Farmers are invited to submit nominations for the 2020 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year contest, brought to you by Purina. This is the second year of the contest, which celebrates farm dogs who work alongside their people to bring nutritious food to our tables and our pets’ bowls.

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While there is still time to donate to the Nebraska Farm Bureau Disaster Relief Fund, we will be closing the fund on Aug. 15. Nearly $3.3 million has been raised, and 90 percent of the funds have been distributed to Nebraska farmers, ranchers, and rural communities suffering from the natural disasters that impacted the state in March.

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President Trump’s announcement that the European Union will grant increased access to the European markets for U.S. beef is great news for Nebraska beef producers. Quality beef is in high demand in the European Union, particularly in countries like Germany and Italy. President Trump’s action will only boost opportunities for Nebraska beef producers to fill these markets moving forward.

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Katie Nolles of Bassett, Neb., recently wrapped up a summer in Washington D.C., as the most recent recipient of the Keith R. Olsen Agricultural Policy Internship Award. Nolles is a member of the Rock County Farm Bureau and is a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln majoring in Agricultural Education. The Olsen Internship Award enabled her to intern in Congressman Adrian Smith’s office in Washington, D.C., this summer.

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The Summer 2019 edition of the Foundation’s Making the Connection newsletter is now available. See how the P&E committee is taking agriculture beyond the classroom and updates on Foundation programs and resources.

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Join us for food, updates, and discussion about key agriculture issues. Nebraska Farm Bureau will hold two regional listening sessions across the state in August. The sessions are open to the public and will provide farmers and ranchers with the opportunity to share their thoughts on issues impacting their operations.

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A canal breach on the Ft. Laramie Canal in Wyoming has stopped irrigation water deliveries for North Platte Valley farmers on the south side of the river in Wyoming and Nebraska. The stoppage leaves more than 100,000 cropland acres without access to surface water irrigation, with more than half of the total acres located in Nebraska.

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USDA announced details this week on a second round of trade assistance for farmers impacted by ongoing trade disputes through the agency’s Market Facilitation Program (MFP). Program sign-up begins July 29. Click below for Farm Bureau’s guide to 10 program details farmers will want to know.

USDA MFP Page Here

Members of the Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Committee were in Washington, D.C. recently to point out the need for Congress to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, resolve the ongoing trade dispute with China, as well as back measures to make broadband the norm, not the exception in rural America.

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The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation hosted two Nebraska elementary teachers at the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference, June 19-21 in Little Rock, Ark.

The University of Nebraska is encouraging landlords and tenants to consider taking part in one of their August “Cash Rent” workshops. The workshops will cover current trends in cash rental rates and land values, lease provisions, crop and grazing land considerations, as well as cover UNL crop budget information. Click below for dates, locations, and registration information.

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With the heat of the summer upon us, cattle producers can get a leg up by using USDA’s Heat Stress App that forecasts conditions triggering heat stress in cattle. The app is compatible with Android and Apple mobile phones and available through their respective stores.

Each year, Nebraska Farm Bureau, along with the Aksarben Foundation and the Nebraska Association of Fair Managers, pays homage to the dedicated and hard-working Nebraska farm families who have met the incredible milestone of owning their farmland within one family for 100 and 150 years.

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On July 5, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its proposed 2020 renewable volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The proposal failed to include any increases in conventional ethanol usage to make up for waivers granted in past years to small refineries, in addition to falling short of RFS statutory targets.

According to reports, the White House is expected to send legislation to Congress for ratification of the United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement (USMCA) sometime after Sept. 1. Vice President Mike Pence told reporters earlier this week that the Trump administration is encouraged by the discussions that are underway with Speaker Pelosi and Democrat leaders in the House which are critical to securing bipartisan support for the measure. Last month Mexico became the first country to ratify the trade deal.

USMCA and Nebraska Agriculture

Nebraska Farmer magazine’s Tyler Harris recently sat down with members of Nebraska Farm Bureau’s governmental relations team to discuss the how agriculture fared during the 2019 legislative session. Despite ongoing work on property taxes, the session yielded several wins for agriculture.

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Sen. Tom Briese of Albion hit the nail on the head in a recent Associated Press article where he pointed out that renewal of state business incentives and property tax reform must be a package deal. Bills on both measures failed to advance in the waning days of the 2019 legislative session.

Good records make it possible to track a farm or ranch's true financial position. Inaccurate records can lead to misguided management decisions. For tips and insights to help make sure you’re getting the most out of your operation’s records, the University of Nebraska Extension is hosting a series of “Good Farmer to Great Manager” classes in July. Classes are being held in Lincoln, Bridgeport, and Grand Island.

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Nebraskans who've suffered damage to real property as a result of flooding or other natural disasters have until July 15 to seek a reduction in the value of damaged real property for tax purposes due to a recent change in state law.

U.S. trade relations with Japan, one of the largest purchasers of Nebraska agriculture commodities, will be front and center this weekend as President Trump is slated to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Abe during the G20 summit.