2013 News Archives

Shoshone River TMDL public meetings on July 23 and 24 – July 8, 2013

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold three public meetings to discuss implementation recommendations for the Shoshone River Pathogen Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) project.  The first public meeting will be held on Tuesday July 23, 2013, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. in Grizzly Hall at the Park County Library located at 1500 Heart Mountain Street in Cody, WY.  The second public meeting will be held on Wednesday July 24, 2013 from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the Lovell Community Center located at 1925 Highway 310 in Lovell, WY.  The third public meeting will be held on Wednesday July 24, 2013, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Park County Weed & Pest located at 1067 Road 13 in Powell, WY.

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AFBF Files Suit to Protect Farmers’ Privacy – July 5, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 5, 2013 – Protecting farmers’ and ranchers’ right to privacy is a top priority, said the American Farm Bureau Federation, which took legal action today to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from publicly releasing personal information about thousands of farmers and ranchers and their families. EPA is expected to respond to several Freedom of Information Act requests this week, prompting AFBF to file a lawsuit and seek a temporary restraining order before the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.

By seeking an immediate court order stopping EPA’s imminent release, AFBF hopes to stall disclosures of farmers’ and ranchers’ names, home addresses, GPS coordinates and personal contact information until a court can clarify EPA’s obligation to keep personal information about citizens private. The National Pork Producers Council joined AFBF in the lawsuit.

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Farm Bureau Seeks Ruling on Farmyard Stormwater – July 1, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 1, 2013—The American Farm Bureau Federation today asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia to determine that livestock and poultry farmers do not need Clean Water Act discharge permits for ordinary stormwater runoff from their farmyards. The joint motion, filed by AFBF, West Virginia Farm Bureau and West Virginia poultry farmer Lois Alt, would garner a big win for farmers nationwide if the court rules in their favor.

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AFBF: Death Tax Repeal Act ‘Gets the Job Done’ – June 19, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 19, 2013 – The American Farm Bureau Federation supports legislation introduced today in both the House and Senate that would permanently repeal the estate tax. Sen. John Thune’s (R-S.D.) bill, The Death Tax Repeal Act of 2013, coupled with bipartisan legislation of the same title introduced by Reps. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), is welcomed by America’s farm and ranch families.

While significant tax relief was enacted last year to help farmers cope with estate taxes, AFBF believes that permanent repeal is still the best solution to protect all farms and ranches. The legislation introduced today would repeal the estate tax, maintain stepped-up basis and make permanent a 35 percent maximum gift tax rate and $5 million lifetime gift tax exemption indexed for inflation.

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Freedom Of Information Act Abuse – June 25, 2013

By Karen Budd-Falen, Budd-Falen Law Offices, LLC

June 25, 2013–Since 2009, Western Watersheds Project (“WWP”) has issued at least 675 Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) requests just to the BLM and Forest Service, related to livestock grazing on the public lands.  Although I did not read all 675 requests, I did find some letters that demanded information for as many as 50 allotments in one single FOIA request.  Most WWP FOIAs also wanted documents from multiple years and on multiple subjects.  Many of the requests included instructions to the BLM or Forest Service offices stating that the response to WWP should be sent electronically or in a certain format.  While the FOIA requires that the federal government make certain documents available, can a requester really dictate the format of the response?

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Another Federal Government Cover-Up?? – June 4, 2013

By Karen Budd-Falen, Budd-Falen Law Offices, LLC

May 29, 2013–This is a plea for help, to raise awareness and public outcry regarding yet another federal government cover-up.  The scandal –- the Justice and Treasury Departments’ refusal to inform the American taxpayer how much, and for what, their tax dollars are being spent and despite individual well-meaning Congressmen, the inability of Congress to put forth legislation that requires this information to be available to the American public.  How can there be reform of a crisis (or how can radical environmental groups prove that our claims of abuse are blown out of proportion) without transparency and an accounting? 

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“Ag Books for Kids” winners announced – May 30, 2013

LARAMIE–Students from across Wyoming learned more about beef cattle production and were recognized for their participation in the 2013 Wyoming Farm Bureau (WyFB) “Ag Books for Kids” contests.  The 2013 contests included:  Coloring Contest for kindergarten and first grade; Poster Contest for second and third graders; and a Creative Writing Contest for fourth and fifth graders. 

This year county Farm Bureaus across the state donated 492 agriculture books to Wyoming elementary schools as part of the WyFB Young Farmer & Rancher Committee “Ag Books for Kids” project.  The 2013 book of the year was “Star Becomes a Mother” by Twins Rianna and Sheridan Chaney.  The students then had the opportunity to participate in a contest to show what they learned about agriculture. 

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Wyoming Farm Bureau awards nine college scholarships – May 30, 2013

        LaramieThe Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation recently awarded nine college scholarships to the children of Farm Bureau members.

        “Providing opportunities for our members’ children to receive a college education is what the Farm Bureau scholarship program is about,” Wyoming Farm Bureau President Perry Livingston said.  “This year the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation will provide $5,500 in college scholarships to children of Farm Bureau members.  Additionally, most county Farm Bureaus also offer scholarships.”

        The Livingston-King scholarship is valued at $1,500.  The scholarship is given in honor of former state presidents of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Herbert D. Livingston and H.J. King as well as Buddy and Norma Livingston, the parents of WyFB President Perry Livingston.  The scholarship was awarded to Brittany Hamilton, of Weston County.   Brittany is the daughter of Monte and Francie Hamilton.  She will be a senior at the University of Wyoming where she is pursuing a degree in agricultural communication.

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AFBF Statement on Senate Judiciary Passage of Immigration Reform Bill – May 21, 2013

“The time is long overdue for our nation to have a comprehensive agricultural labor plan that works for all sectors of agriculture and across all regions of our nation. The Senate Judiciary Committee May 21 passed a balanced immigration reform bill that included a fair and workable farm labor provision that sets the stage for Senate action beginning next month,” AFBF President Bob Stallman said.

“The success of American agriculture depends on the workers who show up every day and work in partnership with our nation’s farm and ranch families to tend our crops and livestock.  Agricultural labor reform is not about whether foreign workers will grow and harvest our food. That is a matter of fact. It is about whether those foreign workers will tend crops here in the United States, or in their home countries. We believe American food grown on American soil is the best option,” He continued.

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AFBF Urges Congress to Keep Current Tax Tools – May 15, 2013

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2013—Farmers and ranchers need a tax code to manage the risks associated with agriculture while complying with tax liabilities, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. In a statement filed today with the House Ways and Means Committee for a hearing on small business taxation, AFBF urged congressional members to maintain cash accounting tools and higher small business expensing limits in any tax code rewrite.

Cash accounting tools, like the deferral of commodity and product receipts and prepaying the cost of livestock feed, fertilizer and other farm supplies, are important to farmers. Proposed changes to cash accounting rules, which would require some farmers to change to accrual accounting, would be time-consuming and costly to farms and ranches.

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