March 3, 2015

Award Winning Efforts at Commodity Classic

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Several members of the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association are taking in the sights and sounds of Phoenix for the 20th Annual Commodity Classic event – and they’re bringing home some awards!

We had the pleasure to visit with Association President Jason Mewes of Colgate – and long time member Harvey Morken of Casselton.  They were looking forward to Friday night’s banquet and awards ceremony for the American Soybean Association – where Harvey is going to given a Lifetime Achievement Award with a membership focus.

ND Soybean Growers

The Growers Association is a statewide, not-for-profit, member-driven organization that works on behalf of soybean producers on legislative priorities in Bismarck – and in Washington, DC.  The 15-member board for the Association is composed of representatives from eight geographic districts in North Dakota, three at-large representatives, two American Soybean Association delegates, an agricultural industry representative and a DuPont Young Leader.

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Amino Acid Profile Benefit To Northern Soybean Growers

The American Ag Network is broadcasting from the 20th Annual Commodity Classic this week in Phoenix, Arizona thanks to the sponsorship of the North Dakota Soybean Council – and several producer leaders are here to take in the event and learn about the latest in the industry.

North Dakota Soybean Council Chairman Scott Gauslow – a producer from Colfax, North Dakota – was looking forward to an session emphasizing the value of essential amino acids in soybeans to customers in the animal feeding industry.

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North Dakota Soybean Council CEO Diana Beitelspacher says it’s a message the producer leaders have brought directly to customers overseas on trade missions.

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And Beitelspacher says many foreign buyers “get it”…

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The North Dakota Soybean Council is  also looking for farmers interested in filling one of North Dakota’s three director positions with the United Soybean Board (USB).  Jay Myers, soybean farmer from Colfax, ND is eligible for another term.  His position will expire in December 2015.  To be considered for the national leadership position, farmers must complete the required application and “Agreement to Serve” statement and submit them to the NDSC office by noon on April 3, 2015.

The NDSC Board of Directors will submit two nominations for this vacancy and two nominations for alternate positions to the U.S. Department of Agriculture . The Secretary of Agriculture will make final appointments, and the chosen individual will begin serving the three-year term in December 2015. The individual appointed is eligible to serve up to a total of three terms. 

 

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Coalition of Farm Groups Urge Congress To Leave Farm Bill Alone

Proposed crop insurance cuts and EPA delays in issuing new renewable fuels targets continue to dominate ag lawmakers concerns. Both were among key topics at a Tuesday Senate hearing on farm bill implementation. Freshman Iowa Republican Joni Ernst asked Iowa corn and soybean grower Clay Mitchell if the EPA’s failure to issue timely RFS targets for 2014 and 2015 has created some instability in farming…tape

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Lawmakers are also focused on the administration’s proposed crop insurance cuts – 16-billion over 10-years in new cuts to prevented planting and revenue insurance programs. Georgia producer Ronnie Lee…tape

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Senate Ag Chair Pat Roberts asked USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack what the department’s doing to keep crop insurance as a viable risk management tool for farmers – especially with crop prices so low…tape

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Vilsack says the number of insurers has increased by a net of two – despite cuts in federal fees to the industry in recent years. Still – he argues insurer profit margins at 14 to 17-percent are too high – and the Administration insists 12-percent is enough. Other areas of concern include payment limits, food stamp waste and abuse, and proposed conservation cuts.

Nearly 400 farm, nutrition and conservation groups – including the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Farmers Union – have written congressional budget letters urging Senate and House leaders to reject calls for additional cuts to the 2014 Farm Bill. In the letter – the groups say Congress passed sweeping changes to the nation’s food and farm policy that included significant deficit reduction just over one year ago.

The 2014 Farm Bill required over three years of debate in both chambers of Congress and ended with the consolidation of over 100 programs and cuts to mandatory spending across many titles. The groups say these cuts came in addition to those already in effect due to sequestration – and the farm bill was estimated to contribute 23-billion dollars to deficit reduction over 10-years when including sequestration.

NFU President Roger Johnson says the 2014 Farm Bill was a great victory for America’s farmers and ranchers because it provided them with much-needed stability – and also a huge win for taxpayers who will realize real savings from budget cuts made by the legislation. The coalition opposes re-opening any title of the Farm Bill during the consideration of the 2016 Budget Resolution. Johnson says the farm bill has been debated and passed – and should be left alone.

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