Following the Tuesday (Aug. 25) release of USDA’s Farm Income Forecast, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement:
"Today's farm income forecast is heartening for all Americans. The past several years have seen unprecedented highs in farm income, and despite the fact that farm income is forecast to be down from record levels, today's projections provide a snapshot of a rural America that continues to remain stable and resilient in the face of the worst animal disease outbreak in our nation's history and while the western United States remains gripped by drought. Thanks to its ability to be competitive through thick and thin, American agriculture remains fundamentally sound, supporting and creating good-paying American jobs for millions.
"The American agriculture success story is not celebrated often enough. That success is due, in part, to U.S. farmers' bold willingness to seize opportunities in new markets, both domestic and foreign, and harness the best of American technology and innovation. At the same time, markets continue to expand for locally-grown food, a market valued at $11.7 billion last year, and America's bio-based economy has emerged as a new frontier for U.S. growth. The country's bio-based industry contributed 4 million jobs and $369 billion to the economy in 2013, while displacing about 300 million gallons of petroleum-equivalent to taking 200,000 cars off the road. American agriculture achieved record exports last year and USDA continues to pursue strong new trade deals so that farm and ranch businesses don't miss out on new markets for their products.
"Since 2009, USDA, under President Obama, has made historic investments in rural America and American agriculture. Two-thirds of all rural counties gained jobs over the past year and the overall economy continues a record-breaking pace of 65 straight months of private-sector job growth. USDA and the Obama Administration will continue to stand with America's farming families, small businesses and rural communities as they build a brighter future for our country on the land that they love."