Industry Ag News 12/15

Carrie Muehling

  • American farms represent a diverse set of business operations and farm operators. An annual report issued by USDA’s Economic Research Service, America’s Farms and Ranches at a Glance: 2023 Edition, describes characteristics of U.S. farms and ranches with the most recent data from the Agricultural Resource Management Survey, an annual survey conducted by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service and Economic Research Service.
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Agriculture Future of America (AFA), formalizing a partnership to promote the common goals of strengthening the future competitiveness and sustainability of the U.S. agriculture industry by preparing more young people for careers in agriculture.
  • The National FFA Foundation announced its new chair for the Sponsors’ Board during the 96th National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis this fall. Mary Snapp, vice president of strategic initiatives for Microsoft, was named chair for the upcoming year. Snapp grew up in rural Kansas and joined Microsoft in 1988 as the company’s first female attorney. She currently leads various strategic initiatives in the Office of the Vice Chair and President. She formerly led Microsoft’s legal support for all of its product and engineering teams, as well as Microsoft’s Global Philanthropies team, partnering with nonprofits and communities across the world to use technology to create a lasting positive impact.
  • Food insecurity is linked to numerous geopolitical risks, including mass migration, radicalization, terrorist threats, and lost economic opportunity, according to a recent report commissioned by Farm Journal Foundation.
  • Global futurist and best-selling author Jack Uldrich will address attendees as mid general session keynote speaker during the 2024 American Farm Bureau Convention on Sunday, Jan. 21.
  • During its annual meeting, the American Soybean Association elected the executive committee members who will lead the organization through the coming year’s top advocacy priorities. Josh Gackle (ND), will serve as 2024 ASA president. Immediate past president Daryl Cates (IL) moves to the role of ASA chairman and Caleb Ragland (KY) was elected as ASA vice president, a role that puts him in line to serve as the association’s president in 2025.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) welcomed the UN’s decision to designate 30 May as International Day of Potato, an opportunity to raise awareness of a crop regularly consumed by billions of people and of global importance for food security and nutrition.
  • Culver’s Thank You Farmer’s Project provides passionate support for the future of agriculture and the hardworking people that make up the industry. As the program celebrates the end of its tenth year, Culver’s has announced that the Thank You Farmers Project has officially surpassed $5 million in donations – including over $1 million raised in 2023 alone.
  • Ron Seeber, who serves as CEO Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association, Kansas Grain and Feed Association, and Renew Kansas Biofuels Association was elected chairman of the Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City at the group’s annual meeting held December 14. Kristie Larson, Strategic Relationship Manager, The DeBruce Foundation, was elected vice chairman.
  • The U.S. economy has remained remarkably steady despite an unrelenting series of shocks over the last three years. America’s economic resilience was again on display throughout 2023, as the Federal Reserve continued the most aggressive round of interest rate hikes the country has seen in more than 40 years. Steadfast consumer spending has fueled the economy through much of the recent adversity. However, lingering high prices are expected to take a bigger toll on the economy in 2024, according to a comprehensive year-ahead outlook report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange.
  • AgTrust Farm Credit announced its official merger between the former associations of Lone Star Ag Credit and Ag New Mexico Farm Credit Services. With its headquarters based in Fort Worth, Texas, and Joe Hayman remaining Chief Executive Officer, AgTrust is poised to continue making a significant impact in the agricultural industry. This merger, which was completed in early December, resulted in a larger and stronger cooperative with approximately $3 billion in total assets and over $450 million of capital. The decision to pursue this merger was unanimous by both associations’ boards of directors, recognizing the potential for growth and diversity through the joint collaboration.
  • Zimfo Bytes