Agriculture Production Contracts

July-September 2002

Gary Bickmeier, Keokuk County extension education director


Keokuk county's population is 11,516. We are located 25 miles from the closest medium sized metropolis. Of the 643 farm operators listed in the 1997 Census of Agriculture, 478 worked off the farm. The consensus of opinion is that those figures are even higher in 2002. Ag Production Contracts, are contracts that allow Ag commodity corporations to control production and price of grains and livestock. These contracts are seen as a solution to Ag economic problems and the need to work off farm. They are also seen as a hazard that may cause farmers to loose even more equity and personal control over their finances. .


The Keokuk County Extension, Keokuk County Farm Bureau and St Mary's Church in Sigourney put together a program to help farmers understand and learn to either capitalize on or leave alone production contracts. Our goal was to increase knowledge of production contracts. Key points included:


Thirty-one individuals received Ag Production Contracts training. The program was held at St. Mary's on June 10th. The evening featured presentations by Vivan Jennings a Former Deputy Administrator for CSREES and USDA, Steve Reno and Steve Moline of the Iowa Attorney Generals Office Farm Division and Ed Kodiak Iowa Farm Bureau Marketing Specialist


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