Postal Troubles & Resilient Agriculture

Postal Troubles & Resilient Agriculture

Postal Troubles & Resilient Agriculture plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

It’s been a busy summer traveling to areas devastated by weather disasters for U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack - who just recently traveled to North Carolina and Virginia to survey the damage left by Hurricane Irene.

VILSACK: For farmers, ranchers and growers who have seen their crops affected by drought, flood or other disasters this year reminds of us of the importance of maintaining a strong safety net. Despite these challenges American agriculture is as resilient as ever. In fact, after adjusting for inflation this will be the best year for farm income since the early 1970’s.

Neither rain nor sleet...well let’s leave that as the U.S. Postal Service seems to be on the ropes and may be forced to shutdown entirely this winter unless Congress takes emergency action to stabilize its finances. The Postal Service is facing a second straight year of losses of $8 billion or more. A decline in mail because of the Internet and the loss of revenue from advertising amid the economic downturn have taken a toll on the agency.
A number of ideas including no Saturday delivery, closing post offices and layoffs might help but Congress will have a tough time saving the dinosaur.

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

Congress returns from their summer recess this week, and they had better hit the ground running. And for the sake of the sagging American economy they had better learn to put aside their political party differences and play nice with each other. At the top of their to do list is of course that four letter word - jobs. Spurring job creation will be more than tricky however with all the budget and program cuts that Congress has on the agenda. It will certainly be interesting to see if the Democrats and Republicans can overcome their tendency towards decision gridlocks and reach a compromise on any one of the numerous important issues facing our nation right now. In line with creating jobs for the staggering number of unemployed would be ratification of the three long delayed Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Panama, and Columbia. As Keith Miller, chairman of the U.S.Meat Export Federation states, “The jobs it can create across the no small amount - these countries are getting a better lifestyle and asking for better quality foods, we have that product that we can sell them if we can just get through these free trade agreements”.

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

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