NCOSAFP NATIONAL COUNCIL OF STATE AG FINANCE PROGRAMS January by ANejman

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									                                            NCOSAFP
                                                   NATIONAL COUNCIL OF STATE AG FINANCE PROGRAMS
                                                                                     January 2007


2006 ANNUAL CONFERENCE                                     WORDS FROM THE CHAIRMAN:
   Saratoga Springs, NY                                                                                 By: Jeff Ward, Iowa
            By: Terri LaBrie Baker, Secretary NCOSAFP
                                                           I hope everyone that attended the fall conference in Saratoga
                                                           Springs, NY had a good time and took away some ideas for your
                                                           individual state program. A big thank you to the New York State
                                                           Environmental Facilities Corporation and the New York State
                                                           Department of Ag & Markets for their efforts in planning and
                                                           executing the conference. Specifically, I would like to thank
                                                           John McKeon, Erick McCandless, Tim Pezzolesi, and Kara
                                                           Wilson for their individual efforts with the conference.

                                                           Tony Stafford and the Missouri Ag & Small Business
                                                           Development Authority will be hosting the conference in 2007.
                                                           Plans currently call for the conference to be held in
                                                           Springfield/Branson, Missouri area October 15-17. Additional
                                                           information can be found elsewhere in this newsletter.

                                                           On November 13 & 14, 2006, Terri LaBrie Baker, SD, Jeff Ward,
                                                           IA, and Wayne Nelson with Communicating For Agriculture
                                                           represented NCOSAFP at the American Bankers Assn. Ag
         It was a beautiful day at the Saratoga            Bankers Conference in Las Vegas. During the conference we
Gaming and Raceway Facility. As you can see                talked to numerous bankers from around the nation about
in the above photo, members at the NCOSAFP                 individual state ag finance programs and handed out copies of the
                                                           directory.
annual conference enjoyed a great afternoon
watching the harness races.                                On the legislative front, we plan to have the Aggie Bond
         The 2006 Annual Conference of the                 Improvement legislation re-introduced in the upcoming
National Council of State Ag Finance Programs              Congress. As of this writing, committee assignments are still
was held from October 9, 2006 to October 11,               being determined; however, once they are set we will develop a
                                                           plan and target key legislators for their support.
2006 in beautiful Saratoga Springs, New York.
         Opening the annual conference was an              As we discussed at the conference, the intention is to introduce
update on New York agriculture provided by                 the bill with all four provisions as before. Because there are
Dave Sterman, President of the NY State                    some concerns regarding the bond cap exemptions & FSA
Environmental Facilities Corp and Patrick                  guarantees, we hope to also split it into 2 separate bills. One
Brennan, Commissioner of the NY State                      would contain the above provisions and the second would
                                                           address increasing the maximum bond amount and the definition
Department of Agriculture and Markets. A                   of previously owned real estate.
description of many of the programs offered in
NY for agricultural development and                        If you ever have questions or suggestions regarding our
environmental management were discussed.                   legislative efforts, please let me know.
After the meeting session on NY Agriculture
finished, the conference attendees loaded the              I hope everyone will make plans to attend the 2007 conference in
                                                           Missouri. ■
buses for the Saratoga Gaming and Raceway
Faclility!

                               Continued on Page 3…

                                                                                                             NCOSAFP 1
NCOSAFP 2
                2006 Annual Conference - Continued from Page 1

         On day two of the conference, Jeff Ward,                Washington Update
NCOSAFP Chairman, opened the conference by                              Wayne Nelson, Communicating for Agriculture
giving away some door prizes and then introduced
Larry Adams, Assistant Deputy Administrator with                 The election surprised a lot of people in that both
FSA, USDA, Washington, DC. Mr. Adams                             the House and Senate changed majorities to the
                                                                 Democratic side. This means that there will be new
discussed crop insurance, the CRP program, and
                                                                 committee chairmen in both houses of Congress.
farm bill issues.                                                The new House Agriculture Committee Chairman
         Following a great group discussion on farm              will be Congressman Colin Peterson from
bill issues were the State Reports. State reports were           Minnesota. The new Senate Agriculture Committee
given for North Carolina, Illinois, and California.              Chairman will be Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa. This
         The remaining of the morning was filled                 will definitely put a Midwest slant to agriculture
with interesting speakers from Washington, DC                    especially at a time when we are in the middle of
                                                                 discussions on the 2007 Farm Bill.
including representatives from Farm Service Agency,
Farmer Mac, and the American Bankers Association.                The important House Ways and Means Committee
         Mark Falcone, FSA, joins the NCOSAFP                    will get a new chairman, Congressman Charles
annually to update the members on the successes of               Rangel of New York. He is from an urban district
the FSA and to inform members of the programs                    but has supported rural and agriculture issues in
they have to offer.                                              the past. This committee will also get some new
                                                                 Democrat members that hopefully can come from
         Tom Stenson, Farmer Mac, joined the
                                                                 some rural districts. The Senate Finance Committee
NCOSAFP this year for the first time. Mr. Stenson                will be chaired by Senator Max Baucus of Montana
discussed ways Farmer Mac can partner with lenders               and will likely see little change because of his good
in purchasing their loans. It was nice to meet Mr.               working relationship with former chairman
Stenson and Farmer Mac’s sponsorship at the                      Grassley of Iowa.
annual conference is greatly appreciated.
         Finally, rounding out the morning classroom             January 2007 will mark the beginning of the 110th
                                                                 Congress. We will be ready to introduce beginning
session was Mr. John Blanchfield, American Bankers
                                                                 farmer legislation with past sponsor Congressman
Association. John’s speech, “What’s On The                       King of Iowa and other Democrat supporters as
Horizon For Ag Bankers?”, was very interesting and               well. We will probably split the legislation into two
sparked a lot of questions from the participants.                bills to make passage easier. The bond cap
John talked about the next farm bill and what ag                 exemption, the increase in the loan amount and the
bankers need to think about - including a proposal               increase or elimination of the dollar amount of land
for an affordable farming program.                               owned to qualify for a targeted beginning farmer
                                                                 will likely be in one bill and the FSA guarantee and
         The afternoon session included tours of                 some other provisions in another bill. We will get
Stewart’s Shops, McMahons Horse Farm, which was                  Senate sponsorship at the same time to work
the home of Funny Cide, and the Lake George boat                 through that body as well. The legislation most
tour - sponsored by Farmer Mac.                                  probably will not stand on its own and will be
         The last day of the conference with a DC                attached to a larger tax bill to attain final passage.
update from Wayne Nelson, Communicating for                      Their could be a tax bill early in the session to
                                                                 grant some tax extenders and other minor tax
Agriculture. Discussed our bill and how it will need
                                                                 provisions that ended at the end of 2006 but still
to be reintroduced in the 110th Congress beginning               are very popular with both Republicans and
in January 2007. Recommended splitting the bill in               Democrats. Later there might be a small business
two with the FSA Guaranty issue separate to get a                tax bill to go along with an increase in the
better response to the other changes we want.                    minimum wage that is expected to be introduced.
         The NCOSAFP annual business meeting
concluded the conference. The minutes of the                     We will again try to get the beginning farmer
                                                                 language included in the new Farm Bill as it was in
business meeting are available on the website at
                                                                 2002 but it will still take a change in the tax code
www.stateagfinance.org . ■                                       to get the improvements implemented. ■




