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Nebraska

VOL. 29 ISSUE 7

AUGUST 1, 2011

Farm Bureau News

Field of Greens page 12

Farm Bureau, Ak-Sar-Ben Announce 2011 Pioneer Farm Family Awards

FB Leaders Lobby Free Trade Agreements in Washington, D.C.

page 9

page 13

Four Families To Be Honored as Ag Families of the Day at State Fair

Group Forms Unified Voice in Struggle with Animal Rights Activists

page 11

page 15


2

AUGUST 1, 2011

Nebraska Farm Bureau News

The President’s Message

contents In Every Issue 3-4 County News 5 Member Benefits 6 What’s Cooking? 7 National News 9 State News 12 Cover Story 23 Want Ads & County Annual Meeting Notices

On the Cover Ryan Pekarek, Burt County Farm Bureau, checks on his field of broccoli. He grows 11 acres of vegetables to sell at local farmers markets. Photo by Tina Henderson

Diabetic Dinner Whip up this dinner that your diabetic family and friends can enjoy! The menu includes braised pork chops, zippy green beans, pineapple waldorf salad and chocolate mousse. page 6

Healthier Times The federal government released a new food icon, MyPlate, with the intent to prompt consumers to think about building a healthy plate at meal times. page 14

By Keith Olsen, President Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation®

A

ntibiotic resistance in humans is an increasing time” which is specific to each medicine and species. The public health concern. Because antibiotics are animals can’t enter the food chain if they test positive for resiused for food animal health care, some people dues above Food and Drug Administration standards. believe there’s a cause-and-effect relationship between Sometimes food animal producers also use antibioteating meat and antibiotics becoming less effective in ics in feed or water so the animals reach market weight treating human bacterial diseases. However, no scienmore quickly. Antibiotics used for this purpose tend to tific study has shown there’s a link between antibiotic be older medicines that are less often used nowadays use in food animals and human resistance. to treat human disease. Instead, research points to the improper use and overThey play a role in reducing incidence of disease and use of antibiotics in humans as the cause of growing reavoiding the need to use higher doses of antibiotics to sistance. A study in the Journal of the American Medical treat diseased animals. They may also reduce the likeliAssociation found that in a single year, hood of meat becoming contaminated 12 million prescriptions were written with bacteria during processing, befor antibiotics to treat for colds, broncause the animal is healthier overall. Research points chitis and other respiratory infections. DENMARK’S EXPERIENCE But more than 90 percent of these to the improper Human resistance to antibiotics isn’t infections were caused by viruses, which just a U.S. issue. After some antibiotics use and overuse of do not respond to antibiotics. antibiotics in humans were banned in food animal producIf antibiotics are taken for a viral infection in Denmark, more livestock and as the cause of tion, then bacterial resistance can occur. If poultry became sick. Treating disease growing resistance. a patient begins to feel better and doesn’t in these animals required greater use of finish all of the medicine – even though higher, therapeutic levels of antibiotics. the bacterial infection hasn’t gone away Although total antibiotic use decreased – then bacterial resistance is possible. If by half in Denmark, that country has someone takes a leftover antibiotic for an illness it wasn’t seen a 96-percent increase in the use of therapeutic prescribed for, then, again, bacterial resistance can occur. drugs for animals since 1996. And eliminating antibiotics In other words, we humans have done this to ourat the health maintenance level in food animals in Denselves, through overuse and misuse of antibiotics. mark hasn’t led to a substantial impact on the incidence FARMERS ARE CAREFUL of antibiotic-resistant food-borne illness in humans. The farmers and ranchers who grow food animals are Antibiotics are important to both human and animal careful about using antibiotics, because they’re aware of health. We need to keep them effective. Farmers and the human-resistance issue and they want to continue ranchers are doing their part – you and I need to do to have these medicines available for their animals. ours. Be sure you or your child have a bacterial infecAnd if they can avoid using medicines when they’re not tion and not something else before accepting a preneeded, it saves them money. scription, and finish the entire course of medicine when Animals get sick sometimes just like humans, and you do. And if you’ve got some leftover antibiotic from antibiotics are used to restore animals to health, so the some time ago, get rid of it! These steps, taken by all of meat you eat comes from a healthy animal. If there’s us, will help keep antibiotics effective. disease in a herd, all animals may receive antibiotics to ward if off. They may also be given antibiotics as a preventative measure if they’re at risk for a disease. Before they can be marketed, the antibiotics must have cleared their systems sufficiently – a period called “withdrawal

VOLUME 29 ISSUE 7 August 1, 2011 USPS 375-780 ISSN 0745-6522

Official publication of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation

402/421-4400 www.nefb.org Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Mission is Strong Agriculture ...... Strong Nebraska.

AFBF 2012 Hawaii Trip Learn how to register for any of the annual meeting tours that we’ve previewed the past few months! page 19

Antibiotic Resistance: We’ve Done It to Ourselves

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: Cheryl Stubbendieck cheryls@nefb.org or ext. 4405 Graphic Designer/County News/ Month in Pictures: Tara Grell tarag@nefb.org or ext. 4494 Want Ads and County Annual Meeting Notices: Natalie Friesen natalief@nefb.org or ext. 4485

NEBRASKA FARM BUREAU FEDERATION Keith Olsen, president (Grant) Steve Nelson, first vice president (Axtell) Rob Robertson, chief administrator/ secretary-treasurer (Lincoln)

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Mark McHargue, second vice president (Central City) Nathan Bartels (Elk Creek) Andy DeVries (Ogallala) Del Ficke (Pleasant Dale) Jason Kvols (Laurel) John C. Martin (Pleasanton) Scott Moore (Bartley) Kevin Peterson (Osceola) Tanya Storer (Whitman) Shelly Thompson (Whitney) Sherry Vinton (Whitman) NEBRASKA FARM BUREAU NEWS is published monthly, except July, 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.


Nebraska Farm Bureau News

AUGUST 1, 2011

3

COUNTY NEWS Wayne County Farm Bureau

Members Tour New Free-Stall Barn for Dairy Cattle Wayne County Farm Bureau held its annual picnic at Temme Dairy north of Wayne on June 27. The dairy is owned by Doug and Mary Temme, Wayne County Farm Bureau members. Their son Jon Temme is a partner in the operation, Temme Agribusiness Inc., and is a Wayne County Farm Bureau board member. More than 50 members attended and toured the 24-stall parlor and new 200- by 384-foot free-stall barn. The Temmes milk 600 head three times daily, netting approximately 6,000 gallons of milk a day. Willow Holoubek, organizational director for the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (A-FAN), spoke about the Humane Society of the United States and the threat it poses to Nebraska agriculture. Roger Berry, Nebraska Farm Bureau vice president/member services, talked about the importance of membership and strength in numbers: “Ask your neighbor if they’re a Farm Bureau member!” he urged.

Morrill County Farm Bureau

Commissioners Pass Resolution Supporting Agriculture The Morrill County Commissioners passed a resolution on June 28 saying that they as a county support agriculture in Morrill County. Pictured from left are Steve Erdman, Morrill County Commissioners chairman and Morrill County Farm Bureau member; Jeff Metz, Morrill County Commissioner and Morrill County Farm Bureau member; and Gary Oltmann, Morrill County Commissioner. All three voted in favor of the resolution.

Johnson County Farm Bureau

Couple Honored for Dedicated Service to County Farm Bureau Johnson County Farm Bureau held its annual appreciation supper in Tecumseh June 26. Duane Sugden, Johnson County Farm Bureau president, introduced the main speaker, Nebraska Farm Bureau President Keith Olsen. Sen. Lavon Heidemann also spoke to the group. Other honored guests who spoke to the group were Darlene Tonack, Nebraska Farm Bureau District 1 Ag Promotion Committee member, and Nathan Bartels, Nebraska Farm Bureau District 1 state director. At the close of the evening, Sugden (left) awarded Howard (not pictured) and Helen (right) Wilkinsen the President’s Award for dedicated service to Farm Bureau. Howard has served as county president and Helen has served as Ag Promotion chairpe and both have been on the Johnson County board for many years, helping promote many of County Farm Bureau activities.

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Policy Development Meeting August 22, 2011 8 p.m. Hall County Farm Bureau® 2118 Kent Ave, Grand Island Questions: Call Shelly at 308-382-5707


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AUGUST 1, 2011

Nebraska Farm Bureau News

COUNTY NEWS Kimball/Banner County Farm Bureau

County Informs Public About HSUS Goals Kimball/Banner County Farm Bureau sponsored a community meeting June 30 in Kimball to inform the public about the Humane Society of the United States and its goals for agriculture in Nebraska. Beverly Atkins, Kimball/ Banner County Farm Bureau member, explained the background and objectives of the well-funded Washington, D.C.-based animal rights organization.

Wayne County Farm Bureau

County Participates in Local Q-Centennial Parades Several towns in Northeast Nebraska are celebrating their 125 “Q-Centennials” this year. Wayne County Farm Bureau entered floats in the Randolph parade on July 2, the Carroll parade on July 3 and the Wayne parade on July 9. Pictured at the Randolph parade are Wayne County Farm Bureau members John Temme (front) and Dwaine Junck (back) walking alongside the float throwing candy to the kids. The candy was provided by Farm Bureau agent Lynette Krie.

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Who’s protecting your food supply in Nebraska?

You are!

As a member of Nebraska Farm Bureau.

Nebraska Farm Bureau helps farmers and ranchers provide food for an increasing

population. We support country-of-origin labeling, responsible growing practices and advanced food safety measures… all with the objective to assure you have access to a broad choice of safe, affordable foods. Be proud. YOU are Nebraska Farm Bureau. With over 53,000 family and individual members, we’re working together to preserve and protect abundant food supplies.

Supporting farm and ranch families. Working for all Nebraskans. www.nefb.org | 402-421-4400


Nebraska Farm Bureau News

AUGUST 1, 2011

5

MEMBER BENEFITS Brochure Details Farm Bureau’s Accomplishments for Agriculture, Nebraska A new NEFB brochure for use at county fairs and in membership drives details Nebraska Farm Bureau accomplishments during the 2011 session of the Nebraska Legislature. The brochure is offered free to County Farm Bureaus for use at events and promotions. Farm Bureau insurance agents also can receive free copies to use when working with clients. “The brochure is contemporary and was developed with the farmer/rancher in mind,” Jay Rempe, Farm Bureau vice president/governmental relations, said July19. The brochure has testimonials from State Sen. Lavon Heidemann of Elk Creek and from Young Farmers and

Ranchers Committee Member Tina Schwartzkopf of Ogallala. Heidemann explains that Nebraska Farm Bureau is one of the most respected organizations at the state capitol and is very effective in helping state senators understand how a piece of legislation affects farmers and ranchers. Schwartkopf tells how Nebraska Farm Bureau worked to get new federal Form1099 regulations repealed that would have had a major, negative impact on her family’s farm and trucking business. The brochure also highlights Farm Bureau’s state and national legislative accomplishments, including its work to achieve its four main priorities in the 2011 Nebraska Legislature: ensuring a viable roads infra-

structure for agriculture, provide continued property tax relief for farmers and ranchers, secure financial resources to help manage the state’s water resources, and develop new marketing opportunities for agriculture producers. On the national level, Farm Bureau worked for repeal of the new 1099 regulations, helped to pass legislation which reduced the impact of estate taxes on Nebraskans and extended reduced income and capital gains tax rates, and supported legislative efforts to prevent EPA regulation of greenhouse gases, among other accomplishments. The brochure is a joint effort of Farm Bureau’s Public Relations, Governmental Relations and Member Services departments.

Learn About Your Member Benefits in a New Brochure Another new Farm Bureau brochure details your member benefits. “This brochure is very straight-forward in helping people understand what Nebraska Farm Bureau is and what valuable benefits we offer to all members, both rural and urban,” Roger Berry, Farm Bureau vice president/member services, said July 19. The brochure will be available in midAugust for use by County Farm Bureaus at

their county fair exhibits and other events where they promote Farm Bureau membership. The brochure also is being offered to Farm Bureau agents to use when working with clients. The brochure answers some frequently asked questions you may have about Farm Bureau membership. The brochure theme is “Your Nebraska Farm Bureau Membership -- Living it…Breathing it… Using it…”

“The brochure is a reference card and it highlights the many benefits offered to Farm Bureau members, such as Farm Bureau Financial Services insurance products, Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance, discounts on hotels, automobile rentals, and the vision care packages, just to name a few,” Berry said. The brochure is a joint project of Farm Bureau’s Public Relations and Member Services departments.

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Insurance, Investments Retirement and more Farm Bureau Financial Services provides the following competitve products and services: • Vehicle, home, farm/ranch and life insurance • Annuities and investments • Retirement and education funding estate preservation and more!

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For more information on these and other great benefits, log on to www.nefb.org or visit your local County Farm Bureau.


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AUGUST 1, 2011

Nebraska Farm Bureau News

WHAT’S COOKING? If you want to submit your own recipes, and photos if you have them, send them via email to tarag@nefb.org.

