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Nebraska February 2017
Newspapers | Agriculture / Farms, Farming / Home & Garden 2017-03-01 09:59:32
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    Stay Healthy in 2017 with These Health & Wellness Benefits page 9 FEBRUARY 24, 2017 • VOL. 35 • ISSUE 1 Road to Property Tax Reform Destination: $600 Million Reduction in Property Tax Collections Statewide www.nefb.org Nebraska Farm Bureau has always been about finding solutions to problems; no problem has loomed larger, at the state level, over the last several years than skyrocketing property tax bills on Nebraska’s farms and ranches. With total property taxes levied on agriculture land climbing by 163 percent statewide over the last decade (a 10 percent annual increase), Nebraska Farm Bureau is putting on a full-court press to fix the problem with meaningful actions this legislative session. “Nebraskans now pay the seventh highest property tax rate in the nation. We’ve reached a new watermark. Concerns about property taxes aren’t just coming from agriculture. They are coming from homeowners. They are coming from business owners. We aren’t alone in wanting to see major policy changes that fix this problem in a meaningful way,” said Bruce Rieker, Nebraska Farm Bureau’s vicepresident of governmental relations, Feb. 15. REVENUE NEUTRAL SOLUTIONS Fixing these problems requires identifying solutions. Nebraska Farm Bureau has made it clear that the solution to property taxes starts with addressing the structural imbalance in Nebraska’s tax system. This has led to property taxes accounting for roughly half (48 percent) of the total combined collection of Nebraska’s three main revenue sources of property taxes, state sales taxes (19 percent), and state income taxes (33 percent) used to fund government services, including education. “While it would take more than a billion dollars to equally balance the tax burden into thirds among the three revenue sources, we are pushing for revenue neutral solutions to generate $600 million this session. Dedicating $600 million to lowering property taxes would reduce property taxes’ share of the total tax burden from 48 percent to 40 percent,” said Rieker. “That’s a better balance. That would be meaningful to our members.” According to Rieker, “revenue neutral” solutions involve either expanding the state sales tax base or increasing the rate and, in turn, using those new revenues to provide dollar-for-dollar reductions in property taxes. BALANCING ACT “This effort is about better balancing the tax burden among the three revenue sources, not increasing the aggregate tax burden on Nebraskans as some detractors would try and have people believe,” said Rieker. Several bills that would generate the $600 million needed to offset property tax reductions have been introduced this session. Nebraska Farm Bureau has highlighted those as part of its “Road to Property Tax Reform” campaign. The effort was unveiled as part of a rally held at the Nebraska State Capitol Feb. 8 in which Farm Bureau joined several other entities in Continued on Page 13 Nebraska Farm Bureau earned its first President’s and New Horizon Award. The President’s Award is presented for meeting membership quota and demonstrated superiority in the Awards of Excellence categories. The New Horizon Award focuses on the state Farm Bureau with the most innovative new programs. Nebraska Farm Bureau was honored for its development of The Crew, a program designed to engage Farm Bureau student members through social media. Pictured are Steve Nelson, NFBF president (left) and Zippy Duvall, AFBF president. MORE INSIDE President Trump, Agriculture page 7 & NAFTA AFBF Convention page 8 YF&R Conference page 9 Friends of Farm Bureau page 11 Congratulations to the Levrack team, Peter Miller (left) and Ryan and Austin Stauffer of Seward, for winning the People’s Choice Award in Farm Bureau’s Entrepreneur of the Year competition at the AFBF Farm Bureau Convention in Phoenix. Levrack was one of two Nebraska entrepreneurial teams who were part of the final four to compete for Farm Bureau’s Entrepreneur of the Year. The teams each received $15,000 in October for advancing in the competition. For winning the People's Choice, Levrack won an additional $10,000 in prize money. They garnered 73 percent of the vote when members of the live audience and members of the general public voted online to select the People’s Choice winner at the finals competition. Levrack produces efficient storage systems for farm shops. Windcall Manufacturing, led by Martin Bremmer of Venango, was the other Nebraska Finalist. Ag Matters Race Success page 10

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    2 FEBRUARY 24, 2017 – Nebraska Farm Bureau News The President’s Message By Steve Nelson, President Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation ® Fixing Property Taxes Takes Leadership This month finds Nebraska Farm Bureau squarely in the middle of the legislative hearing process at the State Capitol. As we work through this process I will often get questions from members about our positions on certain bills as the organization provides testimony. This session is no different. I’ve had a couple of members ask me why Nebraska Farm Bureau doesn’t seem overly excited about the Governor’s bill (LB 338) to change the way Nebraska values agricultural land for tax purposes. The bill has been presented as a property tax savings measure to move Nebraska away from a market approach and towards an income approach for valuing agriculture land. It’s a fair question based on Farm Bureau’s long-standing policy that favors such a change. With that said, Nebraska Farm Bureau (as well as other agriculture groups) have been lukewarm to LB 338. Some of that stems from how the bill would actually work, but more of it is based in the reality of what the bill will and won’t accomplish in the way of addressing property taxes. While Farm Bureau is supporting the concept of LB 338, it is important to shed some light on why LB 338 hasn’t received the large round of applause that some might expect. 1. LB 338 isn’t a true “income approach” to valuing agricultural land. LB 338 is more of a mix of “income” and “market” approaches to valuing agricultural land than it is a true “income” approach used by neighboring states. Under the bill, market values will still be used to determine uniformity. It also gives the state Property Tax Administrator significant latitude in setting the income ranges and capitalization rates to be used in determining agricultural land values. In Fixing Property Taxes Takes Leadership short, LB 338 is not equivalent to neighboring states “income” approaches to valuing agricultural land, nor will it provide the same results. The bill needs a lot of work to get it closer to what farmers and ranchers in neighboring states are experiencing in the way of an “income” approach to land valuation. 2. LB 338 doesn’t provide immediate or meaningful action to reduce property taxes. LB 338 has been promoted as a property tax savings measure. According to the Governor’s office, had the bill been in place in 2017, statewide agricultural land values would have been reduced by $2.2 billion. While that sounds like a lot in terms of dollars, the reality is that such a reduction equates to little more than a two percent reduction in actual valuation. A two percent reduction in land values for most farmers and ranchers isn’t likely to translate into much property tax savings. Particularly when you consider agricultural land valuations increased 263 percent over the last 10 years. It’s also important to note that due to the nature of an income approach, some individuals will actually see their valuations (and property tax bills) increase. Furthermore, any potential tax savings that might be experienced wouldn’t occur until 2020, three years from now due to the way the bill is written. Overall, LB 338 falls well short of what Nebraska Farm Bureau and others are looking for in terms of meaningful actions to address property taxes, which leads me to… 3. Agriculture has clearly outlined what needs to happen to solve the property tax problem. Over the course of the summer and through the fall, Nebraska Farm Bureau and other agriculture groups were asked by the Governor to provide suggestions on how to address the property tax situation. After many meetings of this group, conducting research and fleshing out ideas, recommended actions were shared with the Governor in December. Among the ideas presented were a series of principles (known today as the Ag Leaders Working Group principles) outlining guideposts for how we could achieve meaningful tax reform to address property taxes. The overall message was clear. To fix the property tax problem, we need to rebalance our tax system by lessening the overreliance on property taxes to fund government. That involves reducing property taxes’ contribution to the threelegged tax stool. Today roughly half (48 percent) of the combined revenue collections of property, state sales, and state income taxes comes from property taxes. LB 338 doesn’t move the needle at all in this regard or address the issue of rebalancing the tax burden. I’ve heard the message from our members loud and clear; they want and expect meaningful action on property taxes. At Farm Bureau we’ll continue to do everything we can to provide that, including support for several bills that would be helpful to the cause (see the front page cover story jumping to pages 12 and 13). Fixing the property tax problem is going to take leadership. - Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president Former Nebraska Farm Bureau President Bryce Neidig used to say that being a leader can be a lonely place. Doing what needs to be done isn’t always popular. At Farm Bureau we don’t mind taking on the leadership mantle. And we’ll continue to look for others who share our desire to make life better for Nebraska’s farmers, ranchers, homeowners, and businesses that are looking for help to solve our state’s property tax problem. Until Next Time, Young Farmers & Ranchers Compete in Phoenix at AFBF Annual Meeting Nebraska was represented well by Randy Reinke of Antelope County Farm Bureau, who was the 2016 Discussion Meet winner for Nebraska. Here he is participating in Round 1 of the national AFBF Discussion Meet with Stacey Berger of the Wyoming Farm Bureau. James and Katie Olson of Holt County Farm Bureau represented Nebraska as they participated in the National AFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award Competition in Phoenix. The Olson's were the Nebraska winners of the competition. VOLUME 35 ISSUE 1 February 24, 2017 USPS 375-780 ISSN 0745-6522 Official publication of Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation 402-421-4400 www.nefb.org Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Mission: Strong Agriculture ...Strong Nebraska Yearly subscription: 50 cents of membership dues Associate Member: Nebraska Press Association EDITORIAL STAFF Editor/Advertising/Writer: Tina Henderson tinah@nefb.org or ext. 4446 Writer: Craig Head craigh@nefb.org or ext. 4435 Writer: Cassie Hoebelheinrich cassieh@nefb.org or ext. 4730 Writer: Erin Stieren erins@nefb.org or ext. 4428 Graphic Designer: Jessica Falt jessicaf@nefb.org or ext. 4494 Web/Layout: Oscar Diaz oscard@nefb.org or ext. 4448 Want Ads and County Annual Meeting Notices: Kylee Planer kyleep@nefb.org or ext. 4485 NEBRASKA FARM BUREAU FEDERATION Steve Nelson, president (Axtell) Mark McHargue, first vice president (Central City) Rob Robertson, chief administrator/ secretary-treasurer (Lincoln) BOARD OF DIRECTORS Myles Ramsey, second vice president (Kenesaw) Bill Baldwin (Mitchell) Terry Keebler (Sterling) Don Benner (Central City) Leslie Boswell (Shickley) Hilary Maricle (Albion) Dustin Ladenburger (Stratton) Dave Nielsen (Lincoln) John Temme (Wayne) Martey Stewart (Dixon) Katie Olson (Atkinson) NEBRASKA FARM BUREAU NEWS is published six times a year by Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation, 5225 South 16th St., Lincoln, NE 68512. Periodicals postage paid at Lincoln, NE and additional entry offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Nebraska Farm Bureau News Attn: Tina Henderson P.O. Box 80299, Lincoln, NE 68501

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    COUNTY NEWS Nebraska Farm Bureau News – FEBRUARY 24, 2017 3 Sioux County Farm Bureau Members Win Generator at Farm Show Bill and Karen Huntrods, members of Sioux County Farm Bureau were the recent winners of a Case IH 9000 watt generator. The Huntrods attended the KNEB Farm and Ranch Expo at the Scotts Bluff County Fairgrounds on Feb. 3-4, where they were entered in a Nebraska Farm Bureau raffle to win the generator. Lancaster County Honored with AFBF County Activities of Excellence Award Lancaster County Farm Bureau was one of 34 county Farm Bureaus, nationwide, honored by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) for innovative program ideas in the organization’s County Activities of Excellence Awards (CAE) program. Lancaster County Farm Bureau held an Antique Tractor & Car Show in Lincoln’s Haymarket District Aug. 17, 2016. The Ag Night Antique Tractor and Car Show provided an opportunity to connect people who live in the capital city back to the farm. Pictured back row from left to right are: Rod Hollman, AFBF president Zippy Duvall; John McGill; and NFBF Southeast Regional Director Justine Petsch. Front row left to right are: Erma McGill and Pat McGill. Douglas County Farm Bureau Partners with Omaha Children's Museum Douglas County Farm Bureau sponsors a permanent farm exhibit at the Omaha Children's Museum. Picture left to right are Douglas County Farm Bureau members Elizabeth and James Gottsch, Jeff Barnhart, Omaha Children's Museum; Suzie Hadan; Mike Valasek; and Darlene and Fred Tonack. Stay Connected: facebook.com/Nebraska.Farm.Bureau NEFarmBureau youtube.com/nebraskafarmbureau nefb.wordpress.com flickr.com/photos/nefarmbureau pinterest.com/nefarmb

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    4 FEBRUARY 24, 2017 – Nebraska Farm Bureau News OVER 1 BILLION GALLONS A YEAR • SUPPORTING 60,000 U.S. JOBS ADDING 74 CENTS PER BUSHEL TO THE VALUE OF SOYBEANS Biodiesel Works All across America, everyone from fleets and motorists to companies and municipalities counts on biodiesel to power their vehicles and heat their buildings. Its demand now exceeds 1 billion gallons a year, fueling 60,000 U.S. jobs and adding 74 cents per bushel to the value of soybeans. Biodiesel works…for America and America’s soybean farmers. Thanks to farmer support and the soy checkoff, its success continues to grow. www.UnitedSoybean.org 402-441-3240 www.nebraskasoybeans.org ©2015 United Soybean Board

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    Nebraska Farm Bureau News – FEBRUARY 24, 2017 5 2017 Ag Edge Conference Draws On Experts Nebraska Farm Bureau brought experts to the Embassy Suites in Lincoln, Feb. 9-10, to give farmers and ranchers a competitive edge today for success tomorrow. Speakers and issues headlining the conference included: • Dr. Ronnie Green, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor, • Dr. Chuck Hibberd, Director of Nebraska Extension • Panel discussion on Livestock Matrix • The Fight for Water - Who Regulates Water Quality? The conference also hosted the Elected Officials Reception, bringing together Farm Bureau members with their State Senators. Nebraska Farm Bureau 2017 Ag Edge Conference Embassy Suites - Lincoln Feb. 9-10, 2017 Photos by Cassie Hoebelheinrich Attendees to the Ag Edge Conference Feb. 9 had the opportunity to tour Nebraska Innovation Campus. The tour included a look at Innovation Commons, Food Innovation and Greenhouse Innovation. Pictured left to right, David Grimes, Kearney/ Franklin County Farm Bureau member, and Doug Winz, Harlan/ Furnas County Farm Bureau member, look at plants grown in the greenhouse on Innovation Campus. Prior to the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation’s Political Action Committee fundraising dinner, Farm Bureau members were invited to visit with their legislators at a reception. Members were able to talk about issues affecting their daily lives on the farm and ranch with lawmakers. Pictured, Keith Olsen, Perkins County Farm Bureau member (right), talks with Dist. 44 Sen. Dan Hughes of Venango. Ag Edge gave attendees a full update on the 2017 session of the Nebraska Legislature and key state and national legislative and regulatory initiatives. Members also had their questions answered by a livestock matrix panel. Pictured, Robert and Karen McNeff, Nance County Farm Bureau member, review key legislative issues during a session at Ag Edge.

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    6 FEBRUARY 24, 2017 – Nebraska Farm Bureau News THE BEST JUST GOT EVEN BETTER INTRODUCING The NEW M2-Series Contact your local dealer for a demo! MAXIMIZE YIELDS, MINIMIZE ENERGY COSTS. A NEW SPRINKLER PACKAGE MEANS BETTER WATER APPLICATION. Increase your irrigation efficiency and uniformity with low-pressure sprinkler technology. Get the best water application solution for your operation from Valley ® Irrigation – a solution that increases productivity and profitability. Contact your Valley dealer and update your sprinkler package today. Bobcat ® , the Bobcat logo and the colors of the Bobcat machine are registered trademarks of Bobcat Company in the United States and various other countries. 16-B340 ALBION KAYTON INTERNATIONAL, INC. 402-395-2181 www.kaytonint.com OMAHA BOBCAT OF OMAHA 402-895-6660 www.bobcat-omaha.com DEALER IMPRINT BASSETT PERFECT VALLEY IRRIGATION 402-684-2321 perfectvalley@huntel.net valleyirrigation.com MC COOK QUALITY IRRIGATION 308-345-2668 www.qualityirrigation.com GM PRIVATE OFFER Benefits Farm Bureau Members: 1 Offer available through 4/1/17. Available on all 2015 and 2016 Chevrolet vehicles. This offer is not available with some other offers. Only customers who have been active members of an eligible Farm Bureau for a minimum of 30 days will be eligible to receive a certificate. Customers can obtain certificates at www.fbverify.com/gm. Farm Bureau and the FB logo are registered service marks of the American Farm Bureau Federation and are used herein under license by General Motors. 2 Dependability based on longevity: 1987-April 2013 full-size pickup registrations. 402-274-3160 OR 888-573-6611 1100 E St AUBURN, NEBRASKA Check out our new & used inventory @ www.meyercars.com 585 S. Highway 385 Chadron 1-800-272-5583 • 308-432-5583 www.EagleChevroletBuick.com EagleChevroletBuick@Hotmail.com Where everyone gets a great deal, and a great deal more! WWW.DRIVEPLUMCREEK.COM Sales & Services 308-324-2306 1111 PLUM CREEK PARKWAY LEXINGTON, NE 68850 ROE BUICK GRAND ISLAND 3444 W. Stolley Park Road 308-382-0280 | 1-800-739-7303 WWW.GOROECARS.COM Pony Express TWO DEALERSHIPS... 20 Minutes! 420 South Lake Ave. Gothenburg, NE Sales & Service (308) 537-3671 ponyexpresschevy.com Chevrolet Buick ROE CHEVY BUICK AURORA 1111 “M” Street 402-694-3131 | 1-800-622-2197 WWW.ROECHEVY.COM YOU HATE TYPICAL CAR SALESMEN - Osceola, NE • 402-747-4461 • 800-827-0280 WE ARE NOT TYPICAL IN CHEVY TOWN SAVE OVER $10,000 REGANIS AUTO CENTER 2006 E. OVERLAND SCOTTSBLUFF, NE 69361 Buick • Cadillac Chrysler • Dodge • Jeep Mazda • Honda (308) 632-8200 (800) 953-1040 Fax (308) 635-1847 ATTENTION GM DEALERS: Call 1-800-798-2691 for more information on how you can reach Nebraska Farm Bureau readers!

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    Nebraska Farm Bureau News – FEBRUARY 24, 2017 7 New Opportunities and Challenges with Trump Administration From day one, President Donald J. Trump has gotten to work, issuing a number of executive orders from signing a memorandum directing the United States to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), to his executive orders on Obamacare and limiting new federal regulations. “Like any new administration, President Trump has made some good and questionable decisions during his first two months in office,” said Jordan Dux, Nebraska Farm Bureau’s national affairs director Feb. 13. “We are very supportive of Sonny Perdue of Georgia to head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We also like Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pruitt has been right in the thick of a lot of environmental fights with us including WOTUS and Greenhouse gas regulations,” Dux said. Besides good decisions being made in terms of the cabinet, President Trump has also made reducing the regulatory burden faced by farmers, ranchers, and business owners a top tier priority. “The new administration has made it clear that WOTUS and greenhouse gas regulations are in its cross hairs and we support the Trump administration on that front. We are hopeful that the administration will work with Congress and pursue a substantial overhaul of the entire federal regulatory system. Repealing many of the regulations we have opposed over the past eight years is obviously great, but we also need to work to stop federal agencies from introducing many of these new regulations in the first place,” Dux said. Trade, however, remains a sticking point between the new administration and the majority of the agricultural community. President Trump has made revising trade deals an early priority, formally abandoning the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership NAFTA’s Impact on Nebraska Agriculture FARM EQUESTRIAN HOBBY COMMERCIAL and he wants to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA. “Trade is unbelievably important to America’s farmers and ranchers, and expanding markets is a key component of any effort to try and raise commodity prices. While not surprised, we were disappointed in President Trump’s executive order to pull the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The President has indicated that he intends to pursue new bilateral trade deals, and we certainly hope that negotiations on those deals will begin quickly to help fill the void left by the end of the TPP,” he said. The future of existing trade deals also remains uncertain with President Trump’s continued pledge to renegotiate NAFTA. The agreement, established between Canada, Mexico, and the United States back in 1994, has provided a substantial boost to farmers and ranchers with agricultural trade between the three countries increasing 233 percent between 1992 and 2013. In 2015, Nebraska alone exported ag products worth $1.467 billion to Canada and $1.261 billion to Mexico. “We hope the President continues to try and look at those opportunities and does not damage the strong agreements we already have with other trading partners. Nebraska ships a lot of beef, pork, corn, soybeans, and dried distillers to Mexico and Canada and NAFTA has played a large role in that. If the President does decide to renegotiate NAFTA, agriculture must have a seat at the table to see that our interests are being protected,” Dux said. The President and the new Congress will have a multitude of other challenges they will likely tackle that don’t have a direct connection to agriculture. Issues such as health care reform, tax code reform, immigration reform, and development of the 2018 farm bill will all also likely take center stage in the upcoming months. If the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) were to go away, it would impact Nebraska agriculture tremendously. How much corn, soybeans, beef, and pork does Nebraska export to Mexico? What percent of our Nebraska market would be shut down if Mexico ag imports were shut down in retaliation? Jay Rempe, senior economist for Nebraska Farm Bureau, recently analyzed these numbers to show putting an end to NAFTA or imposing import taxes on Mexico’s products would be detrimental to Nebraska’s agriculture economy. Below is the analysis. 1. Department of Commerce, International Trade Association: • Canada and Mexico are Nebraska’s top two markets in terms of value of exports. In 2015, Nebraska exported $1.467 billion of goods to Canada and $1.261 billion to Mexico. • Processed foods and agricultural products are first and third respectively in Nebraska’s top export categories. Machinery is second • In 2015, exports to countries with free trade agreements accounted for 53 percent of Nebraska exports. (NAFTA; Korea FTA; Australia; Central American FTA; and Israel) • From 2005-15, exports from Nebraska to free trade agreement markets have grown 104 percent, with growth in NAFTA trade far outpacing that with other FTA countries. 