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POLICY WATCH

Vilsack Tapped for Secretary of Agriculture

Tom Vilsack has again been selected to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Vilsack previously served eight years leading the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under former President Obama. For the past four years Vilsack has served as the CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council. In a statement, Nebraska Farm Bureau President Mark McHargue congratulated Vilsack on the appointment. “We would like to congratulate Tom Vilsack for again taking up the leadership of the USDA. As agriculture’s highest-ranking ambassador within the federal government, the Secretary of Agriculture is a vital position whose decisions affect the everyday lives of farm and ranch families across our great nation. While there are many tough policy issues facing agriculture, we have always appreciated how Secretary Vilsack approached issues with both honesty and integrity. Nebraska Farm Bureau had a strong working relationship with him and his team for eight years, and we hope to continue that relationship in the years ahead.”

Last Call: CFAP 2 Deadline TODAY!

The deadline to apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) is Dec. 11, 2020. This program provides direct relief to producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs due to COVID-19. CFAP 2 provides up to $14 billion to eligible producers of certain row crops, livestock, dairy, specialty crops, aquaculture, and more. All eligible commodities, payment rates, and calculations can be found on farmers.gov/cfap. CFAP 2 is a separate program from the first iteration of the program (CFAP 1) and interested producers must complete a new application to be eligible for payment for CFAP 2.To find the latest information on CFAP 2, visit farmers.gov/cfap.

NEFB CFAP 2 Guide

Farm Bureau Asks Congress to Act Quickly on PPP Fix

Farm Bureau is asking Congress to tweak the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to ensure farmers and ranchers don’t have to pay taxes on their forgiven PPP loans. Unfortunately, IRS rules threaten to deny farmers and ranchers a portion of this much-needed financial assistance by declaring that normal and customary business expenses incurred while operating with forgiven PPP loan funds – like payroll, rent, mortgage interest, and utility expenses – are not tax deductible. Farm Bureau has backed two bills to fix this and has asked lawmakers to act before they adjourn for the year to ensure the PPP functions as Congress intended and so that farmers and ranchers are not hit with an unexpected tax bill, especially during a time of struggle due to the economic stress induced by the pandemic.

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