Closed Until Further Notice
Oct 01, 2013
Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available.
That's what you'll find if you try to access USDA's website today. As many as 800,000 federal workers are on furlough until Congress can reach a compromise, which seems increasingly unlikely. Just how silly is this whole mess? Consider that House Republicans voted back in August for the 40th time to repeal Obamacare, despite knowing full-well that any such bill would be dead-in-the-water once it reached the Democratically-controlled Senate. In case you're keeping score, that's 40 votes to repeal Obamacare, 2 votes on a farm bill. Yep, they voted on the farm bill twice this summer, but the bills included provisions House Republicans knew Democrats would never accept.
Tattoos for Farmers – the Next Big Thing?
Have a passion for farming and ranching and want to wear it forever? Grist reports a growing number of farm folks are using tattoos to "tell stories, carry messages, and speak volumes about the passion their wearers feel for the land and the things they coax from it." This list of favorite farm tats includes colorful veggies and messages about organic. We didn't see any trend-setters with "Factory Farmer" or "Beef: It's What's For Dinner" tattooed on their backs, but there is one guy who has a whole Berkshire hog inked on his arm, broken down into the cuts of meat.
Rogue Cattle, Ethanol Futures Trader Loses $42 Million
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is fixing to come down on a futures trader named John Aaron Brooks who traded commodities for CitiBank until October 2011 when he was fired for exceeding "internal trade limits on cattle futures," and was told to unwind all of his positions. The bank then allegedly discovered he had been fraudulently mismarking ethanol futures positions for about a year. Opps! The bank was left holding the bag for about $42 million in losses. Bloomberg has the details.
Foreign Investors Increase Their U.S. Holdings
Foreign investors hold an interest in 25 million acres of U.S. agricultural land, according to a new report from USDA's Farm Service Agency. That's about 2 percent of all privately held agricultural land, and 1 percent of all the land in the U.S. Those statistics are current through the end of 2011, and reveal an increase in foreign ownership of roughly 1.5 million acres.