SDFB president: Farms and ranches need tax relief now

South Dakota Farm Bureau

Farm and ranch families need a permanent tax code that boosts the agricultural economy and frees them to reinvest in their businesses, South Dakota Farm Bureau President Scott VanderWal, told the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Policy on July 13.

“Farmers and ranchers operate under tight profit margins, often for rates of return that are modest compared to other businesses,” said VanderWal. “Our businesses are also cyclical where a period of prosperity can be followed by one or more unprofitable years.”

Farming is challenging under the best circumstances, with uncontrollable weather, disease outbreaks and unpredictable markets, said VanderWal, who also serves as vice president of the American Farm Bureau Federation and farms near Volga, S.D. On his family farm, VanderWal has seen the price of corn go as high as $7.60 per bushel to as low as $2.80 per bushel in the last 10 years. Nationwide, net farm income has been cut nearly in half since 2011.

Video clips of VanderWal’s testimony and follow-up questions by U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem, can be found by following these links: