State lawmakers advanced a Nebraska Farm Bureau supported property tax relief bill (LB 1107) to the second of three rounds of floor debate August 5. LB 1107 is slated for second round consideration Tuesday, Aug. 11. With the clock ticking on the session, Nebraska Farm Bureau Vice President of Governmental Relations Bruce Rieker provides an update on where things stand on this critical tax relief proposal and how you can help!

Help secure property tax relief!
Urge your senator to push LB 1107 across the finish line!

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Legislature Passes Industrial Hemp Bill

The Legislature has given final approval to a bill that would ensure Nebraska’s laws and regulations governing industrial hemp are compliant with federal (USDA) regulations. LB 1152 was introduced by Sen. Steve Halloran of Hastings and designated an Agriculture Committee priority.

As many areas of Nebraska continue to battle drought conditions, Nebraska Farm Bureau has gathered resources to help farmers and ranchers who have been impacted. Does your county qualify for emergency haying and grazing of CRP? Could you qualify for USDA’s Livestock Forage Program? What steps are required to access roadside haying and grazing? Find information and answers to those questions on the Nebraska Farm Bureau drought resources page.

Resoure Page

State lawmakers have given final approval to a Nebraska Farm Bureau backed bill (LB 931) to expand the existing overweight exemption for the transport of agricultural commodities. The bill now awaits final approval from the Gov. Under current law, farmers are allowed to exceed weight limits on loads by 15 percent when hauling seasonally harvested crops from the field to storage, market, or stockpile, or from stockpile to market, if travel is within 70 miles and the owner of the commodity provides the driver of the load with a signed statement of origin and destination. LB 931 expands the overweight exemption to apply to the transportation of seasonally harvested commodities in transport from “farm storage” to market. The Legislature’s Chair of the Agriculture Committee, Sen. Steve Halloran of Hastings, introduced the bill on behalf of Nebraska Farm Bureau. Sen. Dan Hughes of Venango prioritized the bill. The idea was originally suggested by members of Adams County Farm Bureau.

Nebraska Farm Bureau has partnered with Medica to design an exclusive portfolio of health insurance plans for farmers, ranchers, or those in agribusiness. Coverage is available for themselves and their families. Employees and their families can also join Nebraska Farm Bureau to access these health plans. These plans are available only from Farm Bureau Financial Services agents in Nebraska. You must be a Farm Bureau member in good standing by August 31, 2020 to be eligible for fall enrollment.

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This week UNL’s Ag Economics department identified what farmers and ranchers should know about the CARES Act as they head into fall tax season; USDA’s Farm Service Agency is reminding producers to remember the Aug. 28 deadline for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) signup; the Legislature has passed a series of bills of importance to agriculture; and Nebraska Farm Bureau weighed in on a measure related to COVID-19 related worker safety at meatpacking plants; check out all these stories and more in this week’s Policy Watch.  

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Reconnect with neighbors and friends at one of Nebraska Farm Bureau’s upcoming “Member Appreciation” nights this August. Meal provided, bring a friend, and win a John Deere generator.

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M front end, combine, grain bagger, barn wood, and wheat straw are among the listings this week on the Nebraska Farm Bureau Exchange, Nebraska Farm Bureau’s (NEFB) new online resource for members to buy, sell, or trade their items through free classified ads. Check out the NEFB Exchange today!

NEFB Exchange

Sign up to participate in the 2020-2021 Ag Pen Pal Program! The program is seeking farmers, ranchers, and classrooms to participate. The Ag Pen Pal Program connects farmers and ranchers with classrooms to help students understand where their food, fiber, and fuel comes from. Deadline to sign up is August 12!

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Classroom - Sign Up Here

Farm/Ranch - Sign Up Here

The Silver Eagle Award is Nebraska Farm Bureau’s highest honor and each year the organization bestows the award to an individual or entity for their contributions to Nebraska agriculture. Nebraska Farm Bureau is currently seeking nominations for the 2020 Silver Eagle Award. Who do you think should get the award?

Nomination Form

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State lawmakers returned to Lincoln this week to finish up the remaining days of the 2020 legislative session. Securing property tax relief is Nebraska Farm Bureau’s top priority! Nebraska Farm Bureau Vice President of Government Relations Bruce Rieker provides a status report.

Help Secure Tax Relief!

Take Action NOW!

Farm Bureau Asks USDA to Authorize Emergency Haying, Grazing

Nebraska Farm Bureau is encouraging the Nebraska Farm Service Agency (FSA) to authorize emergency haying and grazing of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands in all Nebraska counties that meet the appropriate drought qualifications. Two counties currently meet the automatic qualification being designated as D2-Severe Drought conditions according to the U.S. Drought Monitor Map. In addition, Farm Bureau is encouraging FSA to work with all Nebraska counties designated as D1-Moderate Drought to examine whether they meet the necessary 40 percent forage loss threshold to also qualify for emergency haying and grazing of CRP.

Farm Bureau Letter

Reconnect with neighbors and friends at one of Nebraska Farm Bureau’s upcoming “Member Appreciation” nights this August. Meal provided, bring a friend, and win a John Deere generator.

Learn More

RSVP Now

Farmers, ranchers, and agribusiness owners need comprehensive health coverage at an affordable price. Nebraska Farm Bureau has partnered with Medica Health Plans to design an exclusive portfolio of health insurance plans for members who are farmers, ranchers, or in agribusiness. Coverage is available for themselves and their families. Employees and their families can also join Nebraska Farm Bureau to access these health plans. These plans are available only from Farm Bureau Financial Services agents in Nebraska.