Diabetic Dinner Braised Pork Chops Ingredients 1 teaspoon rubbed sage 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 4 boneless pork loin chops (4 ounces each) 1 tablespoon butter or margarine 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil 3/4 cup apple juice, divided 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley Directions 1. In a small dish, combine sage, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. 2. Have chops at room temperature. Rub each side with herb mixture. 3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat butter and oil. Brown chops on both sides. Remove from skillet and keep warm by covering with foil. 4. Drain oil from skillet. Add 1/2 cup apple juice to skillet and bring to a boil. Return chops to skillet. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until juices run clear. Baste occasionally. 5. Remove chops to serving platter and cover to keep warm. 6. Add remaining juice to skillet. Bring to a boil, loosening any brown bits from pan. Cook until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup. Pour over pork chops. 7. Garnish with parsley. Yield: 4 servings Nutritional information for one serving: Calories: 232 Fat: 11 grams Sodium: 383 mg Carbohydrates: 1 gram Fiber: trace Protein: 24 grams Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat

Zippy Green Beans Ingredients 4 cups fresh or frozen green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces 4 bacon strips, diced 1 medium onion, thinly sliced 1/2 cup apple juice 3 tablespoons sugar 3 tablespoons tarragon or cider vinegar 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons cornstarch 1 tablespoon water Directions 1. Place beans in a saucepan with water; bring to a boil. Cook covered until crisptender, about 8-10 minutes. Beans could also be cooked in a steamer until tender. 2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve 1 teaspoon bacon drippings. 3. In drippings, saute onions until tender. Add apple juice, sugar, vinegar and salt. 4. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; add to skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for about 2 minutes, until the liquid is thickened. 5. Drain beans and add to the thickened sauce. Stir to coat. Add bacon. Toss to combine. 6. Transfer beans to a serving bowl. Yield: 6 servings Nutritional information for one ¾ cup serving: Calories: 98 Fat: 2 grams Sodium: 140 mg Carbohydrates: 16 grams Fiber: 3 grams Protein: 2 grams Diabetic Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1/2 fruit, 1/2 fat

Chocolate Mousse Pineapple Waldorf Salad Ingredients 1/2 can (20-ounce) unsweetened pineapple tidbits (approx. 1 cup) 3 cups chunked red apples (about 2 medium apples) 3/4 cup chopped celery 1/4 cup raisins 2 tablespoons dry-roasted sunflower kernels 1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise 1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt 2 tablespoons sugar (artificial sweetener may be substituted) Directions 1. Drain pineapple. Measure half the tidbits. Reserve 1/4 cup of the juice. (Save remaining tidbits and juice for another salad.) 2. In a large bowl, combine fruits, celery and sunflower kernels. 3. In a smaller bowl, mix mayonnaise, yogurt, sugar and pineapple juice until sugar is dissolved. 4. Pour dressing over fruit mixture. Toss to coat. Chill until serving. Note from contributor: I found that a dash of salt enhanced the flavors. Such an addition would affect the sodium content.

Ingredients 3/4 cup cold skim milk 1 package sugar-free instant chocolate pudding mix 1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream 3 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1 8-ounce carton frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed 1 tablespoon chocolate cookie crumbs or chocolate graham cracker crumbs Directions 1. In a small bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes (mixture will be very thick). 2. In a larger mixing bowl, beat together sour cream, cream cheese and vanilla. Add pudding; mix well. 3. Fold in whipped topping. 4. Spoon into individual dishes. 5. Sprinkle with crumbs. 6. Refrigerate until serving time. Yield: 6 servings Nutritional information for one 2/3 cup serving: Calories: 186 Fat: 9 grams Sodium: 263 mg Carbohydrates: 18 grams Fiber: 1 gram Protein: 4 grams Diabetic Exchanges: 2 fat, 1 1/2 starch

UPCOMING MONTHS

Yield: 6-7 servings Nutritional information for one 3/4 cup serving: Calories: 131 Fat: 5 grams Sodium: 113 mg Carbohydrates: 24 gram Fiber: 2 grams Protein: 1 gram Diabetic Exchanges: 1 1/2 fruit, 1 fat

Below are themes for the coming months! Submit your recipe to: tarag@nefb.org September – National Breakfast Month October – popcorn, pumpkin or apple recipes November – holiday snacks and hors d’oeuvres

All recipes from Taste of Home’s Light and Tasty magazine. All photos from Lois Linke, wife of Karl Linke, Nebraska Farm Bureau district director of member services for the southeast.


Nebraska Farm Bureau News

AUGUST 1, 2011

7

NATIONAL NEWS Congressional Happenings • Debt Limit Debate Includes Ag Programs Agricultural programs, including direct payments, have been targeted by both Congressional leaders and the White House as they attempt to raise the debt limit while at the same time finding a solution to our nation’s overall debt problem. Congress would likely need to find anywhere between $11 billion and $32 billion over 10 years in agricultural cuts. Direct payments, which constitute roughly $4 billion a year in ag spending, would likely be one of the main programs targeted by the final agreement. • Key Senators Reach Agreement on Future of Ethanol Program

Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Thune (R-SD) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) recently worked out a series of ethanol policy reforms that will mean a major shift in U.S. ethanol policy. The ethanol agreement, which is supported by Farm Bureau, would repeal the 45-cent-per-gallon ethanol tax incentive and the 54-cent-per-gallon import tariff on July 31. It would divert $1.33 billion of the remaining $2 billion of ethanol subsidies from this year toward the debt and the rest to renewable energy incentives including biofuel infrastructure. The agreement would set aside $308 million for a production tax credit for cellulosic biofuel produced from plants and plant material other than corn; $253 million

for an alternative fueling infrastructure tax credit (reduced tax credits for alternative fueling equipment such as blender pumps, electricity charging stations and natural gas fueling stations would be extended through 2014); and $107 million for a small producer tax credit. The tax credit for cellulosic biofuel production, set to expire at the end of 2012, would be extended for

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• Free Trade Agreements Likely Stalled Until September Only a few months ago, it seemed as if the White House and Congress would finally work together to pass the long-awaited free trade agreements (FTAs) with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. However, with Washington’s drawn-out battle over the nation’s debt problem taking center stage for much of the summer, it appears that farmers and ranchers will likely have to wait until after Congress’ August recess before a vote is held. Once the agreements are fully implemented, Nebraska would see agricultural trade increases of more than $123 million each year and over 1,100 new jobs. Nationally, the agreements would add nearly $2.5 billion in agricultural trade increases each year and create 22,500 jobs.

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AUGUST 1, 2011

Nebraska Farm Bureau News mon sense and does not acknowledge the many nuances of American agriculture. The FMCSA applies a one-size-fits-all approach to how it looks at regulating the transportation of agricultural products. Below are three questions being asked by FMCSA and background information on each topic.

Federal Regulation of the Month

Motor Carriers By Jordan Dux Farm Bureau National Affairs Coordinator This series highlights a federal regulation or proposed regulation that is important to farmers and ranchers. Its purpose is to create awareness among Nebraska Farm Bureau members and to provide an opportunity for farmers and ranchers to make an impact on these proposals. This month’s regulation deals with a proposal from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). It would increase significantly the level of transportation regulations that farmers and ranchers will have to address in their operations. Background The proposal was introduced purely for public safety reasons. The problem is that FMCSA’s approach lacks com-

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1. How should FMCSA distinguish between intra- and interstate commerce when a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) is operated within the boundaries of a single state? • In 1975, the U.S. DOT Federal Highway Safety Administration issued guidance for enforcement agencies that stated agricultural products should be considered interstate commerce because farmers intend for their crops to be sold out of state. FMCSA continues to abide by this guidance. • This determination reveals that DOT and its agencies have no understanding of the agricultural marketing chain and how farmers and ranchers conduct business. Farmers and ranchers seek the best price available at the closest market to maximize profits. Agricultural products are then processed by the buyers into a myriad of goods. Farmers and ranchers have no way of knowing in what form or where their crops and livestock will ultimately be sold. • The FMCSA guidance could result in farmers being forced to obtain commercial drivers licenses, federal medical cards and more, even if they only drive a short distance in state using pick-ups with trailers. • Current FMCSA guidance on agriculture and interstate commerce is based on inaccurate assumptions about farmers and ranchers and their operations. The agency should rescind current guidelines which lead enforcement officials and motor carriers to define agricultural products and operations as interstate commerce. 2. Should FMCSA treat farmers with crop-share lease agreements as “for-hireâ€? commercial carri-

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ers in new entrant safety audits? • While crop-share lease agreements are not as common nowadays, the practice is still used throughout Nebraska. The agreements tend to vary from landowner to landowner, with no single standard arrangement. Often these agreements are with older land owners who hope to mitigate risk for younger farmers and ensure the existence of future generations in American agriculture. • By treating farmers with these agreements as commercial carriers, FMCSA would make crop-share lease agreements unacceptable and eliminate a tool for younger farmers to manage the risks associated with farming. Farm Bureau believes that farmers with crop-share lease agreements should not be considered commercial carriers. 3. Should implements of husbandry and other farm equipment be considered CMVs? • Farm Bureau adamantly opposes any effort to classify farm machinery as commercial motor vehicles or to require farm machinery owners and operators to acquire CDLs, display DOT numbers, register owners’ or farm name, limit mileage, obtain a medical card for the driver, or maintain hours of service records. Where technical differences exist between federal and state laws and regulations, Farm Bureau believes that state laws should be the governing authority. A federal “one size fits allâ€? approach would put farmers is many states at a disadvantage by creating an undue financial and regulatory burden from the federal government. Take Action The comment period for this FMCSA guidance ended Aug. 1. Even though it has passed, Farm Bureau is still urging it members to send their thoughts on this issue to the FMCSA administrator. To view Nebraska Farm Bureau’s comments on the guidance from FMCSA and to take action on this issue, go to www.nefb.org.

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Nebraska Farm Bureau News

AUGUST 1, 2011

9

STATE NEWS Farm Bureau, Ak-Sar-Ben Announce 2011 Nebraska Pioneer Award Winners The Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben and the Nebraska Fair Managers Association and Nebraska Farm Bureau announced the 2011 Pioneer Farm Family Awards in June. This year, 164 honorees from 70 counties are being honored. To qualify for this distinction, members of the same family must have owned a parcel of land consecutively for at least 100 years. Since its inception 57 years ago, more than 8,000 families from across the region have been granted this award. Each honoree receives an engraved plaque and gatepost marker as permanent recognition of this milestone. The awards are presented during the annual county fair in which the land is located. The honored families are listed below by county: Adams: Ray & Sherri Bonifas, Roseland, NE; Kathryn Seeman, Blue Hill, NE Antelope: Kenny & Wendi Reinke, Neligh, NE Blaine: Winifred Ferguson, Mark Ferguson, Judy Eacker, Patricia Keeney, June Winberg, Milburn, NE Boone: M. Kay Koehler, Janis Hamman, Robert Kittelson, Claire Hamman,Newman Grove, NE; Josephine Voboril, Primros, NE; R.C. Henrichs Farm, Albion, NE Box Butte: Ellen Nielsen Estate, Alliance, NE Boyd: Gordeon Swanson, Bristow, NE Buffalo: Edward Rumbeck, Amherst, NE; Melvin & Sandra Solomon, Shelton, NE; John Farm Joint Venture, Janelle Grabowski, Linda Boucher, Connie Gregory, Ravenna; Dennis & Sandra Day, Gibbon, NE Burt: Mary Larsen, Decatur NE; Josephine Sklenar, Tekamah, NE; Doris Anderson, Oakland, NE Butler: Cory & Kay Kudlacek, Eureka, MO; Ralph & Margaret Papa, Bellwood, NE; Woodrow King, Kathryn King, Linwood, NE; Eugene Hromas, Ulysses, NE; Marion & Betty Lou Kobza, Andrew Kobza, Dwight, NE; Joseph & Phyllis Nicolas, Columbus, NE Cass: A & D Farm Inc, Milford, NE; Josephine Yearsley, William Johnson, Julia Shelby, Betty Ann Fisser, Murray, NE; Maurice & Jean Group, Louisville, NE; Jerald & Joyce Heim, Plattsmouth, NE Cedar: Tim Schroeder, Yankton, SD Chase: Luhrs & Rose FMS, Inc., Enders, NE

