Many rural communities find themselves losing their retail base. Local retailers are competing with Internet retailers who do not have to collect sales tax if they do not have a physical presence in that state.
Policy & Politics
More farmers and ranchers are getting closer to their customers, and finding that they can capture a higher margin when they grow vegetable or meat products with a specific consumer market segment in mind.
The Renewable Fuels Standard mandates a target amount of ethanol/biofuels that must be introduced into our nation's transportation supply. Decreasing gasoline consumption and non-acceptance of a 15% ethanol blend create concern with future ability to meet the Renewable Fuels Standard.
The 2013 AFBF Annual Meeting approved new policy in support of only pasteurized milk/products being sold/distributed for human consumption. The major concern of raw milk is risk to public health. Six states dissented from AFBF policy. States have the authority to govern the sale of raw milk.
Agricultural companies are combining computer technology and outside analysts to provide farming data systems for a service fee. When farmers use mobile devices to access and store data related to this system, questions arise as to who owns the data and how it can be used.