NEFB Newspaper

President’s Column – December 2021

A good year for agriculture and Nebraska Farm Bureau

As we reach the end of 2021, there’s no better time for reflecting on both our industry and our Farm Bureau organization. The good news is that it’s been a very good year for both!

For me, reflection starts by saying, “Thank you!” December 8 marked the one-year anniversary of my election to the position of Nebraska Farm Bureau president. I’ve viewed every day since then as an opportunity to represent you and carry your voice in Nebraska Farm Bureau’s efforts to advocate on behalf of Nebraska’s farm and ranch families. It has, and continues to be, an honor to serve you. I am humbled and thank you for trusting me with this incredibly important responsibility.

In terms of Nebraska agriculture, it’s no secret that we’ve seen progress in prices for our most predominate commodities over the past year. Corn, soybeans, wheat, cattle and hog prices are all up from a year ago. A December-to-December comparison points to a $5 billion boost in market value alone for those commodities from 2020 to 2021. Better prices have contributed to better bottom lines, even with higher production costs. The University of Nebraska is projecting the state’s 2021 net farm income to be a record $8 billion. By my calculations, that would equate to nearly $60,000 more in per-farm income in 2021. That’s not only a good thing for our members, but a good thing for our state. As has been proven time and again, when farm and ranch families do well, our communities do well, and Nebraska does well.

Nebraska Farm Bureau has had an equally successful year. Our vision statement speaks to “achieving a great quality of life and prosperity for Nebraska farm and ranch families.” I’m happy to report that in 2021, a record number of Nebraska farm and ranch families made the decision to become Farm Bureau members. That’s a testament to the work of our wonderful organization and our partners who share Farm Bureau’s vision. The energy and excitement around Nebraska Farm Bureau are growing. Whether it’s legislative achievements like providing direct property tax relief, helping members navigate risk management and profitability opportunities, offering members money-saving benefits, providing leadership skills or promoting agriculture awareness through our Foundation, Farm Bureau is dedicated to being the best it can be in service to our members. We’re looking forward to building on those successes in the new year!

As good as this year has been for agriculture and Farm Bureau, this past year has presented challenges and brought stress in other ways. Many of us will end the year missing loved ones we lost along the way. Our geopolitical situation at times feels unstable. We live in a highly charged political environment. At times it seems like many of our leaders have no regard for the Midwestern ideals and values that we hold so dear. All of these things and more can present challenges to our mental and physical well-being. When I feel disheartened, I often turn to scripture for encouragement.

If you’re in need of inspiration, I’d invite you to check out Jerimiah 29:4-7. The scripture reminds us of what we should focus on in difficult of times; things like making plans for our future, growing our families, taking care of our farms and investing in our communities. I’m a big believer that if we live our lives keeping these things top of mind, we’ll continue to make Nebraska the greatest state in the country to carry out the most noble of professions, that being farming and ranching.

As we head into the heart of the holiday season, I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy
New Year!

Until Next Time,

Mark McHargue

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