Jeff Pope

Executive Director

Ways to Connect

Jeff Vangua / U.S.D.A. NRCS

Negotiations are underway in Congress on the 2018 Farm Bill.  However, the title, "Farm Bill" is somewhat of a misnomer, because only about 20% of the funding goes to agricultural programs, while the remaining 80% funds non-farm nutrition programs. 

Another misconception is that small family farms are major beneficiaries of the various farm programs.  The reality is that although small farms make up over 80% of the total farms and ranches in the U.S. their operators got only about 22% of the total farm program payments in 2015.

Calf Prices Improved In 2017

Nov 2, 2017
Ron Nichols / NRCS

Cattle producers are seeing more favorable prices for their weaned calves this year compared to 2016.

Agricultural Research Service U.S.D.A. / Scott Bauer

There are significant investments made to develop varieties of GMO corn that have commercially valuable traits, such as high yield, and herbicide and drought resistance...Traits that are compatible with large scale production methods.  However, there is very little investment available to produce varieties of corn for small farmers in developing countries. 

Fall Arrives In The Region

Sep 26, 2017

Fall brings final harvests, end of irrigation, and preparation for the onset of winter.


An August 14th Wall Street Journal article points out the environmental problems that occur when a large number of livestock are confined to a small area.  Too often, manure from confined animal operations end up polluting nearby rivers and streams, whether it occurs in New Zealand or the U.S.  While these operations produce milk and meat at lower cost than small-scale livestock farms and ranches, the costs to the environment are externalized.