As the warm summer sun shines down, a herd of young calves and their mothers gather around a pond tucked away in a Buffalo county pasture. The scene is a small piece of heaven that Alec and Meredith Ibach like to call home. They are the fifth generation on the family farm and ranch near Sumner, raising corn, soybeans, and beef cattle.

USMCA Trade Deal Effective July 1

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will go into effect July 1. The USMCA deal is critical to Nebraska agriculture as purchases by Mexico and Canada account for more than 21 percent of Nebraska’s total agricultural exports. The trade relationship with the two countries is also vital to the state’s economy as agriculture trade with the two nations supports nearly 54,000 Nebraska jobs. The new deal maintains market access for Nebraska commodities like corn, soybeans, beef, and pork, while improving access for Nebraska wheat and dairy products. The deal also updates the former agreement to address agriculture biotechnology to support innovation and reduce trade-distorting policies. In addition, USMCA creates a more rigorous process for establishing trade distorting geological indicators for agricultural products and strengthens science-based measures to protect human, animal, and plant health while improving the flow of trade.

Reconnect with neighbors and friends at one of Nebraska Farm Bureau’s upcoming “Member Appreciation” nights this August. Full details coming soon! Be sure to get the dates in your calendar!

Aug. 4 – Upland, NE
Aug. 12 – Chapman, NE
Aug. 18 – Alliance, NE
Aug. 19 – Taylor, NE
Aug. 20 – Enders, NE
Aug. 21 – West Point, NE
Aug. 31 – Ceresco, NE

The Nebraska Farm Bureau is urging President Trump to make sure China fully complies and meets the country’s agricultural import targets outlined in the Phase One trade deal with the U.S. In a letter to the president, Nebraska Farm Bureau pointed out China is woefully behind at this stage in meeting their obligations. Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Sr. Economist breaks down how far behind China is in this week’s Economic Tidbits video.

Watch Video

Read Letter

Nebraska Farm Bureau has developed a checklist to help Farm Bureau members looking to protest their property valuation. If you think the assessed value for your house, farmstead, or real estate is too high, you can file a protest with the county clerk’s office. The filing deadline is June 30. COVID-19 may impact these processes. Contact your local county assessor’s office with questions. Check out our checklist today and put it to work for you!

Property Valuation Checklist

When a recent court decision threatened farmers’ ability to use select dicamba herbicides in the middle of the growing season, Nebraska Farm Bureau sprang into action. See how Farm Bureau went to work to keep this important crop protection product in members’ hands with our action timeline.  

View Timeline

The Nebraska Farm Bureau Cattle Markets Task Force would like to hear from members on their thoughts on the issues surrounding cattle markets. Farm and ranch members are asked to be on the lookout for an email in their inbox with information and a link to take the survey. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions.

The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) is reminding livestock producers applying for grants under the COVID-19 Livestock Producer Stabilization program that there are two major steps to completing an application. After filling out an online eligibility form, those who are eligible will receive a confirmation email containing a confirmation number and a link to the full application. You are not finished applying at this point. You must use the link to then complete a full application. Those who do not complete a full application will not receive a grant. The livestock grant eligibility submissions deadline is July 1.

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The USMCA trade agreement goes into effect July 1; several deadlines for Farm Service Agency programs and activities are rapidly approaching - don’t be late to the gate; and changes to the 2019 Market Facilitation Program might make some individuals eligible for payments who haven’t been able to qualify; check out these stories and more in this week’s Policy Watch.

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Nebraska Farm Bureau has received numerous questions from members about different provisions of the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program. Nebraska Farm Bureau summarized several of those questions a posed them to the Small Business Administration Region 7 office. Check out Farm Bureau’s updated EIDL Q&A for more.


Farm Bureau is accepting applications for the Ag Innovation Challenge 2021 through July 31. The Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge is a national business competition that aims to surface startup companies dedicated to creating innovative solutions that address the needs of America’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities. Entrepreneurs will compete for $145,000 in startup funds.

Apply Here

Nebraska Farm Bureau Accountant Lynette TeSelle will retire June 30, after 45 years of service to the Nebraska Farm Bureau team. A huge “THANK YOU” to Lynette for her service as she moves into the next chapter of life!  With Lynette’s retirement, a huge “WELCOME” to Lizeth Gana of Firth, NE who recently joined the Nebraska Farm Bureau team and will take over Lynette’s responsibilities. Best wishes to both in their new ventures!

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) has confirmed a case of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) in a horse in Buffalo County. VS is a viral disease which primarily affects horses and cattle, but can also affect sheep, goats, and swine. The disease is characterized by fever and the formation of blister-like lesions in the mouth and on the dental pad, tongue, lips, nostrils, hooves, and teats. When the blisters break, there is usually salivation and nasal discharge. As a result of these painful lesions, infected animals may refuse to eat and drink, which can lead to weight loss. To help prevent the spread of the disease, Nebraska has import restrictions for livestock coming into the state from states that have confirmed VS cases. If you are considering moving an animal into Nebraska from an affected state, please call (402) 471-2351 to learn more about the importation order.

Nebraska agriculture’s COVID-19 losses could approach $3.7 billion in 2020 if economic conditions don’t improve. Nebraska Farm Bureau released those findings during a virtual news conference this week to share the magnitude of the challenges facing Nebraska’s farm and ranch families and the largest sector of the state’s economy.

View Analysis

View Presentation

Read News Release

Action Alert: Next COVID-Aid Bill Should Help Farmers, Ranchers

The federal response to COVID-19 will require ongoing action to adequately address the needs of millions of Americans in crisis. Farmers and ranchers must not be left out. Right now, the Senate is working on what may prove to be the final piece of legislation related to the pandemic. Farm Bureau is thoroughly engaged to make sure that this proposal helps America’s farmers and ranchers. Your senators are hearing from other constituents and affected interests. Make sure they hear from you. Act today and let them know agriculture should not be left out!

Take Action Now

To help farmers and ranchers learn more about the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) COVID-19 loan programs, the Nebraska Farm Bureau (NEFB) recently hosted SBA officials for an informational session on the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Farmers and ranchers are eligible to participate in the programs and may qualify for loans through the programs. The EIDL is currently only open to U.S. agricultural businesses. Watch the NEFB SBA information session or review the presentation to learn more.

Watch Here

Review Slides

Nebraska Farm Bureau has developed a checklist to help Farm Bureau members looking to protest their property valuation. If you think the assessed value for your house, farmstead, or real estate is too high, you can file a protest with the county clerk’s office. This can be done in-person or by mail and must be submitted in triplicate, signed, dated, and postmarked by June 30. Covid-19 may impact these processes. Contact your local county assessor’s office with questions. Check out our checklist today and put it to work for you!

Property Valuation Checklist

The Environmental Protection Agency provided guidance to farmers this week on the use of certain dicamba products following a court ruling; Nebraska Farm Bureau will help lead the American Farm Bureau Federation’s new Cattle Market Committee; and the Senate is working on what could be the final round of pandemic aid and your help is needed to make sure farmers and ranchers don’t get left out. Check out these stories in this week’s Policy Watch.

Read Policy Watch

The U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) antitrust division recently issued “civil investigative demands,” the equivalent of subpoenas to Tyson Foods, JBS SA, Cargill Foods, and National Beef Inc. as part of an investigation into whether beef packers are in compliance with federal antitrust laws targeted at maintaining a competitive marketplace. Nebraska Farm Bureau requested the DOJ investigation in April. Nebraska Farm Bureau (NEFB) President Steve Nelson shared more background on NEFB’s efforts in a recent update and discussed the matter during NEFB’s daily radio program on the Rural Radio Network.

