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Presidential, statewide elections bring few changes | 3 November 19, 2012 Vol. 91
Senators urge waterway improvements
Members help feed Wisconsin’s hungry | 7
‘Thanksgiving survey’ Prices for turkey dinner up slightly, but meal remains a bargain | 8
Looking ahead to the 2014 completion of the Panama Canal expansion, a bipartisan group of senators is planning to offer a bill to help ensure construction of the Chickamauga Lock. The American Waterworks Act would create a wider and longer lock able to handle multiple jumbo barges at a time, increasing the volume of cargo that can come through the lock while decreasing the time it would take to get it through. Updating locks and dams along critical shipping waterways is vital to the efficient transport of
U.S. farm commodities, said Andrew Walmsley, American Farm Bureau Federation transportation specialist. “The river structures now in use were built many decades ago and were not designed to accommodate today’s longer barge tows that are absolutely necessary in order to compete in a global market,” Walmsley said. “While these outdated locks and dams make our transportation system less efficient, our competitors in countries such as Argentina and Brazil are aggressively modernizing their own transportation infrastructure.”
Underscoring how important sound waterway infrastructure is, AFBF’s David Salmonsen, trade specialist, and Veronica Nigh, economist, recently led a group of Farm Bureau leaders on a tour to St. Louis, Mo., New Orleans and Panama to consider how the expansion of the Panama Canal locks will affect U.S agricultural trade. “We saw first-hand the opportunities for competitive agricultural trade and the challenges to the maintenance and improvement of U.S waterways, which carry more Waterway Continued on Page 2
Fiscal cliff looms over Congress’ lame duck
Sandy wreaks minimal havoc on agriculture Stretching over 900 miles, Superstorm Sandy triggered an estimated 8 million power outages and ultimately affected approximately one-third of the U.S. population. By comparison, agriculture got off easy.
Continued on Page 7
n e w s p a p e r
TAXES AND THE BUDGET are the focus of Congress’ post-election session as lawmakers and the president try reach a deal to avoid triggering hefty tax increases and sizeable spending cuts. Congressional lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill last week with less than two months to reach an agreement on scheduled tax hikes and spending cuts. If Congress can’t get a budget deal done, a series of tax increases and spending cuts dubbed the “fiscal cliff” take effect on Jan. 1. But a budget deal could be a long row to hoe with Democrats and Republicans fairly far apart on how to address the looming fiscal cliff. President Barack Obama said he is willing to compromise with Republicans, but he’s adamant that tax cuts be limited to those who make $250,000 or less. For their part, Republicans are firm in their position that increased tax rates on higher earners will slow job expansion. House Speaker John Boehner (R-
Ohio) wants to reduce tax rates, eliminate special-interest loopholes and rein in government benefits. Among the tax rates slated to jump on Jan. 1 are those tied to estate taxes and capital gains. While the top tax rate for the estate tax will climb from the 35 percent in place now to 55 percent, the exemption is slated to drop from the current $5 million to $1 million per person. The spousal transfer for the exemption will also disappear. Until estate taxes are permanently eliminated, farmers want Congress to keep or improve the current exemption, indexed for inflation, maintain spousal transfer and continue the top tax rate. “If Congress doesn’t act on estate taxes, as many as 10 percent of farm and ranch families could
be faced with making critical decisions to sell land, buildings or equipment to pay the tax,” said Pat Wolff, American Farm Bureau Federation tax specialist. The top long-term capital gains tax rate is also scheduled to rise in the new year, from the current 15 percent to 20 percent, and the dividends tax rate will more than double to 39.6 percent. Nationwide, 40 percent of all agricultural producers report some capital gains, nearly twice the share for all taxpayers. In addition, the average amount of capital gains reported by farmers is about 50 percent higher than the average capital gains reported by other taxpayers, according to AFBF. In one respect, the fiscal cliff, or at least prospect of it, could be Cliff Continued on Page 8
November 19, 2012
With Thanksgiving upon us, it’s time to talk turkey By Cyndie Sirekis This year’s election cycle turned a bit ugly near the end, with vitriolic voters calling each other’s candidates turkeys of one kind or another. Defined as such, a turkey can be a person or thing of little appeal...a dud or a loser. Farmers and home cooks alike greatly prefer the culinary definition of turkey, a large bird used for food. Turkey consumption has more than doubled since 1970 and is now at 16.1 pounds per person per year, according to the National Turkey Federation. Consumers are gobbling up turkey because they like the taste and nutritional value. The time of year when people eat turkey has also changed over the years. In 1970, 50 percent of all turkey consumed was eaten during the holidays. Today that number is around 31 percent. Clearly, more people than ever before enjoy eating turkey yearround. The cost of a Thanksgiving feast, with turkey on the center of the table, is different now as well. When the American Farm Bureau Federation first began tracking the retail cost for turkey and all the trimmings for 10 (in 1986) the average was $28.74. Fast forward to today and we’ll drop $49 and some change, on average, for food items
for a classic Thanksgiving dinner—$49.48 to be exact, according to Farm Bureau’s national survey of retail prices. But when you adjust for inflation, we’ll pay less, on average, for the same items today compared to 27 years ago. That’s a really good deal. Traditions such as the feast centered around turkey are an important part of celebrating Thanksgiving for most Americans, whether they live in a rural area, on a farm or ranch, in the city or suburbs, or anywhere in between. Playing football, hunting or watching the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade also rank high on the list of favored Thanksgiving traditions. Visiting a farm or ranch around Thanksgiving…maybe not so much, although AFBF President Bob Stallman would like to see that change. “During this holiday season, I am encouraging farmers and ranchers to talk in person or through social media with consumers about the food that they grow,” Stallman said recently when the results of AFBF’s annual Thanksgiving dinner cost survey were announced. Today’s Agriculture, the Faces and Places of Your Food, Fiber and Fuel, is a good place to start online if you’re looking to connect with a farmer through social media. Here you can explore and subscribe to blogs written by real farmers and ranchers (Blogs Fresh From the Farm), watch entertaining and informative short videos (Meet Your Farmers and Ranchers), pick up food and farm tidbits (Learn the
Facts) and much more. Visit http://www. fb.org/todaysag and see for yourself. If connecting with farmers in person in your local community sounds appealing, check out USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory. Serving as the official count of the nation’s farmers’ markets, this resource is a treasure trove of information for anyone interested in local food production and regional food systems. Learn more at http:// search.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/. Whether you choose to connect with a farmer a stone’s throw away from your backyard or one thousands of miles away via social media, Thanksgiving is an ideal time to reflect on and be thankful for the diverse food selection we enjoy in America. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Cyndie Sirekis is director of news services at the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Senators urge waterway improvements Continued from page 1 than 60 percent of U.S. corn and soybean exports,” said Nigh. Congressional lawmakers are focusing not only on how much more barges will be able to carry if infrastructure improvements are made, but the load that will be taken off of the nation’s highways. During a Senate Appropriations Energy and Water Subcommittee hearing earlier this year, American Waterworks Act sponsor Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said that completing the Chickamauga Lock, located in Chattanooga on the Tennessee River, would “take 100,000 heavy trucks off I-75 while allowing 6.7 million tons of cargo to move through the lock.” The American Waterworks Act would revamp the funding formula used to pay for waterway infrastructure projects. According to Alexander, the legislation would free up funds in the Inland Waterways Trust Fund to be used on priorities such as Chickamauga Lock by ending the requirement that trust fund revenues go to pay for Olmsted Lock on the Ohio River, a project that has been soaking up almost 90 percent of fund revenues. Second, Alexander said, it would
