Election day is around the corner! To help you get to know more about some of the candidates endorsed by the Nebraska Farm Bureau – PAC, Farm Bureau has developed a series of video spotlights. Be informed! Learn more about those seeking to serve Nebraskans!
Julie Slama – Legislative Dist. 1
This week, Nebraska Farm Bureau (NEFB) submitted comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on their proposal to clarify the critical habitat exclusion process that was included in the original Endangered Species Act (ESA). This process allows the FWS to provide an exemption to ESA critical habitat areas if the designation provides significant economic harm to those in the area. While the power is already granted to FWS, the rule will provide needed clarity and transparency to the process. Read full comments here.
All five members of the Nebraska congressional delegation have received the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) “Friend of Farm Bureau” Award for the 116th Congress. The awards are given at the end of each Congress to lawmakers based on individual voting records on Farm Bureau priority issues which in 2020 included, trade, disaster relief, COVID-19 aid, and broadband, among others. Nebraska Farm Bureau nominated the members of the delegation for the awards.
Is your harvest load a little extra heavy? That’s okay, as long as you have your overweight harvest permit exemption form. Print copies for all your trucks and drivers and keep your harvest rolling uninterrupted this season!
The CARES Act provided many changes that directly impacted famers, including eligibility for the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) programs. The Act included several other lesser known provisions as well. Farmers should be aware of these changes as they get ready for tax planning this fall. Learn more, courtesy of information provided by the Nebraska Farm Business, Inc.
Nebraska Farm Bureau is urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to use flexibility in the Endangered Species Act to recognize economic harm as a consideration in designating critical habitat; Farm Bureau offered positive remarks this week on USDA’s proposal to protect the integrity of the USDA Organic seal; cost and confidentiality are among the issues Nebraska Farm Bureau raised with USDA as the agency develops a plan for moving to Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags for livestock disease traceability programming; and the Farm Service Agency has set an Oct. 30 deadline for sign-up for the WHIP+ Disaster Assistance Program. Read more about these stories in this week’s Policy Watch.
The 2020 Nebraska Farm Bureau Annual Meeting and Convention will be held Dec. 7-8 at the Younes Conference Center in Kearney, Nebraska. Due to COVID-19, there are some notable changes to this year’s event. Check out those changes, view the full schedule of events, and register for Convention using the 2020 NEFB Annual Meeting and Convention registration webpage.
Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC), a program of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, headed back to school this fall with reimagined learning. During these unprecedented times, the program’s free resources promote socially distanced, hands-on activities suitable for the classroom or at-home learning. Teachers, parents, and students are invited to explore lessons and activities that thoughtfully engage PreK-12th grade students with their source of food, fiber, and fuel. Each lesson is aligned to Nebraska State Education Standards for science, social studies, math, or language arts.
Used sheet metal, pump pipes, beginning farmer opportunity, Chevy Cobalt, Goodyear tires, 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!
Nearly one-third of all U.S. farms incur accidents each year, with almost 20 percent of them experiencing accidents that leave agriculture producers unable to work for a period of time. At Nebraska Farm Bureau, we care about your health and safety! Check out this week’s video for harvest safety tips and let us help lighten your harvest load with our overweight harvest permit exemption form.
This week, President Trump signed a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to maintain current level funding for the federal government through Dec. 11. This sets up another significant funding battle after the November elections. Nebraska Farm Bureau (NEFB) worked with members of Nebraska’s Congressional Delegation to ensure funding for USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) was included in the final bill. Last week, Democratic leaders had pushed to not include funding for the CCC which would have affected USDA’s ability to make farm program payments via the 2018 Farm Bill in October. U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) took to the Senate floor to press the importance of providing funding for the CCC. Before funding was ultimately restored for the CCC, NEFB wrote a letter to Nebraska’s House members asking them to oppose the CR if funding for the CCC was not included. Following the CR’s passage through the House after the restoration of the CCC funding, NEFB asked Senators to support the measure. Ultimately, all five members of Nebraska’s Congressional Delegation supported the CR that included necessary CCC funding.
The Nebraska Farm Bureau and the Platte Institute have released a joint report taking a closer look at the impact of COVID-19 on Nebraska Agriculture. The report details the “one-two” punch agriculture experienced starting in March with the initiation of stay at home orders that negatively impacted corn markets and ethanol demand, along with commodity price drops resulting from shutdowns and disruptions in the food service industry. The report also details the second blow in April when shutdowns and disruptions in the meat processing sector left livestock producers with significantly diminished market access.
The Nebraska Farm Bureau weighed in this week on a new report released by the University of Nebraska that shows agriculture remains a critical component of the state’s economy. The 2017 Economic Impact of the Nebraska Agricultural Production Complex report notes that agriculture accounts for nearly 34 percent of Nebraska’s business sales, 22 percent of the gross state product, and nearly a quarter of the state’s jobs. In 2017, 321,000 workers were employed in a position connected to Nebraska’s ag industry. In a statement, Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson pointed to the critical role production agriculture plays in job creation. “The report clearly demonstrates how the work of our farm and ranch families continue to serve as seeds that subsequently help sprout into jobs in the areas of food processing, ag-based manufacturing, biotechnology, and transportation,” said Nelson.