Cherry: Gudgel Land Corporation, Valentine, NE Clay: Dale Livgren Revocable Trust, Ruth Livgren Revocable Trust, Clay Center, NE; Mary Alice Storie Foster, Stillwater, OK; Edward Pavelka, Diane Pavelka, Glenvil, NE; JoAnn Meyer, Grand Island, NE; Anita & Mike Harmon, Trumball, NE Colfax: Arnold Stuthman, Platte Center, NE; Brian & Karleen Wisnieski, Dodge, NE; Lerch Family LLC, Clarkson, NE; Seth Mares, Gale Mares, Schuyler, NE Cuming: Kenneth Uhing, Elaine Luebbert, Gerald & Janet Reiman, West Point, NE; LaMae Johnson, Oakland, NE Custer: Wesley Anderson, Gothenburg, NE Dakota: Kathleen Polodna, Mary Dorcey, Omaha, NE Dawes: Alvin & Geraldine Barta, Rich Barta, Cathy Jacobs, Darlene Smith, Hemingford, NE; Paul Hamaker, Crawford, NE Dawson: Phillip & Bernice Pebley, Cozad, NE; Cedric Bryant, Donald & Mike Soller, Fred Moore, Jr., Gothenburg, NE Deuel: Bob & Norma Wright, Chappell, NE Dixon: Wilma Jean Kavanaugh, Dixon, NE; Randall & Lesa Jensen, Emerson, NE Dodge: John Soukup, Gertrude Lechtenberger, Fremont, NE; Loell & Shirley Strand, Hooper, NE; Diana Wisnieski, Dodge, NE Douglas: Robert & Amy Carlson, Dennis Carlson, Valley, NE Dundy: Carl & Jean Lutz, Parks, NE Fillmore: Lloyd & Ione Schelbitzki, Jason & Michelle Tatro, Geneva, NE; Barbara Stephenson Leefers, Jean Lovegrove, Lowell Stephenson, James Stephenson, Fairmont, NE; Robert Hendrickson, Shickley, NE; Norman Landgren, Lincoln, NE Franklin: Jerry & Esther Marcum, Franklin, NE; Merrill Gramke, Upland, NE Frontier: Larry & Marcia Owens, Curtis, NE; Flying E Farms, Inc, Rex & Dona Ealy, Moorefield, NE Furnas: Verlyn Marble, Vivian Schluntz, Rick Schluntz, Oxford, NE Gage: Don & Joan Linsenmeyer, Blue Springs, NE; Lorna Adam Trust, Odell, NE; Raymond Scheiding, Beatrice, NE Garden: PGR Limited Partnership, Don Powles Family, Bingham, NE; Janice Burke

Seibert, Oshkosh, NE Garfield: Rollin & Mary Ann Struckman, Burwell, NE Gosper: Joseph Douglas Wilken, Smithfield, NE Hall: Gail & Carol Beukenhorst, Doniphan, NE; Addren & Patsy Ellis, Hastings, NE Hamilton: Leonard Roberts Family Trust, Malcolm, NE; Gary Erb, Myra Erb Higgins, Kay Erb Miller, Giltner, NE; Marx & Maynard Holtorf, Hondville, NE; Roger Carlson, Owego, NY Harlan: Marlene Lucking, Holdrege, NE Hitchcock: Cermit & Marjorie Brown, Culbertson, NE; John & Julia Diehl, Stratton, NE Holt: Melcher’s Herefords Inc., Barry & Lenore Kelly, Page, NE; James & Barbara Friedel, Stuart, NE; Raymond & Ruby Dobias, Atkinson, NE; Richard & Ruby Williamson, Orchard, NE; Raymond & Joyce Risor, Saronvill, NE Howard: Sandra Sosnoff Biardw Haven, CT; Carl & Pauline Deertz, Palmer, NE; Frank & Rogene Vopat, Timothy Vopat, Wolbach, NE; Vivian Berggren Irrevocable Trust, Grand Island, NE Johnson: James & Jeri Hahn, Tecumseh, NE Kearney: Soderquist Farms LLC, Linda Soderquist, Shawn Soderquist, Michelle Soderquist, Axtell, NE; Mary Kahle, Earl Kahle Trust, Minden, NE Keya Paha: David Clopton, Mount Prospect, IL Knox: Edward Heggemeyer, Orchard, NE; Raymond Franek, Lance & Lorie Knigge, Verdigre, NE; Morman Family Trust, Crofton, NE; Dennis & Kay Kammer, Bloomfield, NE; Wilbur Placek, Lorinda Hoferer, Joan Schneider Kershner, Creighton, NE Lancaster: Burdette & Virginia Piening, Lincoln, NE; Lynette Nelson, Davey, NE Merrick: Barbara Reeves, Central City, NE; Michael Medinger, Archer, NE Morrill: James & Rose Ann Gilroy, Dalton, NE Nance: John & Sharon Fehrs, Norfolk, NE; Norman Brandenburger, Silver Creek, NE; Kendal & Nikky, Ray & Sharon Sock, Genoa, NE Nemaha: Elmer Schlange Trust, Auburn, NE Otoe: LaVon Philpot, Winter Park, FL

Pawnee: Michael & Abbie Leitschuck, Burchard, NE; Howard & Debbie Blecha, Rock, NE Perkins: Katherine Simpson, Denver, CO Phelps: Dorothy Rosier, Paul Wendell, Holdrege, NE Pierce: Jerry Jay & Michelle Reikofski, Foster, NE; Elmer Meyer, Randolph, NE; Marlin & Jean Zautke, Pierce, NE Platte: Chris & Amy Blaser, Duncan, NE; David Korte, Leig, NE; Arlene Wessel, Lindsay, NE Red Willow: James & Wendy Reiners, Indianola, NE Richardson: Ardis King, Humboldt, NE; Philip Bletscher, Falls City, NE Rock: Allene Johnson, Norfolk, NE Saline: Ernest & Rose Zoubek, Wilber, NE; Duane Dlouhy, Branson, MO; John & Donna Rut, Daykin, NE; Kenneth Tyser, De Witt, NE Saunders: Robert & Michelle Kuhr, Mead, NE; Milton Odvody, Morse Bluff, NE Scottsbluff: Harlan Brown, Mitchell, NE Seward: Brigham LLC, Seward, NE; John & Verona Schoepf, Columbus, NE; David & Nancy Jurgenson, Cordova, NE Sheridan: Rick & Becky Herian, Alliance, NE Sherman: Franklin & Maryann Eurek, Arcadia, NE; Gary & Darlene Dethlefs, Rockville, NE Sioux: Tommy Wilson, Morrill, NE; Martin & Lois Hanley, Crawford, NE; Cynthia Parsons Kaan, Harrison, NE; Mary Nielsen, Gary Nielsen, Jay Warren, Ruth Warren, Minden, NE; Wheeler Family Trust, Marsland, NE Stanton: Larry Hradec, Norman Hradec, Norfolk, NE; Mark & Rosalie Lammli, Stanton, NE Thayer: James Vorderstrasse, Erma Gausman, Duane Vorderstrasse, Hebron, NE Valley: Anthony & Carol Kusek, Albion, NE Washington: Roger & Donna Nelson, Blair, NE; Marv & Judy Rohwer, Ft. Calhoun, NE; Barnard Oerman, Hooper, NE Wayne: Ron & Corliss Krusemark, Wakefield, NE; Patrick Finn Trust, Carroll, NE Webster: Charles Hartman, Alamo, CA York: James Price, Trudy Dougherty, Robin Price, South Portland, ME; Phyllis West, McCool Junction, NE

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AUGUST 1, 2011

Nebraska Farm Bureau News

USDA Reminds Hispanic and Women Farmers and Ranchers of Discrimination Settlement Claims Process Lincoln — As part of continued efforts to close the chapter on allegations of past discrimination at USDA, outreach meetings are being held throughout the country to talk about the settlement claims process available to women and Hispanic farmers and ranchers who assert that they were discriminated against when seeking USDA farm loans. “The Obama Administration is committed to resolving all claims of past discrimination at USDA, so we can close this sad chapter in the department’s history,� Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Fred Pfaeffle said July 11. “We want to make sure that any Hispanic or woman farmer or rancher who alleges discrimination is aware of this option to come forward, to have his or her claims heard, and to participate in a process to receive compensation.� ‘NEW CIVIL RIGHTS ERA’ Maxine Moul, state director for Nebras-

ka Rural Development; Dan Steinkruger, executive director for the Nebraska Farm Service Agency, and Craig Derickson, state conservationist for the Nebraska Natural Resources Conservation Service, are leading the outreach efforts for their respective agencies. This leadership team is talking with individuals and farmer and community organizations to underscore USDA’s commitment to resolving allegations of past discrimination and usher in “a new era of civil rights.� If you believe that the United States Department of Agriculture improperly denied farm loan benefits to you between 1981 and 2000 because you are Hispanic, or because you are female, you may be eligible to apply for compensation. Claimants can register to receive a claims package by calling the Farmer and Rancher Call Center at 888/508-4429 or by visiting www.farmerclaims.gov.

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Nebraska Farm Bureau News

AUGUST 1, 2011

11

Farm Bureau, State Fair To Honor ‘Ag Families of the Day’ at 2011 State Fair Four Nebraska farm and ranch families will be honored as the 2011 State Fair “Ag Family of the Day” in the fifth year of a partnership between Nebraska Farm Bureau and the Nebraska State Fair. “’Ag Family of the Day’ is a way to both recognize an individual family for its contributions and to show the strength and diversity of Nebraska agriculture,” Cheryl Stubbendieck, NERB vice president/public relations said July 23. The recipients were chosen for their contributions to agriculture, their community and the state. Farm Bureau membership is not a criterion for selection. “Our honored families have many different types of farming and ranching operations, but they share a commitment to making Nebraska better through their work in agriculture and service to their communities and the state,” Stubbendieck said. Honored families were selected by a committee of representatives of Farm Bureau, the State Fair Board, State Fair staff

and the State Fair 1868 Foundation. Any Nebraskan can nominate a farm or ranch family, online or by mail, for the annual recognition program. Each family will be honored at a ceremony on the Ag Hall Stage in the Exhibition Building, tentatively set for 5 p.m. each day. The families also we be hosted at an informal luncheon and featured in the daily State Fair parade. They also receive gate and midway passes, lodging, a plaque and other prizes. These are the honored families and the days they will be recognized: Saturday, Aug. 27 – The Fred H. Nolze Family of Clearwater Sunday, Aug. 28 – The Tom and Sandy Sonderup Family of Fullerton Saturday, Sept. 3 – The Treg and Beth Fisher Family of Beaver City Sunday, Sept. 4 – The Sheldon and Judy Kohout Family of Friend More information about the Ag Family of the Day program is available at www.nebraskaagfamily.org.

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AUGUST 1, 2011

Nebraska Farm Bureau News

Field of Greens: The Growth in Farmers Markets By Tina Henderson own business. He started with a quarter-acre It’s Wednesday and the town square in and grew to the 11 acres he has now, growing Seward is buzzing with farmers setting up everything from tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflowstands to sell their er, potatoes, peas, fresh produce, eggs, green beans, eggplant, honey, jellies, jams sweet peppers, sweet and homemade salcorn, squash, and wasa. This is the time termelon and the list of year when veggoes on! etables take center “We are a young stage and for Ryan family farm, which is Pekarek, a vegetable increasingly hard to grower and memcome by in Nebraska. ber of Butler County I’m trying to make as Farm Bureau, it is his much of my income busiest time of year. from the farm as “Consumers want possible. When I first quality, freshness and graduated college to know that the and then grad school, produce they buy I never thought I comes from a local would grow to be farm. In the last few this big,” he said. years, something MARKETING fundamentally has PRODUCE changed about how Pekarek sells his Nebraskans see their Ryan Pekarek farms between David City produce at the Linfood-buying expeHaymarket and Seward in eastern Butler County. A coln rience. They want Farmers Market and greenhouse on his 11 acres grows tomaaccess to fresh, highOmaha’s year-round toes, green peppers and sweet peppers. quality food and to indoor Farmer’s Marmake a connection ket, Tomato Tomato. with the farmer who grows that produce,” In the fall he delivers to UNL to participate in Pekarek said July 20. He is also the president the Good Fresh Local program, which incorof the Nebraska Fruit and Vegetable Grow- porates Nebraska-grown produce into meal ers Association. programs at the Cather-Pound-Neihardt and INCREASING IN East Campus dormiPOPULARITY tories. He also does Farmers markets some minor wholehave taken root saling to some local in Nebraska from grocery store chains. Scottsbluff to Omaha, “Farmers markets Norfolk to Nebraska are growing mostly City. Nationwide, due to consumer interthere were 6,132 est in obtaining fresh farmers markets opproducts directly from erating by summer the farm. These experi2010. The Midwest ences allow consumers has seen the largest to have access to logrowth as the nacally grown, farm-fresh tional total increased produce, enables farm16 percent from ers the opportunity 2009. More than 70 to develop a personal farmers markets now relationship with their dot Nebraska’s landcustomers, and it cultiscape. (See box listvate consumer loyalty ing Farmers Markets with the farmers who in Nebraska.) grows the produce,” Pekarek has 11 Pekarek said. acres of vegetables in Ryan Pekarek takes great pride in the “Developing an southeastern Butler produce he grows. Cauliflower can be honest, trusting relaCounty between Da- difficult to grow in Nebraska and Pekarek tionship with consumvid City and Seward. has provided a high-quality consistent ers is the key to getting He started work- product for his customers. repeat business. As ing for a farmer near long as I continue to Davey during college at the University of Ne- give consumers a consistent supply of goods, I braska-Lincoln and decided in 2004 to start his expect them to come back for more,” he said.

Ryan Pekarek helps a customer select produce. Pekarek’s Produce is one of the more popular stands at the Farmers Market in the town square in Seward.

Farmers Markets in Nebraska The information below is a list of Farmers Markets in Nebraska, based on data from the USDA National Farmers Market Directory. This information is collected on a voluntary basis.

