LINCOLN, NEB. – Rising input costs, including the cost of fuel and fertilizer, and overreaching federal regulations continue to put pressure on farm and ranch families in Nebraska. That was the message to Nebraska’s Congressional Delegation during a recent visit to Washington, D.C. by members of Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Leadership Academy.
Leadership Academy is a yearlong leadership training program to help individuals with personal growth and development, public speaking skills, and training on how to advocate for Nebraska’s farm and ranch families.
“It’s important participants in this program have a first-hand experience in how government works and the role they can play in helping make sure the issues important to their farms and ranches are presented to their elected leaders,” said Jordan Dux, Nebraska Farm Bureau’s senior director of national affairs, who facilitated the Leadership Academy visit.
High input costs are causing many farmers and ranchers to make tough decisions as they try to navigate added financial stress. Leadership Academy members urged the Nebraska Congressional Delegation to continue to put pressure on the Biden administration to boost oil supplies, remove regulatory challenges, and reconsider its opposition to the liquid fuel industry.
“Fertilizer prices have more than doubled since last year. Chemical, fuel, and labor costs are higher and feed costs have surged. This has created an ongoing challenge for family farms and ranches to remain profitable,” said Dux
Another area of concern is a proposed rule by the Securities and Exchange Commission to require publicly traded companies to provide climate related information from their entire supply chain in their filings and annual reports.
“We’re concerned about the lack of specifics in the proposed rule. It has the potential to require very detailed information from each farm, down to how many gallons of fuel are put into each piece of machinery and each machine’s emissions,” said Dux. “Farmers and ranchers are already heavily regulated by multiple agencies at the local, state, and federal levels, and have never been subjected to regulations intended for Wall Street.”
Members of the Leadership Academy also shared the importance of atrazine and how costly its loss would be to farms and ranches. The Environmental Protection Agency, following the publishing of its final atrazine registration re-view decision in 2020, released an altered standard dramatically limiting atrazine’s use on corn, sorghum, and other crops.
Growing markets for Nebraska agricultural goods was also on the list of issues touched on by Leadership Academy members.
“Members of the Academy did a great job pointing out that the Biden administration has done little on trade since taking office. By rejoining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Congress would help send a message to the rest of the world that the U.S. is open for business and that the U.S. is prepared to negotiate and pass new trade deals that are critical to Nebraska agriculture,” said Dux.
Leadership Academy members that participated in the visit to Washington, D.C. included:
- Cierra Fisher, Osceola, Neb. (Polk County Farm Bureau)
- Steve Fuxa, David City, Neb. (Butler County Farm Bureau)
- Lisa Griess, Sutton, Neb. (Clay County Farm Bureau)
- Robert Miller, Petersburg, Neb. (Boone County Farm Bureau)
- Amy Musgrave, Ong, Neb. (Clay County Farm Bureau)
- Scott Sorensen, Cairo, Neb. (Hall County Farm Bureau)
- Dylan Vock, Lincoln, Neb. (Lancaster 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.