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Release No. 0301.05 Contact: USDA Press Office (202) 720-4623 - page 33 / 53





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microphone.  There’s a place for written comments to the left of the stage and you can access the USDA’s web site at http://www.usda.gov/farmbill, if you would like to make comments that way.  

        Let’s go ahead with the next question, please.

       MR. RONALD BONICK:  (sp) I am Ronald Bonick.  I live at Hayfield, Minnesota, which is about 50 miles north of where the Secretary grew up.  This is my son Kyle. And Keith, my youngest son, is home milking cows.  Anyway, the biggest thing, and it hasn’t even come up today, and it might not fit into a Farm Bill, it’s the 1031 tax exchange that’s killing the young farmer.


      MR. RONALD BONICK:  When I can show you land that sold right across the road from me, and I wasn’t interested in buying it, but that man was 85 years old that bought it.  He should be selling, he shouldn’t be buying.  


     MR. RONALD BONICK:  He bought it because he did not want to pay any taxes.  He hounded that one lady for six months until she sold it.  That’s how bad it’s being used.  

       I’m seeing in the area I live in, which is Gil Gutknecht's area, about 30 percent of it.  It’s badly influencing it.  Two weeks ago, both of my young sons, we looked at an estate farm which is a half a mile from us.  We would like to build a new dairy.  It would fit very well in it. But guess what? They would like to sell it to a beginning farmer, but the third largest grain farmer in the state of Minnesota has already offered him $3,300 an acre and he immediately turns it over to an investor.  We can’t even begin to make it work.  We can’t make a cash flow, it doesn’t even work at nothing and 15 years from now it still won’t work.

             My suggestion for the 1031 is just to get rid of it, if we can, for agriculture land.  A compromise would be if they sell 40 acres, they can buy 40 acres.  Or if they sell 80 acres, they can buy 80 acres.  Maybe we should tell investors, investor land is just not eligible for any farm program.  It might get us in trouble, but we could sure try.  Thank you very much.  I bet you Mike knows what it’s like to stack bales of hay on a hay mower on a hot day like this, doesn’t he?

    MODERATOR:  Thank you, sir, for your question.


   MODERATOR:  Can I just say, Ron, you’re right, I don't know if this actually fits in the Farm Bill, but it certainly fits this discussion.  Let me just say, when I first came to this event 12 or 13 years ago, I think if you would have done a show of hands of those who understood 1031 exchanges, most people would have supported it.  But it’s interesting to me how the momentum on all of that has turned over the last 12 years and I’m glad you brought it up.  Thank you.

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