City

Market Name

Alliance Alma Aurora Beatrice Blair Broken Bow Brunswick Brunswick Chadron Colon Columbus Cortland Cozad Crete Curtis David City Fairbury Fremont Geneva Gibbon Gordon Gothenburg Grand Island Guide Rock Hastings Holdrege Howells Johnstown Lexington Lincoln Lincoln Lincoln Lincoln Lincoln Long Pine Loup City McCook Minden Minden Nebraska City Neligh Norfolk Norfolk North Bend North Platte Ogallala Omaha Omaha Omaha Omaha Ord Orleans Pierce Plattsmouth Prague Ravenna Rushville Scottsbluff Seward Sidney St. James Stella Stromsburg Sutherland Sutton Wahoo Wayne West Point Wisner Wymore York

Alliance Farmers Market Alma Farmers Market Aurora Community Farmers Market Main Street Beatrice Farmers Market Blair Farmers Market Broken Bow Farmers Market Creighton Farmers Market Verdigre Farmers Market Chadron Farmers Market East Military Farmers Market Columbus Farmers Market Cortland Farmers Market Cozad Farmers Market Crete Farmers Market Curtis Farmers Market David City Farmers Market Fairbury Farmers Market Main Street Downtown Farmers Market Geneva Farmers Market Kearney Farmers Market Gordon Farmers Market Gothenburg Farmers Market Grand Island Farmers Market Guide Rock Farmers Market Hastings Farmers Market Holdrege Area Farmers Market Schuyler Farmers Market North Central Farmers Market Lexington Farmers Market Centennial Mall Garden Market Community CROPS Farmers’ Market Lincoln Haymarket Farmers Market Lincoln Piedmont Farmers Market Old Cheney Road Farmers’ Market Long Pine Farmers Market Sherman County Farmers Market McCook Farmers Market Community Garden Minden Farmers Market Nebraska City Farmers Market Neligh Farmers Market FRHS Farmers Market Norfolk Farmers Market North Bend Farmers Market North Platte Farmers Market Ogallala Farmers Market Bancroft Street Farmers Market Omaha Farmers Market Omaha Rockbrook Farmers Market Village Pointe Farmers Market Extraordinary Farmers Market Orleans Farmers Market Pierce Farmers Market Plattsmouth Farmers Market Havelock Farmers Market Ravenna Farmers Market Rushville Farmers Market Scottsbluff Farmers Market Seward Farmers Market Cheyenne County Farmers Market St. James Marketplace Nemaha County Farmers Market-Auburn Stromsburg Farmers Market Sutherland Farmers Market Sutton Community Senior Center Wahoo Farmers Market Wayne Farmers Market West Point Farmers Market Wisner Farmers Market Wymore Farmers Market York Farmers Market


Nebraska Farm Bureau News

AUGUST 1, 2011

13

Nebraska Farm Bureau Lobbies FTAs in Washington Nebraska Farm Bureau leaders – including young farmers and ranchers – visited Washington, D.C., July 11-13, to urge passage of the pending Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. “Congress needs to get its act together and get them adopted. It’s time to stop playing political games,” Farm Bureau President Keith Olsen said July 15. “It’s not just about the trade benefits for the U.S. – although they’re considerable. It’s about the markets we’re losing because of the delay. The U.S. has lost 50 percent of the corn market in Colombia in only a couple of years because we can’t get the trade agreement passed,” he said. The farm leaders met with all five members of Nebraska’s Congressional delegation . “They want to move the Free Trade Agreements quickly, and there’s a sense of frustration that the FTAs have been held up so long – they want to see them passed as much as farmers do,” Olsen said. FTAS ECLIPSED BY FEDERAL DEBT The Free Trade Agreements would have been “the issue of the summer” if not for the federal debt limit discussion, members of the Nebraska Congressional delegation said. “It’s taking up every working hour in Washington, and delaying negotiations to move the Free Trade Agreements forward,” Olsen said. The issue of extending Trade Adjustment Assistance is holding up the FTAs. The program provided benefits to workers who lost their jobs because of overseas competition. Senate Democrats want to attach it to the South Korea FTA while House Republicans

want to adopt it as a stand-alone measure. At the same time, and in the context of the debt limit, Senate Republicans are concerned about the measure’s price tag, $900 million over three years. IF THAT’S WHAT WE NEED TO DO Farm Bureau has questioned the need for trade adjustment assistance. “But if that’s all that’s holding up $2.3 billion per year from the trade agreements, if that’s what it takes to move forward – then that’s what we need to do,” Olsen said. The size of the federal debt was much on the minds of the younger Farm Bureau members who visited Washington, all age 35 or younger, Olsen said. “This is not just a current issue. Young farmers, especially, see it weighing heavily on the choices they’ll be able to make as they seek to build their farming or ranching operation, raise their families, and, they hope, pass the farm on to their children.” Olsen said the resounding feeling of Nebraska’s delegation was that “for far too long, Congress has simply kicked the proverbial can down the road when it comes to the country’s ever-increasing debt and deficit problem.” The young farmers also emphasized how expanding federal regulations threaten their livelihoods. They were especially concerned about EPA’s attempts to expand its authority by interpreting the Clean Water Act very broadly, such as by requiring permits for common agricultural practices. CDLS FOR ALL TRACTOR DRIVERS? They also cited concern about the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s

John Blanchfield (left), American Bankers Association senior vice-president and director of the ABA Center for Agricultural & Rural Banking, met with Nebraska Farm Bureau members to talk about agriculture lending and the ag economy. Also pictured is Keith Olsen, NEFB president.

Several members of Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee headed to Washington, D.C., July 11-13 and met with Nebraska’s U.S. representatives. Here Rep. Lee Terry (right) has stepped out of a committee hearing to listen to the group discuss their concerns about the Environmental Protection Agency’s burdensome overregulation.

Members of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Board of Directors and the Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee visited Washington, D.C., July 11-13, on a lobbying visit. Pictured in front of the U.S. Capitol are (from left) NEFB board member Sherry Vinton; YF&R committee members Matt and Tina Schwartkopf, Tim and Stephanie Hruby, and Greg and Malinda Villwok and YF&R chairs Shelly and Thorpe Thompson; and NEFB board members John C. Martin and Kevin Peterson (in back). plan to require anyone who operates a tractor on a public road to have a commercial driver’s license. Tina Swartzkopf of Ogallala said young farmers typically don’t have the capital to hire an employee to assist with farming operations so they rely on several family members to get them through harvest. The cost of getting them all licensed as CDL operators would be prohibitive and would be one more barrier to young people being successful in farming, she said. In addition to visits to Capitol Hill, the Farm Bureau leaders met with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, the American Bankers Association

and other organizations, and with the Canadian Embassy. Participating in the trip were: Keith Olsen, Grant, Farm Bureau President Farm Bureau Board Members John C. Martin, Pleasanton; Sherry Vinton, Whitman; and Kevin Peterson, Osceola. Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee Members: Shelly and Thorpe Thompson,Whitney,committee chairs; Greg and Malinda Villwock, Randolph; Matt and Tina Schwarzkopf,Ogallala; and Tim and Stephanie Hruby, Marsland. Shelly Thompson also serves on the Nebraska Farm Bureau Board of Directors.

Stephanie and Tim Hruby (left) of Dawes County listens as the Farm Bureau group talks with Rep. Adrian Smith about the importance of Free Trade Agreements. Also pictured are Matt and Tina Schwartkopf of Keith County.

U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson visits with a group of Nebraska Farm Bureau Board members and Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee members about transportation regulation issues and their impact on farmers’ bottom lines. Pictured from left are Nelson; Keith Olsen, NEFB president; and Shelly and Thorpe Thompson, members of Dawes County farm Bureau.


14

AUGUST 1, 2011

Nebraska Farm Bureau News

HEALTHIER TIMES MyPlate Icon Reminds Consumers To Make Healthier Food Choices Washington, D.C. — The federal government’s new food icon, MyPlate, was unveiled June 2 to help consumers make healthier food choices. MyPlate is a new-generation icon with the intent to prompt consumers to think about building a healthy plate at meal times and to seek more information to help them do that by going to www.ChooseMyPlate.gov. The new MyPlate icon emphasizes the fruit, vegetable, grains, protein and dairy food groups. “With so many food options available to consumers, it is often difficult to determine the best foods to put on our plates when building a healthy meal,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. THINK ABOUT FOOD CHOICES “MyPlate is an uncomplicated symbol to help remind people to think about their food choices in order to lead healthier lifestyles. This effort is about more than just giving information, it is a matter of making people understand there are options and practical ways to apply them to their daily lives.” MyPlate replaces the MyPyramid image as the government’s primary food group symbol as an easy-to-understand visual cue to help consumers adopt healthy eating habits consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. MyPyramid will remain available to interested health professionals and nutrition educators in a special section of the new website.

USER-FRIENDLY INFORMATION ChooseMyPlate.gov provides practical information to individuals, health professionals, nutrition educators and the food industry to help consumers build healthier diets, with resources and tools for dietary assessment, nutrition educa-

tion, and other user-friendly nutrition information. Later this year, USDA will unveil an online tool that consumers can use to personalize and manage their dietary and physical activity choices. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, launched in January of this year, form the basis of the federal government’s nutrition education programs, federal nutrition assistance programs and dietary advice provided by health and nutrition professionals. The guidelines messages include: Balance Calories • Enjoy your food, but eat less. • Avoid oversized portions. Foods To Increase • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk. • Make at least half your grains whole grains. Foods To Reduce • Compare sodium (salt) in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals, and choose foods with lower numbers. • Drink water instead of sugary drinks. For more information, visit www.ChooseMyPlate.gov. Additional resources include: www.DietaryGuidelines.gov and www.Lets Move.gov.

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Nebraska Farm Bureau News

AUGUST 1, 2011

15

Nebraska Agriculture Has a Collective, Unified Voice In Struggle with Animal Rights Activists Nebraska agriculture groups have been watching intently as animal rights activists spread their messages around the country in opposition to modern farm animal care practices. In states such as Florida, Arizona, California, Oregon, Colorado, Maine, Arkansas, Illinois, Connecticut, Ohio and Michigan, laws were adopted or changed to place greater restrictions on how farmers and ranchers raise their livestock. “The message is clear. These groups want to impose their vision and values on farmers, ranchers and consumers when it comes to food production and food choice,� Jay Rempe, Farm Bureau vice president/governmental relations, said July 20. ‘WE SUPPORT AGRICULTURE’ Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Pork Producers, Nebraska Poultry Industries and the Nebraska State Dairy Association have

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formed a coalition to “be prepared� for such animal rights activism in Nebraska. The coalition is called “We Support Agriculture� (WSA). “WSA will seek out groups and individuals in support of agriculture, spread the word on how Nebraska farmers and ranchers take seriously their responsibility to care for their animals, share the facts about Nebraska agri-

culture and its importance to our economy, and the true nature of those groups attacking Nebraska’s agriculture,� Rempe said. WSA will build on the messages of Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman and Sen. Tom Carlson of Holdrege, the legislature’s agricul-

ture committee chair. Both have taken strong stances against animal rights activists and continue to defend the backbone of Nebraska’s strong agricultural culture and economy. FARMERS, RANCHERS CARE “Our main objective continues to be to reinforce the message that Nebraska farmers and ranchers already care for their animals and make sure they are protected and cared for. And they can do it without interference from out-of-state animal activists,� Rempe said. To learn more about the efforts of “We Support Agriculture,� look for a WSA website in the near future. For more information now, contact Jay Rempe at 402/421-4447 or jayr@nefb.org.

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16

AUGUST 1, 2011

Nebraska Farm Bureau News

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Your Backyard Hot Time in the Summer… Six months ago many of us were complaining about how Don’t worry if some of your new plants aren’t looking as cold it was. Many of us complained and pleaded with Mother good as they did in the spring when first planted. A bit of timely Nature to give us a bit of warm weather to get rid of the snow watering, maybe some trimming to shape the plant, and a bit of and ice. We asked her to send us a bit of sunshine to remind mulch to help hold the moisture around the root system can do us that spring was coming soon. What a difference a few short wonders to help our plants through the summer. With a bit of months can make. care, plants showing stress in the heat should perk right back up Now many plead with Mother Nature to stop sending us and yes, even thrive, in our challenging summers. rain and to turn down the heat a bit. As I write this, the forecast For those who are itching to add a few plants or simply have is for a heat emergency with temps finally found time to work in the in the upper 90s to low 100s with landscape, summer planting can be high humidity. The old adage, “If you rewarding and offer great success THINGS TO DO don’t like the weather in Nebraska – with proper care. A young plant will • Keep watching for insects and disease wait five minutes – it’ll change,” cerneed a bit of care to make sure it in your turf and plants. The added stress of tainly seems apparent. survives until it can set its roots and summer heat can make any problems they But summer time doesn’t have to can begin caring for itself. How long cause affect your plants even worse. be a time to “hide” in the air condithis takes will depend on the plant. • Check your turf for grub issues. Contioning and count the days until the Check with your nursery professider applying preventative treatments if cooler temperatures of fall. It can be sional for specific care instructions you’ve had grub issues in the past. Othera time to spend enjoying your landfor your specific plantings. wise keep an eye out for damage then treat scape and gardens and even a time CHECK PLANTS ASAP. to plant. REGULARLY • Watch your watering! It’s just as easy to Many of us get to July and August Basically, as long as you are able to over water your plants as it is to under waand make plans for vacations, celcheck on your plants once or twice a ter. Best results are with waterings at least a ebrating the Fourth of July, enjoying week through the summer and add day or two apart that are slow and deep to the ripening vegetables in our vega bit of water as needed, you should encourage plants to establish vigorous root etable gardens, and the annual effort be able to keep your plants growsystems. to try to beat the heat. For those of ing well and looking good. And you • Dead head old blooms to encourage us in the nursery industry, we spend can back off on fertilization efforts in plants to re-bloom faster or to give a cleana good amount of our time helping the heat. Let your plants survive the er appearance on plants done blooming for our clients keep their landscapes heat then as we approach fall and the season. looking good. things cool, feel free to begin fertil• Keep an eye out for fungus. With high PLANTING IN SUMMER izing again. humidity and rains we are seeing lots of funWhile the summer is not a time to Overall Mother Nature can be our gal issues. Use preventatives if you are wor“plant and forget,” it can be a great best friend or worst enemy. Which ried as prevention takes half the material time to plant. Many of us have extra one we believe she is all depends and effort as attempting to cure will take. time. Some have extra help with chilon what she brings us each day. I for dren out of school or we’re spendone have said a few choice words ing more time at home caring for the about her this year, but as long as we kids. With a bit of understanding and care, planting in the sum- realize that sometimes we need to help her out when caring for mer can sometimes have better results than waiting for the fall. our plants, planting can be an enjoyable and fulfilling part of our Simply put, people who plant in the summer usually tend to lives all growing season long – even in the heat of the summer. care for their plants better than those who wait for fall. The nicer weather in spring encourages people to believe that Mother Nature will take care of new plants without our help. We see Andy Campbell is manager of Campbell’s Nurseries Landscape our plants standing strong and tall and mistakenly believe that Department. A Lancaster County Farm Bureau member, Campwe won’t have to do much because the plants are looking great. bell’s is a family-owned Nebraska business since 1912, and offers But with the return of our Nebraska summer, we need to make assistance for all your landscaping and gardening needs at either of sure we are caring for our plants, whether we planted them in its two Lincoln garden centers or through its landscape design office. the great weather of spring or now in the heat of summer. www.campbellsnursery.com.