                                                                                                            NCOSAFP 3
2007 ANNUAL CONFERENCE - Missouri                              NCOSAFP MEMBERSHIP
MARK YOUR CALENDARS. Missouri will be hosting                          BY: Tony Stafford, MO - NCOSAFP Treasurer
the 2007 NCOSAFP annual conference.
                                                          The National Council of State Agricultural
The conference will be in the Springfield/Branson
area. We are currently negotiating with hotels in         Finance Programs (NCOSAFP) membership
the area on conference rates. The dates of the            notices will be mailed in the near future. We
conference are Monday, October 15 through                 hope that each of you who are members will
Wednesday, October 17, 2007. We are hopeful we            renew and those of you who are not members
can get conference rates for Saturday and Sunday          will give serious consideration to becoming a
as well.                                                  member.
Southwest Missouri has very diverse agriculture and
is home to a number of value-added processing             (NCOSAFP) is an informal organization, whose affairs
firms.                                                    are conducted by a Steering Committee selected from the
Springfield/Branson is located in the heart of the        NCOSAFP membership. The committee keeps its
Ozarks. The fall foliage is typically at its peak about   members informed on state programs being developed
that time of the year. The area also offers many          across the nation, and on farm finance issues emerging in
attractions like Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World,            Washington, D.C. NCOSAFP also is involved in
Crystal Cave, Fantastic Caverns, and Missouri Sports      promoting and supporting rural economic development
Hall of Fame just to mention a few. Springfield has       programs. Member states have developed and
                                                          implemented individual programs to assist beginning and
many great restaurants and shopping centers.
                                                          first-time farmers, existing family farm operations, and
Branson is just a short drive to the south and            agribusiness firms.
features many great music and variety shows.
Springfield/Branson regional airport is serviced by
American Connection, American Eagle, Delta                The National Council Goals are:
Connection, Northwest Airlink, and United Express.            •    To represent the interest of state agricultural
                                                                   finance programs in the development of
We look forward to hosting the conference and will
                                                                   legislation, regulation and consideration of other
be sending out more details as they are finalized. ■
                                                                   issues that affect the ability of such programs to
                                                                   meet the intended public purposes.
                                                              •    To facilitate continuing communication and
THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF STATE AG                                   educational programs among the membership.
FINANCE PROGRAMS STEERING COMM.                               •    To explore and evaluate new ideas in
                                                                   agricultural financing.
JEFF WARD, CHAIRMAN - IOWA – 515-281-6444
                                                              •    To offer assistance to states that may be
LEE BOYER – MONTANA – 406-444-2402                                 interested in developing state agricultural
                                                                   finance programs.
TONY STAFFORD, TREASURER – MO – 573-751-2129
                                                          We trust these goals fit with what you are trying to do in
TERRI LABRIE BAKER, SECRETARY – SD – 605-773-5436         your individual states and again we invite you to become
                                                          a member. ■
FRANK BORDEAUX, VC – NC – 919-790-3949

GARY SMITH – PENNSYLVANIA – 610-458-5700
WAYNE NELSON (TECHNICAL ADVISOR) – COMM. FOR AG. –
800-432-3276
One of the NCOSAFP goals is to assist states that
may be interested in developing state agricultural
finance programs. For additional information or                   Have a safe and joyous
assistance, feel free to contact any of the steering
committee members or check us out on the web at                      holiday season!
www.stateagfinance.org . ■




                                                                                                         NCOSAFP 4

								
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