Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement on data released this week showing record U.S. farm exports and farm income:


“This year brought a host of challenges for America’s farmers, ranchers and producers: Hurricanes, floods, drought and other extreme weather have driven thousands of Americans from their homes, destroyed crops, and threatened our rural communities. 

“But despite the setbacks, American agriculture is thriving, demonstrating again that the men and women who own and operate America’s farms and ranches are some of the most resilient in the world. 

“We learned this week in the Farm Income report that both net cash income and net farm income are record in nominal terms and, adjusting for inflation, are at their highest levels since the early 1970s. Meanwhile, total farm debt declined nearly 2 percent.

“That’s a major achievement and a testament to our farmers and ranchers, who continue to work hard, innovate and make smart business decisions in these challenging times. It shows that they are making good investments, reducing their debt, and using their resources wisely.

“Their success story is not celebrated often enough. And it is due, in part, to their willingness to seize opportunities in new markets, both domestic and foreign.