Nebraska Farm Bureau News

The Real Dirt By Dawn Caldwell, Clay County Blogs as Lady of Ag As much as I try to stay current and at least know the names of the newest gadgets and gizmos available and don’t mind texting and tweeting and facebooking - I am still a country kid who likes to visit face-to-face. Today I did what thousands of others have already discovered and started enjoying – I joined Skype. For many of you, that is probably not exciting at all. For me…WooHoo!!!! – I can see who I’m talking to. The bad part – they

can see me, too; whether I have to itch my nose or scratch my head or make a frustrated facial expression or have really bad hair….it’s all there – no hiding anything! I can see all kinds of great purposes for this new adventure I am delving into. Meetings with slides to be shared can be more quick and efficient than e-mailing back and forth. Gosh – listen to me! My grandparents had to use the USPS to mail anything and they only had rotary dial phones….and that was just 50 years ago (or so??)! We have definitely come a long way in making our world fasterpaced! I can guess one of my favorite ways to

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Across the Breakfast Table use Skype will be in visiting with family who might also have it. I’m sure that now we are going to have to add it to our home computer. When I’m gone for meetings, I can see Matt and the kids – how great is that! I have tried to get a little of my parents’ and grandparents’ influence into a few of my most recent posts and my cousin suggested I share a special piece of advice from our Grandma Ruby. So – here it is ... GRANDMA RUBY When all of us kids were teenagers and especially in college, she told us that we should go on dates with lots of different people; try out all kinds of different guys (or gals for the boys). Can you imagine your grandma telling you that? ”You know,” she would say, “whoever you choose to marry, you have to be able to look at across the breakfast table every day.” What an outstanding tidbit to use during those years! And,

we all did a pretty good job of choosing our mates! So now, even if I’m gone, I can still see Matt across the breakfast table in the morning! I can guarantee, Grandma would never have dreamed that would have been possible – technology is a great thing, but it can’t replace a hug or holding hands. As busy as we let our lives be, take time to truly enjoy those around you. You’ll be glad you did.

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18

AUGUST 1, 2011

Nebraska Farm Bureau News

Poll: Rural Nebraskans Plugged In, Engaged Online Lincoln — The digital divide in rural Nebraska has narrowed significantly and appears to be more socio-economic than technological at this point, according to results from the 2011 Nebraska Rural Poll. The 16th annual University of NebraskaLincoln poll, conducted in March and April, found that 91 percent of rural Nebraskans own a cell phone, though how they use that technology varies significantly among demographic groups. Three-quarters of respondents use the Internet or email from home; 18 percent said they had no access at home. The digital divide refers to the gap between individuals, households, businesses and geographic areas in their access to communications technologies such as cell phones and Internet. Federal and state agencies have made it a priority in the last decade to shrink that gap, in large part though technological advances. While technology gains and public programs have helped close the gap, other factors now may be more important, said Brad Lubben, UNL public policy specialist who’s part of the Rural Poll team. “The digital divide is more about demographics and socio-economics than it is about technology,� Lubben said. That’s important

for policy makers to know, he added, be- braska’s 84 non-metropolitan counties. Recause it means additional efforts to bridge sults are based on 2,490 responses. the divide that are based solely on technolRural Nebraskans have fully embraced ogy are unlikely to close the gap farther. modern communications technology as a must-have, not a luxury, Lubben said. Of the WOMEN ARE MORE ENGAGED Of those demographic and socio-eco- 91 percent of poll respondents who own nomic factors, the Rural Poll showed that, cell phones, 30 percent use them for voice calls only, 39 percent generally speaking, use messaging services women are more in addition to voice plugged into Internet and cell phone The digital divide calls and 31 percent also use them to actechnology. Randy is more about cess the Internet. Cantrell, rural socioloAs for the Internet, demographics and gist with the Nebraska 80 percent of rural Rural Initiative, said socio-economics than Nebraskans use it to women in rural Neresearch products or it is about technology. braska tend to be betservices; 78 percent ter educated, more for information related socially engaged and — BRAD LUBBEN, to hobbies and projmore frequent shopUNL public policy specialist ects; 74 percent for pers than men. who’s part of the Rural Poll team health or medical inAlso, not surprisformation; 72 percent ingly, younger people, to purchase products; more educated people and people with higher 60 percent to watch video on a video-sharhousehold incomes were most likely to use the ing site; and 55 percent for social networking. Internet and use their cell phones for activities According to the poll, 62 percent of rural other than voice calls, according to the poll. Nebraskans have positive attitudes about the Rural Poll surveys were mailed to about Internet’s usefulness in taking formal courses 6,400 randomly selected households in Neto further their education or careers, and 77 percent say researching health information online can help people better manage their health. However, they retain a healthy skepticism, too, with 39 percent agreeing the quality of information found online is questionable. Twenty-one percent disagreed with that statement, and 40 percent had no opinion.

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ONLINE SHOPPING Most rural Nebraskans also have positive opinions about shopping online. Sixty-five percent said the Internet is the best place to buy hard-to-find items, and 72 percent said it’s convenient. As with education and health information, though, the poll found rural Nebraskans had some concerns. But Cantrell pointed out that even among frequent online shoppers, there are concerns. Sixty-four percent said they were reluctant to provide their credit card number or other information, and 65 percent said they preferred to see items before buying them. “People are not convinced it’s a good deal, there’s some things they don’t like about it, but they do it anyway� because the simplicity and convenience of online shopping seems to trump concerns about it, Cantrell said. As for conducting government business online, rural Nebraskans indicated some initial reservations, but those who tried it were overwhelmingly positive. Ninety percent of those who renewed driver’s licenses or auto registrations online agreed it was convenient, while 79 percent who paid taxes, fees and fines online felt similarly. And rural Nebraskans view social networking as a good way to keep up with friends and family, to provide support to people isolated by geography or disability and to obtain information or advice. But 56 percent of respondents said they don’t trust that people on social network sites are accurately representing themselves and 67 percent think online social networks have replaced face-to-face communication.

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Nebraska Farm Bureau News

Come fly with us! American Farm Bureau Convention

Hawaii 2012 January 6–11, 2012 | Honolulu To book air and any pre or post extensions contact Executive Travel and mention you are with Nebraska Farm Bureau

1212 O Street Lincoln, NE 68508

402.435.8888

Hotel Information Please contact Autumn Jacobs at 402/421-4470 or autumnj@nefb.org to make your hotel reservations. Sheraton Waikiki Hotel 2255 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815 Over the next few months in Nebraska Farm Bureau News, we will feature a variety of tour options. Below are a few to entice you to join us in Hawaii. To register for any of the 2012 AFBF Annual Meeting Tours visit www.activitysaleshawaii.com/afbf2012. Cost of tours are listed on the website. Riding a Wave Honolulu City Firefighters will teach you how to surf. They will provide a worry-free environment to really enjoy an awesome and exhilarating experience. Oahu Farm Tours Cost of Tours Include: • Exclusive round-trip air-conditioned transportation • Narrated tour • Visit to two or three different farms agricultural operations • Farm tour/experience led and narrated by farmers, their designated representatives and/or farm workers • Lunch featuring a commitment to “Farm Fresh to Tableâ€? products and presentation • Hawaii state tax and Island Partners Hawaii coordination • Donation to the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation

AUGUST 1, 2011

19

Native Hawaii Plants Hui Ku Maoli Ola is an organization dedicated to the perpetuation and preservation of Hawaii’s natural history and culture. Partnerships with high profile outlets such as The Home Depot and Wal-Mart have helped develop the fast-growing market for native plants. Hawaii Farm Bureau Farmers’ Market The Saturday Farmers’ Market will feature all Hawaii grown and produced foods. The farmers and food producers will be there to tell you how they grow their product and how you should prepare their product. Nalo Farms Founded in 1953, this family-run operation supplies approximately 130 restaurants with over 3,000 pounds of their fresh-cut top-quality tasty greens weekly. Its signature “Nalo Greens� is a unique salad mix designed by current farm owner and president. REMINDER The 2011 Membership Incentive Program offers Nebraska Farm Bureau members a chance to win a trip for two to the American Farm Bureau Convention in Honolulu, Ha., Jan. 8-11, 2012. You must recruit at least three new members for your name to be entered in the drawing for the Hawaii. If you recruit five new members, you qualify for the drawing and get your next Farm Bureau membership free! For each new member over five, your name will again be put into the Hawaii trip drawing. Completed membership applications and payment must be sent to your District Director of Member Services by Sept. 30, 2011. The winner of the Hawaii trip will be announced on Oct. 7 in Lincoln. Only one prize will be awarded.

For registration information, contact Autumn Jacobs at 402/421-4470 or autumnj@nefb.org

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20

AUGUST 1, 2011

Nebraska Farm Bureau News

Farm Bureau’s Interactive State Fair Exhibit Helps Visitors Learn More About Nebraska Agriculture Visitors to Nebraska Farm Bureau’s exhibit at the 2011 Nebraska State Fair will have the opportunity to learn more about agriculture through an interactive quiz, visit with farmers and ranchers, and enter a drawing to win an iPad 2. “We want to help both urban and rural Nebraskans learn more about agriculture and its impact on Nebraska’s economy,” said Cheryl Stubbendieck, Farm Bureau

vice president/public relations, on July 25. Visitors will be asked to answer an agriculture- or food-related question, then will see a short video or graphic which explains the correct answer. “Our hope is that we can encourage conversations with fair go-ers about how food is grown in Nebraska, how food animals are cared for, how farmers and ranchers work hard every day to provide safe,

high-quality food – to Nebraska and the world,” she said. Visitors will also receive take-home materials and have the opportunity to enter a drawing for a 64 GB iPad 2 with 3G. The winner will be drawn on Sept. 6. The State Fair is Aug. 26 to Sept. 5. New this year, exhibits are open all day on Friday, Aug. 26. Also new this year, exhibits open an hour earlier, at 9 a.m.

Farm Bureau is seeking volunteers to work in its exhibit, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day of the fair. Volunteers receive free admission and a meal at either the Beef Pit or Uncle Tom’s BBQ. To volunteer, contact Adam Peterson, NEFB director of member services for the Central District. Reach him at 402/8533467 or send an email message to: adamp@nefb.org.

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Nebraska Farm Bureau News

AUGUST 1, 2011

21

Tight Supply Situation Still Driving Corn Market WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Agriculture Department forecasts higher corn stocks in its July crop report, compared to its June report, but economists with the American Farm Bureau stress that corn supplies are still very tight and a big crop is needed to meet strong demand and build reserves to a more comfortable level. USDA’s July World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates peg corn stocks at 870 million bushels for the 2011/2012 marketing year, up 175 million bushels from the June stocks estimate. Todd Davis, AFBF crops economist, said the increase is due

mostly to USDA raising its harvested corn acreage estimate to 84.9 million acres in July, up 1.7 million acres from its June forecast. “The increase in corn acreage from the June report should mean an additional 270 million bushels in corn production this year,” Davis explained July 12. “USDA is now forecasting a corn crop of 13.47 million bushels, which we will need to meet very strong demand. Our supply situation is still very tight. In June, USDA showed a stocks-to-use ratio of 5 percent, which is just 19 days of supply. USDA raised its stocks-to-use ratio

to 6 percent, which is still only 24 days of supply.” NO ROOM FOR MORE PROBLEMS Davis emphasized the tight stocks situation means there is no room for any production problems this year. “Corn farmers have faced a lot of challenges this year, from late planting to floods to drought, and a lot can happen from now until harvest,” he said. “We still have a long way to go to realize a corn crop of 13.47 million bushels this year. There is a very good chance that both the production and stocks estimates will come down in USDA’s August report.”

