Ag News, June 25, 2013

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House Fails to Pass Farm Bill
By Stephen Frerichs

By a vote of 195 to 234, the House failed to pass the farm bill.  After working through 103 amendments in roughly 48 hours, the House came up short on final passage.  Sixty-two Republicans joined 172 Democrats to vote against the bill.  Twenty-four Democrats joined 171 Republicans to vote for it.  Speaker Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Cantor (R-VA) both voted for the bill, but clearly that was not enough to get more Republican votes.

Divisiveness surrounding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and to a lesser extent dairy policy resulted in the bills demise. For many conservative Republicans, the cuts to SNAP totaling over $20 billion over 10 years were not sufficient reforms. For most Democrats, the cuts and associated “reforms” were too much.

Ranking member Peterson (D-MN) in a statement after the vote said:

“The farm bill failed to pass the House today because the House Republicans could not control the extreme right wing of their party. From day one I cautioned my colleagues that to pass a farm bill we would have to work together. Instead, the House adopted a partisan amendment process, playing political games with extreme policies that have no chance of becoming law.

“This flies in the face of nearly four years of bipartisan work done by the Agriculture Committee. I’ll continue to do everything I can to get a farm bill passed but I have a hard time seeing where we go from here.”

Majority Leader Cantor issued the following statement after the vote:

“I’m extremely disappointed that Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leadership have at the last minute chosen to derail years of bipartisan work on the Farm Bill and related reforms. This bill was far from perfect, but the only way to achieve meaningful reform, such as Congressman Southerland’s amendment reforming the food stamp program, was in conference.

“I strongly supported the Southerland amendment which built on successful welfare reforms that have worked in the past to give states more flexibility and encourage self-sufficiency by increasing workforce participation among those enrolled in the SNAP program. I commend Chairman Frank Lucas and the House Agriculture Committee for their efforts, and am sorry that Democrats shamefully chose politics over progress and meaningful reform.”

Chairman Lucas (R-OK) expressed his disappointment in the vote outcome but vowed to continue to work to get a bill done. He issued the following statement:

“On this day, on this vote, the House worked its will.  I’m obviously disappointed, but the reforms in H.R. 1947- $40 billion in deficit reduction, elimination of direct payments and the first reforms to SNAP since 1996 – are so important that we must continue to pursue them.  We are assessing all of our options, but I have no doubt that we will finish our work in the near future and provide the certainty that our farmers, ranchers, and rural constituents need.” 

What happens next is unclear. The House vote may be the first time the House has failed to pass a farm bill that was reported out of Committee.  It is possible to bring the bill back to the floor and make changes sufficient to garner at least 23 more votes for passage, but determining what those changes might be will take some time.  The House could also go to conference with the Senate without passing a bill. This would clearly weaken the House Agriculture Committee’s hand in conference negotiations and isn’t optimal, but it is possible (low probability).  An extension is also a possibility. But extending direct payments again appears to be politically unlikely.

The current commodity title expires at the end of September 2013 as do major portions of the conservation title (CRP, WRP and GRP).  The crop insurance program is permanent law, so it does not expire. The House failure does not impact crop insurance, nor Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, in any way other than a missed opportunity to make reforms to those programs.

Farmland values still climbing, but pace slows
Farmers National

An accelerated farmland sell-off at the end of 2012 has led to continued low supplies of premium quality property, according to Farmers National Company, the largest farmland and ranchland real estate company in the country. Last year’s rush, prompted by economic uncertainty and tax law changes, continues to have an impact into 2013. High quality land is still in demand, and buyers are competing for top acres that are currently in short supply.
Read more on the Western Farm Press website:

Non-farmers own most farmland
From The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, IA

The 2012 Iowa Farmland Ownership Survey from Iowa State University shows 62 percent of Iowa farmland was owned by non-farmers last year, up from 60 percent in 2007 and 55 percent in 2002. Read the entire story.

Brian Stockman Honored as “Association Professional of the Year”

This past week, Executive Vice President of ASFMRA, Brian Stockman received the “Association Professional of the Year” award at the annual Colorado Society of Association Executives (CSAE) meeting in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He has served five years a board member, one year as treasurer as well as five years as the committee chair on the publications committee. Brian enjoys the networking and education that belonging to a professional society brings. He has been a member of the local organizations wherever he has worked and a member of the national organization, the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) for over 20 years.

Who Inspires You? Nominate them Today

Each year ASFMRA members honor their own…
The best and brightest that inspire them to achieve more

Nominations are now open for these awe-inspiring awards:

•Appraisal Professional of the Year
•D. Howard Doane Award
•Early Career Award
•Meritorious Service in Communication
•Carl F. Hertz Distinguished Service to Agriculture (individuals, companies, or associations are accepted for the last two awards)

Get complete info on nominating and individual or company:

Application being accepted for Leadership Institute

Attendees report that this event is one of the most valuable ones they have ever attended. Here is what others are saying:

• A well-rounded week of training, networking, DuPont Pioneer updates and gaining a better understanding of how things work in D.C.
• A great opportunity to grow professionally and voice my thoughts with congressional delegates from my state.
• Things I learned at Leadership Institute will last a lifetime and have made me a more effective leader in my organization.

Spaces are limited so register now! Online applications are being accepted via this link: If you have any questions, please contact Suzanne at 303-758-3513, Ext 101 or
Learn more about this event:

2013 Journal of the ASFMRA Published

The 2013 Journal of the ASFMRA has been published online. This volume is the result of many contributors from all over the U.S. and the hard work of the Editorial Committee headed up by Don Fisher, ARA, and Jim Libbin, Ph.D.

Here are some of the articles in this year’s edition:
• Construction and Operating Costs for Whitetail Deer Farms
• Financing Herd Rebuilding After the 2011 Drought
• Impact of Rainfall, Sales Method, and Time on Land Prices
• Land Prices During Periods of Rapid Change
• Farmland versus Alternative Investments Before and After the 2008 Financial Crisis

The entire Journal can be viewed here:

News from The Appraisal Foundation

The next public meeting of the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) is approaching.  Please take the time to register for this meeting if you plan to attend.
Friday, July 19, 2013
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Conrad Chicago
521 North Rush Street
Chicago, IL  60611
Get complete info:

The Appraisal Practices Board (APB) has issued the following solicitations for Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to assist in the research and development of voluntary guidance on the following topics:
Solicitation for Appraising Newly Constructed Residential Properties
Solicitation for Collection and Verification of Sales Data
The SME panels chosen to address these topics will accomplish their goals by, at a minimum, gathering, citing and researching all existing literature and publications. Applications are due by July 31, 2013.

The Appraisal Practices Board (APB) has issued the following exposure drafts:
Second Exposure Draft-Identifying Comparable Properties
Issued: June 17, 2013
Comment Deadline: July 17, 2013

Send comments to:
Second Exposure Draft–Identifying Comparable Properties in Automated Valuation Models for Mass Appraisal
Issued: June 17, 2013
Comment Deadline: July 17, 2013

Send comments to:

The Un-Comfort Zone by Robert Evans Wilson, Jr.

We Empower Bullies with Our Admiration

Bullying has been in the news a lot lately. Awareness of the problem has spawned a number of programs designed to combat it. While I applaud this effort, I don’t see bullying going away any time soon. The truth of the matter is that WE LOVE BULLIES. We reward and encourage them. We celebrate and cheer them on.

Watch any sitcom on TV, and we revel in the bullying. I enjoy watching the popular show, How I Met Your Mother, but in nearly every episode the so-called friends bully each other as well as other characters. And, like them, many of us bully our friends and family with collegial insults and practical jokes. Read on: or download the pdf for easier reading.

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