NYFEA & Ag’s Promise: What we took to the Hill

April 21, 2010 at 4:23 pm Leave a comment

A group of passionate & pumped-up young ag leaders headed to the Hill in Washington DC yesterday to discuss 5 key issues with their House reps & Senators.  The 5 points were discussed and agreed upon by Agriculture’s Promise attendees on Monday.  So what did we want our politicians to know?

1.  Congress and USDA should support organizations that tell agriculture’s story.

Why is it important?

–          The average age of the American farmer increases every year.  Encouraging a younger generation of farmers to start producing food and fiber for America will be vital to the future of our country.

–          The American consumer wants to know the source of their food.  Educational programs are critical.

Solutions:

–          Agriculture’s Promise participants feel that it is the young and beginning producer’s responsibility to carry the message to the public, but help is needed.  The USDA “Know your Farmer, Know your Food” program has taken a great step in educating non-agricultural populations about food production.

–          Provide public support for organizations that multiply the effectiveness of the young producer’s voice.

2.  Public policy should balance agricultural production with environmental protection and energy independence.

Why is it important?

Farmers are the first environmentalists.  Without a pristine environment, agricultural production will suffer.  With the emphasis on energy independence, American agriculture can play vital role in providing resources.  The beginning producer is creative n markets and production, but new product require funding and support.

Solutions:

–          Regulations should be based on sound science rather than emotional-based assumptions.

–          Policy should encourage incentive based programs to balance production with environmental issues.

–          Policy should encourage support for agriculture’s role in the nation’s goal of energy independence.

3.  Congress should assist new farmers as they transition into production agriculture.

Why is it important?

The next generation of farmers must be able to start producing without the heavy tasx burden that might force them to give up portions of their farm.

Solutions:

–          Restructure the Federal Estate Tax to provide exemptions for agricultural land use.

–          Continue new farmer and producer grants to help beginning farmers enter the workplace.

–          Expand young farmer loans through FSA.

4.  Policy should be designed to continue federal funding for agricultural-based education programs.

Why is it important?

The next generation must be equipped with the technical, scientific, and communications skills to produce and market tomorrow’s agricultural goods.

Solutions:

–          Increase funding for Pre K – Ph.D for agricultural education.

  • Continued Perkins Act funding for CTAE in the Department of Education
  • Increase funding for land grant universities and cooperative extension
  • Maintain agriculture research funding as a high priority

–          Continue funding program where young farmers and agri-business professionals learn through networking and collaboration

5.  Congress should adopt a Farm Bill that promotes the marketing of agricultural products.

Why is it important?

The next generation must be competitive in the world market.

Solutions:

–          American agriculture’s standing must be protected by crop insurance and farm payment programs.

–          The Farm Bill should support agricultural subsidies as well as food support programs.  American agriculture needs support programs to maintain global competitiveness.

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Entry filed under: NYFEA info. Tags: , , , , , .

So what does Twitter have to do with farming? So what the heck is Ning?

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