A report from Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Governmental Relations team.
Poultry Expanding in Nebraska
Over the last couple of months much progress has been made with the Lincoln Premium Poultry’s (LPP) chicken processing plant in Fremont and in the permitting and construction of the grower barns to produce the chickens. The LPP plant opened and started processing chickens on Sept. 4. Ramp up will continue with a target of the plant being at full production by this time next year. The chickens processed at the plant will be sold in Costco stores across the Western United States, including stores in Iowa and Nebraska. LPP will hold an open house for the new plant Saturday, Oct. 19. Details for the event can be found here. Many local Farm Bureau members have been instrumental in offering support for growers at hearings in front of Planning and Zoning Committees and County Boards. While there has been some opposition to a few of these permits, to date all the applications have been approved and are moving forward.
Pushing Property Tax Relief
Nebraska Farm Bureau staff has been meeting with state senators, the governor’s policy research staff, and other stakeholders, with the goal of pointing everyone in the same direction on a property tax plan going into the 2020 legislative session. Sen. Lou Ann Linehan of Elkhorn, who chairs the Legislature’s Revenue Committee, has convened the committee throughout the summer working to find compromise and bridge the urban-rural divide on the issue. Discussions primarily revolve around generating new revenue – how much can be generated from sources such as elimination of sales tax exemptions or an increase in the cigarette tax rate – and whether those funds should be directed toward reducing property taxes by changes in school funding (e.g. LB 289, a minimum aid guarantees for unequalized school districts, an increase in the state special education reimbursement, or more dollars for low-income students) or through a refundable income tax credit, or the Property Tax Credit Cash Fund.
Ballot Measure Talk
This week, a spokesperson for TRUE Nebraska, the group leading the ballot initiative to place a Constitutional Amendment before voters to establish a 35 percent rebate of the property taxes you pay, told reporters that even if something significant is passed legislatively in the 2020 legislative session, TRUE Nebraska is very likely to continue to push to get the property tax petition initiative on the ballot next November.
Heavy Loads this Fall Require an Overweight Permit Exemption Form
Nebraska Farm Bureau is once again providing overweight permit exemption forms to our members seeking to be exempt from having to get a seasonal overweight permit for farm trucks. We also want to remind farmers to keep safety at the forefront of their minds as they head back to the fields.
FDA Looks to Make Injectable Livestock Antibiotics Subject to Vet Prescriptions
Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a draft guidance to bring medically important injectable livestock antibiotics under increased veterinary oversight. This proposal would require livestock producers to obtain a prescription from a veterinarian in order to obtain antibiotics that are also important to human health. This announcement comes following the release of FDA’s Five-Year Plan for Supporting Antimicrobial Stewardship in Veterinary Settings document one year ago. In March of this year, the NEFB State Board of Directors sat down with Dr. William Flynn, DVM, MS, Deputy Director for Science Policy for the Center for Veterinary Medicine at FDA to discuss the proposed plan including this anticipated rule change. NEFB expressed concern that while previous rule changes which required Veterinary Feed Directive’s for the same list of antibiotics used in livestock feed and water was a headache but workable, these new requirements could limit the availability of these products in rural areas with limited access to veterinarians. That could in turn have a negative impact on livestock health. Comments on the proposal are due December 24, 2019.
To read the release from FDA, please use the following link https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/cvm-updates/fda-releases-draft-guidance-bringing-remaining-approved-over-counter-medically-important.
To see the list of affected products, please click here: https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/judicious-use-antimicrobials/list-approved-new-animal-drug-applications-affected-draft-gfi-263