. While I acknowledge that Cuban leadership may change in the future, I do not support softening restrictions on Cuba at this time, as any economic benefit would not outweigh the security and policy concerns I have. I am alarmed at the quickly improving relationship between Cuba and nations which are openly hostile to the United States, and no policy changes should be made until we can ensure the safety of all Americans and the promotion of stable democracies across the globe.
Farm Bill 1. What elements of the farm bill are critical/ effective and must remain in future legislation? As Congress continues to find ways to curb our nation’s spending and reduce our deficit and debt, many members of Congress have targeted the farm bill as one area where the federal government can cut spending. While Congress needs to reduce government spending, it cannot balance the budget on the backs of farmers.
Biofuels 1. Do you support government measures to expand or support the biofuels industry? There is a stark difference between types of biofuels and the impact they have on food prices. Ethanol is a biofuel that has proven to drive up food prices alarmingly high, and that is why I introduced H.R. 1075, the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit Repeal. 2. Are there initiatives that you would support to increase the use or distribution of biofuels in the United States? I support intelligent biofuel technologies that
Other candidates: Herb Rule, Little Rock (D) Barabara Ward, Little Rock (G) Chris Hayes, Little Rock (L)
U.S. Congressional District 3
U.S. Rep. Steve Womack
My top priority for the farm bill is to work with my colleagues in the Arkansas delegation to ensure Arkansas farmers are represented and the programs authorized in the bill work for them. 2. Like most programs this bill is under close budget scrutiny and probably will face cuts. Where do you believe those cuts should be made? More than 70 percent of the funding in the farm bill goes to support the nutrition account. While I recognize the importance of helping those Americans who – to no fault of their own – have fallen on hard times, programs – such as SNAP – have exploded in growth. What’s more, there is a great deal of waste, fraud, and abuse in these programs. That’s why I believe it is important to evaluate and realize savings in these programs.
use waste products or unused lands to produce the materials used for fuel, but strongly oppose subsidies for those biofuel technologies that make food more expensive for American families. Immigration 1. How do you think we should handle immigration reform and the many people who are currently living and working in the United States illegally? Increased security along our nation’s borders is the first step to solving our illegal immigration problems. There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in our country, and the federal government needs to strengthen law to protect our citizens at home from security threats that could filter into our country. Illegal immigrants who commit criminal acts are my biggest concern, and I implemented the 287(G) program as the Mayor of Rogers to empower local law enforcement officials to better protect citizens from the activity of criminal aliens. The safety of our communities comes first. Other candidates: Rebekah Kennedy, Ft. Smith (G) David Pangrac, Van Buren (L)
U.S. Congressional District 4
Tom Cotton R, Dardanelle
Farm Bill 1. What elements of the farm bill are critical/ effective and must remain in future legislation? I’m a sixth-generation Arkansan and I grew up in Yell County on my family farm, which I still work today with my family. So I have some idea of what keeps farmers up at night and gets them out of bed in the morning. In Congress, I will be guided on the farm bill — as with all legislation — by my rural upbringing and my conservative values. While it’s impossible to evaluate in this limited space the constantly changing text of an 800-page bill now under consideration, I will always work hard in Congress to defend rural America against the liberal Obama administration’s efforts to shift resources, influence, and power away from rural states like Arkansas. 2. Like most programs this bill is under close budget scrutiny and probably will face cuts. Where do you believe those cuts should be made?