nearly double the amount of money in the trust fund by increasing the fees paid by barges—a move barge owners are on board with. “We have two trust funds to deal with waterway infrastructure like the Chickamauga Lock, and neither of them works,” Alexander said during a late October event at the lock. “The Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund collects a lot of money, but doesn’t spend it well. The Inland Waterways Trust Fund doesn’t collect much money, but spends it well. This bill would fix the way our ports and waterways are funded so that we can meet the challenges they face, and passing this bill would mean Chickamauga Lock gets the funding it will need to be completed.” Alexander is expected to introduce his bill during Congress’s lame duck session. There is also the possibility that he will try to incorporate it into the Water Resources Development Act. Similarly, six other senators recently wrote to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee urging committee members to provide for Mississippi River infrastructure improvements in the Water Resources Development Act. Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.),
Mace Thornton, Acting Director, Public Relations Erin Anthony, Editor Phyllis Brown, Assistant Editor Tracy Grondine, Contributing Writer Cyndie Sirekis, Contributing Writer Sarah Bittner, Contributing Writer
November 19, 2012 Vol. 91
Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said the deteriorating lock and dam infrastructure along the Mississippi River was of particular concern. Recently, traffic on the Upper Mississippi River was shut down after a protecting wall at Locks 27 failed. Locks 27 is located at Chain of Rocks Canal near Granite City, Ill. “This shut down comes during one of the most important periods of the year as Midwestern agriculture, one of the primary users of the waterways system, is in the midst of harvest,” the lawmakers wrote. According to the senators, shutdowns like this could impact not just current shipments on the river, but the overall reliability and timeliness of using the inland waterways system. McCaskill and her colleagues suggested that as the Environment and Public Works Committee considers a new Water Resources Development Act, the committee should work with stakeholders to find a way to expedite the construction and operation of projects to modernize the locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi River.
Published semimonthly, except monthly in August and December, by the American Farm B ureau Federation, 600 Maryland Ave., SW, Suite 1000W, Washington, DC 20024. Phone: 202-406-3600. E-mail: email@example.com. Web site: http://www.fb.org. Periodical postage paid at Washington, D.C., and additional mailing offices. Subscription rate for officers and board members of county and state Farm Bureaus—$6, which is deducted from dues. For other subscribers—$10. Postmaster: Send address changes to FBNews, 600 Maryland Ave., SW, Suite 1000W, Washington, DC 20024.
American Waterworks Act Among other things, the bill would:
• Remove the requirement that Olmsted Lock be funded using Inland Waterways Trust Fund revenue.
• Provide full federal funding for maintenance of harbors up to 50-feet deep. (Currently it is only full funding up to 45 feet, but the Panama Canal expan sion will accommodate ships with a 50-foot depth.)
• Speed up construction permit approval and provide states with the ability to appeal slow moving regulatory decision making.
• Authorize a 5-year construction program to expand harbors to accommodate the larger ships expected after the Panama Canal expansion.
• Increase revenue to Inland Wa terways Trust Fund in a manner consistent with the agreement between the Inland Waterways Users and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
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November 19, 2012
Ongoing issues carry over to new Congress While some of the most pressing issues facing agriculture and the entire nation must be addressed during the current lame-duck session of Congress, there will be plenty to hash out in the new year, as the 113th Congress comes to Washington, D.C., according to Mark Maslyn, executive director of public policy for the American Farm Bureau Federation. Looking at 2013, Maslyn said the new Congress will have to deal with impasses over the budget and tax matters. In addition, issues such as farm labor and regulations hang in the balance. At this rate, it also looks like the farm bill will be a top priority for growers in the new year. The Senate passed its version of the farm bill in June and the House Agriculture Committee approved its own legislation the following month. Farmers and ranchers had hoped to see Congress compromise on the two measures before heading home before the election, or at least get it done during the ongoing lame duck. However, lawmakers are far more focused on the looming “fiscal cliff,” expiring tax cuts and other related policy.
“The farm bills each chamber crafted last year are a solid starting point,” said Maslyn. “When Congress really gets down to work on the farm bill, lawmakers should be able to fairly easily get to the compromise stage. Beyond that, yes, there are wrinkles to iron out, but that’s all part of the legislative process.” Farm labor is another concern that with changing political crosscurrents seems to get bumped from one Congress to the next. However, the election may have shifted some of the previous thinking in Congress and created an opportunity for a strategic approach. In addition, agricultural groups are as committed as they have ever been to reach a consensus on a plan for a flexible agricultural worker program that benefits both growers and workers. “Lawmakers have signaled that they’re open to letting farmers and ranchers point them in the right direction on a worker program,” Maslyn said. “But in the past, growers were going too many different ways. Now, when lawmakers start talking in earnest about immigration reform, agriculture can present a united front,
with a well thought-out approach to making sure farmers and ranchers have the labor they need.” While the election brought attention to those who will serve in Congress, farmers and ranchers will need to continue to keep a close eye on the regulatory and legal arenas. Among the many ongoing issues significantly affecting agriculture are those related to water, concentrated animal feeding operations, public lands, air quality, endangered species and biofuels. “As regulators work through these issues, it is helpful to engage and inform lawmakers along the way and encourage them to conduct thorough oversight,” said Maslyn. Whether it’s labor, trade, the farm bill or any other topic, it will be the centrist members of both parties who will have to come together to make it work, he noted. “With Republicans in control of the House and Democrats in charge in the Senate, there will have to be some give and take to get a bill on the president’s desk,” Maslyn said. “Agriculture has always worked in a bipartisan manner, and we will continue to en-
courage congressional leaders to reach across the aisle for the good of farmers and ranchers, and all of America.”
Top ag issues in the 113th Congress Farm bill Most of the programs in the 2008 farm bill expired on Sept. 30. While most farmers are okay for now because the 2008 bill covers the 2012 crops, not just fiscal 2012, dairy farmers are struggling without a Milk Income Loss Contract program. If Congress does not pass a new, 5-year farm bill during the lame duck, lawmakers will have to pick it up in 2013. Farm labor Optimistic that the new Congress provides a new opportunity for reform, farmers and ranchers have come together to develop a blueprint for a worker program that suits growers of all kinds as well as workers.
