It’s no secret that the USDA’s National Animal ID System (NAIS) has encountered its fair share of critisism during its first six years on the drawing board. In fact, following hearing sessions hosted by the USDA last year, industry buffs called the program unworkable and unnecessary.
With recent national media reports painting grim pictures of the dairy industry and the use of antibiotics in farm animals, it seems the agriculture community has become a serious target in media circles run by the likes of CBS Evening News Correspondent Katie Couric. And whether we like it or not, Couric is a strong voice in millions of family homes across the United States, unfortunately she is sure to make an impact on consumers choices.
Spending at least one day off a month, or more is one of the most important items in operating a successful farm business, according to Albert Nunes, a CPA with Genske, Mulder & Co. from Modesto, Calif., who made a presentation on financial strategies to get through tough times during the Indiana Livestock, Grain and Forage Forum last week. In terms of family life, reducing the stress load and keeping a positive attitude, a vacation day or a bit of time off once a month can be tremendously beneficial, he explained.
A recently-released policy paper by Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy is questioning the United States’ biofuels policy, and rightly so. The paper, “Fundamentals of a Sustainable U.S. Biofuels Policy,” challenges the economic, environmental and logistical basis for ethanol production.
As grain farmers in the Midwest begin to wrap-up an unusually long harvest, it’s finally time to cross one more thing off the list, but not without adding a few new “to dos.”
With increasing pressure from activist groups such as the Humane Society of the United States, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Farm Sanctuary and Greenpeace, farmers and many in agribusiness are realizing the importance of communicating to neighbors, civic leaders and those among the non-farm audience about what’s really going on behind those barn doors.
While President Obama is expected to focus on challenges in Afghanistan and a hefty
new health care bill this week, many in the farm community are growingly
concerned about the future of cap-and-trade legislation, and its implications
for farmers. According to University of Illinois agricultural economist and
environmental policy guru Madhu Khanna, there are both positive and negative
consequences for American farmers in a climate bill that would define the
nation’s first-ever mandatory limit on heat-trapping gases, in an effort to
slow-down global warming effects.