Nebraska Farm Bureau helped pushed to secure funding for farm program payments this fall; the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is offering tax relief to livestock producers in 39 Nebraska counties impacted by prolonged drought; NEFB praised U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer for her work on legislation to lessen the regulatory burden on livestock haulers; and new legislation in the Senate seeking to address producer concerns with U.S. cattle markets prompted reaction from Nebraska Farm Bureau this week; read more about these stories in this week’s Policy Watch.
The Nov. 3 General Election is just around the corner! The Nebraska Farm Bureau (NEFB) encourages you to exercise your freedoms by getting out your vote. Whether you need to register to vote or want to vote early, NEFB has developed a webpage with information to help you cast your ballot. The page also details information on which candidates have received the Nebraska Farm Bureau-PAC “Friend of Agriculture” designation or endorsement. Put this Farm Bureau member resource to work for you today!
The 2020 Nebraska Farm Bureau Annual Meeting and Convention will be held Dec. 7-8 at the Younes Conference Center in Kearney, Nebraska. Due to COVID-19 there are some notable changes to this year’s event. Check out those changes, view the full schedule events, and register for Convention using the 2020 NEFB Annual Meeting and Convention registration webpage.
Windrower, Miller self-propelled sprayer, gearheads for sale, beginning farmer opportunity, 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!
Nebraska ranks sixth among all states in commercial hog slaughter, and in the number of hogs and pigs on farms. Help celebrate the work and dedication of our state’s pork producers during National Pork Month by putting pork on your plate. Spicey New York Pork Chops and Cherry Cola Pork Ribs are among the recipes you’ll find by visiting the National Pork Checkoff.
Citing concerns with public gatherings and the on-going COVID-19 situation, the Nebraska Rural Radio Association announced that they have postponed their November annual membership meeting until early 2021.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Department of Agricultural Economics’ Farm and Ranch Management team is presenting a series of webinars in October focused on management, profitability, economic outlook, and farm survival. Topics include Property Tax Changes, Farm Income and Farm Program Payment Projections, Financial State of Ag for Nebraska Producers, and Ballot Initiatives on Election Day.
Nebraska Farm Bureau has announced its slate of Federal candidates receiving the ‘Friend of Agriculture’ designation, as well as identifying a slate of state legislative candidates who have received the Nebraska Farm Bureau – PAC endorsement. Check out this week’s video for a full rundown.
For the past 40 years, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) has asked every presidential candidate to provide responses to issues likely to impact and affect farmers and ranchers and rural communities. Both President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden have completed the 2020 AFBF questionnaire. The responses are unedited and are shared in the same style that they were provided to AFBF. Check out what the candidates have to say about issues impacting agriculture.
President Donald J. Trump and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced on September 18, up to an additional $14 billion for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. Signup for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) will begin September 21 and run through December 11, 2020. Nebraska Farm Bureau has developed a guide to help members get a better understanding of the program.
With harvest underway, don’t forget to put Farm Bureau’s overweight permit exemption form to work for you! The seasonal overweight permit exemption allows farmers to exceed the legal weight limit on loads by up to 15 percent from field to farm storage, field to market, or, as of November 13, 2020, from stockpile or farm storage to market or factory, if travel is within 70 miles. Using Nebraska Farm Bureau’s form and complying with requirements can exempt you from having to obtain the seasonal overweight harvest permit.
Earlier this year, the Nebraska Farm Bureau (NEFB) created a Cattle Markets Task Force charged with examining current Farm Bureau policy, providing policy recommendations, and providing input on what NEFB’s role should be in addressing concerns regarding cattle markets. Over the last five months, the Task Force met online and in person with a wide range of interests across the entire beef supply chain to develop recommendations for consideration by members as part of Nebraska Farm Bureau’s policy development process. The findings and recommendations of the Task Force are now available to Farm Bureau members in the newly released Cattle Markets Task Force Report.
Nebraska Farm Bureau (NEFB) is pleased the Trump administration has instructed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deny dozens of oil refiner requests for retroactive waivers from U.S. biofuel laws. The decision comes as NEFB has consistently opposed EPA’s attempts to circumvent Congress and its intent by granting Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) waivers over the past few years. In July, Nebraska Farm Bureau sent a letter asking the EPA to deny the waivers.
A wide-ranging group of Nebraska agriculture organizations is urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to move swiftly to re-register over-the-top, post-emergence dicamba products. Dicamba is a widely used crop protection product in Nebraska, but future access and use by farmers is dependent on EPA re-labeling dicamba products, as legal action forced the EPA to vacate the label for several dicamba products this past summer.