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Nebraska October 2017
Newspapers | Agriculture / Farms, Farming / Home & Garden 2017-10-26 15:00:38
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    Green Deals! page 7 OCTOBER 27, 2017 • VOL. 35 • ISSUE 5 www.nefb.org Tax Reform: What It Looks Like for Agriculture America’s farmers and ranchers work in a world of uncertainty. There are no two days the same in agriculture. Whether it's unpredictable commodity and product markets or fluctuating input prices; from uncertain weather to insect or disease outbreaks, running a farm or ranch business is challenging under the best of circumstances. Farmers and ranchers need a tax code that recognizes their unique financial challenges. “The current federal tax reform framework being discussed will affect farmers and ranchers both as individuals and businesses,” Jay Rempe, senior economist for Nebraska Farm Bureau said. “The discussion is just beginning, and a lot of details need finalized, but agricultural producers need to monitor the discussions closely from both an individual and business perspective.” Individual Taxes Most farmers and ranchers file federal taxes as individuals and report business income on their individual returns. The 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture showed 85 percent of Nebraska farms filed taxes as either an individual or family. For individuals, the proposed framework would reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to three, reduce the top rate from 39.6 percent to 35 percent, increase the lowest rate from 10 to 12 percent, double the standard deduction, and repeal several itemized deductions. Most returns filed by farm sole proprietors claim the standard deduction, like most Nebraskans, so doubling the deduction might reduce taxes. “The effective tax for Nebraska producers is about 14 percent. The impact of the proposed changes all boils down to what it means in effective taxes paid. Not knowing more about the plan, it’s tough to tell what it might mean for bottom line taxes paid,” Rempe said. Jennifer Jensen is an attorney with Endacott, Peetz & Timmer Law Firm in Omaha, Lincoln, and Newman Grove, Neb. The firm specializes in family succession and estate planning. Jensen is a member of Lancaster County Farm Bureau and is part of MORE INSIDE Membership Matters Property Taxes Going Up Student Care about Agriculture Leadership Academy the graduating class of this year’s Leadership Academy. She is hearing a lot about the tax reform plan, but it is still too early to know what might happen. Reduces Corporate Tax Rate “From a business perspective, the tax reform plan proposes a reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. The proposal for other business entities, such as S corporations, partnerships (and limited liability companies if they elect to be taxed as partnerships), and sole proprietorships, is somewhat different,” Jensen said. S corporations are corporations that elect to pass corporate income, losses, deductions, and credits through to their shareholders for federal tax purposes. Shareholders of S corporations report the flow-through of income and losses on their personal tax returns and are assessed tax at their individual income tax rates. This allows S corporations to avoid double taxation on the corporate income. “Currently, business income from these entities ‘passes through’ to an individual's tax return and is taxed at that individual's rate. Under the tax reform plan, business income page 3 page 9 page 10-11 page 12 from these entities would not pass through to the individual business owner but rather would be taxed at a flat rate of 25 percent. The experts have pointed out the many complexities and potential pitfalls with this particular aspect of the plan. For example, under the proposed plan, business income from an LLC or S corporation would be taxed at the favorable 25 percent rate, and any income paid out to an owner as a wage would be taxed at the ordinary rate, which can reach as high as 39.6 percent under our current framework,” she said. Under the proposed plan, business owners could forego wages and opt instead for a greater business income allocation, saving 10 percent in income tax as well as payroll taxes. Given how many farmers and ranchers operate as S corporations, partnerships, LLCs, and sole proprietorships, they will want to pay particular attention to this aspect of tax reform, Jensen said. “Another key item for farm and rancher businesses to monitor will be the deductibility of interest,” Rempe said. The proposal would limit the deductibility of interest for C-corporations, and says limitations on the interest deduction may be considered for other businesses. “The ability to deduct interest, both mortgage and operating interest, as a business expense is important to farm businesses. The average annual mortgage interest deduction reported by farm sole proprietors on their Schedule F from 2009-2015 equaled $183 million. It’s not a small chunk of change.” Estate Taxes The proposal also seeks to eliminate federal estate taxes entirely. “Farmers and ranchers are especially excited about a potential end to the estate tax. It seems that in this Congress we have a once-ina-generation opportunity to give farmers and ranchers what they have been pushing Congress to do, put an end to the death tax,” Jordan Dux, Nebraska Farm Bureau’s director of national affairs said. In the tax reform package, Farm Bureau is working to lower taxes on capital investments. Capital gains taxes should not be levied on transfers at death. “Farm Bureau supports eliminating the capital gains tax. Until this is possible, the tax Register for the 2017 Convention www.nefb.org/2017-convention Continued on page 6

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    2 OCTOBER 27, 2017 – Nebraska Farm Bureau News The President’s Message By Steve Nelson, President Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation ® This September, I had the opportunity to take part in Gov. Ricketts’ trade mission to Japan. The trip focused on building both Nebraska agriculture and business opportunities. It was, in short, a tremendous experience. As I write this, I’m sure there are members wondering why Nebraska Farm Bureau participates in these trade missions. Truth be told, I wish every farmer and rancher in Nebraska could go on a trade mission at least once. I’ve been on a few. Every time, they are eye-opening, enlightening, and tell a story about our end customers better than any words I could ever write or pictures I could share. One of the things I find true no matter where you go in the world, but particularly in the part of the world where Japan is located, is that personal relationships are very, very important. International buyers want to see who they’re dealing with. They want to talk to the people who are producing the products they are going to buy. When it comes to Japan, it’s striking just how strong the desire is from the Japanese people to purchase Nebraska products, specifically our high-quality beef and pork products, along with wheat, corn, and all the other products we produce. There’s tremendous demand and interest. That was never on greater display than at a restaurant in Japan Experience Emphasizes Need for Sound Trade Policy Tokyo, where Toshiyuki Kamada, owner of the Sagami Chain Co., signed an agreement with Smithfield out of Crete, Nebraska to provide pork cutlets to Kamada’s restaurant chain. Breaded pork cutlets are an important staple in this restaurant chain and are sought out by consumers across Japan. It’s a prime example of how products produced at home have gained favor with international customers. It also demonstrates the need for the president and his administration to be extremely careful in how they handle relations with our trade partners. I can tell you first-hand that Japanese leaders still believe the U.S. will participate alongside them in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), despite President Trump’s actions to withdraw the U.S. You’ll remember TPP was projected to be a boom for Nebraska, increasing agriculture cash receipts by $378 million when fully implemented. The deal also had Japan slated to eliminate 74 percent of duties on our highly sought-after beef imports within the next 16 years. Instead, we find ourselves on the outside looking in, with the White House pushing bi-lateral trade talks with Japan that generated plenty of pushback from our Japanese counterparts during trade mission discussions. As is the case for all markets, our absence creates opportunities for other nations; in this instance, other countries looking to fill the lucrative Japanese market. As widely reported late last month, exports of U.S. frozen beef to Japan dropped by 26 percent in August from the previous year. The decline was tied directly to Japan boosting tariffs on U.S. beef exports in July under a safeguard