2. USDA-Economic Research Service—“NAFTA at 20: North America’s Free-Trade Area and Its Impact on Agriculture” (February, 2015) • Between 1992 and 2013, the total value of agricultural trade between the three NAFTA countries increased 233 percent on an inflation adjusted basis. • Ag trade between the three NAFTA countries grew at a faster pace (7.9%) than ag trade between the same three countries and the rest of the world (6.9%). • U.S. Exports to Canada º Percent change average annual volume exported metric tons between 1991-93 and 2011-13 Beef and Veal +94% Pork +2,075% Corn +12% Soybeans +61% • U.S. Exports to Mexico º Percent change in average annual volume exported between 1991-93 and 2011-13 Beef and Veal +129% Pork +1,232% Corn +762% Soybeans +327% Wheat +475% Corn Syrup +6,781% 3. Miscellaneous Trade Facts on Mexico (USDA, Economic Research Service and Foreign Ag Service) • Mexico is the third largest purchaser of U.S. ag products, each year purchasing between $17-20 billion of U.S. ag products. • Mexico is U.S. agriculture’s: º Largest purchaser of pork º Second largest purchaser of corn º Second largest purchaser of DDGs (distillers dried grains) º Third largest purchaser of soybeans º Fourth largest purchaser of beef º Sixth largest purchaser of corn gluten meal Planning with you from the ground up. Customers claim the Travis Seed Cart is “Built Like a Tank” with heavy-duty construction and durability that outlasts competitive units, yet is safer on your seed to maximize germination for optimal yield and And everything in between. Lester Buildings plans with you from start to finish, to get every detail – from doors to dormers – right. You deserve it. Call us today. 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    8 FEBRUARY 24, 2017 – Nebraska Farm Bureau News Nebraska’s Presence Guided National Issues at the American Farm Bureau Convention Nebraska voting delegates at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) 98th annual meeting approved resolutions that will provide the organization with authority from its grassroots members to push Congress toward the goal line on issues, like protecting crop insurance in the next farm bill, making the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) more flexible, and revamping the regulatory process that has been unworkable for the past eight years under the Obama administration, Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation (NFBF) President Steve Nelson said Jan. 13. “Securing victories on those issues is critical to our competitiveness as individual farmers and ranchers, and Nebraska agriculture will find more success locally and abroad,” Nelson said. On the Farm Bill front, delegates reaffirmed their strong support for maintaining and looking at crop insurance products for all commodities, not just for the typical corn and soybean farmers, but for livestock and aquaculture. “The delegates laid out a set of principles highlighting our very clear support for crop insurance and commodity programs as top priorities,” Jordan Dux, NFBF’s director of National Affairs said. Dux sits on a AFBF Farm Bill Task Force. “Congress will begin to have field hearings on the Farm Bill soon since it expires in 2018.” We probably won’t see big changes, more fine tuning to programs like ARC (Agriculture Risk Coverage) and PLC (Price Loss Coverage). But you may see some changes on the dairy side to the MPP (Margin Protection Program) and the new cotton program. Anything we can do to provide producers with risk management tools will be important,” Dux said. On other issues, AFBF delegates adopted Nebraska’s resolution to support telemedicine as an option for veterinarians to make animal health diagnoses. This, in turn, would allow some flexibility for producers and veterinarians as they work to be in compliance with the new VFD, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2017. The VFD final rule outlines the process for authorizing use of VFD drugs (animal drugs intended for use in animal feed that require the supervision of a licensed veterinarian) and provides veterinarians in all states with a framework for authorizing the use of medically important Steve Nelson, NFBF president, stands on the American Farm Bureau delegate floor to discuss several resolutions on the Farm Bill that Nebraska brought to delegates. Next to president Nelson are other NFBF delegates, Mark McHargue, first vice president; Terry Keebler and Don Benner, NFBF board members. antimicrobials in feed when needed for specific animal health purposes. “Our Nebraska delegates offered language to change the definition of the vet/client/ patient relationship, allowing for the use of telemedicine. For example, if a veterinarian has a good working relationship with a producer, it doesn’t require him to come on the farm to physically see the animal before offering a course of treatment. We hope this provides another option for producers and vets who are still trying to wrap their arms around these new requirements” Nelson said. The delegates also approved a special resolution urging Congress to enact swift, meaningful, and strongly bipartisan regulatory reform. The resolution comes in the wake of the introduction of bills in Congress that would pare back the rapid growth of oppressive regulation and government overreach by agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Delegates called on the federal government to adhere to a series of principles, including: • the use of sound science; • consideration of costs and benefits to stakeholders; • transparency in federal agencies and departments; • reduction of abuses of the court settlement process; • limiting deference granted by courts to agencies’ interpretation of law; • prohibiting agency misuse of social media to lobby the public in support of proposals; • greater congressional oversight of agencies; • congressional approval of major rules; • a minimum comment period for rules; and • reform of the Equal Access to Justice Act. Delegates also affirmed their support for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as the nominee for administrator of the EPA. Centennial Fact 1950’s Nebraska Farm Bureaus ends its affiliation with Extension.

