WATERLOO, NEB. – It is a brave new world in agriculture today. A world of drones, high tech implements, and cutting-edge technology on livestock operations monitoring animals 24/7, 365 days a year, analyzing their well-being, productivity, and performance. All to make farms and ranches more efficient and sustainable.
This 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. Rather than their annual trip to Washington, D.C., members of the committee met virtually to discuss climate/environmental markets, the elimination of stepped-up basis and 1031 exchanges, market conditions within the cattle industry, and international trade.
“Given the Biden administration’s focus on climate, we need to have a seat at the table during these discussions. We want to see climate policies that are built upon voluntary, incentive-based programs, and market driven opportunities. They must promote resilience and adaptation in rural communities, and they must be science-based,” said Brady Revels, 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. affects their farms and ranches. “We had a good and diverse group that visited with some members of our Nebraska delegation bringing a lot of perspective to the issues facing agriculture,” said Revels.
There are a lot of concerns among young people in agriculture about President Biden’s move to eliminate stepped-up basis and 1031 exchanges. “Tax proposals announced by the Biden administration would repeal the stepped-up basis, increase the capital gains tax rate, and make it more difficult for farmers and ranchers to use like-kind exchanges. Preserving the step up basis tax provision is imperative to keeping farms and ranches in the family,” Revels said.
Another issue front and center addressed concerns on marketing conditions within the cattle industry. “NEFB strongly supports Sen. Deb Fischer’s Cattle Market Transparency Act as it provides needed and common-sense reforms that will boost price transparency in U.S. cattle markets,” Revels said.
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.
“We need to extend Trade Promotion Authority, which expired in July 2021. This would allow for new agreements to be reached. We need to negotiate an agreement with the UK and the European Union and support U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership now known as the CPTPP,” Revels said.
Young farmers and ranchers attending the National Affairs virtual visit were:
- Brady Revels, chairman, YF&R Committee – Douglas County Farm Bureau
- Lance Atwater, YF&R representative, NEFB Board of Directors – Adams/Webster County Farm Bureau
- Joe and Jaden Melnick, South Central Region representatives, 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 58,000 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.