DRYLAND COTTON IN TROUBLE Meanwhile, Davis said drought is clearly taking its toll on the U.S. cotton crop. USDA projects that a record 30 percent of the U.S. cotton crop will be abandoned this year, due to historic drought conditions, mainly in Texas and Georgia. “Our hearts go out to Texas cotton farmers,” he said. “Texas produces 50 percent of the U.S. cotton crop and about 50 percent of the Texas cotton crop will be abandoned because of the drought. If you farm cotton in Texas without irrigation, you’re not going to have a crop to harvest this year.”

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22

AUGUST 1, 2011

Nebraska Farm Bureau News

Official Notice ANTELOPE COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Mon., Sept. 19, 2011 • 6:30 p.m. L Bar B Steakhouse Clearwater, NE Speaker: Dr. Dennis Hughes, State Veterinarian RSVP to 402/887-4842 – REQUIRED.

Official Notice BROWN COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Wed., Sept. 28, 2011 6:30 p.m. American Legion Club Ainsworth, NE RSVP to 402/387-1908. Official Notice BUFFALO COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Sun., Sept. 25, 2011 5:30 p.m. registration for door prizes 6 p.m. meal served Buffalo County Extension Bldg 1400 E. 34th St., Kearney, NE RSVP to 308/234-2222. Official Notice BURT COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Mon., Aug. 29, 2011 6 p.m. Green Lantern Telamah, NE

Trees for Nebraska Towns Funding Available To Replace Lost Trees Lincoln — Communities that want to plant shade trees can apply for Trees for Nebraska Towns grant funds until Oct. 1. The program focuses on plant diversity and sustainable landscapes and provides grant funding and technical assistance to public-oriented projects that emphasize the planting of large-

maturing trees in Nebraska communities. Grant coordinator Kendall Weyers said July 12, “Over the last few decades, Nebraska communities have lost 30 to 50 percent of their tree canopy to disease, insects, extreme weather, old age, development and human neglect.” TNT funds seek to replace these

lost trees and the benefits they provide. Applications require some advance planning and consideration so applicants are encouraged to begin the process early. The application is available online at retreenebraska.unl.edu. For more information, contact Kendall Weyers at 402/472-6693 or kweyer2@unl.edu.

Official Notice CEDAR COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Thurs., Sept. 8, 2011 6:30 p.m. Felber Park, Hartington, NE Speaker to be determined Please RSVP to Becky at 402/985-2344.

Official Notice CUMING COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Mon., Sept. 19, 2011 6 p.m. Vet’s Pointe 246 S. Main West Point, NE Speaker: to be announced

Official Notice DIXON COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Mon., Sept. 19, 2011 6:30 p.m. Allen Fire Hall

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Nebraska Farm Bureau News

AUGUST 1, 2011

23

WANT ADS

Free Want Ads for Farm Bureau Members Farm Bureau members may submit one free Want Ad per month. If there is more than one category mentioned with the Want Ad we will split it into multiple categories, but it must be a combined total of 30 words or less. Ads are used on a space-available basis, subject to approval. Ads exclude real property (permanent structures) such as homes, farms, ranches and businesses. Selling crops or herds of livestock also is excluded. Send typed or printed ads to Want Ads c/o Natalie Friesen, Nebraska Farm Bureau News, P.O. Box 80299, Lincoln, NE 68501 or email natalief@nefb.org. If you would like to rerun your ad you must resubmit the typed or printed ad. Previously submitted ads will not be kept on file. Deadline is the 1st of each month. (No issue in July.) Deadline for August is July 15.

PETS FOR SALE: red Sorrel Papered mare, born ’03, gentle and leads good, $195 or best offer. Call Sparks, 402/3762709. FARM EQUIPMENT FOR SALE: battery-powered electrical lift, fits on tractor to lift you up to cab level if you can’t climb ladder, almost new, mounted on JD tractor now. Call Ayr, 402/463-8228. FOR SALE: sprayer trailer, heavy-duty tandem axles/air brakes/pintle ring hitch. Call Lodgepole, 308/249-0454. FOR SALE: skid steer buckets, new 72” manure/rock bucket with grapple, 84” large grain/ snow bucket, ask about other skid steer attachments. Call Hastings, 402/461-6656.

FOR SALE: Isuzu 6BG1 irrigation power unit, new, 6 cylinder, non-turbo, enclosed safety panel, tach, oil safety, no clutch, no radiator, never used, converted to electric. Call Broken Bow,308/8706099. FOR SALE: 20 ft modified IH820 platform header, fieldready, new style dividers, pipe reel, very good condition. Call Palmyra, 402/875-0246. FOR SALE: different-sized grain bins and hog pens. Call Denton, 402/795-2355. WANTED: 5 ft. bush hog, in good condition. Call Lincoln, 402/483-4018. FOR SALE: 1945 WC Allis Chalmers tractor, new rings with pull-type shredder, fair

Official Notice GAGE COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Tues., Aug. 30, 2011 • 6:30 p.m. Farm Bureau Office 3216 N. 6th, Beatrice, NE

rubber and paint, runs well, $900 for both. Call Tecumseh, 402/335-7563.

OBO, 1989 GMC van, full conversion, TV, A/C, $1,500. Call Pawnee City, 402/852-2140.

FOR SALE: new 5’x10’ cattle panels. Call Loup City, 308/745-0249.

WANTED:1960-1966 Chevrolet pickup or med. duty farm truck, looking for a low-mileage, all-original truck. Call Lincoln, 402/483-0119 or email toddd@neb.rr.com.

VEHICLES FOR SALE: original 1955 Belair Chevrolet, 24,820 miles, $16,500. Call Plattsmouth, 402/298-8355. FOR SALE: 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix pace car, blue with graphics and strobe lights, 2-door, 19,000 actual miles, one of 1,500 made and is numbered, “like new” condition. Call Ord, 308/728-5200. FOR SALE: 2003 Buick Rendezvous CLX, 3rd seat, leather, receiver hitch, 98,000k, black, clean, good mileage, $6,900

MISCELLANEOUS FOR SALE: 1965-66 Mustang parts, bumpers, fog lights, small parts, $200 for all. Call Plattsmouth, 402/298-8355. FOR SALE: two Lincoln 20 HP, three phase electric motors, good condition. Call Pierce, 402/329-6743 or cell 402/750-1319. FOR SALE: 2001 Wilderness 27’ 5th wheel, fiberglass sides, large slideout, heated

tanks, electric jacks, queen bed, loaded with extras, like new clean, $11,500. Call Grand Island, 308/382-1426 or cell 308/3911496. WANTED: 348 or 409 Chevy engine or related parts. Call Bloomfield, 402/841-5780. FOR SALE: old glass insulators and Nebraska license plates. Call Kimball, 308/235-4509. FOR SALE: U.S. postal first day covers, cachet designed, 19601970, some older. Call Central City, 308/946-3658. FOR SALE: Artic Cat 2x4 four wheeler, new battery, good-running machine, $2,200, 20’ bumper-pull flatbed, dual 5,000 lb axles, good tires, light and brakes work. Call Loup City, 308/7450249.

RSVP for meal to Sonya at 402/228-4232. Speaker: Rob Robertson, Chief Administrator of Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation

Official Notice HALL COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Thurs., Sept. 22, 2011 6:30 p.m. Babel Barn, 508 ½ Military Rd Wood River, NE Free meal and great door prizes RSVP to Shelly at 308/382-5707.

Official Notice HOLT COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Mon., Sept. 19, 2011 6 p.m. meal K.C. Hall, O’Neill, NE Speaker and meeting to follow meal

Official Notice KNOX COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Mon., Sept. 12, 2011 • 6:30 p.m. Bloomfield Community Center Bloomfield, NE Speaker: Keith Olsen Please RSVP to the Farm Bureau office at 402/373-4600.

Official Notice LANCASTER COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Thurs., Aug. 25, 2011 • 6 p.m. Lancaster County Extension Office 444 Cherrycreek Road, Lincoln, NE RSVP by Aug. 15 to Pat 402/786-3876 or lcfarmbureau@live.com.

Official Notice OTOE COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Thurs., Sept. 15, 2011 • 7 p.m. Daylight Donut Shop Syracuse, NE Each member attending is asked to bring one cold and one hot dish for the dinner.

Official Notice PIERCE COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Sun., Sept. 11, 2011 6 p.m. Senior Center 107 W. Main Street, Pierce, NE Please RSVP to the Farm Bureau office at 402/329-6284.

Official Notice RICHARDSON COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Thurs., Sept. 29, 2011 7 p.m. Humboldt United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall Potluck supper

Official Notice SARPY COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Thurs., Sept. 22, 2011 8 p.m. St. Paul’s United Methodist Church 324 S. Jackson St. Papillion, NE

Official Notice SAUNDERS COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Tues., Sept. 20, 2011 8 p.m. Farm Bureau Office 113 East 5th Wahoo, NE

Official Notice SEWARD COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Wed., Sept. 7, 2011 6:30 p.m. Seward Country Club 1046 Country Club Dr Seward, NE

Official Notice THAYER COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Mon., Aug. 29, 2011 • 6:30 p.m. Sacred Heart Church Fellowship Hall, Hebron, NE There will be a meal provided.

Official Notice THURSTON COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Wed., Sept. 14, 2011 6:30 p.m. Twin Creeks Golf Course N. Hwy 9, Pender, NE Speaker: Steve Nelson Please RSVP to Carol Wageman at 402/385-2769.

Official Notice WAYNE COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Mon., Sept. 26, 2011 • 6:30 p.m. Catered meal Our Savior Lutheran Church 421 Pearl St., Wayne, NE Speaker: to be determined

Official Notice YORK COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Tues., Aug. 30, 2011 8 a.m. The Kitchen Restaurant 3324 S. Lincoln Ave., York, NE RSVP for meal to Jerry 402/366-0602.

For information, contact Libby Heitmann at 402/236-8821 or libby.heitmann@gmail.com.

Speaker: R.P. Smith Please RSVP to the (West Douglas Street) Farm Bureau office at 402/336-3635.

RSVP to Wayne County Farm Bureau office at 402/375-3144.

Official Notice JOHNSON COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING Tues., Sept. 6, 2011 6:30 p.m. President’s Room Tecumseh, NE Potluck supper


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2011 NFBF Policy Development Guides

Policy in Motion These Policy Discussion Guides were researched and written by NFBF’s Governmental Relations Department and the American Farm Bureau. They are designed to assist Farm Bureau members in state and national policy development and in writing policy resolutions. NOTE: County Farm Bureau policy resolutions must be postmarked by Friday, Nov. 4, 2011. Resolutions postmarked after Nov. 4 will not receive further consideration. Mail to: Governmental Relations Department, Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation, P.O. Box 80299, Lincoln, NE 68501

Other important policy development dates:

♦ Nov. 15, 2011 ♦ Dec. 4-6, 2011 ♦ Jan. 7-11, 2012

NFBF Policy Issues Forum – Kearney Holiday Inn NFBF Annual Meeting and Convention – Younes Conference Center AFBF Annual Meeting and Convention – Honolulu, Hawaii


STATE CHECK-OFF PROGRAMS Issue Commodity check-off funds have played an integral part in promoting agricultural commodities to consumers, conducting research for developing new uses and commodity products, and opening opportunities for new markets for agricultural commodities. As the issues affecting agriculture and food production continue to change, some people have questioned whether the traditional structure of commodity check-off programs is adequate to meet the needs of today’s agriculture. Background The Nebraska Legislature has authorized check-off programs for a number of agricultural commodities including corn, wheat, grain sorghum, dairy, potatoes, poultry and eggs, and dry beans. The law typically authorizes an excise tax (check-off), specifies powers and parameters of the individual programs, outlines the check-off entity’s governance structure, and identifies the acceptable uses and prohibitions on use of check-off monies. As creations of the legislature, each check-off board operates as Questions 1. Do commodity check-offs as currently structured serve the needs of their respective producers? 2. What, if any, structural changes are needed to make check-off programs more effective? 3. Should state check-off programs be allowed to operate with less state oversight? 4. If so, what measures should be put in place to ensure growers’ check-off investments are managed appropriately?

a state agency under the State of Nebraska’s purview. As such, the boards are currently treated as any other state agency under the direction of the governor, are subject to administrative oversight of state administrative services, and their budgets are subject to the legislature’s appropriation process. Recently discussions have focused on possible changes to check-off programs which would distance them from state oversight. A new type of entity would be created, more in the vein of a private entity with limited connections and oversight from the state. Under the present system, concerns have been expressed that operating the check-off programs under state government doesn’t provide enough flexibility to the entities to meet the challenges facing today’s individual commodities, and changes should be considered to allow check-off programs to operate more freely with fewer ties to state government. Such changes, depending on how they are implemented, could also reduce the risk of check-off funds being allocated elsewhere in state government. State check-off programs may changed in several ways. Concepts have ranged from making check-off programs completely voluntary with no state connection at all, to having the state continue to collect the check-off but all administrative decisions would be completely at the discretion of the check-off entity. While

it is unclear exactly how or if it is even possible to reduce ties to state government, the concept of modifying the state check-off structure raises a number of questions for consideration. Farm Bureau Policy COMMODITY CHECK-OFF PROGRAMS: “We believe: 1. Commodity board members should be elected by producers on a non-partisan basis, representing producers generally distributed throughout the producing area: a) All terms and applications procedures should be uniform. b) Board members should be able to serve no more than 10 consecutive years. c) All active producers of a commodity should be eligible to serve on commodity check-off boards. 2. Check-offs on commodities should be mandatory for all producers of the commodity. Producers should have the authority to set the amount of check-off per commodity. Commodity boards should have solid support from producers before they raise the checkoff level. 3. Check-off funds must not be used for the purpose of influencing legislation or political purposes. If commodity boards are allowed to use check-off funds to lobby: a) Specific guidelines should be enacted

as to how these funds may be used. b) The commodity producer should be entitled to a refund for the amount used for lobbying. 4. Commodity check-off laws should continue to prohibit commodity boards from setting up their own research and development units and from holding intellectual property rights, patents or licenses. 5. Commodity check-off funds should not be diverted to the state general fund. 6. The check-off should be imposed on all agricultural imports. 7. A referendum should be held within two years after implementation of the check-off law and thereafter only by petition request of approximately 15 percent of the producers. 8. An annual certified audit should be made available to the public. 9. No commodity check-off funds should be given to membership commodity organizations or general farm organizations, unless the funds are used on a contractual basis to promote research, development and product utilization of that particular commodity. 10. We oppose combining the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board, the Nebraska Corn Board and the Nebraska Ethanol Board. 11. We oppose using check-offs to fund water quality programs. 12. We believe the Ethanol and Corn Boards should be strongly encouraged to spend a higher percentage of their budgets on distiller’s grain research. 13. We support continuation of the state sorghum check-off. 14. We support an increase in the corn check-off of at least $0.0015, but not to exceed $0.0076, for its original intent for promotion, education, and research.

FOOD TRACEABILITY Issue Full traceability of food from the farm gate to the retail level has become standard in some countries, and U.S. retailers and consumers increasingly express interest in developing similar systems in this country. Traceability offers both potential opportunities and challenges for U.S. farmers and ranchers. Full traceability could help minimize both the direct and indirect costs of food recalls and improve consumer perceptions of food safety. Traceability could also become a useful marketing tool, helping farmers and ranchers to capture more of the value of retail products with defined attributes that target particular market segments. It is also becoming more of an issue in export markets, particularly with those countries that have their own traceability programs. On the other hand, traceability would also likely entail additional management challenges and costs for farmers and ranchers, processors and retailers, including potentially higher legal liabilities reaching back to the farm level. Background Oversight of food safety in the U.S. is currently shared by the Food and Drug Administration and the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Current traceability standards at both agencies are based on the 2002 Bioterrorism Act, which requires that firms involved in food production and distribution maintain records that allow traceability one step forward and one step back. Significantly, the legislation specifically exempts farms from the “one up, one back” regulations. The trace-back capability is meant to help identify the source of any contamination of a food product while the trace-forward capability permits potentially contaminated products to be identified and removed from distribution channels. In practice, tracing back or forward is a fairly difficult and often imprecise process because of the complexity of processing and distribution operations and the sheer volume of product that quickly moves through the system. More importantly, while firms are required to keep records that permit one-step back tracing of their inputs and one-step forward tracing of products, they are not required to keep records that associate a particular input (either individually or, for

example, by lot number) with a particular output. Conceptually, full food traceability would provide the ability to track a retail food product back through the supply chain all the way to the farm of origin of the product’s raw ingredients. For most food products, there is a practical limit to the degree of precision that is feasible. For example, it will not generally be feasible to trace a gallon of milk from the retail level to a particular farm. The gallon of milk sold at retail most likely includes milk from many different farms that was blended at the processing plant. In such cases, identifiers such as lot or batch numbers can help to identify the multiple farms which were the source of raw ingredients from which a suspect retail item was produced. Even this level of traceability can present challenges which are not trivial. Consider how many farms may be involved in supplying wheat to a flour mill capable of producing multiple tons of flour every hour – corresponding ultimately to multiple thousands of loaves of bread. Clearly, the food traceability system involves important, and sometimes difficult, tradeoffs between the benefits of more complete information and the costs of collecting and managing that information. Most discussions of food traceability ultimately focus on fresh products – meat, poultry, dairy, fresh fruit and vegetable products – because

these have the most potential for food-borne pathogens. With respect to these types of products, U.S. traceability standards generally lag behind those of other countries. For example, the European Union, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Brazil and Canada have developed meat traceability systems to permit the tracing of retail meat products back to the farm (or farms) of origin. These systems exist not just, or even primarily, to facilitate trace-back/trace-forward in response to a food safety event: they also permit the rapid identification and location of suspect live animals in the event of a disease outbreak. In areas where bovine spongiform encephalopathy and/or Foot and Mouth Disease have been prevalent and persistent problems, developing this animal disease management and eradication function has been a more pressing issue than in the United States. Looking ahead, market pressure to develop food traceability systems will continue to increase. In the livestock sector, the most intense pressure will most likely come from foreign customers. In many major foreign markets, notably Japan and South Korea, consumers are increasingly accustomed to having access to information on the farm-level origin of retail meat products. The U.S. is currently less equipped to provide that information than just about any other major meat exporter. As the share of production going to export grows (already more than 20 percent for pork and nearly 10 percent for beef), the potential negative consequences of this competitive disadvantage will become greater. While improving food traceability will clearly increase costs, there are offsetting benefits beyond just maintaining market share with foreign consumers. Traceability could reduce the market impacts of food safety events by allowing FDA and FSIS to narrow the scope of food recalls and increase the confidence of consumers in the efficacy of recalls, potentially reducing the negative impacts on demand from such events. Moreover, traceability could enhance marketing options for producers, giving consumers greater confidence in products marketed for specific attributes (e.g., organic, hormone-free, locally grown). Consumer willingness to pay for such attributes is notoriously difficult to quantify, but recent growth in the

market for such products has been impressive. As the market for traceable food products grows, the incentives for such products to be voluntarily provided increases, perhaps ultimately rendering the debate over mandatory programs irrelevant. On the other hand, there may be advantages to a standardized traceability system that would be difficult or impossible to achieve with what would probably be a patchwork of voluntary systems. Particularly for purposes of disease control/eradication, a standardized, centralized system for achieving traceability could hold significant advantages over incomplete voluntary systems. Farm Bureau Policy Food Quality and Safety: We support limiting food origin traceability to no further than the farm of origin. Traceability should not extend to the field level or input level. Any system should be non intrusive and economically feasible.” 309 Livestock Identification: “We support the establishment and implementation of a voluntary national animal identification system capable of providing support for animal disease control and eradication.” Questions 1. What level of food traceability can farmers and ranchers live with and support? 2. How can traceability be made to more directly benefit farmers and ranchers? What role would the government play in such a system? 3. Are on-farm practice audits necessary for traceability? 4. Is consistency across commodities important for traceability? How could we ensure consistency of any traceability program across retailers and state lines? 5. How would individuals whose products are combined with other producers’ products that don’t provide traceability be protected? 6. To what extent is our current lack of traceability reducing our share of world export markets?


USE OF ANTIBIOTICS IN LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION Issue Antibiotic resistance in human medicine is a serious and growing public health concern. While antibiotic use in health care increases, it is agriculture that continues to come under serious scrutiny for its production practices. Critics advocate for reduction and restrictions of antibiotics used in livestock, despite the absence of conclusive scientific evidence indicating a relationship between antibiotic use in livestock production and human antibiotic resistance. Background The emergence and spread of antimicrobialresistant strains of bacteria have become a major public health issue in the U.S. It is widely accepted that the use of antibiotics generally contributes to resistance problems by increasing selective pressure on bacterial populations. However, the degree to which specific uses of antibiotics contribute to resistance and, more importantly, to related human health challenges, is a point of serious debate. The use of antibiotics in animal agriculture – particularly those classes of antibiotics that are important in treating infections in humans – has come under particular scrutiny. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration released draft guidance on antibiotic use aimed at “providing a framework for policy regarding the appropriate or judicious use of medically important antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals.” Briefly, this guidance suggested limiting the agricultural use of medically important antibiotics as well as requiring veterinary oversight and/ Questions 1. Is there common ground between public health professionals and agricultural professionals (i.e., farmers and veterinarians) on use of antibiotics in agriculture? 2. Should veterinary oversight of livestock antibiotics change? If so, what is the proper role of the veterinarian?

or consultation in the use of antibiotics. The difficult debate on this issue involves differing assessments of what constitutes “appropriate or judicious” antibiotic use. Antibiotic use in animal production falls into one of four different categories: • Disease treatment refers to the use of antibiotics to treat a specific animal that has been diagnosed with a disease. • Disease control involves the use of antibiotics in populations where disease is known to be present. • Disease prevention involves the use of antibiotics in populations that are at risk for a disease even though the disease may not be present at the time (e.g., prophylactic administration of antibiotics to a load of calves prior to shipping). • Production uses refer to the administration of antibiotics, generally at low dosage levels administered through feed and/or water, to enhance production efficiency. Treatment uses of antibiotics are relatively non-controversial, though some have called for such uses to be more closely overseen by licensed veterinarians. Preventive uses of antibiotics in agriculture have become controversial. For example, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA) introduced in 2009 by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), would have withdrawn federal approval for antibiotic use in agriculture except where clinical signs of the disease were present. Without a doubt, production uses of antibiotics in agriculture are the most controversial. Many in the medical community assert that the production use of antibiotics at subtherapeutic dosages is a major contributor to antimicrobial resistance. FDA basically endorses this view in Draft Guidance #209, saying that “…the overall weight of evidence available to date supports the conclusion that using medically important antimicrobial drugs for production purposes is not in the interest of protecting and promoting human health.” On the other hand, proponents of production uses note that low-dose uses reduce animal morbidity, thus reducing the need for high-

dose therapeutic administration. Moreover, the antibiotics administered for production uses tend to be older, less medically significant compounds. Another confounding factor is that low-dose uses of antibiotics may reduce the likelihood of bacterial contamination during processing by improving the overall health of the animals being processed. This may reduce the likelihood of transmission of resistant bacteria from animals to humans. At this point, it seems unlikely that the debate about production uses of antibiotics can be resolved with appeals to scientific evidence. There is too much conflicting evidence and competing interpretations of that evidence. The issues of how resistance develops, how it spreads within a bacterial population, and the mechanisms by which those bacteria are transmitted from animal to human populations are quite complex and difficult to study in real-world conditions. This lack of consensus renders the debate unwinnable on scientific grounds. Ultimately, the loss of production uses of antibiotics would raise the costs of livestock production. A number of strategies can compensate for the loss of low-dose antibiotic uses (e.g., improving biosecurity, increasing monitoring of animals, reducing stocking densities, improving sanitation, increasing intervals between flocks/herds), but all clearly entail higher costs and/or reduced productivity. These costs must be balanced against both the potential public health benefits of reduced antibiotic use and the potential benefit of improving consumer acceptance of retail products. At this point, neither of these benefits has been clearly quantified.

From a strategic standpoint, it may be worth considering the various tradeoffs that may defuse this issue. For example, by agreeing to more comprehensive veterinary oversight, then more comprehensive prohibitions on antibiotic use might be avoided. Similarly, a tradeoff between production uses and other preventive uses (i.e., disease control and disease prevention) of antibiotics might be considered. As noted, there have been efforts (PAMTA in 2009) to prohibit all but treatment uses of antibiotics in the past, and the trajectory of this issue suggests that such efforts will continue. The loss of preventive uses of antibiotics would represent a major disruption in commercial livestock production systems, greatly increasing management challenges and costs and potentially affecting food safety. And there could be no guarantee that any concessions on this issue would do any more than temporarily delay a push to restrict or eliminate preventive antibiotic uses. This makes the identification of common ground between the agricultural and public health communities a difficult and uncertain exercise. Farm Bureau Policy 308 - Livestock and Poultry Health: “We recognize the need for feed additives and medication in livestock, poultry and minor species. We favor careful use and withdrawal restrictions of feed additives and therapeutics. We oppose the banning of such additives and therapeutics without adequate proof of danger.” “We support legislation that would continue the ability of veterinarians to prescribe drugs and the accepted extra label usage of drugs needed for proper animal care.”