protection mechanism that kicks in when frozen beef imports exceed a certain threshold. The increased tariffs on the U.S. weren’t unilateral. Due to terms of a pre-existing trade agreement with Japan, Australia didn’t see a tariff increase, giving them a competitive edge. Similar terms that protected Australia from the tariff hike, were included in TPP negotiations, terms that the U.S. could have benefited from had we been TPP partners. The bottom line is that there is growing international demand for Nebraska agriculture products. That’s something Nebraska producers can be proud of. Getting our products into those markets is critical. At Nebraska Farm Bureau we’ll work to build relationships with our current and potential future customers. And we’ll continue to push this administration to make smart trade policy decisions. When it comes to trade, we need to be in the driver’s seat, not just along for the ride. Until Next Time, 2017 ANNUAL MEETING & CONVENTION DECEMBER 3-5, 2017 YOUNES CONFERENCE CENTER KEARNEY, NE REGISTER ONLINE AT: www.nefb.org/2017-convention Questions, contact Autumn Jacobs at (402) 421-4470 or autumnj@nefb.org VOLUME 35 ISSUE 5 October 27, 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 Graphics 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 per 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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    Nebraska Farm Bureau News – OCTOBER 27, 2017 3 Serving Agriculture…Growing Membership Nebraska Farm Bureau (NEFB) is charting a course for membership growth in fiscal year 2017-18. While we did not make state or AFBF quota this year, there were many bright spots during the year, Phil Erdman, NEFB vice president of membership said Oct. 13. “We don’t simply measure success in numbers,” Erdman said. “We have seen amazing activity and growth from county Farm Bureaus. Members are more engaged and involved in addressing the issues that affect their farm or ranch. That’s a success.” Making Quota Nebraska Farm Bureau ended the fiscal year with 59,905 total members, of which 6,356 were new members. In addition, 14 counties achieved their membership goals (quota). Counties which achieved their quota are: • NORTHWEST DISTRICT: Arthur; Garden; Kimball/Banner • NORTH CENTRAL DISTRICT: Boyd; Brown; Keya Paha; Logan; McPherson; Thomas • SOUTHWEST DISTRICT: Nuckolls • NORTHEAST DISTRICT: Burt, Wayne • SOUTHEAST DISTRICT: Richardson; Seward “I also want to thank our county leaders and Farm Bureau Financial Services (FBFS) agents who worked hard to reach and COUNTY NEWS retain members. It’s their leadership, innovative ideas and hard work, along with the support of the regional directors of membership, that helped us build on a strong foundation of membership growth in the future,” Erdman said. “Raising the Steaks” During the final month of the membership year, NEFB partnered with FBFS agents who have clients who have not renewed their required memberships. The "Raising the Steaks" member promotion, provided agents incentive to renew expired memberships and rewarded success with prizes from Omaha Steaks. “This was a great partnership with Kris Rowe, vice president of marketing for FBFS in Nebraska, and his team. When the contest began this year, 1,447 members had expired memberships and needed to renew to maintain their insurance benefits. This year, 474 of those expired memberships were renewed through the work of the FBFS agents and their staff. I am excited that 30 agents met their goal, and more importantly, nearly every agent participated,” he said. The 2017 membership year ended with 1,368 less members than 2016, due in large part to a lower renewal percentage. Retaining existing members and getting their membership paid helps Farm Bureau at the county and state levels with budget and retention numbers. In addition to the work that existing Keith County Farm Bureau Celebrates Annual AG Day Keith County Farm Bureau held their annual AG Day September 27 for fifth graders in their county. Six schools participated in the events, which included 11 agriculture-related stations around the Keith County fairgrounds. The stations included everything from soils to plants, seeds, water, farming equipment, and examining the rumen, part of a cow stomach. They served lunch to all students, volunteers, and teachers. The Keith County AG day has been held each year to teach students about where food comes from and the importance of agriculture. Fifth graders from six schools in Keith County attended the annual AG Day event at the fairgrounds in Ogalalla. Sioux 80 Scotts Bluff 21 Banner 85 Kimball 71 14 COUNTIES ACHIEVE MEMBERSHIP GOAL Dawes 69 Box Butte 65 NORTHWEST Morrill 64 Cheyenne 39 UNORGANIZED COUNTIES Sheridan 61 14 County Farm Bureaus reached quota Includes multi-county Farm Bureaus Garden 77 Deuel 78 Grant 92 Arthur 91 Perkins 74 Chase 72 Dundy 76 Cherry 66 Hooker 93 McPherson 90 Hayes 79 Hitchcock 67 Lincoln 15 Thomas 89 Logan 87 Frontier 60 Red Willow 48 Brown 75 Blaine 86 Dawson 18 Furnas 38 county Farm Bureaus did, Farm Bureau is also excited to announce that Grant County Farm Bureau is the newest member of Nebraska Farm Bureau. “Congratulations to Grant County Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors. We are honored to welcome them to Nebraska Farm Bureau,” Erdman said. “A lot of credit goes to county leaders in Grant County as well as the Northwest and North Central Regional Directors of Membership, Carolyn Cover and Tammy Fiechtner for their work inspiring the farm and ranch families to get organized,” he said. Keith 68 SOUTHWEST NORTH CENTRAL Keya Paha 82 Custer 4 Gosper 73 Rock 81 Loup 88 Phelps 37 Harlan 51 Garfield 83 Valley 47 Sherman Howard 56 49 CENTRAL Buffalo 9 Kearney 52 Franklin 50 Boyd 63 Holt 36 Wheeler 84 Greeley 62 Hall 8 Adams 14 Webster 45 Boone 23 Nance 58 Merrick 46 Hamilton 28 Clay 30 Knox 12 NORTHEAST Antelope 26 Nuckolls 42 Pierce 40 Madison 7 Cedar 13 Dixon 35 Dakota 70 Wayne Thurston 27 55 Stanton 53 Cuming 24 Dodge Platte Colfax 5 10 43 Washington 29 Douglas Polk Butler Saunders 1 41 25 6 Sarpy 59 Cass York Seward 20 17 16 Lancaster 2 Otoe 11 Fillmore Saline SOUTHEAST 34 22 Johnson Nemaha 57 44 Gage Thayer Jefferson 3 Pawnee Richardson 32 33 54 19 “As we approach the 2018 membership year, there has never been a more important time for county Farm Bureaus and their members to work together to address the issues they face such as property tax relief for all taxpayers in our state,” Erdman said. It all starts with an ask. “Who will you ask to join in the work you do every day to ensure a strong Nebraska for all? When counties actively work to recruit and retain members, it benefits more than just the county Farm Bureau – it benefits all Nebraskans,” he said. NEFB Submits Comments on Renewable Fuel Standard NEFB submitted comments to the EPA on “potential options for reductions in the 2018 biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel volumes, and/or the 2019 biomass-based diesel volume under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.” EPA’s proposal, discusses reductions of biomass-based diesel by 315 million gallons, lowering the advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) by the equivalent of 473 million ethanol Renewable Identification Numbers, or RINs. The EPA cites concerns over biodiesel imports which it says “could affect our analysis” of factors used to set the RVOs in the first place. The NODA makes no mention of changes to the 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuel, typically corn ethanol. Farm Bureua Support “NEFB supports the EPA’s proposal to maintain the statutory requirement for conventional renewable fuel at 15 billion gallons. Renewable fuels have been a tremendous success story for the country and for the rural economy. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has reduced our country’s dependence on foreign crude oil, reduced air pollution, increased farm incomes and provided good paying jobs in rural America,” NEFB President Steve Nelson said. Following the implementation of the RFS2 in 2007, the U.S. experienced tremendous growth within the agricultural sector. U.S. farmers responded to these new market signals by expanding crop production by 3 to 4 billion bushels of corn and over 1 billion bushels of soybeans. These crops are used to produce corn-based ethanol and soybean oil biodiesel made from methyl ester, Nelson said. Livestock Benefits At the same time, Nebraska’s livestock industry, understanding the feeding value of the biproducts of biofuel production, has also benefited. According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the ethanol industry provides $5 billion per year to Nebraska’s economy. “However, the reduction in the proposed requirement of advanced biofuels is an area of concern as it mutes historical market signals sent to the industry and U.S. farmers. Reducing demand for advanced biofuels dampens the prospects for further development of this renewable fuel source and reduces the demand for soybean oil biodiesel used as a non-cellulosic backfill. NEFB urges EPA to reconsider its proposed rule for advanced biofuels,” Nelson emphasized. Burt 31