Democrats keep control of Senate * Incumbent Arizona J. Flake, R R. Carmona, D California D. Feinstein*, D E. Emken, R Connecticut C. Murphy, D L. McMahon, R Delaware T. Carper*, D K. Wade, R Florida B. Nelson*, D C. Mack, R Hawaii M. Hirono, D L. Lingle, R
J.Donnelly, D R. Mourdock, R
D. Fischer, R B. Kerrey, D Nevada
B. Corker*, R M. Clayton, D
Maine A. King, O C. Summers, R Maryland B. Cardin*, D D. Bongino, R Massachusetts E. Warren, D S. Brown*, R Michigan D. Stabenow*, D P. Hoekstra, R Minnesota A. Klobuchar*, D K. Bills, R Mississippi R. Wicker*, R A. Gore, D Missouri C. McCaskill*, D T. Akin, R
Democrats = 53 Republicans = 45 Independents = 1 Other = 1
Montana J. Tester*, D D. Rehberg, R
D. Heller*, R S. Berkley, D New Jersey B. Menendez*, D J. Kyrillos, R New Mexico M. Heinrich, D H. Wilson, R New York K. Gillibrand*, D W. Long, R North Dakota H. Heitkamp, D R. Berg, R Ohio S. Brown*, D J. Mandel, R Pennsylvania B. Casey*, D T. Smith, R Rhode Island S. Whitehouse*, D B. Hinckley, R
Texas T. Cruz, R P. Sadler, D Utah O. Hatch*, R S. Howell, D Vermont B. Sanders*, I J. MacGovern, R Virginia T. Kaine, D G. Allen, R Washington M. Cantwell*, D M. Baumgartner, R West Virginia J. Manchin*, D J. Raese, R Wisconsin T. Baldwin, D T. Thompson, R Wyoming J. Barrasso*, R T. Chesnut, D
November 19, 2012
Republicans maintain majority in House elections *Incumbent **Race undecided Alabama 1 J. Bonner*, R 2 M.Roby*, R T. Ford, D 3 M. Rogers*, R J, Harris, D 4 R. Aderholt*, R D. Boman, D 5 M. Brooks*, R C. Holley, D 6 S. Bachus *, R P. Bailey, D 7 T. Sewell*, D D. Chamberlain, R Alaska AL D. Young*, R S. Cissna, D Arizona 1 A. Kirkpatrick, D J. Paton, R 2 M. McSally**, R R. Barber*, D 3 R. Grijalva*, D G. Saucedo Mercer, R 4 P. Gosar*, R J. Robinson, D 5 M. Salmon, R S. Morgan, D 6 D. Schweikert*, R M. Jette, D 7 E. Pastor*, D J. Cobb, L 8 T. Franks*, R G. Scharer, D 9 K. Sinema, D V. Parker, R Arkansas 1 R. Crawford*, R S. Ellington, D 2 T. Griffin*, R H. Rule, D 3 S. Womack*, R R. Kennedy, G 4 T. Cotton, R G. Jeffress, D California 1 D. La Malfa, R J. Reed, D 2 J. Huffman, D D. Roberts, R 3 J. Garamendi*, D K. Vann, R 4 T. McClintock*, R J. Uppal, D 5 M. Thompson*, D R. Loftin, R 6 D. Matsui*, D J. McCray, R 7 A. Bera**, D D.Lungren*, R 8 P. Cook, R G. Imus, R 9 J. McNerney*, D R. Gill, R 10 J. Denham*, R J. Hernandez, D 11 G. Miller*, D V. Fuller, R 12 N. Pelosi*, D J. Dennis, R 13 B. Lee*, D M. Singleton, O 14 J. Speier*, D D. Bacigalupi, R
15 E. Swalwell, D P. Stark*, D 16 J. Costa*, D B. Whelan, R 17 M. Honda*, D E. Li, R 18 A. Eshoo*, D D. Chapman, R 19 Z. Lofgren*, D R. Murray, R 20 S. Farr*, D J. Taylor, R 21 D. Valadao, R J. Hernandez, D 22 D. Nunes*, R O. Lee, D 23 K. McCarthy*, R T. Phillips, O 24 L. Capps*, D A. Maldonado, R 25 B. McKeon*, R L. Rogers, D 26 J. Brownley, D T. Strickland, R 27 J. Chu*, D J. Orswell, R 28 A. Schiff*, D P. Jennerjahn, R 29 T. Cardenas, D D. Hernandez, O 30 B. Sherman*, D H. Berman*, D 31 G. Miller*, R B. Dutton, R 32 G. Napolitano*, D D. Miller, R 33 H. Waxman*, D B. Bloomfield, O 34 X. Becerra*, D S. Smith, R 35 G. McLeod, D J. Baca*, D 36 R. Ruiz, D M. Bono Mack*, R 37 K. Bass*, D M. Osborne, R 38 L. Sanchez*, D B. Campos, R 39 E. Royce*, R J. Chen, D 40 L. Roybal Allard*, D D. Sanchez, D 41 M. Takano, D J. Tavaglione, R 42 K. Calvert*, R M. Williamson, D 43 M. Waters*, D B. Flores, D 44 J. Hahn *, D L. Richardson*, D 45 J. Campbell*, R S. Kang, D 46 L. Sanchez*, D J. Hayden, R 47 A. Lowenthal, D G. Delong, R 48 D. Rohrabacher*, R R. Varasteh, D 49 D. Issa*, R J. Tetalman, D 50 D. Hunter*, R D. Secor, D 51 J. Vargas, D M.Crimmins, R 52 S. Peters**, D B. Bilbray*, R 53 S. Davis*, D N. Popaditch, R Colorado 1 D. DeGette*, D D. Stroud, R
2 J. Polis*, D K. Lundberg, R 3 S. Tipton*, R S. Pace, D 4 C. Gardner*, R B. Shaffer, D 5 D. Lamborn*, R D. Anderson, O 6 M. Coffman*, R J. Miklosi, D 7 E. Perlmutter*, D J. Coors, R Connecticut 1 J. Larson*, D J. Decker, R 2 J. Courtney*, D P. Formica, R 3 R. DeLauro*, D W. Winsley, R 4 J. Himes*, D S. Obsitnik, R 5 E. Esty, D A. Roraback, R Delaware AL J. Carney*, D T. Kovach, R Florida 1 J. Miller*, R J. Bryan, D 2 S. Southerland*, R A. Lawson, D 3 T. Yoho, R J. Gaillot, D 4 A. Crenshaw*, R J. Klauder, O 5 C. Brown*, D L. Kolb, R 6 R. DeSantis, R H. Beaven, D 7 J. Mica*, R J. Kendall, D 8 B. Posey*, R S. Roberts, D 9 A. Grayson, D T. Long, R 10 D. Webster*, R V. Demings, D 11 R. Nugent*, R D. Werder, D 12 G. Bilirakis*, R J. Snow, D 13 B. Young*, R J. Ehrlich, D 14 K. Castor*, D E. Otero, R 15 D. Ross*, R 16 V. Buchanan*, R K. Fitzgerald, D 17 T. Rooney*, R W. Bronson, D 18 P. Murphy**, D A. West*, R 19 T. Radel, R J. Roach, D 20 A. Hastings*, D R. Terry, O 21 T. Deutch*, D M. Trout, O 22 L. Frankel, D A. Hasner, R 23 D. Wasserman Schultz*, D K Harrington, R 24 F. Wilson*, D 25 M. Diaz-Balart*, R S. Blumenthal, O 26 J. Garcia, D D. Rivera*, R 27 I. Ros-Lehtinen*, R
