By Carla Wardin
When people talk about sustainability, I like to point to generational farms as an example. I'm the sixth generation in my family to live and farm on the same land. For 137 years, my ancestors have been taking care of the land and water in order to ensure that we can raise great crops for our cattle and preserve good pasture for their grazing. We have always taken care to make certain that the creek that flows behind our house is kept clean. My great-great grandma hauled water from it, my great grandma washed their clothes in it, and now we responsibly irrigate from it. We're not only taking care of it for us, we're doing it for future generations of farmers.Full Article
AFBF Urges Support for the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act - July 14, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 14, 2016 - Career and technical education and post-high school job training and retraining are essential to the economic viability of rural communities. For that reason, the American Farm Bureau Federation is urging congressional support for H.R. 5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. Full Article
Private property rights received a win on July 6 when U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl dismissed a lawsuit challenging Wyoming trespass laws. In the ruling, Skavdahl stated there is no constitutional right to trespass on private lands.
Judge Skavdahl wrote: “Plaintiffs' claims are erroneously premised upon their perceived First Amendment right to trespass upon private property to collect resource data. No such constitutional right exists. To the contrary, the United States Supreme Court "has never held that a trespasser or an uninvited guest may exercise general rights of free speech on property privately owned." Lloyd Corp., Limited, supra at 568. Full Article
--WDA asking for assistance in monitoring rainfall; offering hay/pasture availability list on website
June 14, 2016--Weston, Crook, and Niobrara counties are currently facing severe drought conditions. The Wyoming Department of Agriculture has been collaborating with Governor Mead’s office, USDA Farm Service Agency, and County Commissioners to find ways to help more accurately portray drought severity within the U.S. Drought Monitor. The U.S. Drought Monitor is a model that uses many variables to indicate drought severity across the country and in turn, make available the United States Department of Agriculture – Farm Service Agency’s drought assistance programs based on severity. Current data used by the US Drought Monitor, however, may not be accurately capturing how dry it actually is in some rural areas of Wyoming.Full Article
Laramie--The 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.”Full Article
Farm Bureau Hails Supreme Court Victory: Farmers and Ranchers May Sue to Stop Clean Water Regulation of Ordinary Farmland - May 31, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 31, 2016 – A unanimous Supreme Court today ruled landowners may challenge the federal government whenever the Army Corps of Engineers tries improperly to regulate land with regulations designed to protect water.
Students from across Wyoming learned more about agriculture again this year and were recently recognized for their participation in the 2016 Wyoming Farm Bureau (WyFB) “Ag Books for Kids” contests. The 2016 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.Full Article
EPA, Army Corps of Engineers Violate Law, Oppress Farmers in California and Elsewhere, Farm Bureau Tells Congress - May 24, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 24, 2016 – The Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers have violated their own regulations and effectively invented new ones in enforcing the Clean Water Act, the American Farm Bureau Federation said today.
Don Parrish, senior director of congressional relations at AFBF, told the Senate Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water and Wildlife that the Army Corps’ novel interpretations of environmental law are threatening the very livelihoods of ordinary, middle-class Americans who happen to farm for a living.Full Article
WASHINGTON, D.C, May 17, 2016 – Three Farm Bureau members on May 17 called on the federal government to use more carrots and fewer sticks with farmers who care for land that has often been in their families for generations. Pennsylvania Farm Bureau President Richard Ebert, former Ohio Farm Bureau President Terry McClure and Florida Farm Bureau member Kate English testified before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry.
Andy Johnson and his family are also freed from any liability for EPA fines for constructing the environmentally beneficial pond on their property in Bridger, Wyoming
Cheyenne, Wyoming; May 9, 2016: The long ordeal that Andy Johnson and his family went through with the Environmental Protection Agency, concerning their construction of an environmentally friendly stock pond on their private property in Bridger, Wyo., is finally over. After ordering Andy Johnson to remove the pond, on pain of tens of millions of dollars in potential fines, the federal government has agreed to a settlement of the case – and a federal court approved the settlement this week.Full Article
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 12, 2016 – Congress should hold the Environmental Protection Agency accountable for its repeated violations of open government laws, American Farm Bureau Federation board member and Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Tom Buchanan told a Senate subcommittee today.Full Article
AFBF: In failing to move voluntary GMO labeling measure, senators abandon farmers, consumers - March 16, 2016
Calling the Senate's failure to move forward with debate on a voluntary GMO labeling bill "inexcusable," American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said farmers will continue their fight to secure a law that supports consumers, America's farmers and ranchers and our nation's system of affordable, productive agriculture.Full Article
Agriculture: Stewards of a Healthy Planet and working to Keep Wyoming Strong! Farmers and ranchers are truly stewards of the planet. Rather than spout out statistics, I challenge you to see for yourself. Ask a farmer or rancher in your community to tell you the true story about how they are stewards of a healthy planet.Full Article
Farm Bureau and Allies Ask Federal Court to Stop Federal Overreach on Greater Sage Grouse - March 10, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 10, 2016 –The American Farm Bureau Federation and Idaho Farm Bureau Federation have asked a federal court to stop federal land use management plans aimed at excluding grazing from millions of acres of federal lands to provide habitat for the greater sage grouse. The Public Lands Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Idaho Cattle Association joined with the Farm Bureau in filing their friend of the court brief in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on March 8. The brief lends support to a lawsuit brought by Idaho Governor Butch Otter challenging revised federal land management plans issued in November 2015, by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service for federal lands in Idaho. Other states have brought similar lawsuits challenging the revised plans as applied to federal lands within their borders.Full Article
CHEYENNE--Senator Eli Bebout, of Fremont County, was awarded the 2015 Wyoming Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award at the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) Legislative Meeting. