Thought of the Week

Farming and ranching is MUCH MORE than a job.

-Zippy Duvall, President, American Farm Bureau

Posted in Ag Production, Education, Farmers, Feeding the World, For Kids, Ranchers, Thought of the Week, Work, Young Farmers and Ranchers | Leave a comment

Ag Programs and the USDA Budget

When we hear  news of the “Farm Bill,” we think that farmers and ranchers benefit from these programs.  Not so much!  Take a look at this:


71%     Food Assistance and Nutrition Programs

16%     Agriculture Programs

7%       Conservation and Forestry Programs

6%     Other (Rural Development, Food Safety, Research and Marketing/Regulatory programs)


Photo Source: USDA ERS


The USDA’s budget focuses on creating jobs and building a foundation for future economic growth, especially in rural America.  It also provides stability for farmers and ranchers,in addition to making targeted investments in bio-based product manufacturing, local and regional food systems and specialty crops and organic production.

Food Assistance and Nutrition Programs, including Supplemental Nutrition assistance Program (SNAP – formerly known as Food Stamps); Women, Infants and Children (WIC); and school lunch/breakfast programs – account for nearly 3/4 of the Agriculture Department’s 2017 budget.

In contrast, farm and ranch programs equal just 16%.

Seems it should, perhaps, be called “Food Security Bill.”


-2017 American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture.  Sources:  Office of Management and Budget, USDA

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Thought of the Week


The commodity (farm) markets are like a freighter, slow to move, but starting to point
in the right direction.

-Ram Certified Market Intelligence Report

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America’s Farmers and Ranchers

Farm and ranch families make up less than 2% of the U.S. population.  They are diverse, growing conventional, biotech and organic crops.  They raise traditional and specialized livestock for meat, milk and eggs.  Whether their businesses are big or small, today’s farmers strive for continuous improvement in food production.


Photo source: Modern Farmer

Over time, the tools and methods of farming have changed.  So too has consumer interest in food and transparency about how it is produced. The intersection of these two trends is what drives much of the interaction that takes place today between farmers and consumers.

ONE U.S. FARM FEEDS 165 PEOPLE.  America’s farms and farmers are the world’s most productive.  Today, each farm produces food and fiber for 165 people annually in the United States and abroad.  Of those 165 people, 106 are in the U.S., and 59 are outside the U.S.  The global population expected to increase by 2.3 billion by 2050, which means the world’s farmers will then have to grow about 70% more food than what is now being produced.

In 1935, the number of farms in the United States peaked at 6.8 million.  By 1975, there were 2.5 million U.S. farms.  Today, there are 2.1 million farms dotting America’s rural landscape.

99 % of all U.S. farms are owned by individuals, family partnerships or family corporations.  Just 1% of America’s farms and ranches are owned by non-family corporations.

In addition, 89% of U.S. agricultural products sold are produced on family farms and ranches.  Non-family corporations account for only 11% of US agricultural product sales.


Their animals depend on their owners to keep them safe and healthy.  This is particularly critical in extreme winter conditions, when they take special action to ensure their livestock stay safe and healthy.  They feed their stock larger portions of feed so that they have plenty to eat to stay warm and growing during the cold winter months.  Stockmen and women also make sure the electric water heaters are running so their livestock always have access to water.


Photo source: Tom’s of Maine

Stockmen and women have a healthcare system for their animals that is designed by their veterinarian.  This means that when they detect an animal which may be sick or behaving abnormally, they follow their vet’s advice on how to protect that animal and keep it healthy.  As well, they follow their veterinarian’s plan to keep all of their herd or flock healthy when an animal is sick.  Ranchers take the health and well being of their stock very seriously.

-2017 American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Posted in Ag exports, Ag Production, Agvocacy and Social Media, Education, Farm Families, Farmers, Feeding the World, For Kids, Livestock Production, Ranchers, Work | Leave a comment

Thought of the Week


“Fields don’t mind themselves”

-Drums of Autumn

Posted in Ag Production, Education, Thought of the Week, Work | Leave a comment

Corporate farms ARE family farms

We often hear of “corporate farms.” What many people don’t know is that the majority of family farms are held as corporations! The reasons for doing this are many – consolidating ownership, diversifying liability, and decreasing the farmer’s personal tax burden.

In this short video from the Washington Association of Wheat Growers, Washington farmer Brad Isaak describe why his family farm is a corporation, and the important impact his family farm makes on his family, his community, and our country.

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Thought of the Week


The road to success is often unpaved.


Posted in Education, For Kids, Thought of the Week | Leave a comment

Thought of the Week


Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
And hopefully STEAK!

Posted in Ag Production, Beef, Feeding the World, Livestock Production, Ranchers, Thought of the Week | Leave a comment

Thought of the Week



10,000 miles fresher than imported!

-The Shepherd magazine, Sept. 2015

Posted in #lamb, Ag Production, Education, Farmers, Feeding the World, Livestock Production, Thought of the Week | Leave a comment

Thought of the Week

The grass is always greener
on the other side of the fence.
That’s because that guy had the good sense
to weed and feed his pasture.

Posted in Ag Production, Education, Farmland Preservation, Feeding the World, For Kids, Thought of the Week | Leave a comment