M. Yevancey, D Georgia 1 J. Kingston*, R L. Messinger, D 2 S. Bishop*, D J. House, R 3 L. Westmoreland*, R 4 H. Johnson*, D J. Vaughn, R 5 J. Lewis*, D H. Stopeck, R 6 T. Price*, R J. Kazanow, D 7 R. Woodall*, R S. Reilly, D 8 A. Scott*, R 9 D. Collins, R J. Cooley, D 10 P. Broun*, R 11 P. Gingrey*, R P. Thompson, D 12 J. Barrow*, D L. Anderson, R 13 D. Scott*, D S. Malik, R 14 T. Graves*, R D. Grant, D Hawaii 1 C. Hanabusa*, D C. Djou, R 2 T. Gabbard, D K. Crowley, R Idaho 1 R. Labrador*, R J. Farris, D 2 M. Simpson*, R N. LeFavour, D Illinois 1 B. Rush*, D D. Peloquin, R 2 J. Jackson Jr. *, D B. Woodworth, R 3 D. Lipinski*, D R. Grabowski, R 4 L. Gutierrez*, D H. Concepcion, R 5 M. Quigley*, D D. Schmitt, R 6 P. Roskam*, R L. Coolidge, D 7 D. Davis*, D R. Zak, R 8 T. Duckworth, D J. Walsh*, R 9 J. Schakowsky*, D T. Wolfe, R 10 B. Schneider, D R. Dold*, R 11 B. Foster, D J. Biggert*, R 12 W. Enyart, D J. Plummer, R 13 R. Davis, R D. Gill, D 14 R. Hultgren*, R D. Anderson, D 15 J. Shimkus*, R A. Michael, D 16 A. Kinzinger*, R W. Rohl, D 17 C. Bustos, D B. Schilling*, R 18 A. Schock*, R S. Waterworth, D Indiana 1 P. Visclosky*, D
J. Phelps, R 2 J. Walorski, R B. Mullem, D 3 M. Stutzman*, R K. Boyd, D 4 T. Rokita*, R T. Nelson, D 5 S. Brooks, R S. Reske, D 6 L. Messer, R B. Bookout, D 7 A. Carson*, D C. May, R 8 L. Bucshon*, R D. Crooks, D 9 T. Young*, R S. Yoder, D Iowa 1 B. Braley*, D B. Lange, R 2 D. Loebsack*, D J. Archer, R 3 T. Latham*, R L. Boswell*, D 4 S. King*, R C. Vilsack, D Kansas 1 T. Huelskamp*, R 2 L. Jenkins*, R T. Schlingensiepen, D 3 K. Yoder*, R J. Balam, L 4 M. Pompeo*, R R. Tillman, D Kentucky 1 E. Whitfield*, R C. Hatchett, D 2 B. Guthrie*, R D. Williams, D 3 J. Yarmuth*, D B. Wicker, R 4 T. Massie, R W. Adkins, D 5 H. Rogers*, R K. Stepp, D 6 A. Barr, R B. Chandler*, D Louisiana 1 S. Scalise*, R V. Mendoza, D 2 C. Richmond*, D G. Landrieu, D 3 C. Boustany*, R J. Landry*,R 4 J. Fleming*, R R. Lord, L 5 R. Alexander*, R R. Caesar, O 6 B. Cassidy*, R R. Craig, L Maine 1 C. Pingree*, D J. Courtney, R 2 M. Michaud*, D K. Raye, R Maryland 1 A. Harris*, R W. Rosen, D 2 D. Ruppersberger*, D N. Jacobs, R 3 J. Sarbanes*, D E. Knowles, R 4 D. Edwards*, D F. Loudon, R
5 S. Hoyer*, D T. O’Donnell, R 6 J. Delaney, D R. Bartlett*, R 7 E. Cummings*, D F. Mirabile, R 8 C. Van Hollen*, D K. Timmerman, R Massachusetts 1 R. Neal*, D 2 J. McGovern *, D 3 N.Tsongas*, D J. Golnik, R 4 J. Kennedy, D S. Bielat, R 5 E. Markey*, D T. Tierney, R 6 J. Tierney*, D R. Tisei, R 7 M. Capuano*, D K. Romero, I 8 S. Lynch*, D J. Selvaggi, R 9 B. Keating*, D C. Sheldon, R Michigan 1 D. Benishek*, R G. McDowell, D 2 B. Huizenga*, R W. German, D 3 J. Amash*, R S. Pestka, D 4 D. Camp*, R D. Freidell Wirth, D 5 D. Kildee, D J. Slezak, R 6 F. Upton*, R M. O’Brien, D 7 T. Walberg*, R K. Haskell, D 8 M. Rogers*, R L. Enderle, D 9 S. Levin*, D D. Volaric, R 10 C. Miller*, R C. Stadler, D 11 K. Bentivolio, R S. Taj, D 12 J. Dingell*, D C. Kallgren, R 13 J. Conyers*, D H. Sawicki, R 14 G. Peters*, D J. Hauler, R Minnesota 1 T. Walz*, D A. Quist, R 2 J. Kline*, R M. Obermueller, D 3 E. Paulsen*, R B. Barnes, D 4 B. McCollum*, D T. Hernandez, R 5 K. Ellison*, D C. Fields, R 6 M. Bachmann*, R J. Graves, D 7 C. Peterson*, D L. Byberg, R 8 R. Nolan, D C. Cravaack*, R Mississippi 1 A. Nunnelee*, R B. Morris, D 2 B. Thompson*, D B. Marcy, R House Continued on Page 5
November 19, 2012
Continued from page 4 3 G. Harper*, R L. Pannell, O 4 S. Palazzo*, R M. Moore, D Missouri 1 L. Clay*, D R. Hamlin, R 2 A. Wagner, R G. Koenen, D 3 B. Luetkemeyer*, R E. Mayer, D 4 V. Hartzler*, R T. Hensley, D 5 E. Cleaver*, D J. Turk, R 6 S. Graves*, R K. Yarber, D 7 B. Long*, R J. Evans, D 8 J. Emerson*, R J. Rushin, D Montana AL S. Daines, R K. Gillan, D Nebraska 1 J. Fortenberry*, R K. Reiman, D 2 L. Terry*, R J. Ewing, D 3 A. Smith*, R M. Sullivan, D Nevada 1 D. Titus, D C. Edwards, R 2 M. Amodei*, R S. Koepnick, D 3 J. Heck*, R J. Oceguera, D 4 S. Horsford, D D. Tarkanian, R New Hampshire 1 C. Shea-Porter, D F. Guinta*, R 2 A. Kuster, D C. Bass*, R New Jersey 1 R. Andrews*, D G. Horton, R 2 F. LoBiondo*, R C. Shober, D 3 J. Runyan*, R S. Adler, D 4 C. Smith*, R B. Froelich, D 5 S. Garrett*, R A. Gussen, D 6 F. Pallone*, D A. Little, R 7 L. Lance*, R U. Chivukula, D 8 A. Sires*, D M. Karczewski, R 9 B. Pascrell*, D S. Boteach, R 10 D. Payne Jr., D B. Kelemen, R 11 R. Frelinghuysen*, R J. Arvanites, D 12 R. Holt*, D E. Beck, R New Mexico 1 M. Lujan Grisham, D
J. Arnold-Jones, R 2 S. Pearce*, R E. Erhard, D 3 B. Lujan*, D J. Byrd, R New York 1 T. Bishop*, D R. Altschuler, R 2 P. King*, R V. Falcone, D 3 S. Israel*, D S. Labate, R 4 C. McCarthy*, D F. Becker, R 5 G. Meeks*, D A. Jennings, R 6 G. Meng, D D. Halloran, R 7 N. Velazquez*, D J. Murray, O 8 H. Jeffries, D A. Bellone, R 9 Y. Clarke*, D D. Cavanagh, R 10 J. Nadler*, D M. Chan, R 11 M. Grimm*, R M. Murphy, D 12 C. Maloney*, D C. Wight, R 13 C. Rangel*, D C. Schley, R 14 J. Crowley*, D W. Gibbons, R 15 J. Serrano*, D F. Della Valle, R 16 E. Engel*, D J. McLaughlin, R 17 N. Lowey*, D J. Carvin, R 18 S. Maloney, D N. Hayworth*, R 19 C. Gibson*, R J. Schreibman, D 20 P. Tonko*, D R. Dieterich, R 21 B. Owens*, D M. Doheny, R 22 R. Hanna*, R D. Lamb, D 23 T. Reed*, R N. Shinagawa, D 24 D. Maffei, D A.Buerkle*, R 25 L. Slaughter*, D M. Brooks, R 26 B. Higgins*, D M. Madigan, R 27 C. Collins, R K. Hochul, D North Carolina 1 G. Butterfield*, D P. DiLauro, R 2 R. Ellmers, R S. Wilkins, D 3 W. Jones*, R E. Anderson, D 4 D. Price*, D T. D’Annnunzio, R 5 V. Foxx*, R E. Motsinger, D 6 H. Coble*, R T. Foriest, D 7 D. McIntyre**, D D. Rouzer, R 8 R. Hudson, R L. Kissell*, D 9 R. Pittenger, R J. Roberts, D 10 P. McHenry*, R P. Keever, D 11 M. Meadows, R H. Rogers, D 12 M. Watt*, D J. Brosch, R
