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Creating “Our Own” Vision For The Future The Woodbury County Experience: 

Creating “Our Own” Vision For The Future The Woodbury County Experience Local Food From Local Farms: Benefits and Opportunities A Local Foods Educational Conference University of Nebraska-Lincoln East Campus Student Union 300 Nebraska East Union, Lincoln August 7, 2007 Rob Marqusee Director, Rural Economic Development 712.279.6609



Woodbury County Population Breakdown: 

Woodbury County Population Breakdown Loss In Population: Unincorporated Areas: 11.2%/Rural Cities: 9.7% 1970-2000 However: 20%+ Decline Outside of Corridor Forecast: Accelerated Decline After 2000 (DM Reg)

Statistical Impact of Policies: 

Woodbury County Ag - Rural Statistics Sales of Livestock & Livestock Products 1969: $358M vs. 2003: $80M 78 percent decline over 35 years Sales of Crops & Livestock 1998-2003: $145M loss from crops & livestock Farms & Average Farm Sizes (Farms/Acreage) 1975: 1,930/268 vs. 2004: 1,140/387 78% Increase in Number of Farms 1000 Acres+ Woodbury County Losses & Subsidies Annual Loss: $24M Annual Subsidy: $23M Difference of $1M Made Up By Additional Jobs (Statistics Provided By: Ken, Meter, Crossroads Resource Center, 2005 & U.S. Census) Statistical Impact of Policies

Iowa Ag Stats & Forecast: 

Iowa Ag Stats & Forecast Iowa Ag Statistics 50%+ Of Farmland To Transfer in 10 Yrs 25% Farmland Belong to Those >75 Age Average Farmer Age 55+ (Woodbury: 60+) Iowa Forecast Fewer Owners of Land Faster Decline in Rural Population Less Income in Rural Areas More Strain on Environment (Des Moines Register: July 17 & July 24, 2005)



Total US Farm Subsidies: 

Total US Farm Subsidies Federal Subsidy Payments Nationwide Subsidy Total1995-2004 Corn Subsidies $41,862,104,072 Wheat Subsidies $19,834,815,250 CRP $16,618,868,852 Cotton Subsidies $15,778,310,711 Soybean Subsidies $13,017,619,420 Rice Subsidies $9,984,830,876 Sorghum Subsidies $3,719,719,743 Dairy Program Subsidies $3,130,626,423 Livestock Subsidies $2,627,217,935 Peanut Subsidies $2,020,826,354 Barley Subsidies $1,657,217,266 Tobacco Subsidies $528,207,013 Sunflower Subsidies $416,931,661 Sugar Beet Subsidies $348,911,959 Apple Subsidies $261,814,071 Oat Subsidies $192,890,353 Wool Subsidies $174,398,845 Canola Subsidies $173,275,831 Total Paid for Corn, CRP, & Soybean Subsidies: $71,498,592,344 Total Paid for All Listed Federal Subsidies: $274,353,383,635

A County Example Pottawattamie County, Iowa: 

A County Example Pottawattamie County, Iowa Federal Subsidy Payments to Pottawattamie County Farmers Subsidy Number of Recipients 1995-2004 Total1995-2004 Corn Subsidies Recipients 3,064 Paid $171,922,900 CRP Recipients 689 Paid $10,860,030 Soybean Subsidies Recipients 2,348 Paid $43,921,870 Total Paid: $226,704,800 to Pottawattamie County Farmers All 2005 Federal Farm Subsidies Paid to Pottawattamie Farmers $37,294,007 (Does Not Even Create A Net Profit To Farmers) Source: Environmental Working Group

Farm Bill Debate: 

Farm Bill Debate Economists say the subsidies harm most farmers. That's because they lower crop prices, raise land prices and rents, and give subsidized farmers a financial advantage that has helped drive their neighbors out of business and keep young farmers from getting started. Many farmers, and farm state politicians of both parties, oppose large payments. Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, all want to limit payments to one-quarter the size Pelosi has endorsed in the House bill. "When you say to the biggest farms in the country, 'The bigger you get, the more money you get from the government,' then the farm program effectively subsidizes the destruction of family farming," said Chuck Hassebrook, executive director of the Center for Rural Affairs in Nebraska. "Most people in rural America think that is bad policy." July 27, 2007

Non-Localized Food System Money Flowing Out of Local Area: 

Non-Localized Food System Money Flowing Out of Local Area Federal Government Farmers Non-Local Corporate Ag Processing Consumers Money Flows From Federal Government to Farmers to Grow Crops At A Loss (Cost of Production > Price Paid) Ag Interests Buys At Low Price = Makes Lion’s Share of Profit on Food Products In Effect: Federal Government Provides Indirect Subsidy of Large Corporate Ag Interests Non-Local “Inputs” Manufacturers $ $