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    4 OCTOBER 27, 2017 – Nebraska Farm Bureau News Nebraska Farm Bureau 100 Years Strong and Growing Stronger In this edition of the Nebraska Farm Bureau News, we will hear from David Schuler a 22-year old Morrill County Farm Bureau student member. As Nebraska Farm Bureau celebrates its 100th year, we wanted to find out how the younger generation feels about Nebraska Farm Bureau. Do we believe in young People and support their efforts to stay on the farm or David Schuler ranch? We hope you enjoy reading David’s thoughts about Nebraska Farm Bureau and the support that is given to young people in agriculture. I always had an idea of what Nebraska Farm Bureau was, but it didn’t hit home until my freshman year when I went to my very first University of Nebraska-Lincoln Collegiate Farm Bureau meeting. Ever since, I have enjoyed being a part of the network of young farmers and ranchers across the state working together to be the voice of agriculture on campus. It gives me connections within my age group who are passionate about agriculture and community success. Q. Tell me about yourself? A. I am a senior, Animal Science major at UNL. I grew up on my family’s Red Angus seed stock operation where I learned the values of hard work, persistence, and my love for agriculture. Finding the connection between motivated individuals and agriculturalists has been my passion throughout high school continuing to my senior year in college. FFA has been an integral part of my life because of that, and I see that Collegiate Farm Bureau allows me to continue that platform. This year, I serve as Collegiate Farm Bureau President, and I have seen first-hand the benefits of what our chapter on campus can accomplish, whether that is on the sidewalks of East Campus, building our community, or being represented in our student government. Q. What value do you get from Nebraska Farm Bureau? A. As I hinted before, Nebraska Farm Bureau allows me a platform to continue to grow in agriculture. To have an organization of members who have the same agenda and interest, it allows quick forming groups to talk about important issues in agriculture. This includes day-to-day disaster relief, all the way to strategic ag policy debates. Q. Why is Collegiate Farm Bureau important? A. In the midst of a college life, we sometimes get lost in the noise. Many clubs on campus have small niches and interests (which is great!), but groups like Collegiate Farm Bureau allow for a larger base of interests, specifically with all of agriculture. Collegiate Farm Bureau joins together our voice to be strong and advocate for our industry. It also is sustainable beyond college, as we can transition to Young Farmers and Ranchers rather easily. Q. How can Nebraska Farm Bureau CENTENNIAL TAILGATE SEPTEMBER 22, 2017 NEBRASKA FARM BUREAU HEADQUARTERS At his family’s ranch near Bridgeport, David is preg checking and sorting out his family's Schuler Red Angus heifers. David Schuler of Morrill County Farm Bureau is speaking at the first Collegiate Farm Bureau meeting at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. help student members? A. Members of our collegiate chapter represent every corner of our state. Educating and connecting them to their County Farm Bureaus is a number one priority in my mind. After college, if our members have a jumpstart on how to be involved on the county level, and have the connections to do so, we may be on to something great. Nebraska Farm Bureau District 2 Board Member Don Benner of Merrick County (left), and District 8 Board Member Bill Baldwin of Scotts Bluff County, enjoy a friendly game of bean bag toss during the centennial tailgate. Everyone at the tailgate enjoyed listening to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Alumni Band. Pictured above left to right, Mark McHargue, NEFB first vice president, Dave Nielsen, at-large board member, Don Benner, district 2 board member, Myles Ramsey, district 5 board member, and Jay Rempe, NEFB senior economist, listen as the band plays. The tailgate to celebrate Nebraska Farm Bureau’s centennial drew friends and family from across the region, and even a few dignitaries stopped by. Pictured above, NEFB President Steve Nelson chats with Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Greg Ibach. Nebraska Farm Bureau didn’t forget the kids when it came to entertainment at the centennial tailgate! Children (and a few adults) enjoyed a bounce house, tailgate games, and hula hoops. Pictured above, Evelynn Temme, daughter of John and Molly Temme of Wayne County, has fun with a hula hoop. John is the youth at-large board member. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Alumni Band made a special visit to the centennial tailgate, playing all the classic Husker game day songs from Hail Varsity to Dear Old Nebraska U. The music pumped everyone up for the Nebraska homecoming game the following day.

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    Analysis Shows States Will Lose Billions In Tax Revenue to Internet-only Sellers Nebraska Farm Bureau News – OCTOBER 27, 2017 5 $1.3 BILLION IN LOST REVENUE OVER THE NEXT 5 YEARS NEBRASKA Unless Congress acts on legislation to promote fair competition between Main Street retailers and internetonly sellers, states will lose more than $211 billion in tax revenue over the next five years, according to new analysis released by the Marketplace Fairness Coalition. Currently, a legal loophole allows some online retailers to avoid collecting the sales tax due during a transaction. While consumers are still liable for paying what’s owed, few do. One big concern about the lack of fair competition between brick-and-mortar stores and internet-only sellers is that local governments and schools often try to make up for the lost sales tax revenue by increasing property taxes, a burden that falls heavily on land-based business owners. The American Farm Bureau Federation is backing two bills, the Remote Transactions Parity Act of 2017 (H.R. 2193) and the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2017 (S. 976), that would allow states to apply sales tax laws uniformly. “The businesses that line the streets of our nation’s small and rural towns provide essential goods and services to the farmers and ranchers who work the fields that surround them. But hometown businesses are at a disadvantage when they compete with online-only retailers who don’t have to collect sales taxes," AFBF President Zippy Duvall said in a letter to House and Senate lawmakers encouraging them to support the bills. Antiquated policies in Washington, D.C. hurt Nebraska small businesses and communities. The online sales tax loophole creates an uneven playing field for U.S. job creators and small businesses. It weakens spending for teachers, local infrastructure, and law enforcement. Without a federal E-Fairness solution, NE will lose more than $1.3 billion from 2018-2022. Farm Bureau, Livestock Groups Request Waiver for Logging Device Mandate Concerned about livestock haulers’ readiness to comply with a problematic electronic logging device mandate, as well as how the mandate will affect the transported animals’ well-being, the American Farm Bureau Federation and seven livestock organizations are asking the Department of Transportation (DOT) for a waiver and exemption from the fast-approaching Dec. 18 Electronic Logging Device (ELD) implementation deadline. Unless Congress or the administration acts, carriers and drivers who are subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s ELD rule must install and use ELDs by Dec. 18. While most farmers and ranchers should be exempt because they can claim covered farm vehicle status and the 150 air mile exemption will remain intact, other drivers who haul livestock, live fish and insects are likely to fall under the requirements. ELDs Limit Service Hours Drivers who must use ELDs would be limited to current hours of service rules, which restrict a driver to only 14 “on duty” hours, with no more than 11 active driving hours. Once a driver hits those maximum hour allotments, he must stop and rest for 10 consecutive hours, which would be problematic when transporting livestock and other live animals. In their petition, the groups pointed out livestock haulers’ strong commitment to ensuring the safety of both the animals they’re transporting and the drivers they share the road with. In addition, livestock haulers often receive specialized training beyond that required for their counterparts driving conventional commercial motor vehicles. The pork industry’s Transport Quality Assurance Program and the beef industry’s Master Cattle Transporter