Legislative Matters: Generations of Amber Waves of Grain
Legislative Matters Generations of Amber Waves of Grain


Reflecting upon what makes the American farmer and the generations they came from is a complex and unique genealogy. Appreciation and respect are in the forefront of thought as witnessed with a blessing of grace and thanksgiving at each meal. The picture of amber waves of grain comes from these blessing and brings a warm smile to every face across the world. Still, most of those faces do not have much awareness for how it all gets created.  The story needs be told over and over, again and again, lest the best agriculture system in the world be diminished.


Many components make for a successful farming operation. It always starts with a farmer and gears up from there. There are essential foundations important for a farmer and unique to each operation, but some are more critical than others. Access to capital for routine operations and growth cannot be taken for granted and fortunately exists with GreenStone Farm Credit Services. 


GreenStone was formed as a cooperative over a hundred years ago to serve as that lender with the capacity to understand agricultural operations and deliver financial resources and services. As farms have evolved over generations, so has the Farm Credit System to better serve the demands of producing food and fiber.  


A century ago, the United States Congress passed legislation which provided for 12 Federal Intermediate Credit Banks intended to finance short-term commercial loans and to make direct loans to cooperatives like GreenStone. Generations of innovation followed to meet the needs of an ever-changing marketplace. Legislation played a key role in the evolution and history. This rich history has helped us build an extraordinary depth of understanding of rural credit needs. We appreciate the challenges and opportunities for agriculture and more specifically for the individual crop sectors and livestock breeds unlike anything in the world. 


Today, we support rural families, infrastructure providers and farmers by helping to keep American agriculture competitive in global markets and our rural communities viable and thriving. Amongst many critical partners is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA has been built over time to be a critical partner for the development of our nation’s agriculture infrastructure. There is a tremendous volume of information available within the USDA to assist in making the diverse range of farming ventures successful. Deep within the design is a structure to assure food and nutritional resources reach the plate. The resources within USDA deserve almost constant study and review to maintain success.  


Just as decisions over generations influence current decisions on the farm, the decision makers need to maintain vision and purpose to assure amber waves of grain continue to flourish. The best decisions are made with knowledge and communication with collaboration and action. In times where challenges are abundant in agriculture and innovation is demanded, now is the time to stand loud and proud with the strength of generations. Farmers are necessary and appreciated with voices that need to be heard. 


Legislation long ago solved a problem; we need to stay engaged to ensure future legislation also solves problems and doesn’t create them. The issues of labor, taxes, weather patterns and trade are in flux and of high focus. Stay engaged and show gratitude. Future generations are dependent upon this engagement.


To view the article in the online 2021 Fall Partners Magazine, click here.


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