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POLICY WATCH

Bill to Expand Meat Marketing Opportunities Advances

A Nebraska Farm Bureau supported bill allowing farmers and ranchers to offer livestock ownership shares to customers seeking meat, advanced to second round debate in the legislature this week. Introduced by Sen. Tom Brandt of Plymouth, LB 324 would allow the acquisition of meat through an animal share — an ownership interest in an animal or herd of animals created by a written contract between a consumer and a farmer or rancher — under certain conditions. Generally, meat sold by the package must be inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, however, owners of animals are exempt from such inspection requirements due to a custom exemption in federal law. LB 324 would allow non-farm interests to have ownership and utilize the custom exemption. Animal share contracts would include a bill of sale and a provision under which the consumer boards the animal or herd with the farmer or rancher for care and processing and the consumer is entitled to receive a share of meat from the animal or herd. The bill also specifies the animal share owner — or someone acting on their behalf — would have to receive the meat, and the farmer or rancher would have to provide the consumer with a description of their livestock health and processing standards. A farmer or rancher who offers an animal share would have to be a Nebraska resident and maintain a record of each animal share sold. LB 324 also establishes an independent processor assistance program that potentially would use federal funding to increase Nebraska’s meat processing capacity.

Be in the Know! Schedule a Legislative Update Call

During the 2021 legislative session, Nebraska Farm Bureau’s governmental relations team is offering to provide a brief legislative update on the latest state and/or national issues and answer questions during County Farm Bureau Board of Director meetings. Contact Whittney Kelley at (402) 421-4760 or at whittneyk@nefb.org to schedule a call today.

NEFB Working to Keep Glyphosate Available

Nebraska Farm Bureau (NEFB) is pushing for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to re-register glyphosate as an approved crop protection product. In comments submitted to the agency on their draft biological evaluation for glyphosate, NEFB underscored how important the product is to Nebraska farmers and ranchers and stressed that making glyphosate unavailable would unquestionably compromise the rapid growth of conservation-based no-till soil practices. The 2017 Census of Agriculture revealed no-till farming in Nebraska as a preferred conservation management practice in 2017 at 10.25 million acres, up nearly 1 million acres since 2012. More HERE

Tai Confirmed as U.S. Trade Representative

Farm Bureau has congratulated Katherine Tai on her confirmation to serve as the next United States Trade Representative. In a statement, American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall pointed to working with Tai to grow agriculture markets by building on existing agreements with China and America’s North American neighbors, as well as create new opportunities with the European Union and the United Kingdom. Duvall also pointed to confidence in Tai’s ability to build bipartisan support for policies and her experience with enforcing fair-trade rules to help America’s farmers and ranchers compete internationally. Nebraska Farm Bureau looks forward to working with Tai to implement NEFB’s trade priorities.

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