Looking ahead to the 2012 farm bill, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack cautioned that lawmakers will have to be creative with limited resources.
Whatever the desired end result — biofuels diversification, improved crop insurance or a farm bill that meets rural America’s needs without breaking the bank — innovation is where it starts, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack told farmers and ranchers at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 92nd annual meeting.
“We need an economy that creates and innovates,” Vilsack said. “We know it can work because it’s worked in agriculture.”
Last year’s potential record farm income is primarily due to farmers’ productivity and heart, according to Vilsack, but the trade surplus agriculture posted — the only trade surplus among the many sectors of the U.S. economy — helped, too.
Vilsack told Farm Bureau members that administration officials are working to ensure more trade opportunities by resolving ongoing trade disputes, tapping into emerging markets and building relationships in fragile, fledgling markets, like Afghanistan.
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