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    Nebraska Farm Bureau News – FEBRUARY 24, 2017 9 Four Finalists Named in YF&R Discussion Meet Katie Hothem of Sumner, Kyle Lechtenberg of Spencer, Chris Niemann of Dwight, and Lindsey Stern of Anselmo advanced to the final round of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation (NFBF) Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Discussion Meet to be held at the NFBF Annual Convention, Dec. 3-5, 2017. Eleanor Aufdenkamp of North Platte was named first alternate and Robert Stuart of Lexington is the second alternate. Rather than debating, contestants work to develop a solution to a problem being discussed, building on each other’s contributions. Competitors in the annual contest must be prepared to speak on any number of agriculture-related topics; the selected question is announced a short time prior to the contest round. Finalists received the top scores of contestants after competing in three rounds of the discussion meet at the YF&R Conference, Jan. 20-21. Hothem is a Dawson County Farm Bureau member and an agriculture teacher and FFA advisor at Amherst Public School. She also works on the family ranch with her husband, Matt, and his parents. Lechtenberg is a Boyd County Farm Bureau board member who raises beef cattle and alfalfa while serving on the YF&R Committee. He and his wife, Tiffany, have four children: 6-year-old Joycin, 4-year-olds Addison and Austin, and 11-month-old Jackson. Niemann is a fourth generation farmer who grows corn, soybeans, and raises beef cattle on his family farm in Butler County where he serves on his county Farm Bureau board. He and his wife, Ashely, have a son, 2-year-old Colton, who they hope will become the fifth generation to farm in their family. Stern, along with her husband Jacob, co-own and operate Broken Bow Dairy in Custer County where they are Farm Bureau members. They also own two small businesses, Stern Housing and Open Gates Trucking, to aid their growing dairy operation. Aufdenkamp is a second year student at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis, majoring in Agriculture Education. Her goals include becoming a high school ag teacher and FFA advisor. Aufdenkamp is heavily involved in her Collegiate Farm Bureau, livestock judging team, Collegiate Cattlemen, and NCTA Women in Ag. Stuart is a Dawson County Farm Bureau Congratulations to the Discussion Meet finalists and alternates. Pictured left to right, Robert Stuart (second alternate), Dawson County Farm Bureau; Chris Niemann (finalist), Butler County Farm Bureau; Eleanor Aufdenkamp (first alternate), Lincoln County Farm Bureau; Katie Hothem (finalist), Dawson County Farm Bureau; Lindsey Stern (finalist), Custer County Farm Bureau; and Kyle Lechtenberg (finalist), Boyd County Farm Bureau. member who farms with his parents and wife, Megan. They grow corn, soybeans, sorghum, alfalfa, and beef cattle. His farm has been in his family since 1888. Before returning to the farm, Stuart taught business information systems. Finalists received a $50 prize and a chance to compete for $500 and an all-expenses paid trip to compete in the American Farm Bureau Discussion Meet in Nashville, Tenn. in January 2018. Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 and 35 are eligible to compete in the Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet. For more information, visit www.nefb.org/yfr. Will and Haylie Anderjaska, Boyd County Farm Bureau, learned how to tell their farm story to consumers at the YF&R Conference held in Kearney. Ag Night at Tri-City Storm was a huge success. Pictured left to right, Rachel Wieseman, Cierra Fisher, Mason Shaw, Polk County Farm Bureau members, and Brandon Nichols, Morrill County Farm Bureau member, enjoy the game. Cadrien Livingston, Knox County Farm Bureau and YF&R attendees had the opportunity to tour several agriculture businesses in Kearney, like Monsanto. Here they examine the end of the line where seed corn is finally ready for the farmer. Membership Ad

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    10 FEBRUARY 24, 2017 – Nebraska Farm Bureau News Agriculture Matters Race Connects Nebraska Agriculture to Health and Fitness The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation and its Promotion and Education Committee hosted the first annual Agriculture Matters Race on Feb. 4 in North Platte. Racers from across the state came together to celebrate agriculture in Nebraska and its connection to health and fitness. “The race was a way for us to showcase agriculture in Nebraska and make the connection between fitness and food,” said Megahn Schafer, executive director of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation. 