Birthday Bear & Estate Taxes

Birthday Bear & Estate Taxes

Birthday Bear & Estate Taxes plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

A recent USDA study into the effects of increasing federal estate tax exemptions over the last decade shows farmers are receiving little, but some benefit. USDA Economic Researcher Ron Durst explains the changes in the federal estate tax exemption level over the last decade. 

DURST: The federal estate tax has undergone significant changes over the last few years. The exemption level has gradually been increased since 2001 and at the end of this year the estate tax is scheduled to be completely repealed. However it’s only a one year repeal and at that point the legislation that has resulted in the increase and the repeal actually expires and we would revert to the prior law which would result in a reduced exemption level compared to the current level of 3 ½ million.

Smokey Bear turns 65 today and the USDA Forest Service is celebrating at the Whitten Building USDA headquarters in Washington D.C. The celebration includes the release and reading of the new Smokey Bear Story big book to local pre-school children. This book is in English and Spanish and introduces Smokey Bear and fire prevention messages to a new generation of kids. Smokey Bear's trademark message - "only you can prevent wildfires" - is one of the longest running PSA campaigns in U.S. history.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

It seems that everyone lately is all a twitter over Twitter, that free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Twitter, which has become incredibly popular worldwide, has even reached the ag business. Ag businesses, specifically certain wineries, are attempting to reach potential customers through the world of social media. In fact one winery created quite a stir by advertising for someone who loved wine and knew their way around the internet. In return for meeting those two qualifications that person would receive $10,000 a month for six months to tweet and blog about the “joys of wine country”. You heard right, $10,000 a month! I could be a major “twit” for that much money a month. Okay, technically that’s probably not what people who use Twitter are called, but I’m thinking perhaps someone who would spend that kind of money to pay someone to twitter just might be. Time will tell whether to “tweet” is truly sweet or will quickly turn sour. 

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.

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