program provide detailed instruction on proper animal handling and transportation methods. “As reflected in Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) data, the emphasis these programs place on animal welfare benefits driver safety as it encourages livestock haulers to slow down, be more aware of their surroundings and road conditions, and avoid rough-road situations that could result in animal injury,” the groups noted. Lack of Awareness Another major roadblock to implementation for livestock haulers is their lack of awareness of the rule. Because the livestock hauling industry is small compared to the overall trucking industry, it isn’t wellrepresented before or strongly engaged by the DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. As a result, livestock drivers who are aware of the program have had difficulty researching the ELD marketplace and identifying costeffective solutions that are compatible with livestock hauling. In addition, livestock haulers are likely significantly older than the average American truck driver, making them less familiar with the use of ELD technology and in need of more training on ELD use. In their petition, the groups also asked DOT to address the incompatibilities between FMCSA’s hours of service rules and the structure and realities of the U.S. livestock sector. “For many drivers, there is concern that there are those, with no understanding of or concern for animal welfare or livestock hauling, who will arbitrarily penalize them for choosing the proper care of animals over stopping in excessive heat or cold because of an arbitrary HOS cutoff,” the groups said. While FMCSA’s recent change to include livestock in its interpretation of the 150-air mile exemption for agricultural commodities is a positive development, it doesn’t fully address livestock haulers’ struggles. The organizations are committed to working with industry and FMCSA to address the issues presented by the ELD mandate and hope that FMCSA will grant additional time and flexibility for haulers who have a responsibility to care for the animals they are transporting. FARMER2FARMER DECEMBER 13-15 | CENTURYLINK CENTER, OMAHA, NE THE BATTLE FOR MARGIN Farmer2Farmer III, The Battle for Margin, will be a no-holds-barred session on the future of farm profi tability. After another year of weak prices, volatility and industry consolidation, the American family farm is fighting for its future and independence. Where will the future of farm profi tability come from? What new markets, tactics, and technologies are being used today to adapt? What strategies can be deployed now, for 2018? Join leaders from technology and the military as well as America’s most pioneering farmers for discussion on the future of farming. Session topics will include crop marketing strategies, the future of farm information, data science on the farm, the newest FBN℠ products, and special offerings available only at the show! Rob O’Neill Fmr. SEAL Team Six Leader New York Times Bestselling Author 2x Silver Star 4x Bronze Star Winner Brian Wolf Head of Autonomous Vehicle Strategy & Corporate Development at Ford Motor Company Kevin McNew President of GeoGrain & Markets Expert Register at https://www.farmer2farmer.ag/ GET YOUR TICKETS: WWW.FARMER2FARMER.AG | 844.200.FARM

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    6 OCTOBER 27, 2017 – Nebraska Farm Bureau News Tax Reform Q&A with Congressman Adrian Smith Q . Republicans just released their plan for federal tax code reform. What can you tell us about it? A. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to benefit all Americans through a simpler, fairer tax code. Our national debt now exceeds $20 trillion, which is a devastating tax on future generations. Rather than the tax-and-spend mentality too common in Washington, the best way to tackle our debt is by growing the economy through better tax policy and holding the line on spending. The tax reform framework outlines our plan for bringing relief to taxpayers at every income level, with a focus on middle-class families. It incentivizes greater business investment with full and immediate expensing for at least five years. Not only does this reduce the complexities of the current depreciation requirements in our tax code, but it also encourages producers and business owners to make necessary upfront investments to create jobs, increase wages, and spur economic growth. Additionally, the framework lowers the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. The current U.S. rate is one of the highest in the world, which means jobs and profits which could be growing our economy at home are instead benefiting economies overseas. Even President Obama acknowledged our uncompetitive corporate Tax Reform for Agriculture Continued from page 1 rate should be reduced and assets should be indexed for inflation. In addition, there should be an exclusion for agricultural land that remains in production, for transfers of farm business assets between family members, for farmland preservation easements and development rights, and for land taken by eminent domain. Taxes should be deferred when the proceeds are deposited into a retirement account. We continue to support keeping the stepped-up basis,” Dux said. Farm Bureau has been very active on tax rate. We must level the playing field for American businesses in the global economy and incentivize them to invest their profits here. The framework also lowers the rate on pass-through businesses to 25 percent, recognizing the importance of small businesses and producers to our economy. Overall, we need to be bold on tax reform to maximize the long-term positive impacts on the economy. In fact, permanent reform can double the economic growth as short-term tax cuts. This is a united effort among the Trump administration and both congressional chambers, and I am encouraged by the positive response since we rolled out the framework on September 27. Q. Farm Succession taxes are one issue that is important to Nebraska Farm Bureau. Will we have an opportunity to repeal the Death Tax? A. The death tax, which equates to double taxation, threatens the ability of producers and small business owners to pass their livelihoods on to their children and grandchildren. The framework eliminates the death tax once and for all so familyowned farms, ranches, and small businesses are not hit with a large IRS bill following the death of a family member. While further details about death tax repeal remain to be decided, I am fully aware, as are my Ways and Means colleagues, of Capitol Hill over the past several years laying the necessary groundwork on this attempt to overhaul our nation’s tax code, the first major overhaul in over 30 years. “Among farmers’ and ranchers’ top priorities are comprehensive tax reform that helps all farm and ranch businesses; the reduction of combined income and selfemployment tax rates to account for any deductions or credits lost; cost-recovery tools like allowing businesses to deduct expenses when incurred; and a continuation of cash accounting, Section 1031 ’like-kind exchanges,’ and the deduction for state and local taxes,” Rempe said. the compliance burdens which could fall on producers without the continuation of stepped-up basis provisions. In addition, I will continue working to repeal the 3.8 percent Medicare tax imposed under Obamacare which has the potential to harshly impact producers who choose to divest land. Q. Health care reform plays a larger role in the tax reform discussion. Do you see Congress addressing health care reform this year? A. It would have been preferable to deal with health care first, but we should press on with tax reform now while momentum is high. We worked through the process in the House earlier this year to pass a health care bill which would lower premiums while still making sure those with pre-existing conditions have access to care. Unfortunately, I cannot give an estimate on when the Senate may act, but I can say our Senators know we must repeal and replace the Obamacare disaster. If we do nothing, premiums will continue to spiral and those who are doing their best to insure themselves, their families, and their employees will be hurt the most. We must get beyond shifting around who pays for what and address the true cost of health care, which is what drives the cost of insurance. Q. Republicans have talked a lot about simplifying the tax code, where do you see this headed? A. Simplifying our tax code is the best way to grow our economy. Crucial reforms, such as reducing the number of tax brackets from seven to three and doubling the standard deduction to allow most Americans to file their taxes on a form the size of a postcard, will help taxpayers save time and more of their own money – which they can then invest back into our economy rather than handing it over to the IRS. On the Ways and Means Committee, we are already working on turning the