Almost 1.1 million U S Farms Have Internet Access

Chuck Zimmerman

National Agricultural Statistics ServiceIt’s really official that 51 percent of U S farms have internet access now! That’s up 3 percent from 2003. The percentage of increase is smaller than in past surveys showing some levelling off in farms obtaining internet access. This makes some sense when you consider that the average age of a farmer continues to move upward. I can’t see the number declining though and at 51 percent that means that almost 1.1 million farms are online! That’s a significant number.

Audio, Government, USDA

Surveying Farm Direct Marketing & Agritourism

Chuck Zimmerman

North American Farmers' Direct Marketing AssociationThe North American Farmers’ Direct Marketing Association is attempting to get some major feedback from an industry wide survey. Association executive director Charlie Touchette says in his letter “The farm direct marketing and agritourism industry is perhaps the fastest growing sector related to agriculture today. Some of you have been on the cutting edge of this farm and ranch survival strategy for decades. Some are just entering this realm of diversification, and some new entry farmers and ranchers consider it to be the only feasible way to enter into agriculture at all.”

Agribusiness, Government, University

Iraq Seed Industry Needs Help

Chuck Zimmerman

Iraq FlagI don’t know if this provides some opportunity for a U-S business but according to the latest FAO release there’s a real shortage of quality seed in Iraq. Perhaps some of our companies here could help out? Anyone know of this already being done?

fao, Government

Farm Computer Use Report Being Re-issued With Corrections

Chuck Zimmerman

National Agricultural Statistics ServiceThe National Agricultural Statistics Service just released their newest Farm Computer Usage report but don’t start using it just yet. It’s being re-released next week! I wondered why I couldn’t find it on their website and here’s what it says – “The Farm Computer Usage and Ownership report released on July 29, 2005 by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will be reissued on August 12, 2005 due to corrections in the data.’

Government

CAFTA-DR Passes House

Chuck Zimmerman

House of RepresentativesOkay. Since you’re going to hear about this from everybody you may as well hear it here too. The House passed CAFTA-DR last night. Vote was 217-215. Does that not tell you how divided people are on this issue? Most ag groups seem to be for it so you’ll see and hear a lot of “congratulations” stories from them. Not all in ag are happy though and certainly not all politicians. For example, take the House Democrat Ag Committee. Here’s an excerpt from Collin Peterson: “Tonight’s House vote on the Central American Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA, was a tragedy for American agriculture and rural communities.”

Government

New “Fight Agroterrorism” Collaboration

Chuck Zimmerman

USDAI’m not sure what a “new collaboration with states . . . ” means. I’d kind of like to think that these folks have all been working together already but maybe this announcements means to reassure us.

Government

Johanns In Madagascar

Chuck Zimmerman

USDAOur Secretary of Ag, Mike Johanns was in Madagascar this past week. I wish they’d invited AgWired to go along. Cindy and I sponsor a child in Madagascar through CFCA and I’ve wanted to visit him and his family. Anyway, it looks like our secretary got some work done there.

Government