Current Economic Development Strategies: 

Current Economic Development Strategies Economic Development Programs Are Based On: Priority: Urban Projects (i.e., Industrial, Commercial, Residential) Priority: Wage/Benefits Criteria Priority: $ Incentives-Outside Prospects Priority: Rural Programs Subject To Grant Writing Process Small Farm Production Not A Business/Object of Business Retention Focus: Transforming Rural Communities Into Another Purpose Programs Do Not Address Causes For Rural Decline

Effects of Current System Large Economies of Scale/Low Margin: 

Effects of Current System Large Economies of Scale/Low Margin Local Economy Small Margins-Push Large Farms Focus: Wage-Based Employment/Benefits Little Motive for Entrepreneurship EconDev: Company Recruitment Prime Focus Loss in Farm Labor/Rural Residents Outside Interests Bulk of Profit True Recipients of Incentives Dictate Standards to Local & Fickle System Provides No Incentive For Small Farms & Promotes Loss of Farm Related Jobs

Examples of Current Economic Development Strategies: 

Examples of Current Economic Development Strategies Billions of Taxpayer Dollars (“…without a peep”) Biodiesel Project: IDED Gives $535K to Major Corp: 4-9 Jobs Ethanol Supports: Five Subsidies ($4M): Sioux City Example Regulations Favor Large Processing Houses/Seed Patents Ethanol: 70¢ / per Gallon : $70M on 100M Gal. Facility (Mostly Non-Local) Farm Subsidies: $275B / 10 yrs Average With Stated Impact on Local Economies Primary Beneficiary: Non-Local Owners/Processing Environment is Severely Compromised: Water/Top Soil Less “Local” Control National Health/Obesity Crises


“No official tally of business subsidies exists, but in separate studies Peter S. Fisher of the University of Iowa and Kenneth F. Thomas of the University of Missouri estimated that state and local subsidies aimed at creating jobs total about $50 billion annually. More subtle subsidies … are not counted in those figures and may be even larger.” Assisting the Good Life 6/15/07


A Better Economic Development Option

Localized Development: 

Localized Development Localized Approach: We Are In Control! Address Market Forces (Which Caused Decline) Localize Economy As Much As Possible: Integration Diversify Production & Processing Business Retention: Small Farms = Business Troll For Outside Business Relocation (Least Efficient)| Creating a Local Economic Development Context Benefits to Local Economy of Local Food System: Primary Beneficiaries: Existing Local Producers Supporting Local Talent & Community Building Low Cost Compared to Current Economic Development Strategies Low Volume/High Margin Economic Development Strategy Example: Organics Conversion Policy


Woodbury County Approach Policies & Programs

Woodbury Policies: 

Woodbury Policies Organics Conversion Policy: 6.28.05 100% Tax Rebate on Ag Land Converted to Organic Sustainability, Environmental, Diversification Smaller Farms, More Labor, Higher Income Woodbury Health Initiative: 8.2.05 (Sen. Harkin) Local Foods/Mobile Farmers Market Rural County School Wellness Food Programs & Attack Obesity Local Food Purchase Policy: 1.10.06 Mandatory Purchase of Locally Grown Organic Supports Local Farmer, Local Broker & Markets

Collateral Results of Policies: 

Collateral Results of Policies Local Community College - Organic Courses/Lab Whole Foods Market of Omaha Local Foods Broker, Restaurant, & Ed. Center Organic Farmer Networks - Mentoring Annual Organic Growers Conference Business inquiries from around the U.S. - Chamber Northwest Iowa Farm/Farmer Exchange Local Foods Brand: “Sioux City Sue” U.S. House of Representatives Testimony Organic Market: Project With Chamber, City, & County Sustainable Foods for Siouxland – Education 501(c)(3) Leopold Center Study Grants

Our Integrated Local Food System: 

Our Integrated Local Food System

Woodbury Market: 

Woodbury Market Residents Pay $203,000,000 For Food Annually Plus: $10,000,000+ Institutional Payments Objective of Policies Local Food = 10% of Demand Achievable Results: $21M To Local Economy In Food Purchases $Millions In Local Goods Sold & New Facilities

Create Regional Economy : 

Create Regional Economy Create Integrated Local Foods Systems Integrate Local Supply/Demand Chains Local Can Lead to National Markets Create High Margin/Low Volume Niche Markets Open Local Area To Grant Funding Opportunities Very Very Low Cost Regional Policies & Programs Is Opportunity Take Control Of Your Own Economic Future


What we are doing, as a community, is supporting our farmers and giving them a fair opportunity to serve our citizens and provide food at fair, competitive prices and making a decent living in the process. Organic Farming Is Economic Development!

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