2nd Quarter 2005
Grab Bag
James L. Novak, Paul Gentle, Patricia Duffy, and Alison Keefe
According to the 2002 US Census of Agriculture, 40% of US farmers are (or will soon be) eligible for Social Security retirement benefits. This article looks at how the Social Security system might be reformed and the potential difficulties some farmers might face with the new system.
Steven C. Blank
Producers enjoying an agricultural "way of life" may not all be "hobby farmers" as often thought. Many may be real estate investors using off-farm income to help them stay on the farm until they choose to capture their capital gains. Whether this rural lifestyle can be called a "farm" worthy of government support is debated.
Clement E. Ward
Captive supplies in the livestock industry continue to be a divisive, contentious issue. New data to better track captive supplies are available since mandatory price reporting (MPR) was established. Data for the first three years since the beginning of MPR in 2001 show no upward trend in buyers' use of captive supplies and generally small price differences with cash market prices.

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