Eleven farmer and rancher members of Nebraska Farm Bureau attended the 2023 Advocacy Fly-In June 12-14. Picture front row left are Hannah Borg, Dixon County; Krista Podany, Holt County; Dawn Kucera, Madison County; Bree DeNaeyer, Cherry County; Jim Stewart, Lancaster County and Adam Boeckenhauser, Dixon County. Back row left Jason Perdue, York County; Vance Tonack, Douglas County; Tim Lorenz, Sarpy County; Nick Landenburger, Hitchcock County; and Ben Deerson, Saunders County.
LINCOLN, NEB. – Eleven county Farm Bureau leaders traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with elected officials to discuss the 2023 farm bill priorities, EPA’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulation, and labor/immigration during Nebraska Farm Bureau’s first County Leaders D.C. Fly-In. Over the course of three days, these individuals met with Senators Deb Fischer and Pete Ricketts, Representatives Adrian Smith, Don Bacon, Mike Flood, and the Senate Ag Committee.
“It is impactful when lawmakers hear from farmers and ranchers who are directly affected by the farm policy they vote on,” said Nebraska Farm Bureau Senior Director of National Affairs Jordan Dux. “The farm bill is imperative to ensuring that producers have the necessary risk management tools to help them successfully support the needs of a growing population. As these county leaders interacted directly with elected officials, the personal stories and connections they shared, in addition to the policy goals, encourage the lawmakers to actively support the legislation.”
Nebraska Farm Bureau’s first County Leaders D.C. Fly-In was held in conjunction with the American Farm Bureau’s Advocacy Fly-In. During the visit, county leaders had a chance to hear directly from the chair and ranking members of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees and hear their plans for formulating the next farm bill, with prioritizing funding for risk management tools including federal crop insurance programs being at the top of the list. Excitement over the recent U.S. Supreme Court WOTUS win regarding Sackett v. EPA was also discussed. However, more will need to be finalized before farmers and ranchers can fully breathe a sigh of relief. Lastly, finding a practical solution to the agricultural worker problem by updating labor and guest worker policy was also a top priority. NEFB’s county leaders shared personal experiences with all three issues directly with Nebraska’s Congressional Delegation.
“With the current drought, crop insurance is so important to have. My message to our Nebraska delegation was to keep that safety net so we can get through another year and can plant a crop next year,” said Dawn Kucera, who farms near Madison and serves on the Nebraska Farm Bureau board representing the P&E Committee. “I think the Advocacy Fly-In program is extremely valuable, because it gives us an opportunity to come to Washington, D.C. to see what our primary purpose as Farm Bureau is: promoting policy and working to get legislation that is favorable to farmers and ranchers. This experience gives us an opportunity to see that process firsthand and realize the power that we have when advocating for our issues.”
Members of Congress valued the experience of meeting with Farm Bureau members noting that the best ideas come from the grassroot level.
“I have always wanted to go to Washington, D.C. and I’ve learned how hard our Nebraska delegation works for us and how Nebraska Farm Bureau represents us,” said Tim Lorenz, a Sarpy County Farm Bureau member.
The 2023 County Leaders D.C. Fly-in was an opportunity to engage and encourage county Farm Bureau leaders to tell their stories and impact the future of agriculture in Nebraska and nationwide.
“Nebraska Farm Bureau is essential to be a part of if you are a farmer or rancher. Nebraska Farm Bureau is very influential on state and national issues. It is truly a grassroots organization that protects agriculture and has the backs of farmers and ranchers,” said Hannah Borg, a Dixon County Farm Bureau member.
County leaders that attended the 2023 County Leaders D.C. Fly-In included:
- Hannah Borg and Adam Boeckenhauer, Dixon County;
- Jim Stewart, Lancaster County;
- Tim Lorenz, Sarpy County;
- Jason Perdue, York County;
- Ben Deerson, Saunders County;
- Vance Tonack, Douglas County;
- Bree Denaeyer, Cherry County;
- Krista Podany, Holt County;
- Dawn Kucera, Madison County; and
- Nick Ladenburger, Hitchcock County.
The Nebraska Farm Bureau is a grassroots, state-wide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans through a wide variety of educational, service, and advocacy efforts. More than 55,000 families across Nebraska are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve rural and urban prosperity as agriculture is a key fuel to Nebraska’s economy. For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit www.nefb.org.