Will Congress keep its promise on crop insurance cuts?

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Some ag group leaders are not totally convinced that Congress will keep its promise to exclude crop insurance cuts from the upcoming omnibus budget bill. Ag leaders in the House and Senate say they have assurances that those cuts, which are part of a Congressional budget agreement, will be restored. But some question just how… Read more »

AFBF director sees three ag priorities in DC

The American Farm Bureau’s head lobbyist says it is likely three key issues involving agriculture will be resolved in Congress by the end of the year.   Mary Kay Thatcher tells Brownfield the first has to do with just getting the omnibus budget bill done. “The deadline on that is December 11th…it could slip.  I… Read more »

Cattleman wants small business size standards to rest with agency

Cattle producer Jeff Beasley says Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards for farms need to be updated to reflect the volume of business done on today’s operations.  Beasley, who raises cattle in southern Illinois, tells Brownfield any farm doing more than $750,000 in gross receipts annually does not qualify for SBA loans. “That $750,000 level… Read more »

Minnesota Farm Bureau holds annual meeting

The president of Minnesota Farm Bureau says issues that come up daily in agriculture were addressed during the annual meeting last week. Kevin Paap was re-elected to another term Friday and tells Brownfield the organization’s goal is continuous improvement. “The importance of transportation infrastructure.  Taxes; how they affect us and our farming operations.  Specifically today,… Read more »

Coalition urges Congress to keep crop insurance intact

A broad coalition of ag-related groups is urging Congressional leaders to keep their promise to not cut crop insurance through the appropriations process. The letter to all members of Congress says that crop insurance is a linchpin of the farm safety net and is crucial to the economic security of rural America. Brad Lubben, Extension policy… Read more »

Listening is Job-1

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Tom Liebe is the new president and CEO of Cooperative Network. The organization has more than 400 member cooperatives in Wisconsin and Minnesota.   He says his first job is to listen; to his board members and the member cooperatives. To take the vision of the board and implement it to better serve the membership.  There… Read more »

Liebe takes over the reins at Cooperative Network

Tom Liebe is the new president and CEO of Cooperative Network. The organization has more than 400 member cooperatives in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  He succeeds Bill Oemichen who retired last month. Liebe has more than 20 years’ experience in government relations, advocacy, and trade association management.  He comes to Cooperative Network from his position as… Read more »

CHS looking to change its definition of membership

The largest farmer-owned cooperative in the nation is proposing changes to its bylaws that include how it defines membership. CHS Board chairman Dave Bielenberg of Oregon says the Minnesota-based company is taking into account how some of its member co-ops now do business. “Specifically being patronage to non-members and allowing non-members to participate in the… Read more »

Farm-to-School grants announced

USDA has announced $4.8 million in grants for 74 farm-to-school programs in 39 states. The programs help students learn about where their food comes from while farmers gain the opportunity to sell to the local school lunch program. Awards ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 are distributed in four different grant categories: Planning, Implementation, Support Service,… Read more »

USDA allocates FY 2016 MAP and FMD funds

USDA has awarded Fiscal Year 2016 funding to more than 60 agricultural organizations for the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program. Under MAP, the Foreign Ag Service will provide $172.8 million to 62 nonprofits and cooperatives to promote their products around the globe. MAP participants contribute an average 137 percent match… Read more »