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Young Farmers and Ranchers Discuss Climate, Input Costs, and Trade with Congressional Delegation

LINCOLN, NEB. – Management practices focused on reducing carbon footprint and increasing efficiency while also increasing production is top of mind for farmers and ranchers. That was one of the messages given to Nebraska’s congressional delegation from members of the Nebraska Farm Bureau (NEFB) Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Committee during their annual national affairs visit to Washington, D.C.

Members of the committee urged Nebraska’s elected leaders to push back against the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposed rule requiring publicly traded companies to provide climate related information from their entire supply chain in their filings and annual reports.

“Farmers and ranchers know we need healthy soil and a healthy environment to produce food to feed our communities, nation, and world. This overreaching rule creates a lot of unknowns and burdens for young farmers and ranchers and will no doubt place many family farms and ranchers at risk,” said Joe Melnick, chairman of the NEFB YF&R Committee.

Nebraska Farm Bureau works to equip young farmers and ranchers in Nebraska to lead effectively and advocate for positive change in agriculture, by sharing personal stories of how decisions made in Washington, D.C. affect their farms and ranches. “This was a great opportunity for our diverse group of young farmers and ranchers from across Nebraska to share their perspective on issues facing agriculture with members of our Nebraska delegation,” said Melnick.

A major concern among young people in agriculture is rising input costs. The cost of fuel and fertilizer continue to put pressure on farm profitability. While the price at the pumps is easing slightly, the high cost of diesel fuel specifically continues to be of great concern for farmers and ranchers.

“We thanked Sen. Fischer and Rep. Bacon for their recent work towards lowering fertilizer prices by requesting the removal of certain tariffs, while also asking the delegation to continue to put pressure on the Biden administration to boost oil supplies, remove regulatory challenges, and reconsider their opposition to the liquid fuel industry,” said Melnick.

Young farmers and ranchers are talking about the importance of expanding international markets. Every dollar in agricultural exports generates $1.28 in economic activities such as transportation, financing, warehousing, and production. Nebraska’s top agricultural exports include soybeans and soybean products, beef, corn, pork, and ethanol.

“The Biden administration has taken little to no action on many of the largest trade issues important to farmers and ranchers. We need to expand international marketing opportunities, support U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership now known as the CPTPP, and work on a long-term trade relationship with China that will ensure economic and national security success of the U.S.,” said Melnick.

Young farmers and ranchers attending the National Affairs virtual visit were:

  • Joe Melnick, chairman, YF&R Committee – Adams/Webster County Farm Bureau
  • Desarae Porter, North Central Region representative, YF&R Committee – Thomas County Farm Bureau
  • Tyler and Alysha Ramsey, At-Large representatives, YF&R Committee – Adams/Webster County Farm Bureau
  • Sye Tecker, Southwest Region representative, YF&R Committee – Dundy County Farm Bureau
  • Adam and Kaylyn Venteicher, Northwest Region representatives, YF&R Committee – Pierce County Farm Bureau

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.

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