“I don’t know any farmers who work in a perfect environment, free from any risks or elements beyond their control,” wrote AFBF President Zippy Duvall in his May Beyond the Fencerows column. “Sober reminders are all around us these days. From raging wildfires and nonstop rains to the challenging farm economy, many farmers and ranchers are doing their best to hold on for better days. Agriculture is not a business for the faint of heart—it takes a lot of faith and perseverance, even in the best of circumstances.  

“Congress can’t change the weather, but it can do a lot to improve the climate for running a farm or ranch. Farmers and ranchers grow food, fuel and fiber in a world of uncertainty. We need a tax code that recognizes the unique financial challenges we face, and we need flexibility to run and expand our businesses.  

“Our tax laws should promote the business of farming and ranching, rather than punishing those who commit their lives to working in agriculture. Farmers shouldn’t be penalized for having a good year or for building a family business they can pass on to the next generation. When farmers must pay expenses to play defense against estate taxes, rather than investing those resources to make their farm better, we all suffer a loss.”