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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News as heard inside the BARN for January 24th…

Posted by Brian Allmer on January 24, 2013

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Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

“House Ag Approves Rules, Announces Subcommittee Assignments”

The House Agriculture Committee met Wednesday to formally organize and adopt rules for the 113th Congress. According to a House Ag Committee release – the rules approved by the committee maintain the enhanced transparency and accountability standards used in the last Congress under House Republican leadership. This includes posting the text of bills online for the public no fewer than 24 hours before a business meeting and providing live and archived webcasts of all hearings and business meetings. Membership for the committee’s five subcommittees was also announced. Chairman Frank Lucas and Ranking Member Collin Peterson will serve as ex officio members of each subcommittee.

At the start of Wednesday’s meeting – Chairman Lucas highlighted the work of the Ag Committee in the last Congress. He noted providing valuable oversight of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that agricultural producers aren’t burdened with unreasonable and costly regulations. He also mentioned the strong, reform-minded, fiscally responsible farm bill advanced during a committee markup that demonstrated the true spirit of bipartisanship.

According to Lucas – committee members worked together to make certain the policy was responsible to the taxpayer and worked for all producers in all regions of the country. Lucas said the new Congress provides a new opportunity to reauthorize a five-year comprehensive farm bill. He pledged to work with Secretary Tom Vilsack, Ranking Member Collin Peterson, Ag Committee members, his House and Senate colleagues and all interested parties to complete the work and ensure investment in American agriculture. He said it would take everyone working together to get it done.

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“General Mills Takes Stand on Sow Housing, Antibiotics”

One of the largest food companies in the world has now announced support for the development of pregnant sow housing alternatives. General Mills says it will favor pork suppliers that provide actionable plans by 2017 to create traceability and end their use of gestation crates within the U.S. pork supply chain. The company says it cares about animal welfare and supports the humane treatment of animals in agriculture. General Mills added that it agrees with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that judicious use of medically important antibiotic drugs can help preserve the effectiveness of the drugs as therapies for humans and animals. For that reason – the company does not support routine use of antibiotic drugs to promote growth in livestock – and believes such drugs should be used only as necessary and appropriate to maintain the health of animals.

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“Farm Bureau Has New Public Policy Leadership”

Dale Moore will replace the retiring Mark Maslyn as American Farm Bureau Federation Executive Director of Public Policy. After 32 years of distinguished service – Maslyn will leave Farm Bureau on February 1st. Chief Economist Dr. Bob Young will take the position formerly held by Moore – serving as Deputy Executive Director of Public Policy for the organization. According to Farm Bureau Executive Vice President and Treasurer Julie Anna Potts – Moore brings more than 30 years of deep public policy and Capitol Hill experience to the position. She says Farm Bureau will greatly benefit from Moore’s experience and insights gained from working with members of Congress and the administration on agricultural policy issues.

Moore was appointed by President George W. Bush as USDA’s Chief of Staff in 2001. He served Ag Secretaries Ann Veneman, Mike Johanns and Ed Schafer – as well as Acting Secretary Chuck Conner. He also worked in various positions during more than a dozen years on Capitol Hill. Before Young was named Farm Bureau Chief Economist in 2003 – he was a co-director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute. Before that – Young was the Chief Economist of the Senate Ag Committee.

Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman says the strategic know-how and analytical skills that Moore and Young offer will take the organization down the road to success as it reorganizes, integrates and realigns its organizational resources behind implementing its grassroots policies. He says Farm Bureau could not ask for a more complete leadership team at the top of its public policy department to implement policies that benefit the nation’s farm and ranch families.

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“Pork Industry Proud to be Represented by Faces of Farming & Ranching”

The National Pork Producers Council notes two pork farmers have been selected to serve as Faces of Farming and Ranching spokespeople. Chris Chinn is a fifth-generation family farmer raising hogs, cattle, hay and row crops in Missouri. Bo Stone of North Carolina is a sixth-generation family farmer raising hogs, cattle, row crops, strawberries and sweet corn. NPPC President R.C. Hunt says the group is proud that two family pork farmers will represent the industry on a national level. He says this will allow American agriculture to be more transparent and address consumer questions in a more personal manner.

The other farmers chosen by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance to serve as national spokespeople are Katie Pratt – an Illinois family farmer who raises corn, soybeans and seed corn; and Alabama dairy farmer Will Gilmer who also manages land used for pasture and forage production.