13 G. Holding, R C. Malone, D North Dakota AL K. Cramer, R P. Gulleson, D Ohio 1 S. Chabot*, R J. Sinnard, D 2 B. Wenstrup, R W. Smith, D 3 J. Beatty, D C. Long, R 4 J. Jordan*, R J. Slone, D 5 B. Latta*, R A. Zimmann, D 6 B. Johnson*, R C. Wilson, D 7 B. Gibbs*, R J. Healy-Abrams, D 8 J. Boehner*, R 9 M. Kaptur*, D S. Wurzelbacher, R 10 M. Turner*, R S. Swartz Neuhardt, D 11M. Fudge*, D 12 P. Tiberi*, R J. Reese, D 13 T. Ryan*, D M. Agana, R 14 D. Joyce, R D. Blanchard, D 15 S. Stivers*, R P. Lang, D 16 J. Renacci*, R B. Sutton*, D Oklahoma 1 J. Bridenstine, R J. Olson, D 2 M. Mullin, R R. Wallace, D 3 F. Lucas*, R T. Murray, D 4 T. Cole*, R D. Bebo, D 5 J. Lankford*, R T. Guild, D Oregon 1 S. Bonamici*, D D. Morgan, R 2 G. Walden*, R 3 E. Blumenauer*, D R. Green, R 4 P. DeFazio*, D A. Robinson, R 5 K. Schrader*, D F. Thompson, R Pennsylvania 1 R. Brady*, D J. Featherman, R 2 C. Fattah*, D R. Mansfield, R 3 M. Kelly*, R M. Eaton, D 4 S. Perry, R H. Perkinson, D 5 G. Thompson*, R C. Dumas, D 6 J. Gerlach*, R M. Trivedi, D 7 P. Meehan*, R G. Badey, D 8 M. Fitzpatrick*, R K. Boockvar, D 9 B. Shuster*, R K. Ramsburg, D 10 T. Marino*, R P. Scollo, D 11 L. Barletta*, R
G. Stilp, D 12 K. Rothfus, R M. Critz*, D 13 A. Schwartz*, D J. Rooney, R 14 M. Doyle*, D H. Lessmann, R 15 C. Dent*, R R. Daugherty, D 16 J. Pitts*, R A. Strader, D 17 M. Cartwright, D L. Cummings, R 18 T. Murphy*, R L. Maggi, D Rhode Island 1 D. Cicilline*, D B. Doherty, R 2 J. Langevin*, D M. Riley, R South Carolina 1 T. Scott*, R B. Rose, D 2 J. Wilson*, R 3 J. Duncan*, R B. Doyle, D 4 T. Gowdy*, R D. Morrow, D 5 M. Mulvaney*, R J. Knott, D 6 J. Clyburn*, D N. Muhammad, G 7 T.Rice, R G. Tinubu, D South Dakota AL K. Noem*, R M. Varilek, D Tennessee 1 P. Roe*, R A. Woodruff, D 2 J. Duncan*, R T. Goodale, D 3 C. Fleischmann*, R M. Headrick, D 4 S. DesJarlais*, R E. Stewart, D 5 J. Cooper*, D B. Staats, R 6 D. Black*, R S. Beasley, I 7 M. Blackburn*, R C. Amouzouvik, D 8 S. Fincher*, R T. Dixon, D 9 S. Cohen*, D G. Flinn, R Texas 1 L. Gohmert*, R S. McKellar, D 2 T. Poe*, R J. Dougherty, D 3 S. Johnson*, R 4 R. Hall*, R V. Hathcox, D 5 J. Hensarling*, R L. Mrosko, D 6 J. Barton*, R K. Sanders, D 7 J. Culberson*, R J. Cargas, D 8 K. Brady*, R N. Burns, D 9 A. Green*, D S. Mueller, R 10 M. McCaul*, R T. Cadien, D 11 M. Conaway*, R J. Riley, D 12 K. Granger*, R D. Robinson, D
13 M. Thornberry*, R J. Deek, L 14 R. Weber, R N. Lampson, D 15 R. Hinojosa*, D D. Brueggemann, R 16 B. O’Rourke, D B. Carrasco, R 17 B. Flores*, R B. Easton, L 18 S. Jackson Lee*, D S. Seibert, R 19 R. Neugebauer*, R C. Peterson, L 20 J. Castro, D D. Rosa, R 21 L. Smith*, R C. Duval, D 22 P. Olson*, R K. Rogers, D 23 P. Gallego, D Q. Canseco*, R 24 K. Marchant*, R T. Rusk, D 25 R. Williams, R E. Henderson, D 26 M. Burgess*, R D. Sanchez, D 27 B. Farenthold*, R R. Harrison, D 28 H. Cuellar*, D W. Hayward, R 29 G. Green*, D J. Stanczak, L 30 E. Johnson*, D T. Washington, R 31 J. Carter*, R S. Wyman, D 32 P. Sessions*, R K. McGovern, D 33 M. Veasey, D C. Bradley, R 34 F. Vela, D J. Bradshaw, R 35 L. Doggett*, D S. Narvaiz, R 36 S. Stockman, R M. Martin, D Utah 1 R. Bishop*, R D. McAleer, D 2 C. Stewart, R J. Seegmiller, D 3 J. Chaffetz*, R S. Simonsen, D 4 J. Matheson*, D M. Love, R Vermont AL P. Welch*, D M. Donka, R Virginia 1 R. Wittman*, R A. Cook, D 2 S. Rigell*, R P. Hirschbiel, D 3 B. Scott*, D D. Longo, R
4 R. Forbes*, R E. Ward, D 5 R. Hurt*, R J. Douglass, D 6 B. Goodlatte*, R A. Schmookler, D 7 E. Cantor*, R W. Powell, D 8 J. Moran*, D P. Murray, R 9 M. Griffith*, R A. Flaccavento, D 10 F. Wolf*, R K. Cabral, D 11 G. Connolly*, D C. Perkins, R Washington 1 S. DelBene, D J. Koster, R 2 R. Larsen*, D D. Matthews, R 3 J. Herrera Beutler*, R J. Haugen, D 4 D. Hastings*, R M. Baechler, D 5C. McMorris Rodg ers*, R R. Cowan, D 6 D. Kilmer, D B. Driscoll, R 7 J. McDermott*, D R. Bemis, RFgeorgi 8 D. Reichert*, R K. Porterfield, D 9 A. Smith*, D J. Postma, R 10 D. Heck, D D. Muri, R West Virginia 1 D. McKinley*, R S. Thorn, D 2 S. Capito*, R H. Swint, D 3 N. Rahall*, D R. Snuffer, R Wisconsin 1 P. Ryan*, R R. Zerban, D 2 M. Pocan, D C. Lee, R 3 R. Kind*, D R. Boland, R 4 G. Moore*, D D. Sebring, R 5 J. Sensenbrenner*, R D. Heaster, D 6 T. Petri*, R J. Kallas, D 7 S. Duffy*, R P. Kreitlow, D 8 R. Ribble*, R J. Wall, D Wyoming AL C. Lummis*, R C. Henrichsen, D
Democrats = 190 Republicans = 240 Undecided = 5
November 19, 2012
