Making the Case for Young Farmers
by Keith Norman (The Jamestown Sun) … Kasey Bitz was one of 44 farmers participating in the North Dakota Farmers Union legislative fly-in that returned from Washington, D.C., on Sept. 14. Members of the group met with the North Dakota Congressional delegation and were assigned senators and representatives from other states to meet.
Bitz said the current low prices for agricultural commodities is hitting young farmers hardest because many have high land and equipment costs compared to farmers who have operated for many years.
“I don’t want to be one of the statistics as one of the young farmers who is not farming in 10 years,” Bitz said.
Bitz led a delegation of farmers who met with agriculture advisers for Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. They discussed the similarities and differences in agriculture between Tennessee and North Dakota.
“We talked North Dakota agriculture with them,” Bitz said. “In Tennessee, it’s mostly soybeans and cattle. We discussed ethanol with them and told them how important it is to North Dakota farmers to have access to ethanol plants.”
Ethanol plants in North Dakota, such as the Dakota Spirit AgEnergy plant at Spiritwood, purchase locally grown corn and increase the demand and prices for the crop.
“In Tennessee, there is not a lot of corn grown so ethanol is not a big deal,” Bitz said. “They said they have a lot of small-town gas stations and weren’t sure if blender pumps could work there.”
Blender pumps allow the customer to select the mix of ethanol and gasoline at the pump, which encourages the use of ethanol as a fuel. READ MORE