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
Pre-harvest food safety has become a topic of increasing focus, particularly in the beef industry. USDAís Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that their next step in reducing E. coli is through pre-harvest intervention, and they have repeatedly re-stated their intentions.
The Mississippi River is used to transport agricultural goods from across the country. There is a problem with silt/soil removal along the Mississippi River, causing barges and carriers to load their cargo in increasingly shallow waters.
From their inception in the mid-19th century, futures markets have functioned as an important tool for agricultural producers to transfer their price risk to other investors.
Foreign animal disease outbreaks have the potential to create massive financial losses in the livestock sector through loss of access to foreign markets, a decline in meat demand by domestic consumers, and direct production losses (death loss and morbidity).
Frequently, producersí grain is docked because of the presence of aflatoxin when offered for sale at the local elevator although the grain is subsequently found to be free of the fungus when samples are submitted for crop insurance reimbursement.
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.
Animal issues continue to evolve at national, state, and county levels. Ohio Farm Bureau is engaged, from traditional livestock to companion animals to wild dangerous animals. As society continues to evolve, the perception of what is or is not animal agriculture has become less clear.
The law is different for farmers selling eggs produced on their farm vs. selling eggs at a farmersí market or farm product auction. One is exempt from retail food licensing requirements, the other is not exempt. The number of birds is a factor, along with the requirement of a free inspection.
Federal legislation has been introduced for an agreement between the Humane Society of the U.S. and the United Egg Producers dealing with cage size and other animal care standards for our nationís 280 million egg-laying hens.