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Ag Agenda – The Great Rural Paradox

The Great Rural America Paradox

Bob Stallman
American Farm Bureau

By Bob Stallman
President, American Farm Bureau

A wise man once said that rural America has become viewed by a growing number of Americans as having a higher quality of life, not because of what it has, but rather because of what it does not have, like traffic, crime and crowds.  This sentiment can be seen in the growing number of urban transplants that have made their way toward greener and more spacious pastures.

But, while many Americans equate living in the country with a simpler way of life, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is that poverty in rural America is increasing, while opportunity continues to decline because of limited education, healthcare and broadband services. So, rural America being defined by what it does not have can also be a negative.

It’s the great rural America paradox.

Read Bob Stallman’s complete articleIts another good one! Worth the time. 

Wordle: Rural Paradoz

Ag Agenda – The Voice of Agriculture – American Farm Bureau.



Ag Agenda – The Voice of Agriculture – American Farm Bureau

Update Our Ports or Miss the Boat

By Bob Stallman
President, American Farm Bureau

Someone once said that it’s not leaving port, but coming in, that determines the success of a voyage. While this has some truth to it, the port that one departs from is just as important to a successful endeavor.

It may surprise many that if the planned expansion of the Panama Canal was completed tomorrow, the United States, one of the world’s largest trading powers, would only have six ports deep enough to handle the new larger ships that will pass. Yet, we are competing with all other parts of the world that are updating their ports. Since agriculture goods play a significant role in U.S. trade, modernizing our ports is extremely important for farmers and ranchers to be able to continue to thrive in the world market.

If You Build It, They Will Come

Even more surprising than the U.S. only having six large ports is the fact that all these ports are i

Read the complete article Ag Agenda – The Voice of Agriculture – American Farm Bureau.

New Website Allows You to Comment on Department of Labor Youth Labor Rule

Regulations Would Require Sweeping Changes to Farm and Ranch Practices, Increase in Legal Liability to Farm and Ranch Families 

For many, farming and ranching is a family tradition, involving two, three or more generations as well as extended family. But proposed Department of Labor requirements for farm and ranch employers and restrictions on what youth can do on the farm would put that tradition at risk.

The lessons learned on the family farm instill respect for the land and animals, persistence, discipline and hard-work.

A new website, Keep Families Farming (, gives you the chance to have an impact on this rule. The Keep Families Farming website allows you to submit comments that will be used to show the Department of Labor and the White House the importance of the family farm and the way this rule would fundamentally change the way of life in rural America.

Because DOL is no longer accepting public comments, the Keep Families Farming website has been established to support the legislative effort on Capitol Hill, where this issue will almost certainly be voted on this summer. Your messages to the website are a critical component in building support for the effort to protect family farms.


We are asking you to submit your story of life on the farm and ranch by submitting comments through the Keep Families Farming ( website.

Add information specific to your farm and ranch with personal examples to add impact to your comments, such as:

  • As an agricultural producer, I support and provide a safe working environment for my children, young workers and all employees.
  • The Department of Labor rule does not take into account the unique organization of family farms being owned and operated by many members and generations of one family.
  • Farms and ranches provide a unique educational and training experience to learn about horticulture, animal care & welfare, equipment operation, environmental protection among other unique opportunities found exclusively on a farm.
  • Traditional farm activities performed by youth are threatened by this rule.
  • Family members and other workers on the farm are protected by numerous laws and regulations. Parts of this rule represent regulatory over-reach. It does not recognize the unique structure of today’s family farm operations and the traditions that the family farm provides to all workers.

Click here to submit your comments against the DOL Youth Labor Rule. (

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