Making Cuban Trade Easier & Vilsack Talks Greenhouse Gas

Making Cuban Trade Easier & Vilsack Talks Greenhouse Gas

Making Cuban Trade Easier & Vilsack Talks Greenhouse Gas plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

USDA and the dairy industry now have a memorandum of understanding in place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build new manure-to-energy projects. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack explains the need for utilizing more efficient technologies and how it can benefit farmers.

VILSACK: We know for example that anaerobic digesters can convert animal manure into electricity. It’s already being done in farms around the country and it represents a powerful, renewable resource. In fact a 700 head dairy herd can power 200 homes with electricity, yet today only 2% of the dairy farms are utilizing this dairy power and as a result there are a number of opportunities for profitable and sustainable sources of energy on our farms.

The Senate approved a provision on Sunday to facilitate cash sales of U.S. farm goods to Cuba.  Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus says the new provision would allow Cuban buyers to wire payments directly to the United States while the goods are in transit. Congress authorized cash sales of U.S. farm goods to Cuba in 2000 but the Bush administration issued rules in 2005 requiring Cuba to pay for the goods through third-country banks before the products left port.

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

Explain to me, if you can, the logic behind the existence of state and federal estate taxing. No matter which direction you approach estate taxing the only logical reason for its existence is greed and because “they” can. Hasn’t the monies and properties involved in any estate already been taxed multiple times during the original owner’s lifetime? By all means if it can be proven that either of the former in an estate hasn’t already been taxed then do so. But to impose yet another tax onto the remaining assets of an estate at the demise of its owner is loathsome.  The common belief that it’s the idle rich that suffer the most from estate taxing is misguided. Those hurt the most by estate taxing are the middle to upper middle class, small business owners, and land and equipment rich but cash poor farmers and ranchers. Many family businesses and farms continue to be lost due to forced liquidation in order to pay estate taxes. Why the U.S. House chose recently to make the tax permanent is a disappointing and devastating mystery.  For a nation started to escape the tyranny of taxation we certainly haven’t made it too far in two hundred and thirty three years. 

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

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