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Release No. 0301.05 Contact: USDA Press Office (202) 720-4623 - page 45 / 53





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MR. KEITH POYER (sp):  Welcome to Minnesota.  I'm Keith Poyer.  I'm from Montevideo, Minnesota.  I'm representing Minnesota Valley Alfalfa Producers here today, which have a plant in Perham, Minnesota.  And I would just like to reiterate what's been said here in that I think it's important that we look at nontraditional, nonfood energy crops in the Farm Bill to promote diversity so that we can work towards a concept that's been brought out here before called "productive conservation."  I think that's very important in a physical way to be able to make our water, our air and our land better and not have it cost just one sector of the economy a lot of money. And I wonder if you have seen the resolution passed by the Minnesota Association of RCNDs on productive conservation.  If you'd like to see it, I have a copy of it that I could leave with you.  I think it's a good resolution that has a good base to work from in productive conservation and in improving our environment.  Thank you. [Applause.] MODERATOR:  Next question, please? MR. BRAD HENN (sp):  Welcome to Minnesota, Secretary Johanns.  My name is Brad Henn, and I'm from Ghent,  which is just east of Minneota and Taunton and Porter.  And I'm a hog producer as I said.  It was mentioned earlier that I could be specific with my questions, so I lost an employee about three months ago.  If you could help me replace him, that would be great.            Actually bearing in mind what some other people talked about earlier, if there's a young producer out there who is interested in raising hogs I'd be glad to work together with them to get started as an employee and work into ownership or whatever. The main thing I wanted to talk to you about today though is in regards to the Farm Bill, and I don't recall specifically if that was one of your six points, but I know that in formulating the Farm Bill that Gil and you guys will have to address WTO compliance.  And you know my thought is that one of the ways that we can achieve that and it actually addresses what a dairy farmer talked about a little bit earlier too about support price on the dairy program, and in the last Farm Bill it was hassled back and forth about exactly what the support price should be on corn and soy. You know, they were going back and forth about it, make sure we wait though so they're fair, and so forth. Why don't we have a floating support price?  You know, like a five-year average on corn and soy.  I believe that would comply with the red box, green box thing as far as WTO requires.  Or it would certainly help us comply with that because it would be more market-based. It would also I believe somewhat reduce the capitalization of farm payments into land that has occurred because there's still going to be some market input in terms of what crops we plant and so forth.  And I think in that respect then it would somewhat help the younger farmers get started as well. Thanks for your time.

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