framework into a bill this fall, and we remain committed to getting a bill on President Trump’s desk for his signature by the end of the year. Nebraska Farm Bureau Engaged in Bridging the Digital Divide Broadband access in some parts of rural Nebraska is lousy. While internet connectivity continues to spread to rural communities, there are still many places where individuals and businesses lack access, speed, price and reliability. Nebraska Farm Bureau has been participating in roundtable talks, commissioned by the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC), to understand what broadband coverage looks like throughout the State. “We want to know who across the state has access to high-quality broadband, where service exists but quality and speed are lacking, and where there is no service at all,” Ansley Mick, Director of NFBF-PAC & State Governmental Relations said Oct 18. “Farm Council of Presidents Thursday, Nov. 8, 2017 - 1:00 p.m. Kearney – Holiday Inn The Nebraska Farm Bureau News recently spoke with Nebraska Congressman Adrian Smith, discussing the topic of federal tax code reform. Here are his responses to the questions we posed. Congressman Smith sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, which is the House Committee in charge of overseeing our federal tax system. SAVE THE DATE Bureau is looking at every angle. We want to be part of the conversation about the future of broadband deployment.” According to recent reports, the Federal Communications Commission estimates nearly 40 percent of rural Americans (23 million people) lack access to broadband capable of 25 Mbps downloads and 3 Mbps uploads. Mbps, megabits per second, is a measurement of data speed. In contrast, less than 5 percent of urban residents lack access. For farmers and ranchers and other rural businesses, a 25 Mbps connection means being able to hold video calls, stream content, and download large files quickly. Interruptions in this service could impact business transactions such as marketing Policy Forum Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 - 8:30 a.m. Kearney – Holiday Inn Policy Guides can be accessed online at www.nefb.org. cattle or grain, or on-farm systems for resource management. “Better broadband services in rural Nebraska will help attract new businesses, encourage growth on the farm or ranch, keep or bring back young people, and allow people in agriculture to do their jobs more efficiently,” said Mick President Donald Trump pledged to bridge the gap in a recent visit to Iowa. He talked about including a provision for $1 trillion to promote and foster enhanced broadband access for rural America. The PSC estimates building and maintaining a statewide state-of-the-art broadband network could cost as much as $160 million. Nebraska is also one of 26 states that has a state Universal Service Fund. This fund was created to ensure all Nebraskans have access to quality telecommunication services at affordable rates. “Another part of the conversations we are having is how dollars are allocated to that fund and how they are spent. Much of the broadband investment across the state is high-cost, but it’s necessary to keep rural Nebraska connected,” said Mick. “Farm Bureau is hoping to leverage the PSC roundtable process as well as Nebraska’s funding framework to access federal dollars moving forward. This is a priority for Nebraska Farm Bureau, and we will continue to engage the state legislature and other stakeholders to do what’s best for our members.” TAX REFORM PRIORITIES American Farm Bureau (AFBF) policy supports replacing the current federal income tax with a fair and equitable tax system that encourages success, savings, investment, and entrepreneurship. We believe the new code should be simple, transparent, revenueneutral, and fair to farmers and ranchers. The Nebraska Farm Bureau State Board of Directors voted to prioritize the following tax code items. • Farm Succession Taxes: Farm Bureau supports permanent repeal of the federal estate tax and capital gains tax. Until these are achieved, full unlimited stepped-up basis must be maintained. The elimination of both federal estate and capital gains taxes has long been a priority for Farm Bureau. Both of these taxes threaten farm and ranch families’ ability to pass their operations down to future generations. • Cost Recovery: Because production agriculture has high input costs, farmers and ranchers place a high value on immediate expensing of equipment, production supplies and pre-productive costs. Business deductions that allow farms to recover cost more quickly reduce net business income, effectively reducing taxable income and creating funds for increased business investments. • Interest Deduction: The deductibility of business interest expenses for interest paid on mortgages for land and buildings, operating loans, vehicles and equipment purchases. Almost all farm and ranch investments are debt financed. The denial of the interest deduction will create an immediate increase in the cost of capital, especially for new and beginning farmers who tend to be more highly leveraged. • Cash Accounting: Cash accounting is the preferred method of accounting for farmers and ranchers because if provides the flexibility needed to optimize cash flow for business success, plan for business purchases, and manage taxes.

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    Nebraska Farm Bureau News – OCTOBER 27, 2017 7 Farm Bureau, John Deere Announce New Discount Partnership Farm Bureau and John Deere are excited to announce a new partnership that will give Farm Bureau members in participating states special access to John Deere’s GreenFleet Loyalty Rewards program, providing members with a free two-year Platinum 2 membership. This new member discount program will strengthen the existing partnership between John Deere and Farm Bureau and continue to grow John Deere’s dedication to strengthening their support of America’s farmers and ranchers. John Deere Commitment “John Deere is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land. Together with Farm Bureau, we are strengthening our agricultural communities and building for the future,” said Steve Geick, John Deere director of ag industry relations, US/Canada. “The GreenFleet Loyalty Rewards program for Farm Bureau members is John Deere’s way of rewarding those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich, and build upon the land.” Along with valuable equipment discounts, GreenFleet Loyalty Rewards Platinum 2 members are eligible for special parts savings, Home & Workshop Products discounts, and other members-only promotions. Normally, a customer must initially purchase five pieces of qualifying equipment within 12 months to reach Platinum status. Farm Bureau members will automatically qualify by signing up through JohnDeere.com/FarmBureau for these benefits: • Equipment Discounts – Savings on everything from mowers to tractors to Gator Utility Vehicles purchased at your authorized John Deere dealer • Special Parts Savings – Money-saving parts coupons and offers to help keep your equipment at its best • Home & Workshop Product Discounts – A 10 percent discount off MSRP on eligible John Deere tools and workshop equipment – air compressors, generators, pressure washers, and more • Exclusive Member Promotions – New exclusive offers and promotions delivered to your inbox – along with insider tips and great ideas for enhancing your equipment experience Farm Bureau Partnership Saves Farm Bureau members in participating states are eligible. To participate, Farm Bureau members can visit their state Farm Bureau website or JohnDeere.com/FarmBureau. Once the registration is complete, the member will receive their GreenFleet member number and can instantly access program benefits. Members can purchase online at JohnDeere. com/BuyOnline or by visiting a local John Deere dealer. To find out more about GreenFleet Loyalty Rewards, visit JohnDeere.com/GreenFleet or www.nefb.org. Download our Apps! Live Streaming Audio • Play Contests • Open Mic • Alarm Clock • News • Weather Agriculture Info • Exclusive Podcasts • and More! 93.1 The River KRVN "Alexa, Play KRVN" Listen Live - On Demand WE PROUDLY SERVE THE MEMBERS OF FARM BUREAU AND STRIVE TO OFFER THE VERY BEST PRODUCTS AND SERVICES. • Farm Bureau Member Rewards MasterCard ® › Spend $10,000 a year and Farm Bureau Bank will pay your Nebraska Farm Bureau membership dues • Low interest loans for vehicles and agriculture equipment (new and used) • Interest bearing performance checking • Money Markets, CD’s, IRA’s, and Health Savings Accounts • Convenient 24/7 online banking For more information contact your Farm Bureau agent or visit www.nefb.org/benefits * See terms and conditions at www.farmbureaubank.com. Farm Bureau, FB, and the FB National logo are registered service marks owned by, and used by Farm Bureau Bank FSB under license from, the American Farm Bureau Federation.

