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POLICY WATCH

NEFB President Discusses Key Issues with Congressional Delegation

Last week, Nebraska Farm Bureau President Mark McHargue and Director of National Affairs Jordan Dux traveled to Washington, D.C. for the American Farm Bureau Board Meeting. Along with the formal board meeting, meetings with Nebraska’s Congressional delegation also took place. Topics of discussion included the preservation of stepped-up basis, the need for the administration to do much more to boost international trade, the current disruptions that are occurring within agricultural input supply chains, including fertilizer, as well as the growing risk of cyberattacks within the agricultural industry. Outside of the delegation, attendees also met with the former staff director of the Senate Ag Committee. 

Get Your CDL License Soon as Changes are on the Way

A major change to federal requirements is on the horizon, and it will affect farmers and ranchers who want to obtain a CDL or let their CDL lapse to drive a semi-truck commercially. Starting Feb. 7, Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) will be required for those applying or upgrading to:

  • Obtain a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time;
  • Upgrade an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL; or
  • Obtain a school bus (S), passenger (P), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement for the first time.

“This will not affect farmers and ranchers who already have their CDL license, but if you have let the CDL license lapse, if you are upgrading your CDL or you want a CDL license, it is best to get it soon rather than later. The federal rule goes into effect Feb. 7, 2022,” said Andrew Walmsley, senior director, Congressional Relations with the American Farm Bureau. “The ELDT regulations are not retroactive; the entry-level driver training requirements do not apply to individuals holding a valid CDL or an S, P or H endorsement issued prior to Feb. 7, 2022.”

The final rule responds to a Congressional mandate imposed under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The rule is based, in part, on consensus recommendations from the agency’s Entry-Level Driver Training Advisory Committee, a negotiated rulemaking committee that held a series of meetings in 2015. Originally, the mandate was to go into effect February 2020, and FMCSA extended the compliance date to February of 2022.

“Don’t wait until January or February to get your CDL license; start planning for it now. Those 18 years or older are eligible to get a class A or B CDL.  Under 21 years of age drivers will be restricted to in-state travel (intrastate).  Once the written tests have been passed the applicant is given a commercial learner permit that is good for 180 days and can be renewed for another 180 days,” Walmsley said.

The rule aims to maintain higher driver standards by enforcing and mandating training for entry-level drivers.

NEFB-PAC Looking for Ag-Friendly Candidates

Today, more than ever, it’s important for elected officials to understand the importance of agriculture and have an appreciation for the role farmers and ranchers play in not just providing food, but in supporting our local, state, and national economies. That’s why the Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Political Action Committee (NEFB-PAC) exists. NEFB-PAC is asking members to help with surfacing and recruiting candidates. Potential 2022 races for NEFB-PAC involvement include:

  • Constitutional Offices
  • Federal Offices
  • Non-Constitutional Offices
  • Local Races

If you would like more specific information about the seats that are open or if you have any questions regarding finding agriculture friendly candidates to run for office, please contact Jay Ferris at (402) 421-4409 or email him at jayf@nefb.org.

Campaign Management Training Seminar

Running for elected office at any level can be challenging. There’s much to consider before jumping into the fray. That’s why Nebraska Farm Bureau has scheduled a Campaign Management Training Seminar for Nov. 8 -9 in Lincoln. The two-day seminar is designed to help candidates plan and execute successful political campaigns. The seminar is facilitated by an expert political consultant from Washington, D.C. and is structured and flexible enough to fit any level of campaign whether it is for federal, state, or local public office. For more information, please contact Jay Ferris at jayf@nefb.org or (402) 421-4409.

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