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“Ambassador Ron Kirk Stepping Down from USTR Post”

Ambassador Ron Kirk will leave his position as U.S. Trade Representative at the end of February. In making the announcement – Kirk said his office made great strides to bring about the President’s vision of a more robust, responsible and responsive trade policy that opens markets to American-made products and enforces the trade rights of Americans around the world in a way that is more consistent with the nation’s core values on issues like the rights of workers and the environment. Kirk also expressed pride in the contribution of USTR to America’s ongoing economic recovery.

During Kirk’s four years as U.S. Trade Representative – long-pending trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama were completed, passed by Congress and implemented. Among other accomplishments – the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations were launched, Trade Adjustment Assistance was renewed and strengthened and the Generalized System of Preferences and the Andean Trade Preferences Act were renewed.

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“NCGA Thanks Kirk for Global Trade Commitment”

The National Corn Growers Association is thanking Ambassador Ron Kirk for his commitment to promoting global trade during his four years as U.S. Trade Representative. NCGA President Pam Johnson says NCGA greatly appreciates Kirk for his tireless efforts to promote American agricultural products in the global marketplace. According to Johnson – NCGA applauds his efforts to pass and implement the three free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama and appreciates the pivotal role he played in lifting the outdated Jackson-Vanik amendment.

Johnson says NCGA remains committed to the development and maintenance of fair and open global trade practices – including advancing the Trans-Pacific Partnership. She says NCGA looks forward to working on these and other issues with Kirk’s successor.

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“Farm Bureau President on Senate Introduction of Farm Bill”

American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman says the introduction in the 113th Congress of the farm bill approved by the Senate last session represents real hope for farmers and ranchers that the Senate will aggressively move forward on a long-term bill to give farmers the risk management certainty they need. He says it will ultimately take real bipartisan cooperation to get the farm bill to the finish line. He is hopeful Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow and Ranking Member Thad Cochran will work quickly to build on the bipartisan work that was the hallmark of the Senate farm bill last year. Stallman encourages House Speaker John Boehner and other House members to follow the example set by Committee Chairman Frank Lucas and Ranking Member Collin Peterson in their actions to pass a bipartisan farm bill that worked for all Americans out of their committee. According to Stallman – the nation’s farmers deserve the policy certainty a five-year farm bill would provide. He says we need a flexible, reform-minded bill that draws its key risk management tools from crop insurance provisions.

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“IRS Extends Tax Filing Deadline for Farmers”

Last week – Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley urged the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service to grant penalty relief to family farmers who are forced to file their taxes late. Some farmers face a filing deadline of March 1st – but Grassley said the fiscal cliff debate and tax legislation enacted at the start of the year delayed the 2012 tax year filing season. In a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and IRS Acting Commissioner Steven Miller – Grassley said farmers shouldn’t be penalized for the failure of the President and Congress to act on tax legislation on a timely basis. The IRS response was to move the tax filing deadline from March 1st to April 15th this year. The IRS will soon issue guidance to provide relief for farmers and fishermen unable to file and pay their 2012 taxes by March 1st.

Farmers and fishermen who request the penalty waiver must attach Form 2210-F to their tax return. They will need to enter the taxpayer’s name and identifying number at the top of the form, check the waiver box (Part I, Box A) and leave the rest of the form blank. For forms, instructions and other tax assistance – farmers can visit IRS dot gov (www.IRS.gov).

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“Next Generation T Series Soybeans Launched by DuPont Pioneer”

DuPont Pioineer is launching next generation T Series soybeans developed through the company’s innovative Accelerated Yield Technology process. The new line includes 39 new products and will be introduced in this year. The T Series products – available in seven maturity groups – represent the largest number of soybean varieties advanced in a single year by Pioneer. DuPont Pioneer Senior Marketing Manager Don Schafer says the next generation T Series soybean products provides growers a total package that helps them gain the most from every acre. He says the T Series is a direct result of the AYT system that allows Pioneer soybean breeders to maximize yield potential, agronomic traits and resistance to yield-robbing pests.

Among this new class of T Series soybeans – 34 varieties will carry the Roundup Ready gene. There are two new Plenish high oleic varieties, five new products with the LibertyLink gene and two new varieities with the Roundup Ready/STS stack.Thirty-two of the products are soybean cyst nematode resistant and 29 carry a major Phytophthora-resistant gene.

For more information – farmers can see their sales professional or visit www dot pioneer dot com (www.pioneer.com).

 

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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