This week during The Ag Minute, guest host Rep. Glenn "GT" Thompson discusses the importance of providing American farmers and ranchers a long term solution to the estate tax. Without a permanent fix families could be forced to sell their farms to pay an arbitrary tax debt.

Click here to listen toThe Ag Minute. The transcript is below.

"Across rural America family farms are facing yet another period of uncertainty. When the Democratic-led Congress put a temporary band-aid on the estate tax, they only set aside their responsibility to solve this tax crisis without accomplishing any long-term outcome.

"Families own 97 percent of the commercial farms in the U.S. and, with the fastest growing group of farmers 65 years and older, those families are wondering how they will be able to pass down the tradition of farming which provides this country’s food. Forcing families to sell their farms to pay an arbitrary tax debt is not in this Nation’s best interest. A permanent solution to the estate tax is required to help reverse the decline of family farms in America.

"Congress has remained committed to farm, trade, and rural development programs which allow producers to capture added value and bring new capital back to rural communities. It makes no sense that the Federal Government would then seize half or more of what families spent generations building.

"The House has led the way with legislation to solve this impending tax crisis. It is time for the President and the Senate to place a priority on protecting the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers throughout rural America. While comprehensive tax reform is the best approach, some issues cannot be allowed to languish indefinitely. The time is now for a permanent, sustainable solution to the estate tax."

The Ag Minute is Chairman Lucas's weekly radio address that is released from the House Agriculture Committee.