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Agri-Line - Le Mars Agricultural Connection

Iowa Farm Bureau Establishes Legislative Priorities

(West Des Moines) -- Iowa Farm Bureau Federation members take on property tax reform, water quality, and infrastructure improvements in the 2013 legislative session.

Farm Bureau members say Iowa's unprecedented property tax growth impacts all Iowans.  "Property taxes have increased by over $2 billion since the the year 2000, an increase of over 75 percent," said Craig Hill, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation president.  "Farm Bureau members believe the primary objective of property tax reform should be to reduce the property tax burden on all classes of property.  As lawmakers address issues such as commercial property tax reform, Iowans need to be assured that any reform affecting one class of property would not bring a shift to other classes of property.  In addition, reasonable property tax growth limitations are needed so property tax collections do not continue to outpace the economy and family wages," Hill said.

Controlling growth of property taxes is just one of several priorities named by IFBF.  Members also support using the state's one-time ending fund balance, which will total hundreds of millions of dollars on one-time expenditures such as property tax relief or infrastructure, as opposed to being used for ongoing expenses.

Hill says, "We're at the point where more and more local governments are turning to bonding as an alternative source of revenue to pay for deteriorating rural roads.  Last year alone, rural property owners paid over $140 million in property taxes to their local roads and bridges," said Hill.  IFBF policy calls for an increase in the fuel tax to bring additional revenue for road improvements.  "Iowa's fuel tax hasn't been increased since 1989 and would insure that users of the roads, including out-of-state motorists, are paying directly for the infrastructure repairs.  A user fee is definitely the most equitable and fair method of funding.

   

Pork Producers Convene In Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Some of Iowa's top pork producers are
meeting to talk about their product.
The Iowa Pork Producers Association meets Thursday in Des Moines
to conclude its annual Iowa Pork Congress. The event features a
trade show with 275 exhibitors from the U.S. and abroad.
The event, which began Wednesday, will feature a dozen free
business seminars and training sessions for producers.
Several top producers from surrounding Midwest states also are
expected to attend.
The association says the pork industry contributes nearly $5
billion annually to Iowa's economy.

   

New Farm Organization Created To Inform People of Animal Care

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A group of farmers and industry leaders has announced a coalition aimed at providing Iowa residents with more information on farm animal care.
The Iowa Farm Animal Care Coalition announced its launch Thursday. It says it's designed to help farmers and consumers know more about the latest science-based animal care standards.
An independent team of experts also will offer voluntary on-site evaluations.
IFAC includes farmers from the Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Pork Producers Association. It also includes Iowa State University colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture and Life Sciences, as well as the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

   

AGP Names New CFO

(Omaha) -- Scott Simmelink has been named Group Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Ag Processing Inc. a cooperative (AGP).  Simmelink, who has 30 years of finance, accounting and business experience, succeeds Keith Spackler, who was appointed CEO by the AGP Board of Directors on September 2, 2012.

"With over 30 years of progressively responsible leadership experience in accounting and financial management for both Fortune 500 and privately-held companies, Scott brings an excellent blend of budget and financial administration, project leadership, and sound business expertise," said Spackler.  "Scott will make a great addition to our executive management team."

Simmelink began his new position with AGP on January 2.  He was previously employed as Director of Financial Services with Consolidated Container Company of Omaha.  He was responsible for various aspects of accounting, financial reporting, cash managment, customer and equity owner relations, credit, financial compliance, and other financial services.  Additionally, he was extensively involved in numerous acquisitions and related financing.  His career also includes financial experience with Compaq Direct, Inacom, Coleman Powermate, and Colman Company, Inc.

Simmelink has deep agricultural roots, being born and raised on a crop/cattle farm near Lebanon, Kansas.  He has a B.A. degree in Finance/Business Management from Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas.  Scott and his wife reside in Waterloo, Nebraska.  They have three grown children and two grandchildren.

AGP, the largest farmer-owned soybean processor in the world, is owned by 179 local and regional cooperatives representing over 250,000 farmers from 15 states throughout the United States.  Corporate headquarters are located in Omaha, Nebraska.

   

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