Ballot roundup: Voters make the call on important ag-related issues Alongside the presidential candidates and state and local races, this Election Day voters nationwide were also deciding a number of state ballot initiatives, some of which were closely watched by farmers and ranchers. The most prominent among them was California’s Proposition 37. The failed ballot measure would have required foods containing genetically engineered ingredients to carry a special, California-only label. “We’re pleased that voters saw the many flaws in Proposition 37 and rejected it,” said Paul Wenger, California Farm Bureau president. “It would have created confusion about food safety and raised food costs, and it would have created all sorts of complications for family farmers and others who grow or sell food.” Despite the defeat of Proposition 37, Wenger said farmers understand that many people want to know more about how their food is produced. “No matter what crops they grow or how they grow them, farmers want to provide the food and farm products that people want and need,” he said, adding that Farm Bureau supports continued research and education to broaden understanding of genetically engineered foods. “While it’s true that California farmers don’t grow a lot of genetically engineered crops, we believe biotechnology holds promise to provide environmental benefits and nutritional improvements for a growing population,” Wenger said. “While we seek to fulfill that promise, we will continue to support the current, comprehensive regulatory program that ensures biotech crops are safe and are produced in a way that protects the environment. We believe biotech crops to be safe, but if people choose not to consume foods produced through biotechnology, there are alternatives such as organic products or those voluntarily labeled as being made without use of genetically engineered ingredients.” Virginia passes property protection amendment In Virginia, voters approved a Virginia Farm Bureau-backed referendum (Question 1) on a constitutional amendment regarding private
property rights and the power of eminent domain in the state. The amendment “makes sure that [Virginians’] land cannot be taken and given to another private owner for development. It also requires any condemning power to provide fair compensation to property owners for both their land and lost business profits and lost access, and it prohibits taking any more property than is necessary,” said Trey Davis, VFBF assistant director of governmental relations. Passage of the eminent domain ballot measure is an important vote for all Virginians, not just farmers, said Wayne Pryor, VFBF president. “Whether you own 1,000 acres or whether you own one acre with a house on it, you should have the same property rights. You should make sure the government cannot come in and take your land for another private enterprise’s benefit,” Pryor said. Farm Bureau is part of a coalition of agriculture and property rights groups that have been supporting the proposed amendment for seven years. In addition to strengthening property rights in the Virginia constitution, the amendment would make it more difficult for the General Assembly to change eminent domain laws in the future, Davis said. “We can’t predict what situations will face our legislators 20 years, 50 years or 100 years from now. But this amendment will assure that whatever the situation, the property rights of all Virginians will be protected.” Redistricting amendment fails in Ohio Ohio voters rejected a ballot proposal to amend the Ohio Constitution to change the way congressional and state legislative districts are drawn. Under the proposal, known as Issue 2, new districts would be created for the 2014 election and then after each census. The proposed process included a confusing and complicated application and selection procedure that lacks accountability to voters, according to the Ohio Farm Bureau, which urged people to vote “no” on the initiative. While OFB believes that a better and more transparent redistricting and apportionment
News Briefs Schools receive Agriculture in a Growing World grants Twenty-five schools were recently selected as grant recipients for the Agriculture in a Growing World program, made possible by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture in partnership with the Nutrients for Life Foundation. Grant recipients represent the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. Grant recipients will receive a class set of “The Man Who Fed the World,” by Leon Hesser. This book brings to life the story of Norman Borlaug, a man who came from a one-room schoolhouse in Iowa and became one of the 100 most influential persons of the 20th Century. In Borlaug’s eyes, fertilizer was a key component to staving off starvation, and Nutrients for Life carries this message forward on a daily basis. The Agriculture in a Growing World Essay Contest is a national competition, open to 9th-12th grade students who have explored the book “The Man Who Fed the World.” Any school, whether grant recipient or not, that has implemented this curriculum may enter the contest. The book, which comes with supporting educator resources, can be purchased at www.agfoundation.org. Contest details are al available on the site. Essays and accompanying entry form must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 202-314-5121 by April 1, 2013.
