Stay informed with daily content from across Farm Journal's properties. There’s "a lot of good energy around the issue" of creating eco-system markets to reward farmers for conservation stewardship. I'm referring to our system of Land Grant Colleges and Universities that officially began with President Abraham Lincoln's pen stroke. She held out the possibility of treating "sweat equity" differently for estate tax purposes. "There’s definitely money that can be squeezed out of the bureaucracy," she said. College and controversial topics go hand in hand, making it a great time to sharpen your debate skills and determine your stance on today's most controversial issues. For every farmer under 35 years of age, we have 6 over the age of 65, Merrigan said. Here’s her top 10: 1. When she told the audience the correct response was nutrition programs, "you could just feel the confusion in the room.". All rights reserved. She credits the First Lady for doing a great job taking on an intractable problem. They also recognize that debates about food pesticides, GMOs, and carbon footprints are often surrogates for deeper, often unacknowledged conflicts over competing values and worldviews. Eco-System Markets. "If farming is done well, it’s the best thing for the environment," she said. Though a recent effort to create a market collapsed, Merrigan believes this initiative will expand in the future. she asked. During her term of office, she met dairy farmers in their 80s who couldn’t figure out how to transition their operation, and young people who were in way over their heads. Certainty Programs. She noted that any startup farmer coming from other industries will need a lot of capital. "There are certain things you can’t cut," she said. "Cutting is tough," she said, crediting her boss, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for being fearless in examining, challenging and cutting budget items. 2. Tax Reform. Data USDA has several agencies that perform research to provide analysis and statistics, including the Economic Research Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, and National Agricultural Statistics Service. Tax reform/Section 179 . With strong emotions and vested interests on all sides, it is no wonder food and agricultural issues have become so political. "The MyPlate diagram is sleek and cool, easy to understand. Sharing Of Information While it’s not the last ethics issue facing the agricultural industry, the sharing of information is a problem. Having the privilege and opportunity to talk to thousands of college students around the country, I'm often surprised at the air of certitude that permeates food debates. Rather than striking a defensive or muckraking tone, as so often is the case in this genre of writing, Norwood and colleagues embrace the controversies, interpreting them as a sign of a healthy democracy struggling to deal with pressing challenges. "Why?" By the time you graduate, you'll likely have been involved in spirited classroom discussions, lively political disagreements, or … In 2018, we will continue to see the role agriculture is taking in climate change with soil quality, water use, air quality and animal agriculture. organics too use pesticides, and that the production method may not make the most efficient use of our scarce resources. The World Through a Lens Snapshots of Daily Life in a Remote Region of Portugal. Merrigan described this as a "sort of whack-a-mole" problem. "We’re moving in the right direction," Merrigan said. Merrigan spoke at dozens of colleges during her time at USDA. By the time you graduate, you'll likely have been involved in spirited classroom discussions, lively political disagreements, or even full-fledged protests. AgWeb is the farmer’s source for agriculture news online. Developing a free-trade agreement with the European Union will be tough, she said, but it could create big opportunities for U.S. producers. We'll supply the latest news on crop and livestock farming, live future trading information, weather forecasts, market analysis, ag policy and more. Having the privilege and opportunity to talk to thousands of college students around the country, I'm often surprised at the air of certitude that permeates food debates. GMO labeling. During her four years at USDA, she cut the department’s $150 billion budget by 15%. Click the links below to read more about each issue. In 2017, we learned that the top three meat companies emitted more greenhouse gases than all of France and nearly as much as the energy giant Exxon.

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