NEFB Newspaper

President’s Column – Feb/Mar 2023

When tragedy happens, the Nebraska Farm Bureau family takes a seat at the table to pray, heal and mend. A Nebraska Farm Bureau board member from Ogallala – Andy DeVries and his wife, Laura – were in a horrible car accident in Lincoln. Laura lost her life, and Andy is working hard to recover from the accident. Our prayers are with the DeVries family, Andy and his four children, Raelyn, Ryanna, Michael and Reegan. There will be a long road to recovery for Andy and his family, and we ask you to please keep them in your prayers.

As a Farm Bureau member, you are part of our family, helping Nebraska Farm Bureau to remain a strong leader on state and national policy that will affect farmers, ranchers and rural communities. The strength of the Farm Bureau family shines in how we come together to support rural communities through efforts like getting high quality broadband to underserved areas of the state, working together with state lawmakers to find ways to lower everyone’s property/income tax burdens and providing state aid to all schools across the state. It has also allowed us to elect leaders who understand agriculture and the challenges faced by Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers. It allows us to have a seat at the table.

When you, our grassroots advocates, guided the Nebraska Farm Bureau Political Action Committee (NEFB-PAC) to put more time and effort into this past governor’s race, we supported a candidate with our values, one who is working to implement policies that will improve Nebraska agriculture and make life better for rural Nebraskans. Our endorsement of Gov. Jim Pillen has allowed Nebraska Farm Bureau members to serve state government. We are proud to see former first vice president of NEFB Sherry Vinton serve as our state director of agriculture and former NEFB board member Hilary Maricle serve as the deputy director of agriculture. This gives us opportunities to have agriculture’s voice heard on state government issues affecting farmers and ranchers. Nebraska Farm Bureau has a seat at the table.

The February meeting of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Board of Directors was centered on connecting board members with elected leaders and state agency officials to discuss key agricultural issues. Over two days, your NEFB Board of Directors met with Nebraska Director of Agriculture Sherry Vinton, Deputy Director Hilary Miracle and the Nebraska Corn Board Executive Director Kelly Brunkhorst. We had a legislative breakfast, where the board and state senators were able to discuss key legislation, including an overview of the session from Speaker of the Legislature Sen. John Arch. A stop at the Nebraska State Capitol included meetings with Nebraska Attorney General Mike Hilgers and Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen. The board wrapped up its two-day meeting by joining Pillen for lunch at the governor’s mansion. Nebraska Farm Bureau continues to have a seat at the table.

In Congress, Nebraska’s representatives, which you elected and you asked Farm Bureau to endorse, will be responsible for writing – and passing – the next Farm Bill. Nebraska Farm Bureau looks forward to working with them to make sure this critical piece of legislation for agriculture, our rural communities and for those who need a helping hand to put food on their family’s table is passed. Again, Nebraska Farm Bureau continues to have a seat at the table.

The table is crowded with many different voices. Because of our diligent efforts, we will continue to have a seat at the table representing you, the farmers and ranchers of Nebraska. While we continue our work, we need your engagement to share your personal stories with state and federal lawmakers. They want to hear from you. I hope as you reflect on this column, you are encouraged by what we can do through our united voice. The Farm Bureau family will continue to sit at the table together to pray, heal and mend the challenges, political and otherwise, that we face now, and the ones that lie ahead.

Until Next Time,

Mark McHargue

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