USDA increases corn, soybean production forecast USDA’s monthly crop report moderately increased 2012 production forecasts for corn and soybeans compared to the prior month. “As anticipated, there were no
process is needed, the organization’s board felt strongly that the ballot measure did not meet the standards of good government. “Ohioans deserve good government that is accountable to the public, subject to fiscal and ethical oversight and ensures that rural Ohio continues to have adequate legislative representation,” said Jack Fisher, OFB executive vice president. Instead, OFB is calling for a more thorough review of apportionment and redistricting in order to create a better system. Arizona rejects permanent sales tax hike A ballot initiative to make permanent a 1cent sales tax failed in Arizona. Proposition 204, the Quality Education and Jobs Act, would have directed sales tax proceeds for 12 different earmarks from K-12 and college education to mass transportation and roads. AFB urged voters to reject the measure, saying that the state “does not need more budgeting by the ballot box, nor do we need to further hamstring our legislature.” AFB “supported the temporary [emphasis on ‘temporary’] sales tax as an emergency measure, but the time for the sales tax increase has passed and it is time for the legislature to continue to do the things necessary to get our state’s fiscal house in order,” said Kevin Rogers, AFB president. North Dakota voters support farmers and ranchers Language protecting modern farming and ranching practices will be part of North Dakota’s Constitution, after state voters passed Measure 3. “Measure 3 passed in every county,” said Doyle Johannes, NDFB president and chairman of the N.D. Feeding Families Committee. “North Dakota voters saw how important agriculture is to our state, and how vital it is for farmers and ranchers to keep moving forward with technology and best management practices. We are truly thankful and gratified for the support of our state’s voters.”
major changes to the projected production totals for both corn and soybeans this month,” said AFBF senior economist Todd Davis. “The early harvest numbers provided a fairly clear picture on the size of the 2012 corn and soybean crops in the October report,” he added. USDA forecast corn production at 10.7 billion bushels, down 1.6 billion bushels compared to 2011. The average yield for corn was forecast at 122.3 bushels per acre this year, up slightly from the October projection. Corn ending stocks for the marketing year are projected to be tight at 647 million bushels, representing 21 days of supply. Soybean production is forecast at 2.97 billion bushels, down 123 million bushels compared to 2011. The average yield for soybeans was forecast at 39.3 bushels per acre, 2.6 bushels per acre less than the 2011 average yield. Ending stocks for soybeans are projected to be 140 million bushels (about a 17-day supply), which Davis described as “uncomfortably tight.”
Biotechnology contest will send five farmers to Hawaii The Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation and Hawaii Crop Improvement Association are sponsoring “Views from the Farm,” a contest inviting farmers to share their stories about how biotechnology has impacted their agricultural viability. Submissions will be published in a booklet that will be used to inform the public about the importance of biotechnology in different areas of farming. Submissions must be 1,000 words or less. Recommended topics include: reduced pesticide use; increased yield; enhanced environmental stewardship of land, energy and water; and improved economic sustainability (lower production costs). The submission deadline is Nov. 30. Five winners will receive a one-week, all expenses paid trip to Hawaii for two in February 2013 during which they will be asked to share their personal stories with business leaders, lawmakers and the media. For more information, contact Alicia Maluafiti at HCIA, at email@example.com or 808-224-3648.
November 19, 2012
State FB Links
YF&R members help feed Wisconsin’s hungry Earlier this month, the American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee processed close to 10,000 packages of waffles—about 5,000 pounds—at the Eastern Wisconsin branch of Feeding America. Wisconsin Farm Bureau YF&R members also pitched in at the event, which was part of the ongoing Harvest for All effort spearheaded by the AFBF YF&R Committee. As part of Harvest for All, in 2011 the farm and ranch families of Farm Bureau raised more than $556,273 and donated more than 10 million pounds of food to assist hungry Americans. Combined, the monetary and food donations provided nearly 13 million meals. The joint effort between Farm Bureau and Feeding America is a national community action program through which farmers and ranchers can help ensure every American enjoys the bounty they produce.
State Focus Newsmakers Former vice president of Utah Farm Bureau, C. Booth Wallentine, passed away at the age of 74. A cattle rancher, Wallentine served UTFB for more than 30 years.
NCFB initiative provides free health screenings
Ohio farmers say ‘no’ to Clean Water Act expansion
Oklahoma farmers pass the hat to fight hunger
The North Carolina Farm Bureau launched its Healthy Living for a Lifetime initiative earlier this fall. The mobile, self-contained facility is equipped to test for various health issues, including blood pressure, total cholesterol, glucose and body mass index, and is available to rural North Carolinians at no cost. The initiative’s 50-foot unit hit the road in September and as of Oct. 1, 5,584 free health screenings had been conducted. On Oct. 27, Stokes County Farm Bureau promoted the free health screenings at the Pioneer Family Medical and Specialty Clinic. “Farm Bureau has a long history of giving back to rural North Carolinians, and it is an honor to bring Healthy Living for a Lifetime to Stokes County,” said Dale Hartman, president of the Stokes County Farm Bureau.
Ohio Farm Bureau is helping hundreds of Ohio farmers express their concerns to the U.S. EPA on a guidance document that would expand the agency’s interpretation of the Clean Water Act. So far, the organization has gathered more than 600 photos and comments of Ohio farmers who are opposed to expanding federal regulatory authority from “navigable” waters to all waters, such as streams and ditches. Ohio Farm Bureau will submit a book highlighting its members’ views in public comments to the agency as well as Ohio’s congressional delegation. As part of its Stop the Flood of Regulation campaign, the American Farm Bureau Federation is urging farmers and ranchers to let Congress and the administration know how devastating EPA’s guidance document could be to agriculture.
Enough money was raised for approximately 1,000 meals during the opening luncheon for the Oklahoma Farm Bureau state resolutions committee Oct. 16 in Oklahoma City. In his address to the committee, Mike Spradling, Oklahoma Farm Bureau president, encouraged the group to contribute just one dollar apiece for Gov. Mary Fallin’s third annual Feeding Oklahoma Food and Fund Drive. Every dollar contributed equals five meals. “This is a good way to show farmers care about those less fortunate Oklahomans who worry about where their next meal will come from,” Spradling said. “I encourage every Oklahoman to contribute a dollar to this worthy campaign.” Each year, OFB members bring non-perishable food items to the annual Oklahoma Farm Bureau convention.
Former American Farm Bureau Federation employee Carolyn (Sue) Palmore, 73, died Nov. 1 at her home in Woodstock, Ind., after a battle with pancreatic cancer. From 1978 until 1984, Palmore was the director of consumer relations in AFBF’s information division. Jason Jaekel is the new young farmer manager for Michigan Farm Bureau. Jaekel has worked for MIFB since 2008 as a regional representative in the Northeast Region before transferring to the West Region in March 2011. Mike Held has retired as CEO of South Dakota Farm Bureau after 35 years with the organization. Held started with SDFB in 1976 as executive director. Prior to that, he worked for seven years at the Wisconsin Farm Bureau.
