NDFB disagrees with Industrial Commission decision

Created: 11/17/15 (Tue) | Topic: Issues

A recent North Dakota Industrial Commission decision to allow the Bank of North Dakota to buy down bad farm loans was not popular with delegates to the NDFB 73rd Annual Meeting, according to the organization’s new president, Daryl Lies.

“I find it ironic that our legislature and the Bank of North Dakota have been trying to develop lending options to assist young farmers and ranchers, and the Industrial Commission turns around and initiates a program that will distort land prices and the availability of land. The only thing accomplished with this program is placing a competitive disadvantage upon young people trying to enter agriculture,” Lies said.

“When some business operators make poor decisions, it opens the door for other businesses to fill that gap. By artificially propping up businesses, in this case, select farmers, ranchers and agricultural lenders, our Industrial Commission is allowing certain operators to circumvent the free market’s natural fluctuations and is effectively limiting opportunities for others,” Lies said.

One of NDFB’s priorities for the coming year is to take an active position on federal and state government programs that manipulate interest rates and create bubbles in ag land values. Lies says the more the market is manipulated, the more difficult it is for young people to get into the business of farming and ranching.

“Although this loan buy-down decision has already been made, we’re going to keep working to make sure our elected officials start adhering to the conservative principles that this country was founded upon. If we learned anything from the agricultural crisis of the ‘70s and ‘80s, it was that government intervention didn’t help us in the long run and the last thing a person who can’t pay back a loan needs is another loan. Our compassion for those who make poor business decisions shouldn’t cause us to throw out the free market principles that have made America great for more than 200 years.

Lies said NDFB will also work to get the Environmental Protection Agency out of agriculture in the state.

“The EPA has increasingly overstepped its authority and gone beyond legislative intent in its interpretation of laws such as the Clean Water Act. When EPA dangles a carrot and provides funding for even marginally beneficial programs, its involvement always comes with strings attached, and the Waters of the U.S. rule is not a string, but a rope that will hang North Dakota agriculture if we don’t get EPA under control and out of our business.”

Lies says he was pleased with the delegates’ calls for reducing the size of government at the state and national level.

“NDFB members understand the strength of this nation is in our ability as individuals to be self-reliant and inventive and government doesn’t often solve problems, rather it creates them,” Lies said. “The real wealth is generated by those with the spirit of entrepreneurism.”

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