National Farmers Union President Tom Buis, says that all of agriculture needs to come together to find solutions to the current economic crisis. To accomplish that goal NFU is urging the U.S. House and Senate Agriculture Committees to hold hearings, both across the country and in Washington, to examine the impact the current economic crisis has had on the rural economy and seek solutions.
"The stories I hear from family farmers and ranchers across the country are the same," Buis said. "The farm economy has quickly deteriorated into a desperate situation for many and the anxiety for 2009 is high."
According to Buis, commodity prices have declined while input costs remain high and both worldwide and domestic demand for our products has decreased as a looming credit crisis threatens economic stability. Buis said Congressional hearings would provide committee members a necessary perspective.
Many agriculture critics believe last year's short-lived high prices and farm bill passage should be enough to sustain the rural economy, but Buis says what they fail to recognize is the rapidly changed economy, the challenge of writing farm legislation during periods of higher prices and the unique challenges agricultural producers face on an annual basis.