CONSERVATION EASEMENTS Issue Use of conservation easements as a means to protect wildlife and wildlife habitat has become a point of concern for Nebraska agricultural landowners. Delegates to NEFB’s 2010 annual meeting adopted new policy opposing the use of perpetual conservation easements (easements that go on forever with no end date). Delegates also adopted policy opposing the use of public funds or tax dollars to purchase easements (both perpetual and termed easements) for conserving natural areas and habitats. These policies were adopted because of concerns that public monies were being used to fund conservation easements that were artificially changing agricultural land uses and ultimately having negative impacts on local tax bases. There also were growing concerns about the long-term impacts of perpetual easements that would forever restrict the type of agriculture that could occur on a piece of property. Because conservation easements are used for a wide variety of purposes by both private and public entities, further policy clarification on this topic would be valuable. Background Conservation easements are a written contract between a private landowner and a con-

servation group, political subdivision or other entity authorized by the state to hold easements. Conservation easements are a land management tool generally used to restrict the use of a piece of property. Restrictions range from preventing urban development of a piece of property to controlling the type of farming or individual farm practices that can be used. Under these agreements, the landowner is compensated financially by the entity holding the easement for giving up development or other rights as outlined in the easement agreement. The length of term of the easement varies based on the agreement determined by the individual parties. Conservation easements have become a popular tool for both private and public entities to influence larger scale habitats for wildlife species without having to actually purchase property. For example, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently proposed to acquire interest in roughly 5,000 acres in the Rainwater Basin in south central Nebraska through the use of perpetual conservations easements to restore and enhance wetlands in the basin. In many cases, conservation easements are funded using tax monies funneled through federal and state agencies. In Nebraska, lottery monies are also used because the Nebraska Environ-

mental Trust helps subsidize easements for some easement projects. Because the federal government offers a tax incentive to landowners for the donation of perpetual or “forever” easements, most private conservation groups choose to work only with perpetual easements. Political subdivisions and federal agencies also use easements, including perpetual easements. For example, the Natural Resources Conservation Services’s Wetland and Grassland Reserve programs offer easements for wetland and grassland protection. NRCS’ Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program uses perpetual conservation easements to ensure that farm land stays as farm land in areas under urban development pressures. Many Nebraska Natural Resources Districts also use perpetual conservation easements. For example, the Central Platte NRD, in conjunction with other NRDs along the Platte River, use perpetual conservation easements as a way to enhance habitat and meet state needs under the Platte River Recovery Program. This program ultimately helps mitigate impacts of the Endangered Species Act in Nebraska, which benefits farmers, rural communities and other Nebraska interests. Farm Bureau Policy “Conservation Easements (2011). As landowners are the only ones who can place a conservation easement on his or her property, we believe the decision of entering into a conservation easement is a personal property right of the individual. Farm Bureau should provide educational information to landowners interested in entering into conservation easements to help identify the positive and negative aspects so individuals can make

informed decisions. We support a study of the use of conservation easements in Nebraska to identify the potential future impacts that easements may have on the economic well-being of Nebraska’s rural areas. “We believe conservation easements should be limited in time and not extend into perpetuity. We are opposed to the use of public funds or tax dollars to purchase easements for conserving natural areas and habitats.”

Questions NEFB’s current policy in opposition to perpetual easements and in opposition to the use of public funds or tax dollars to purchase easements could be construed to put NEFB in a position of opposition to easements currently being used by Nebraska NRDs on the Platte River and in other areas where such easements ultimately benefit agriculture and Nebraska’s rural communities. Such policies could also be interpreted that NEFB opposes NRCS conservation programs such as the Wetland Reserve and Grassland Reserve program. 1) Should NEFB policy make distinctions between the types, terms and uses of conservation easements that are acceptable? 2) If so, what distinctions should be made? 3) Are there any acceptable uses of publicly funded conservation easements? 4) Are there any conditions under which perpetual conservation easements are acceptable?


CONSERVATION RESERVE PROGRAM Issue The Conservation Reserve Program was created as part of the 1985 Farm Bill to help producers cope with Highly Erodible Land restrictions contained in the same bill. At its inception, emphasis was placed on enrolling highly erodible land into the program. Over the years, other environmental concerns also have been incorporated into the enrollment criteria. Today, ending stocks for many crops are at or near historically low levels. Increasing domestic and export demand is projected to keep stocks at low levels for some time to come. Projections indicate an additional 390 million bushels of corn and 500 million bushels of soybeans will be exported per year by the end of the next decade just to meet the expected export demand. Considering the conservation purpose of the CRP, can some CRP acres be brought out in an environmentally sensitive manner? A penalty-free release of nonsensitive CRP acreage may provide additional acreage to meet growing worldwide demand for agricultural commodities. Background CRP is a voluntary program that assists farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers in using their environmentally sensitive land for conservation benefits. Producers enrolling in CRP plant long-term, resourceconserving covers in exchange for rental pay-

ments, cost-share and technical assistance. Participants enroll in CRP contracts for 10 to 15 years. Land that comes out of the CRP prior to the contract completion date faces a severe penalty, essentially requiring the farmer to pay back all of the past rental payment, plus other penalties. The 2008 Farm Bill capped CRP enrollment at 32 million acres. There are two types of enrollment – continuous and general enrollment. Land enrolled in the continuous CRP program tends to be filter strips and riparian buffers that will not return to production. Land enrolled in the general CRP program may return to production under the appropriate economic conditions. Of the 30.9 million acres currently enrolled in CRP, 26.1 million acres are in the general program and 4.8 million acres are in the continuous program. In September 2011, there will be 4.25 million acres expiring from the general enrollment with an additional 6.25 million acres expiring in September 2012. The acreage enrolled in general contracts that expire in 2013 will decline to 3 million acres. It will then decrease 2 million acres per year from 2014-17. Set aside programs, such as CRP, are considered non-trade-distorting by the World Trade Organization because the purpose of the set-aside is for conservation, not supply control. However, early removal of land from CRP strictly to increase production would be

Questions 1. Would a penalty-free release of non-sensitive CRP cropland encourage increased grain supply and benefit farm families? 2. Would this help meet demand for food and feed? 3. What are the ramifications to the public? considered trade-distorting. Reductions in the number of overall acres eligible for the programs because of budget reductions (such as deficit reduction or reductions in farm bill allocations) would not be considered supplyrelated for WTO purposes. The impact of having land returned to production depends on where the land is located. Release of CRP acres in high production areas will have a greater impact than increasing acreage in less productive areas. Of the 4.25 million CRP general enrollment acres expiring in 2011, about 11 percent are located in the Midwest and 28 percent are located in the Upper Plains. Similarly, of the 6.25 million acres of CRP general enrollment acres expiring in 2012, 15 percent are located in the Midwest and 28 percent are located in the Upper Plains. An analysis of the production potential of CRP acreage located in the Midwest suggests

that an additional 500 million to 700 million bushels of corn can be produced if that acreage is returned to corn production. Similarly, an analysis of the wheat production potential for acreage enrolled in CRP suggests that in excess of 100 million additional bushels of wheat can be produced if that acreage were returned to production. Farm Bureau Policy Conservation Reserve Program: “We support the continuation of the Conservation Reserve Program and the continuous Conservation Reserve Program. Tenant farmers’ rights must be protected. Reasonable limits on participation should be included to protect the economic stability on individual counties or regions. Highly erodible land producing all crops should be eligible for enrollment in CRP.” “We support: The current rule limiting CRP acres to 25 percent of the total county crop acres including Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program and all experimental pilot projects except for small acreage enrolled in continuous CRP. Any waivers in effect when expiring contracts were enrolled should remain in effect, as determined by the appropriate state Farm Service Agency committee.” “CRP contracts should be allowed to remain as written. There should be no additional restrictions put on the use of the land when it comes out of the long-range CRP.”

SOIL SAMPLING AND DIGGER’S HOTLINE Issue Legislation was introduced in the 2011 Nebraska Legislature to clarify whether persons performing soil sampling are required to contact the Nebraska Digger’s hotline. Background In December 2010, the Nebraska Agri-Business Association learned that an agricultural retailer in the Columbus, Neb., area was told by a technician from a utility company that the retailer could not take soil samples without first contacting Nebraska Digger’s Hotline. The

Questions 1. Should persons be required to contact the Digger’s Hotline if soil samples exceed a certain depth? If so, what is an acceptable depth? Suggested depths have been from 12 to 24 inches. 2. How would calling Digger’s Hotline affect your farming practices? Do the people who provide soil sampling services for you currently contact Digger’s Hotline? Do you contact Digger’s Hotline when you are doing deep field work? Do your friends and neighbors? How does the safety concern balance with normal everyday risks in farming?

company contacted the hotline for confirmation and was informed that the technician was correct. The Digger’s Hotline employee said that any time the soil is disturbed, the hotline must be called. Legislation adopted in 1994 required notice of excavation to be given to the Digger’s Hotline. For 16 years, farmers, ranchers, agricultural input suppliers, soil testing labs, NRDs and other consultants have not been notified, nor have they been apprised, that they should notify Digger’s Hotline when disturbing the soil. To Nebraska Farm Bureau’s knowledge, there has not been a widespread problem associated with these practices. The Agri-Business Association and Sen. Tom Carlson, chair of the Agricultural Committee, requested an informal Attorney General’s opinion on this issue to determine the interpretation of the law and whether or not agriculture is truly exempt. The current statute indicates that one of the exemptions to the definition of excavation is “tilling of soil and gardening for seeding and other agricultural purposes.” Because the statute is not clear on the meaning of “agricultural purposes” and because the review of the history of the original legislation and debate is not specific on the meaning, the Attorney General’s office maintains that the “agricultural purposes” exemption was meant to exempt farmers performing certain excava-

tion activities on their own land, where they are most likely aware of the location of underground facilities. Soil sampling was not discussed in the debate, and the Attorney General’s opinion stated that soil sampling is a “normal agricultural activity.” However, because most of the time soil sampling is not done by the farmer, but rather by a third party such as a crop consultant, “individuals presumably not as familiar with the land upon which they are collecting samples,” this may fall outside of “other agricultural purposes.” Thus the request for legislative clarification. Because of this request, Sen. Galen Hadley introduced LB 484 in the 2011 legislature on behalf of Nebraska Farm Bureau and the Nebraska Agri-Business Association. Nebraska Farm Bureau began a dialog with the One-Call Notification Board of Directors and various utilities concerned about the legislation, which as introduced, would allow a blanket exemption for soil testing.

LB 484 was discussed extensively during the session, although not on the floor. In March, Atty. Gen. Jon Bruning clarified his original informal opinion relating to the issue. He said, “To be clear – farmers, their employees and any third parties they contract with to do routine soil sampling for agricultural purposes do not need to call the Digger’s Hotline prior to taking a soil sample.” While the attorney general has clarified what the current language is to mean in practice, it is possible that the utilities or Digger’s Hotline will bring forward legislation on this topic. Based on discussions from 2011, the area of interest would be agreeing on a depth below which soil samplers would have to call if they were to sample more deeply. Farm Bureau Policy Nebraska Farm Bureau does not have specific policy on this topic.

AGRICULTURAL LAND CLASSIFICATION Issue A constitutional amendment offered in the 2011 Nebraska Legislature would have allowed classes of agricultural land to be treated differently in regard to the requirement in the Nebraska Constitution that property taxes must be levied uniformly and proportionally. Such an amendment, if adopted, would allow irrigated, dryland and pasture land to be treated differently for property tax purposes. Background Currently Nebraska’s constitution allows agricultural land to be treated differently from other classes of property, but taxation of agricultural land must be uniform and proportionate across all classes of agricultural land. Thus, one class of land, irrigated, cannot be valued at 75 percent of market value, while another, such as pasture, is valued at 70 percent. During the 2011 legislature, Sen. Ken Schilz of Ogallala introduced LR 9 CA, which sought to amend Nebraska’s

constitution to allow the different treatment of classes of agricultural land -- as long as taxation within the class is uniform and proportionate. As an example, irrigated land could be valued differently than pasture, but as long as the valuation within the class of irrigated land was uniform, it would be constitutionally sufficient. The measure remains in the Revenue Committee and could be considered again in 2012. UNL Ag Land Study Schilz’s idea came in part from a 2010 study by Dr. Bruce Johnson, UNL professor of agricultural economics, at the request of Nebraska Farm Bureau. The study examined the potential effects of converting to an incomecapitalization approach to valuing agricultural land. One of the findings of the study was that rates of return on pasture or grassland, as a percent of assessed value, fall considerably below the rates of return for cropland. Therefore, on the basis of an income-capitalization

approach, the current levels of assessed values for grassland are significantly high, relative to other classes of agricultural land. According to the study, if earnings-toassessed-value ratios for pasture were similar to dryland crop ground, assessed values for pasture would be roughly 50 percent of current assessed levels. One Idea: Reduce Level for Pasture One approach to address this disproportionate result of the present valuation system would be to reduce the level of value for pasture. The current constitutional requirement for uniformity and proportionality across all classes of agricultural land would not allow such a change, however; thus the need for the constitutional change. Persons who oppose such a change argue that valuing classes of agricultural land at different levels would be difficult for county assessors and the Property Tax Division of the Department of Revenue to administer, which would lead to higher costs.

Opponents also question the constitutionality of treating classes of agricultural land differently from other classes of real property. Farm Bureau Policy Current Farm Bureau policy supports an income capitalization approach as the most equitable means of valuing agricultural land for tax purposes. It also says that if an income capitalization approach is unattainable, Farm Bureau would support lowering the current 75 percent of market level of value.

Questions 1. Should Nebraska’s constitution be changed to allow classes of agricultural land to be treated differently? 2. If so, should valuation levels for pasture be reduced in relation to valuation levels for irrigated or dry land?


Nebraska Farm Bureau News - August 2011