Sandy wreaks minimal havoc on agriculture Still, the Virginian-Pilot newspaper reported that agricultural damage in the Chesapeake Bay area was minimal, estimating potential damage to 2,000 acres of small grains, including wheat, barley and oats. In Virginia’s Suffolk and Western Tidewater region, where 60 percent of the cotton crop had not been harvested, Sandy could have been disastrous. Fortunately, it’s estimated that the total cotton loss will be only several hundred pounds in that area. While the damage to New York agriculture was minimal, apple growers in the state were in a bind. They had two weeks of harvest ahead of them when Sandy hit, but without the labor needed to get the job done, many apples ended up on the ground and those still on the trees were bruised, according to Helene Dillard, statewide director of the Cornell Cooperative Extension. In addition, Sandy left the soil too wet for growers to plant the several thousand new trees they needed to get in the ground, Dil-
lard said. Some vegetable growers will have to hold up their cabbage, beets and carrot harvesting. Although New York farmers fared relatively well with Sandy, they’ve been through the long slog of storm recovery before. Last year in the wake of the devastation left by Irene and Lee, many people offered help in every way possible. Now these same farmers are looking to repay the kindness. New York Farm Bureau, the Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County Gleaning Program and City Harvest partnered earlier this month to coordinate food donations to New York City and Long Island residents who have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy. More than two trucks were packed with nearly 100,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables, including potatoes, greens, cider, squash and edible pumpkins, apples, potatoes, carrots and other vegetables. “Many farmers who experienced Irene and Lee last year know firsthand the hardships that follow a devastating storm,” acknowledges Dean Norton, president of New
York Farm Bureau. “We encourage all to give what they can to the relief effort. So many people came to our aid last year. We’ll do our best to repay the generosity.” photo: cornell cooperative extension orange county
Continued from page 1 In farmers’ favor was the timing of the storm. In New Jersey, where Sandy made landfall, some growers struggled with direct losses to crops and livestock. Structural and property damage and lost business were also problems. However, New Jersey Farm Bureau estimates that 80 percent of the state’s crops were already harvested. Similarly, USDA estimates showed that about 85 percent of the Maryland corn crop was taken care of. However, only 30 percent of the soybeans were out of the ground. “Our preliminary assessments indicate that farmers across the state experienced high winds, flooding [and] power losses as a result of excessive rain,” said Maryland Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance. Tree and limb damage also occurred, but “overall Maryland agriculture fared well with no significant loss or structural damage.” While many farmers sped up their harvests to beat the approaching storm, there was little that could be done with recently planted wheat in Virginia Beach, Va.
New York Farm Bureau worked with the Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County Gleaning Program and City Harvest to coordinate food donations for people devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
November 19, 2012
Cost of classic Thanksgiving dinner up slightly this year
The retail cost of menu items for a classic Thanksgiving dinner including turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all the basic trimmings increased less than 1 percent this year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. AFBF’s 27th annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $49.48, a 28-cent price increase from last year’s average of $49.20. “At just under $5 per person, the cost of this year’s meal remains a bargain,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman, a rice and cattle producer from Texas. “Our diverse farm and ranch families are honored to produce the food from our nation’s land for family Thanksgiving celebrations. During this holiday season, I am encouraging farmers and ranchers to reach out to consumers, in person or through social media, to answer questions about the food that they grow or the livestock and poultry they raise.” The AFBF survey shopping list includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and beverages of coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10. There are also plenty for leftovers. The big ticket item—a 16-
pound turkey—came in at $22.23 this year. That was roughly $1.39 per pound, an increase of about 4 cents per pound, or a total of 66 cents per whole turkey, compared to 2011. The whole bird was the biggest contributor to the final total, showing the largest price increase compared to last
crease our shoppers reported for the bird,” he said. Savvy shoppers may pay even less for a frozen tom turkey compared to AFBF’s 155 volunteer shoppers who checked prices at grocery stores in 35 states. “Turkeys may still be featured in special sales and promotions
year. “Thanksgiving dinner is a special meal that people look forward to all year,” said John Anderson, AFBF’s deputy chief economist. “Most Americans will pay about the same as last year at the grocery store for a turkey and all the trimmings. A slight increase in demand for turkey is responsible for the moderate price in-
close to Thanksgiving,” Anderson explained. “Anyone with the patience to wait until the last minute to buy a turkey for Thanksgiving could be rewarded with an exceptional bargain.” In addition to the turkey, a combined group of miscellaneous items, including coffee and ingredients necessary to prepare the meal (onions, eggs, sugar, flour, evaporated milk and butter) increased in price, to $3.18. A dozen brown-n-serve rolls also increased slightly this year, up 3 cents to $2.33. Items that showed a price decrease from last year were: a half pint of whipping cream, $1.83, down 13 cents; a 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing, $2.77, down 11 cents; three pounds of sweet potatoes, $3.15, down 11 cents; one gallon of whole milk,
Fiscal cliff looms over Congress’ lame duck Continued from page 1 good for farmers and ranchers. There is speculation that it will compel lawmakers to finalize a farm bill in order to reap some of the savings the bill could provide. The Senate-passed version of the bill, approved in June, would save $23 billion over 10 years. The House Agriculture Committee’s legislation, passed in July, provides a $35 billion savings. The gap in savings is primarily due to cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. Many of the programs in the 2008 farm bill expired on Sept. 30
and growers need to have a new bill in place to start planning for the upcoming year. One of the few items not related to the budget that Congress is expected to take up is permanent normal trade relations for Russia. Without congressional passage of PNTR, the U.S. is not benefiting from Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization. “U.S. farmers and ranchers are anxious for the more certain and predictable access to Russia’s market that PNTR and Russia’s WTO membership will provide,” said David Salmonsen, AFBF trade specialist.
$3.59, down 7 cents; fresh cranberries, $2.45, down 3 cents; one pound of green peas, $1.66, down 2 cents; a 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix and two nine-inch pie shells, $5.53, down 2 cents. A one-pound relish tray of carrots and celery remained the same at 76 cents. Anderson noted that despite retail price increases during the last year or so, American consumers have enjoyed relatively stable food costs over the years, particularly when adjusted for inflation. The slight percentage increase in the national average cost reported this year by Farm Bureau for a classic Thanksgiving dinner tracks closely with the organization’s 2012 quarterly marketbasket surveys and the government’s Consumer Price Index for food (available online at http://data.bls.gov/). Farm Bureau volunteer shoppers are asked to look for the best possible prices, without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals, such as spending $50 and receiving a free turkey. Shoppers with an eye for bargains in all areas of the country should be able to purchase individual menu items at prices comparable to the Farm Bureau survey averages. Another option for busy families without a lot of time to cook is ready-to-eat Thanksgiving meals for up to 10 people, with all the trimmings, that are available at many supermarkets and takeout restaurants for around $50 to $75. The AFBF survey was first conducted in 1986. While Farm Bureau does not make any scientific claims about the data, it is an informal gauge of price trends around the nation. Farm Bureau’s survey menu has remained unchanged since 1986 to allow for consistent price comparisons.
Corner Post U.S. Per Capita Turkey Consumption In 2011, U.S. turkey consumption was 16.1 pounds per person
Source: National Turkey Federation