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    8 OCTOBER 27, 2017 – Nebraska Farm Bureau News NEFB Tells Nebraska Delegation Crop Insurance Is “Most Important and Vital Piece” of Farm Bill Protecting crop insurance should be at the top of the Nebraska Congressional delegation’s list as members go to work in shaping the 2018 Farm Bill, according to the Nebraska Farm Bureau. Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson outlined the importance of crop insurance in testimony provided to all five members of the delegation during a farm bill listening session hosted by Farm Bureau and other groups at the Nebraska State Fair, Sept. 1. “Federal crop insurance has become the most important and vital piece of the farm bill,” said Nelson. “One doesn’t need to travel far to hear Nebraska farmers talk about instances where crop insurance was the only thing that stood between them and total financial disaster. Nebraska’s yearly sporadic weather patterns nearly always result in ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ when it comes to timely rains, drought, hail, or anything else mother nature throws at us each year.” Nebraska Farmers Pay More In 2016, Nebraska farmers placed more than 17.4 million acres, or 90 percent of Nebraska’s total crop production acreage, into the federal crop insurance program. That same year, Nebraska farmers paid over $217 million in premiums. While the federal government provides premium assistance, Nebraska farmers on average pay five percent more of their overall crop insurance costs than the national average. “I know some in Washington have proposed cuts to the federal crop insurance program. We are told that little cuts here and there won’t make much of a difference to most farmers who rely on the protection offered by this program. Yet, it is important to remember that every small cut, every small restriction, and every small tweak has the potential to throw this vital program off balance,” said Nelson. “Like any insurance product, crop insurance rates are complex and are balanced with farms of many shapes, sizes, and risk levels. Placing shortsighted restrictions on one of the most successful farm programs in U.S. history to save minimal federal dollars is irresponsible, unacceptable, and totally inappropriate.” Other Farm Bill Priorities In addition to highlighting crop insurance, Nelson pointed to several other overarching farm bill priorities including: • Protection of current farm bill spending; • Maintaining a unified farm bill containing both nutrition and farm programs; • Prioritizing the funding of risk management tools, including Title I commodity programs like the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs; and • Ensuring all farm bill programs are compliant with World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements. “We greatly appreciate the delegation’s desire to hear what farmers and ranchers are thinking about what’s needed in the farm bill. I continue to remind people that food security is national security. The ability for us to work together to develop the programs that help American farmers and ranchers stay viable in producing food, fuel, and fiber for our country and the world can’t be understated,” said Nelson. Senators Deb Fischer (right) and Ben Sasse listen as Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson gives Farm Bureau testimony during the Farm Bill Listening session Sept. 1. Nebraska Farm Bureau News had the chance to visit with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt during a recent visit to Nebraska. As part of the EPA’s State Action Tour, Pruitt was in Lincoln, Oct. 20 to visit with Gov. Pete Ricketts, state and local officials, as well as Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson and other members of the “Common Sense Nebraska” Coalition. The EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers “Waters of the U.S.” Rule was the focal point of discussions. The “Common Sense Nebraska” Coalition formed in opposition to the Rule. Q. How do you view the role of the EPA when it comes to working with communities and industries the agency is responsible for regulating? A. The agency over the last several years has been, I think, in many instances, coercive in how it’s done its work. It’s not worked well with states. It’s acted inconsistent with its authority in statutes, whether it’s the Waters of the United States Rule or Clean Power Plan, or the rest. So, getting regulatory reform and certainty back as the centerpiece of how we do work is very important, but also restoring this partnership. I’m in Nebraska, as I’ve been in many states across the country, to really emphasize the importance of partnering with Governors and states to work together to improve air, land, and water quality. That’s the partnership that matters. Q. How do you envision building partnerships? A. When Congress adopted the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, these environmental statutes in federal law, they prescribed and put within those statutes specific rolls for the states, and really described federalism partnerships. To live that out, to actually carry that out as we’ve done the last several months, we’re asking Governors – and Gov. Ricketts here – how can we do that together? What are the issues particular to your state? What challenges do you have from water and air quality? Then really laser in on that to get good outcomes. I think that is very, very important. Q. The EPA is in the process of rolling back the “Waters of the U.S.” Rule. How does that get fixed? A. We’ve got to get our regulations right. We can’t be adopting regulations that are outside the authority of the statute. That creates confusion. That’s what the “Waters of the U.S.” rule is really about. It created uncertainty. It defined a water of the United States as something as a dry creek bed or an ephemeral drainage ditch. That’s just not within the confines of the Clean Water Act, but yet that’s what was adopted, and it created all this confusion across the country. So its fixing those areas, but also being very intentional about partnering with states to achieve good outcomes. Nebraska Farm Bureau president Steve Nelson was with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Gov. Pete Ricketts, and other agriculture and business leaders from across Nebraska to discuss the future of the WOTUS rule Oct 20. Q. In many ways “WOTUS” was about jurisdiction and power. Correct? A. It’s fundamental about where federal jurisdiction begins, and ends. It’s about power and reach, so that when citizens are making land use decisions across the country, they know if they have to get a permit or not. If they don’t know, that means they don’t invest, they don’t use their land, or they face substantial fines and penalties. The past administration told us that when they adopted the rule in 2015 that it was to promote clarity. If anything, we have more confusion than ever about where federal jurisdiction begins and ends. That’s what we’re trying to remedy...to get away from a deficient rule, this rule that’s been stayed by the courts, that’s created this confusion. Let’s get rid of that and then let’s define a definition consistent with the authority of the Constitution and the Clean Water Act, which is typically about navigability, which was a key characteristic of jurisdiction of the federal government historically that it’s gotten away from. Q. Where are we at today on WOTUS procedurally? A. The comment period is closed on the withdraw of the deficient rule. We’re actually going through a two-step process of withdrawing the old rule and then adopting a new definition (of Waters of the U.S.), so we’re still in the process of gathering information on how we define “Waters of the United States” going forward. That’s why we’re in states like Nebraska, working with the Governor and his team. To hear from them on, what is a perennial water? How should we address seasonal waters? Should we have exclusions? How do we deal with wetlands and adjacency with respect to wetlands? All those very important questions that we have to ask and answer, to again, reach clarity. Q. Any final thoughts on WOTUS or other topics? A. We want folks in Nebraska to have an objective clear line understanding about where federal jurisdiction begins and ends so they can use their land, farmers and ranchers and others. I can assure you, as we look at this definition it’s not going to be about overregulation. It’s going to be about us carrying out our responsibilities under the Act (Clean Water Act) from a federal perspective, but also recognizing the role of the states and private property owners across the country. I also wish Oklahoma played Nebraska more. Join ag professionals and attend the 2018 American Farm Bureau Federation's Annual Convention co-located with the IDEAg Trade Show in Nashville, Tennessee! Farm Bureau members and non-members alike are welcome to be a part of our nation's largest general ag organization. REGISTER AT: www.nefb.org/afbf-convention QUESTIONS? Autumn Jacobs Phone: (402) 421-4470 Email: autumnj@nefb.org Scott Pruitt was born and raised in Lexington Kentucky. He went to college and played baseball for the University of Kentucky before heading to law school in Oklahoma. He spent the last 27 years in Oklahoma and had served as Attorney General for the State of Oklahoma before being tapped as EPA Administrator.

