At a news conference in Washington, several organizations representing family farmers and ranchers urged immediate, permanent and meaningful estate tax reform. If estate taxes are allowed to be reinstated at the beginning of 2011 with only a $1-million exemption and a top rate of 55%, the negative impact on the agricultural industry will be significant, the groups say.

Chip Bowling, a corn grower from Newburg, MD, represented NCGA at the event. He is president of the Maryland Grain Producers Association and a member of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Public Policy Action Team.

"Without action from Congress, family-owned farms and businesses will continue to face the prospect of even more uncertainty in their planning and the risk of being forced to sell assets in order to pay punitively high estate taxes, Bowling says. "Today (Tuesday), President Obama meets with Congressional leaders at the White House to discuss a path for tax legislation. We hope they realize the importance of extending the estate tax for the future of American farm families and small business owners."

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