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Nebraska Farm Bureau Student Project Grants, supported by the Charles Marshall Fund at the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, have been awarded to four deserving student Farm Bureau members in Thurston, Chase, and Keith Counties. Each student was awarded one thousand dollars to be used to either begin or expand their 4-H project or FFA Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE) project.

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Join Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom for the first Found on the Farm: Virtual Summer Mini-Camp! On July 8, youth ages 8-10 can join education experts on a journey to learn more about their source of food, fiber, and fuel! Register by June 26 to receive your FREE Activity Box.

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Join our NEW Member Benefits partner, INTL FCStone, on June 25 from 12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. (CDT) for a free Market Outlook + Educational Webinar exclusively for Nebraska Farm Bureau members. Hear from our market experts, learn about risk management tools, and start thinking more strategically about marketing.

Register Here

A 2012 GM 4.3L irrigation engine, varying pieces and lengths of irrigation pipe, and a 05’ Honda four-wheeler are among the listings on the Farm Bureau Exchange, Nebraska Farm Bureau’s (NEFB) new online resource for members to buy, sell, or trade their items through free classified ads. Check out the NEFB Exchange today!

Nebraska Farm Bureau Exchange HERE

Nebraska Farm Bureau partnered with the Nebraska Farm Service Agency (FSA) this week for an informational session on USDA’s new Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) designed to aid producers who have suffered losses due to COVID-19. CFAP sign-up began May 26 and runs through August 28. Watch this week’s session and learn what the program might mean for your farm or ranch.

FSA PowerPoint


CFAP FAQ w/Crop Contract Eligibility Details

NEFB Quick Guide

NDEE to Resume Livestock Inspections, Extends Livestock Capacity Allowance

The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE) will resume doing on-farm livestock inspections soon but will contact producers ahead of time to ensure open communication as well as follow social distancing and other COVID-19 protective measures during inspections. NDEE Director Jim Macy shared the information during a conference call this week with Nebraska agricultural organizations and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. Macy also shared that the agency has extended a previous allowance granting livestock operations to have more livestock on-site than they are currently permitted for. The allowance has been extended until Aug. 1, 2020.

Governor Pete Ricketts announced new economic development grant programs this week to help stimulate economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, including a new Small Business Stabilization Grant for Livestock Producers. The programs are being funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The livestock grants are targeted to smaller livestock operations with 1-10 employees (including sole proprietors). While full details and application information are forthcoming check out the links below for more information.

Livestock Grants Program

Other Economic Development Grants

FB Review of “Get Nebraska Growing”

The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy will begin resuming on-site inspections at livestock operations soon; NRCS was reprimanded this week for not following its own rules; More reforms to the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program are on the way; and One U.S. Senator believes the China Phase One deal isn’t on the table as a tool for U.S. retaliation against China. Check out these stories in this week’s Policy Watch.

Read Policy Watch

The Small Business Administration and the U.S. Treasury Department recently released interim final rules that provide borrowers and lenders guidance on the requirements governing the forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. To help Farm Bureau members participating in the PPP, Nebraska Farm Bureau has developed a one-page resource outlining the forgiveness requirements.

PPP Loan Forgiveness Guide

Member engagement in developing organizational policy is critical to Farm Bureau. Nebraska Farm Bureau policy development guides are meant to be a resource for members looking for background information on agriculture issues to help them make informed recommendations as part of Farm Bureau’s policy development process. Check out Nebraska Farm Bureau’s first policy development guide for 2020 that takes a closer look at issues surrounding meat processing and meat inspection.

PD Guide

A 2016 Ford Supercab, ’05 Honda 4-Wheeler, and book keepers needed; are just a few of the listings on the Nebraska Farm Bureau (NEFB) Exchange, NEFB’s new online resource giving Nebraska Farm Bureau members a place to buy, sell, or trade their items through free classified ads. Check out the NEFB Exchange today!

Nebraska Farm Bureau Exchange