Nutrition programs in the farm bill account for two-thirds of its total spending, according to the Farm Bureau’s statistics. Because these programs are the key driver of the bill’s total costs, the most savings can be found here. Specifically, the cost of the food-stamp program has risen 366 percent in recent years and suffers from significant fraud. This program should be capped at pre-stimulus levels and turned over to the states for more efficient administration. Equally important, we should cut the budgets of agencies like the EPA and the Labor Department, which infringe on the property rights of farm families and needlessly drive up the cost of farming. Trade 1. What is your position on international trade? America is strong and prosperous when we lead the world in promoting free trade among nations, as we have for decades. Arkansas farmers proudly help feed the country and the world by exporting our crops, poultry, pork, beef and other farm products. We must preserve access to markets where we currently trade and work to open more markets to our products. 2. Do you support lifting trade and travel restrictions with Cuba? I look forward to the day when all restrictions against Cuba can be lifted and Arkansas’s farm products can compete in Cuba as they do everywhere else in the world. But today, Cuba is still governed by an oppressive tyranny. Under these circumstances, we cannot do business with the Cuban government and know that we’re doing so in fairness to the Cuban people. Liberalization of trade with Cuba should be conditioned on specific, measurable progress on human rights and free-market economic reforms. Until then, we should extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people under existing OFAC licenses, as well as humanitarian aid. Biofuels 1. Do you support government measures to expand or support the biofuels industry? The biofuel industry is a critical part of a new “all of the above” energy policy needed to secure America’s energy independence and promote a growing economy. I will strongly support measures to remove regulatory obstacles in the energy sector — whether to biofuels, oil and gas, or other energy sources. We should unleash the private sector to find new energy solutions, eliminate Obama’s crony-capitalist preferences for his favored industries, and avoid policies that cause drastic inflation in the price of basic farm inputs such as grain, feed, gas, and diesel. 2. Are there initiatives that you would support to increase the use or distribution of biofuels in the United States? The most important initiative is broad-based 7
tax reform that enables farmers and consumers to keep more of their money and invest and spend as they see fit — not as politicians and bureaucrats want to dictate. Basic federal energy research has assisted with technological breakthroughs, and now industry and the private sector are investing in alternative energy on a commercial scale. Tax reform will ensure that needed capital continues to flow to promising companies, without unintended consequences like increasing prices for grain and feed Immigration 1. How do you think we should handle immigration reform and the many people who are currently living and working in the United States illegally? America is a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. Our first priority must be to secure and protect our borders to stop illegal immigration. We should also reform our legalimmigration processes for those waiting abroad to immigrate legally — exactly the kind of person we should want to become an American citizen. And we should improve the e-verify system to help businesses know that workers and applicants are legally authorized to work. Other 1. If elected, what three issues do you hope to address during your term? We must repeal ObamaCare, cut federal spending and reduce our debt, and reform our tax code. ObamaCare, the federal debt, and the complicated tax code pose serious, immediate threats to our economy and our future freedom prosperity. These challenges hit farm families especially hard, for instance, through the death tax and pending increases in the capital-gains tax. 2. Even more specifically, if forced to prioritize and you could orchestrate the passage of one piece of legislation, what would that be? I would work to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with free-market, patient-centered reforms. This unconstitutional law infringes on our liberty, explodes the deficit, raises taxes, and reduces the quality of and access to health care particularly in rural areas where many farm families already face challenges getting access to high-quality health care.
L, Mineral Springs
Farm Bill 1. What elements of the farm bill are critical/ effective and must remain in future legislation? The federal government must get out of the farm business. 2. Like most programs this bill is under close budget scrutiny and probably will face cuts. Where do you believe those cuts should be made? The free market must be relied upon. Trade 1. What is your position on international trade? More the better but no subsidies. 2. Do you support lifting trade and travel restrictions with Cuba? Yes. Biofuels 1. Do you support government measures to expand or support the biofuels industry? No. 2. Are there initiatives that you would support to increase the use or distribution of biofuels in the United States? No. Immigration 1. How do you think we should handle immigration reform and the many people who are currently living and working in the United States illegally? On a case-by-case basis the value of that person to the USA must be determined. Other 1. If elected, what three issues do you hope to address during your term? Debt, spending, and taxes. 2. Even more specifically, if forced to prioritize and you could orchestrate the passage of one piece of legislation, what would that be? Tax reform. Other candidates: Gene Jeffress, Louann(D) J. Joshua Drake, Hot Springs (G)
We work for those who feed the world. Representing more than 210,000 Arkansas families, Farm Bureau is the stateâ€™s largest membership organization.
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