Agriculture Related - Election Snapshot

Post-Election: Snapshot of Agriculture-Related Issues Across the Country

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A). Prop 37 - California - FAILED 53.8% to 46.3%: An initiative was on the ballot to require that all foods containing any form of GMO (genetically modified organism) be labeled as such for sale of foodstuffs to consumers at retail levels. (i.e. tofu made from Round-up ready soybeans would have to note that on a label, or corn flakes processed from triple-stack corn hybrids would have to say so.) Vote was 4,133,711 Against; 3,566,671 For. Viewed as a victory for farmers and processors across the country; passage would have opened door for increased costs in labeling and confused consumer perception acrosss country.

B.) Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chairman of Senate Ag Committee, re-elected in her Senate race.

C.) Christie Vilsack (D-IA), wife of USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, was defeated in her race for Congress in Iowa

D.) North Dakota passed a ballot measure, by a margin of 67% to 33%, that adds a section to their Constitution which prohibits any law that compromises a farmer's right to use current technology or modern livestock production practices. This is called the North Dakota Farm and Ranch Amendment, and could serve as an example for other states in the future. Many agriculture organizations involved in effort.

E.) Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), beleagured Tennessee Congressman and a sitting member of the House Ag Committee, won re-election despite allegations concerning an abortion controversy which allegedly occurred during a divorce several years ago.

[More news as it becomes available]

Looking forward:

Farm Bill: Hopefully Congress will turn its attention to some resolution on the pending Farm Bill, which is still a far from perfect document. If a farmer has any concerns about sections of that Bill, now is the time to be getting word to your Congressional and Senate offices.

Fiscal Cliff/Tax Cuts: Still of much concern is the pending Fiscal Cliff, which if current standards go into effect on January 1, will have a huge, and projected detrimental affect on farm families and small businesses everywhere. Estate taxes and capital gains taxes are both issues which will affect agriculture in that legislation, unless Congress acts. More complete information later on this matter.