NEFB Newspaper

President’s Column – March 2022

Farm Bureau working through extensive ‘to do’ list

In agriculture, there’s rarely a downtime, particularly in the world in which we live today, with disrupted supply chains, higher prices for virtually everything, and the need to constantly evaluate ways to make our farms and
ranches more efficient and profitable. The to-do lists can get long. It’s important you know that at Nebraska Farm Bureau, “we’ve got your back,” which is why our to-do list in service to our members is also extensive.

When you read this, we will have crossed the half-way point of the shorter 60-day legislative session. Shorter
sessions tend to be more intense as legislators wrangle with carryover bills, introduce and hold hearings on new
ones and make mid-biennium budget adjustments. Our team has been hard at work keeping tabs on all of it and advocating for our member-adopted policy. This session brought the added challenge of hundreds of additional
bills associated with deciding how the state will spend nearly $1 billion in federal dollars coming to the state through the American Rescue Plan Act (i.e. COVID recovery dollars). (See page 6.) Nebraska Farm Bureau has also pushed for investment in agriculture technology and water quality. Our highest priority for the session again centers on securing tax relief. With state funding at $548 million, Nebraskans can capitalize on tax relief of
nearly 25% of the property taxes they pay to schools for taxes paid in 2021. (See story page 6.) As senators look to do more in the way of tax relief this session, we’re continuing to make sure additional property tax relief is
part of the plan. (See story page 8.)

At the federal level, we continue to push the Biden administration to act to help grow markets for agriculture, highlighting our trade priorities and releasing our annual report detailing the importance of trade to Nebraska. As I write this, I’m fresh off returning from a trade mission to Jordan, Abu Dhabi, Sharja and Dubai. With many mouths in the world to feed, there’s no doubt Nebraska agriculture is a global leader, but clearly there are more opportunities out there for us. (See stories page 9.) For us to get there, it’s imperative Nebraska farmers and ranchers have the freedom to operate. That’s why Nebraska Farm Bureau continues to engage to make sure the administration’s efforts to undo the Trump-era water regulations work for farmers. It’s the same reason we’re pushing on EPA to undo restrictions on Enlist and Enlist Duo herbicides (See story page 8.)

To top it off, 2022 is an election year, and we’re hard at work engaging with our county Farm Bureaus to gather
feedback for potential endorsements. The best way to enact our member-approved policies is to support the election of individuals who share our beliefs and positions. Engaging in elections is a critical part of our organization’s broader advocacy efforts and decisions on endorsements are driven by the feedback from our county Farm Bureaus. In early February, we made the first major endorsement, offering our support for Jim Pillen for governor. If you don’t know Jim, I’d highly encourage you to take advantage of opportunities to visit with him at one of the many stops he’s making around the state. We followed up the Pillen announcement with endorsements for Rep. Don Bacon (Nebraska’s 2nd District) and Rep. Adrian Smith (Nebraska’s 3rd District). There are many ways to engage in support of our endorsed candidates. To learn more, please reach out to Jay Ferris,
the director of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Political Action Committee, at jayf@nefb.org. (See story page 6.)

Last, but certainly not least, we continue our efforts to help with on-farm profitability and leadership development. Young people are critical to our organization, our communities and our state. I’m proud to say we conducted an extremely successful Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference in January to continue to offer support to the next generation in agriculture. (See stories pages 4-5.)

That’s only a fraction of the items on the Nebraska Farm Bureau’s to-do list, but all of which are done in service
to our members, because at the end of the day, it’s important you know that Nebraska Farm Bureau has your back.

Until Next Time,
Mark McHargue
President

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