Monday, August 15, 2022

Play

President Biden this week is poised to sign into law sweeping legislation that addresses climate change and prescription drug costs; Measuring the Supreme Court abortion decision's impact in the corporate world; Disaster recovery for Eastern Kentucky businesses.

Play

Federal officials warn about threats against law enforcement; Democrats push their climate, health, and tax bill through Congress; and a new report reveals 800 Americans were evacuated during the Afghanistan withdrawal.

Play

Infrastructure funding is on its way, ranchers anticipate money from the Inflation Reduction Act, and rural America is becoming more diverse, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the leadership.

Protecting the Family Farm Focus of Virtual Event

Play

Thursday, November 4, 2021   

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Family farms are navigating a maze of market barriers and threats from climate change.

While solutions develop, some say producers could learn a thing or two from past crises, and a leading advocate in North Dakota is helping to deliver that message.

Saturday, the Dakota Resource Council (DRC) will host its annual meeting virtually.

Sarah Vogel, attorney, author, and former North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture, who led the landmark federal case from the 1980s that protected many farms from foreclosure, will be one of the speakers. She sees similarities in past and current struggles.

In the '80s, she and other advocates learned to overcome an unfair appeals process within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

"Back then, the person that would be the hearing officer would often be the person who made the decision that was being appealed," Vogel recounted. "Well, you're not gonna get a fair hearing if your judge is also the executioner."

Thanks to reforms, she said a more neutral process exists today, giving smaller farmers a bigger voice.

The Resource Council urged policymakers to offer more incentives to producers who want to adopt conservation practices, which can better protect their land from extreme weather events. The USDA said the number of farm operations in North Dakota has fallen to 26,000, with some of the biggest declines in those with the smallest revenue.

Vogel advised farmers struggling to keep their head above water should amplify calls for patience from lenders. She pointed out leaning on landowners to make abrupt decisions creates a wave of problems seen in the '80s, such as declines in property values.

Vogel added that is not good for surrounding communities.

"Today, we see declines in the rural economy, and boarded-up Main Streets and so forth," Vogel observed. "A lot of that is connected to the loss of family farmers. "

Current farmers pointed to the need for reforms when it comes to market concentration. They said only a handful of firms control beef and other commodities. This year, the Biden administration announced a series of moves to address those concerns.

Saturday's meeting runs from 12:45 to 5:00 p.m. You do not have to be a DRC member to listen in. Those interested can e-mail the group for a Zoom link.

Disclosure: Dakota Resource Council contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, and Rural/Farming Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
In 2021, damages from floods and other severe weather in the United States exceeded $145 billion. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

In the wake of historic summer floods in the Midwest and Appalachia, there are calls for a new national plan to reduce risks from disasters. The …


Social Issues

Small businesses that suffered damage or destruction from the recent historic flooding in Eastern Kentucky can get one-on-one assistance as they try t…

Environment

The Inflation Reduction Act, newly passed by the U.S. Senate, allocates $369 Billion to fight climate change, and appropriates funds specifically for …


Social Issues

By Linda Burstyn for Ms. Magazine Broadcast version by Roz Brown for New Mexico News Connection/Public News Service Bad Business: Anti-abortion …

In Pennsylvania's Nov. 8 General Election, voters will decide races for governor, U.S. House and Senate, and several state offices. (Zimmytws/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Opening up Pennsylvania's primary elections to voters who aren't registered either as Democrats or Republicans is the topic of a State House of Repres…

Social Issues

August is National Black Business Month, and this year, for Black-owned companies in Pennsylvania that have managed to survive through the pandemic…

Social Issues

On August 27, members of the public will have a rare opportunity to visit the historic Padlock Ranch first developed for livestock in 1867, now …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021