164 racers joined in the 5K or 10K races at the North Platte Recreation Center. Racers and the public were also invited to join in interactive activities and engaging education stations in the rec center gym. The activities showcased Nebraska agriculture and its importance to the State of Nebraska. Activities included growing your own living necklace, coloring stations for youth, and nutrition information and recipes from Nebraska farmers and ranchers. “We had many farmer and rancher volunteers from around the state sharing their stories of agriculture and how it impacts wellness,” Schafer said. “The race was a great way to connect consumers directly to the people that grow and raise the nutritious food that fuels their bodies.” The race was part of the Platte River Fitness Series and the sesquicentennial celebration’s Nebraska 150 Challenge. Proceeds from the race will support the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation’s efforts to provide accurate information about agriculture and its importance to health, economics, and the environment to students, teachers, and consumers across the state. The overall winner of the 5K was Danielle Thoene, from Burwell, NE for women and Alejandro Gutierrez, from Lexington, NE for men. The overall winner of the 10K was Kylie Cheetsos, from Grand Island, NE for women and Matthew Gastineau, from North Platte for men. Each winner received a gift basket full of Nebraska grown and based products, including pork certificates from the Pork Board, popcorn from Columbus, NE, and other agriculture related items. First National Bank – North Platte provided the lead sponsorship of the race. Other sponsors include Equitable Bank, Sandhills State Bank, Lashley Land and Recreational Brokers, Ag Valley Coop, Farm Credit Services of America – North Platte, North Platte/Lincoln County Visitor’s Bureau, U-Save Pharmacy, Cash Wa, and Gary’s Super Food’s. Caitlyn Olson of North Platte participates in the 5K race on Feb. 4. Eight-year-old Piper Caldwell of North Platte learns about soybeans and corn at the Agriculture Matters Race held on February 4 in North Platte. Promotion and Education Committee Members L-R; Lisa Lunz (Dixon County), Hilary Maricle (Boone County), Andrew Ward (Cherry County), Mallory Becker (Greeley County), Sarah Bomark (Lincoln County). Not pictured are Paula Peterson (Lancaster County), Natasha Schumacher (Box Butte County), Jan Frenzen (Nance County). SCHOLARSHIPS & AWARDS APPLICATIONS ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED! Kenneth E. Schwartz Memorial Farm Bureau Fund Due April 1 Nebraska Rural Radio Foundation Scholarship in Honor of Max & Eric Brown Due April 1 Nebraska Agriculture Education Student Teaching Scholarship Due April 24 There are many county Farm Bureau scholarships available now! The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation has selected two teachers as their Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom 2017 Teachers of the Year. The Teacher of the Year is awarded to two outstanding teachers that incorporate agriculture into their classroom through innovative ideas. Jane Gundvaldson, a fourth grade teacher at Thomas Elementary School in Gretna and Matthew Koth, a third grade teacher at Highland Elementary School in Omaha were honored. “Both of these educators demonstrate how teachers can incorporate agriculture examples and hands-on teaching methods into standards-based curriculum to engage the next generation in critical thinking about where their food, fiber and fuel comes from,” said Megahn Schafer, executive director of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation. Gundvaldson brings agriculture into her classroom by paralleling what foods her students eat on a regular basis to the farms where the food is grown and raised. “I believe these lessons linking Nebraskans to where their food comes from are the most fulfilling part of my teaching career,” Gundvaldson said. “I find it more important than ever to help my students understand that the hamburgers or pork chops that they are eating come from Nebraska.” In addition, Mrs. Gundvaldson’s fourth graders participate in the Foundation’s Ag Pen Pal Program, where their classroom is matched with a farmer in Nebraska. Chuck Homolka, a Merrick County Farm Bureau member, sends videos and pictures of planting and harvest to the students so they can understand what it really takes to grow their food. For the past two years, the students have visited Homolka’s farm in Central City to see first-hand the equipment necessary to grow popcorn and corn for ethanol plants and raise cattle. Koth’s classroom is also involved in the Ag Pen Pal Program and is matched with Arlan and Sarah Paxton in Stapleton. “The Paxtons have shared with us by sending video of how they care for the cattle and prepare for the winter by bailing hay,” Koth said. “The students learn firsthand how important agriculture is to the entire state of Nebraska through this program.” Koth also incorporates agriculture into the classroom by reading the story Stone Soup by Jon Muth to his third graders. The students discuss and write the ingredients on the board then are tasked at finding where each ingredient in the soup is from. From there, they talk about how the food gets from the farm to the grocery store and if we are able to grow those foods in Nebraska. “This activity brings up discussion about why some crops are grown in different areas of the country and world,” Koth said. “We then compare which ingredients have traveled the furthest and which are the closest to us in Nebraska.” Each teacher is being awarded an allexpense paid trip to the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Kansas City, Missouri June 20-23. The conference brings educators together from all over the United States to collaborate on how to incorporate agriculture into their curriculum and engage students. Teachers will have the opportunity to attend tours of local ag businesses and farms in the area.

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