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    AG NOTES KORUS Withdrawal “Devastating” In a letter sent to President Trump in Sept., Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson called actions to pull the U.S. out of the South Korean Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) as “reckless” and noted Nebraska farmers and ranchers would suffer “devastating consequences” if this took place. Nelson urged the President to pull back considering the importance of the South Korean trade deal to Nebraska farmers and ranchers. “The success Nebraska has experienced trading on the world stage is largely due to the free trade agreements the United States has signed with numerous countries around the world,” wrote Nelson. “Nebraska exports boost farm prices and income, while supporting 50,000 jobs both on the farm and in related industries such a food processing, transportation, and manufacturing. More specifically, South Korea is Nebraska’s fifth largest trading partner with more than $213 million of agricultural products being exported in 2016, a total that has grown by more than 107 percent since 2010.” In the letter, Nelson pointed out that Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers are continuing to struggle with lower commodity prices, and eliminating a trade agreement that’s provided underlying support for agriculture prices would only make a tough situation worse. While the President has since decided to focus on renegotiation instead of full withdrawal, NEFB will remain diligent in working with the Trump Administration on preserving agricultural gains made through our free trade agreements. Coalition Applauds EPA Action to Rescind “Waters of the U.S.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (Corps) proposal to withdraw the controversial “Waters of the U.S.” Rule (WOTUS) has drawn praise from the Common Sense Nebraska coalition. The diverse coalition made up of Nebraska agriculture, business, and local government interests, submitted formal comments on the agencies’ plan to withdraw the WOTUS regulation, Wed., Sept. 27, according to Steve Nelson, Common Sense Nebraska coalition member and Nebraska Farm Bureau president. “We applaud the agencies for acting to withdraw the WOTUS rule. This is exactly what our coalition has been calling for since this farreaching regulation was first proposed. Our message has been clear and consistent; the WOTUS rule would harm rural and urban Nebraskans, and it would cause cost increases, confusion, and uncertainty to farmers, ranchers, county governments, homebuilders, and virtually anyone who turns the earth with a shovel. The demise of this rule is long overdue,” said Nelson. The WOTUS rule was a point of concern because of its regulatory implications, and also because of the expansion of federal authority it represented. When the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972, Congress established a system which maintained Nebraska Farm Bureau News – OCTOBER 27, 2017 9 state authority over land and water uses, but prohibited certain “discharges” into “navigable waters” unless authorized by a federal permit. Over the years, the EPA and the Corps have worked to slowly increase the scope of their jurisdiction by pushing a broader interpretation of what bodies of water the Clean Water Act gives them control over. IRS Moves to Withdraw Rule to Limit Estate Valuation Discounts The Treasury Department announced plans to withdraw proposed regulations that would have increased estate taxes for familyowned and operated businesses by limiting valuation discounts. Farm Bureau petitioned the Treasury to withdraw the proposed regulations and celebrates this reversal of policy. Last August, the IRS proposed new regulations (I.R.C. §2704) that would have seriously impacted the ability of familyowned businesses to generate minority interest discounts when valuing assets for estate tax purposes. Under current rules, the value of inherited family business assets can be discounted (reduced) because of: • Lack of Marketability: Values can be reduced because heirs can’t easily sell their share of the family business. An example is a person who inherits part of a farm and would find it difficult to find a buyer who wants to be in the business partnership. • Minority Discount: Values can be reduced if heirs don’t have control over their share of the business. An example is a person who inherits less that than half of a farm and can’t unilaterally make business decisions. The IRS-proposed rule would have limited the use of these important discounts. Because the proposed rule is being withdrawn, familyowned businesses will continue to be able to discount the value of assets for estate tax purposes. Last November, NEFB filed extensive comments calling for a withdrawal of the proposed rule. NEFB also supported legislation that would have prevented the IRS from issuing the rule. NEFB Supports Greg Ibach N e b r a s k a Department of Agriculture Director Greg Ibach was selected as the next Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Nebraska Farm Bureau Board sent a letter of support in September ahead of a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on Ibach’s nomination. NEFB President Steve Nelson said, “Greg Ibach has a tremendous track record of serving Nebraska agriculture. His years of service in leading the Nebraska Department of Agriculture make him an outstanding choice for the position of USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. I have no doubt that Greg would be an excellent addition to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s staff at the USDA.” Ibach has been a strong leader in promoting Nebraska agriculture products both domestically and internationally, taking an active role in trade missions and on trade policy issues. He has also directed the many regulatory functions of the department impartially and with professionalism. While Ibach has been a tireless leader for the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, he also continues to maintain a farm and ranch operation near Sumner, Nebraska. A coalition of taxpayer interests that united last fall to oppose a $369 million Southeast Community College (SCC) Bond measure called on SCC’s Board of Governors to listen to taxpayers and reconsider recent board action to raise property taxes. The SCC board voted unanimously Sept. 19, to raise SCC’s tax levy to two-cents per $100 of valuation for building construction. The adjustment is estimated to increase SCC’s property tax collections by 26 percent for the 2017-18 school year. “Last fall, taxpayers across the 15-county SCC area overwhelmingly voted down SCC’s $369 million bond proposal. In the process, they sent a strong message that now was not the time for major property tax increases. Despite the fact the bond measure failed by two-thirds majority vote, SCC’s Board of Governors have chosen to increase SCC’s building construction levy to the maximum allowed by state law. The decision to take the maximum levy at a time when taxpayers are asking for relief shows a lack of regard for the will of the people and the vote taken last fall,” said Roy Christensen, Lincoln City Council member. Letter to SCC In a letter to the SCC Board of Governors, partners who formed the Vote No 369 coalition urged action to immediately reconvene and reconsider the proposed tax increase. The SCC board had the ability to reconsider the vote through Oct.13. SCC did not act and the levy is raised. “Our partners have received numerous calls and complaints from taxpayers across the SCC area. Rightfully, they are questioning how the SCC board could ignore the wishes of taxpayers who clearly indicated they wanted SCC to demonstrate restraint when it comes to tax collections in the face of the overwhelming defeat of the bond measure,” said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president. Increasing Maximum Levy The coalition warned voters last fall of the risk of passing the $369 million bond, noting that SCC could still increase property taxes even more than the increases presented by the bond, by increasing to the maximum levy for building construction. “Clearly our coalition’s concerns about additional exposure for taxpayers was warranted. While we understand and appreciate the important role of community colleges, we respectfully request the SCC board consider the will of the voters and the increased tax burden the board’s action will place on those who bear the costs of funding SCC by rolling back this levy increase,” said State Senator Dan Watermeier of Syracuse. The letter to the SCC board was signed by former Governor Dave Heineman, Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson, Nebraska Cattlemen President Troy Stowater, Dennis Fujan of the Nebraska Soybean Association, Lincoln Independent Business Association President Coby Mach, State Sen. Curt Friesen of Henderson, State Sen. Dan Watermeier of Syracuse, State Sen. Laura Ebke of Crete, former State Sen. Jerry Johnson of Wahoo, and Lincoln City Council member Roy Christensen. Nebraska Farm Bureau Backs Repeal of Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulation A move by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to roll back President Obama-era greenhouse gas emission regulations is drawing praise from the Nebraska Farm Bureau. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a proposed rule Tues., Oct. 10 beginning steps to repeal limitations on greenhouse gas emissions introduced as part of Obama’s “Clean Power Plan.” Nebraska Farm Bureau opposed the regulation over concerns it would diminish the ability for utilities to provide reliable and affordable energy for Nebraska homeowners, businesses, and farm and ranch operations. “EPA clearly understood this rule would result in increased costs for utilities to comply with these standards. The costs incurred by utility companies ultimately get passed onto their customers – including farmers and ranchers whose operations, by their very nature, are more energy-intense and depend on reliable and affordable energy to run equipment, operate livestock farms, and run irrigation systems,” said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president Oct 10. Nelson pointed to the regulations most basic flaws in supporting Pruitt’s action to pull back the regulation. “This is feel-good regulation. It doesn’t solve the issue of global greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. is already making strides and has reduced emission by 13 percent since 2005. At the same time, China has increased its emissions by nearly 70 percent. In short, this rule effectively hamstrings our economy and drives up costs on farm and ranch families and other energy users while producing minimal measurable impact on world temperatures and climate,” said Nelson. “We appreciate Administrator Pruitt recognizing this rule does more harm than good and acting accordingly.”

