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600 E. Boulevard Ave.
  Bismarck, ND 58505-0599
  701.328.7088 phone
  701.328.3700 fax
  877.328.7088 toll-free
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Rick Clayburgh, Tax Commissioner   701-328-2770
November 6, 2001 Robert Christman, Deputy Commissioner (701) 328-2770

Clayburgh Urges President to Support Farm Bill This Year

BISMARCK ---Citing concerns with the agricultural economy and the need to provide a strong economic stimulus, Tax Commissioner Rick Clayburgh sent a letter to President George W. Bush today urging the President to move quickly on passing farm legislation yet this year.

In the letter to the President, Clayburgh said, “As Tax Commissioner for the State of North Dakota, I am keenly aware of the impact of good farm policy and its relationship to sales of farm equipment and supplies.”

The Office of State Tax Commissioner tracks sales of farm equipment and supplies statewide. The quarterly reports serve as an economic indicator of the state’s farming communities.

“For a number of quarters the farm economy has been limping along,” said Clayburgh. “Since agriculture is our number one industry in North Dakota it is vital that we have a good farm program.”

In his letter to the President, Clayburgh emphasizes the need of a farm program that continues the flexibility of planting for the market, provides target price payments, and includes a solid price support programs.

Clayburgh told the President that the struggling farm economy affects North Dakota’s farm-related businesses and small rural communities that are dependent on agriculture. Clayburgh said that one by one, businesses are forced to close, and small towns are finding it difficult to maintain a viable community and local services

“Over the years farmers have been faced with natural disasters, low commodity prices, and foreign trade practices that place us at a disadvantage in world markets,” said Clayburgh. “For our state a long-term farm bill would go a long way in giving farmers and farm communities the confidence they need to continue investing in the farm business and the future.”

A copy of Commissioner Clayburgh’s letter to President George W. Bush - (741kb pdf) is attached.

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