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Join Now and Save

As the Senate meets to consider a second stimulus package, farmers and ranchers continue to deal with the fallout of the novel coronavirus pandemic. In a letter to Nebraska’s U.S. Senators, Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson offered a list of priorities to consider as the Senate looks to finalize the next round of COVID-19 aid.

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USDA released a report on its investigation into disparities between prices paid to beef producers and prices at the grocery store; Farm Bureau is urging USDA to authorize emergency haying and grazing; Several agriculture related bills advanced in the Legislature this week, including a key Farm Bureau backed agriculture transportation bill; check out all these stories and more in this week’s Policy Watch!

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The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation awarded the Hall County Farm Bureau Scholarship to Trey Schulz of Cairo. Schulz graduated from Centura High School and will attend Hastings Central Community College, majoring in diesel mechanics. After college, he plans to pursue a job with an agricultural equipment company. The Hall County Farm Bureau Scholarship is awarded to an outstanding Hall County student pursuing a course of study and career related to agriculture in Nebraska.

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AKC Labrador Retrievers, three grain bins, International chopper and chuckwagons, and wheat straw are among the listings this week on the Nebraska Farm Bureau Exchange, Nebraska Farm Bureau’s (NEFB) new online resource for members to buy, sell, or trade their items through free classified ads. Check out NEFB Exchange today!

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Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge Applications Due July 31.

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District 5 & 7 Soybean Board Election Ballots Due July 31.

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FSA County Committee Elections – Nominations Due Aug. 3.

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FSA Accepting Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Applications Through Aug. 28.

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Farmers and ranchers use fuel in producing crops and livestock so fuel is an important expense, but fuel prices also factor into the profitability of ethanol production and, in turn, corn producers. Livestock producers, because of their usage of distillers’ grains, can also be impacted by changes in fuel prices through ethanol production. Senior Economist Jay Rempe explains how COVID-19 impacts on energy prices have been a bit of a mixed bag for producers.

NEFB Urges EPA to Reject Renewable Fuel Waivers

Nebraska Farm Bureau is concerned about the attempt by some in the oil industry to yet again, circumvent the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) looks to review the large number of petitions for waivers for past years that have been received, Nebraska Farm Bureau is urging that they be denied. Nebraska Farm Bureau outlined those concerns in a letter this week to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

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INTL FCStone Financial Inc. is Nebraska Farm Bureau’s newest member benefit partner and the group recently held a Market Outlook + Educational webinar exclusively for Nebraska Farm Bureau members. The “Keeping Nebraska Farm/Ranch Profitable in 2020” webinar featured INTL FCStone’s market experts discussing risk management tools and methods for thinking more strategically about ag marketing. Missed out? No worries! Put your Farm Bureau membership to work for you! Click the links below to view the webinar and learn more about INTL FCStone.

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INTL FCStone

Nebraska Farm Bureau has changed dates and locations for some of the upcoming Member Appreciation Nights in August. Don’t miss out! Save the dates on your calendar and join us in reconnecting with neighbors and friends! Meal provided! Learn more!

Event Flyer

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Nebraska Farm Bureau pushes EPA to deny renewable fuel waivers; Nebraska Soybean Board election ballots are going in the mail next week – see who’s running; A new poll shows Americans support aid to farmers/ranchers in the face of the pandemic; NEFB applauds the enactment of the USMCA trade deal; and USDA FSA crop acreage reports are due July 15; check out these stories and more in this week’s Policy Watch.

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Applications for Small Business Stabilization Grants for Livestock producers through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) closed July 1. DED is now reviewing all applications to decide which applicants will receive grants. Grant recipients will be notified by email sometime between mid-July and August 1.

The Silver Eagle Award is Nebraska Farm Bureau’s highest honor and each year the organization bestows the award to an individual or entity for their contributions to Nebraska agriculture. Farm Bureau is currently seeking nominations for the 2020 Silver Eagle Award. Who do you think should get the award?

Nomination Form

Memo

The Nebraska Farm Bureau has again partnered with the Aksarben Foundation and the Nebraska Association of Fair Managers to pays homage to the dedicated and hard-working Nebraska families who have met the incredible milestone of owning at least 40-acres of farmland within one family for 100 or 150 years. Aksarben began awarding the Pioneer Award (100 years) in 1956, and since that time, nearly 10,000 farm families have received the award statewide. The Heritage Award (150 years) was established in 2014 and has been awarded to nearly 100 farm families. Check out this year’s list of honorees!

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These are challenging times that can put tremendous stress on farm and ranch families. Recognizing, acknowledging, and understanding ways to manage stress is critically important to individual health and well-being. That’s why Farm Bureau has partnered with Cooperative Extension, Farm Credit Services of America, and the Farmers Union in the development of stress management resources to help farmers, ranchers, their families, neighbors, and friends. The resources tackle topics including recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress and suicidal behavior, ways to manage stress, and how to communicate with those under stress.

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Farm Bureau is accepting applications for the Ag Innovation Challenge 2021 through July 31. The Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge is a national business competition that aims to surface startup companies dedicated to creating innovative solutions that address the needs of America’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities. Entrepreneurs will compete for $145,000 in startup funds.

Apply Here

As the warm summer sun shines down, a herd of young calves and their mothers gather around a pond tucked away in a Buffalo county pasture. The scene is a small piece of heaven that Alec and Meredith Ibach like to call home. They are the fifth generation on the family farm and ranch near Sumner, raising corn, soybeans, and beef cattle.