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    10 OCTOBER 27, 2017 – Nebraska Farm Bureau News www.nefbfoundation.org Fifth Graders Get An Up-Close Look at Agriculture at New Ag Festival More than 300 fifth graders from Northeast Nebraska gained firsthand experience with where their food, fiber, and fuel come from by attending the first ever Growing Potential Ag Festival in Jackson, on August 24. The festival was presented by the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation and the Northeast Corn Growers Association, with more than 15 sponsors coming together to help put on the successful event. FFA Chapters from Pender and Wisner also volunteered at the event. “With both of our organizations having an interest in agriculture and our next generation of leaders, we thought it would be a great idea to offer an event for local kids to learn about Nebraska’s number one industry,” said Courtney Schaardt, director of education outreach. “At the Foundation, we engage youth and share how important agriculture is to them and to the state of Nebraska.” Students made their way around eight learning stations that covered different aspects of agriculture. At one station, the fifth graders discovered the process of planting and harvesting by getting an upclose look at a planter and combine with experts from Pender Implement Company showing students how the equipment works. Other activities included learning about the different parts of a corn plant, discovering potential careers in the ethanol industry, and seeing how farmers take care of the land through water management. “It’s a very powerful thing and why we wanted to get students out here, because we knew that there would be so many different aspects of modern agricultural techniques our students could experience,” Nicholas Kleve, fifth-grade teacher from Lewis and Clark Elementary in South Sioux City, said. “It’s great to have my students see the behind the scenes of where their food comes from and how it gets to the grocery store. It just creates opportunities and curiosity that maybe they could have a career in agriculture.” Information about the new one-day festival hit teachers’ mailboxes this spring, and available classroom spaces filled up within a day. Schools participated from towns across Northeast Nebraska including South Sioux City, Wisner, Ponca, Homer, Emerson, Laurel-Concord, and Hartington. “We are so excited that these kids had such a great time today,” said Taylor Nelson, a member of the Northeast Corn Growers Association. “It was great to see all of these agriculture groups join together to teach their communities about all of the aspects of agriculture. We thank them for sharing their time and their resources,” he continued. Sponsors and volunteers included American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), Siouxland Ethanol, Pender Implement Company, CHS, Dekalb, Producers Hybrids, Croplan, Stine, DynaGrow, Pioneer, Sietec, Mycogen, Allegiant, Channel, Dixon County Farm Bureau, Keiser Ag and Irrigation, Lux Brothers Inc., and FFA Chapters from Pender and Wisner. Pender Implement Company shared information with students about the machinery. Students got to see up-close how a combine works to harvest the corn. Alycia Nelson, Dixon County Farm Bureau, shared a wealth of beef cattle knowledge with fifth grade students. Foundation Awards Agricultural Teachers and Leaders Each year, the National Teach Ag Campaign formally recognizes individuals and organizations who work tirelessly to address the national demand for agriculture teachers as Teach Ag Champions. The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation was named a 2017 Teach Ag Champion. The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation has worked alongside Nebraska Team Ag Ed since 2014. As part of the commitment to agricultural education in Nebraska, the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation has pioneered two scholarship programs; one for current agricultural education majors at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, and one for current agriculture teachers within the state of Nebraska who are in their first to fifth years of teaching to help pay student loans. The scholarship programs started in Nebraska have inspired other states to develop similar partnerships as well. The National Teach Ag Campaign is an initiative of the National Council for Agricultural Education, led by the National Association of Agricultural Educators. It is funded by the CHS Foundation, DuPont Pioneer, Growth Energy, and BASF as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. The National Teach Ag Campaign raises awareness of the need to recruit and retain high quality and diverse agriculture teachers, encourages others to consider a career teaching agriculture and celebrates the positive contributions that agriculture teachers make in our schools and communities. www.naae.org/teachag. In keeping with its mission to support the future of Nebraska agriculture, the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation has awarded a total of $20,000 to 16 Nebraska agricultural education teachers and five participants of the Nebraska LEAD program. “These teachers and ag leaders make diverse contributions to the quality of life and economic success in our state,” said Megahn Schafer, executive director of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation. “We’re very proud to be a part of supporting those who have a strong passion to teach agriculture and those accelerating their leadership development through the Nebraska LEAD program,” she continued. The 16 recipients of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation’s Agricultural Education Teacher Retention Award are all agricultural education teachers in their first through fifth year of teaching. Teachers are eligible for increasing awards each year. As the teachers’ impact grows in the classroom, in their FFA chapters, and in their communities each year, the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation aims to recognize and support their contributions. The 16 recipients are Evey Choat, Laurel- Concord-Coleridge School; Reed Kraeger, Elwood Public Schools; Miranda Paitz, Cambridge Public School; Kathleen Cullinan, Kearney High School; Hannah Horak, Shelton Public School; Lacey Peterson, Riverside Public School; Tyler Schindler, Omaha Bryan High School; Wade Overturf, Wisner-Pilger Jr./Sr. High School; Nicole D’Angelo, Seward Public School; Shauna Roberson, Garden County Schools; Morgan Schwartz, Stanton High School; Victoria Armstrong, Maywood Public School; Jesse Bower, Sutton Public School; Justin Nollette, Sandhills Public School; Casey Carriker, Raymond Central Public School; Samantha Jensen, Bertrand-Loomis Public School. The LEAD Scholarship awards agriculture stakeholders that participate in the Nebraska LEAD program. The LEAD program improves leadership skills and abilities of Nebraska’s future agricultural leaders through exposure to diverse topics, issues, concerns, points of view, and innovative ideas. The winners of the LEAD Scholarship are current Farm Bureau members that commit to serving in a leadership role with Farm Bureau upon completion of the program. The five winners are Alison Warner, Lancaster County Farm Bureau, Waverly; Bree A. DeNaeyer, Cherry County Farm Bureau, Seneca; Chris McQuillan, Phelps County Farm Burau, Holdrege; MerleAnn Raichart, Dundy County Farm Bureau, Benkelman; Hannah Rupprecht, Buffalo County Farm Bureau, Bladen. AG MAG – NEW RESOURCE! Teaching about agriculture brings learning to life. In the first Ag Mag edition, At School with Agriculture, students will recognize the connection agriculture has with our schools and everyday lives. Agriculture touches every part of our day, from what we eat and drink, to what we wear and the products we use. With Ag Mag, students can explore Nebraska through the lens of the food, fiber, and fuel system that benefits us all each day. View the Ag Mag on our website: www.nefbfoundation.org/agmag

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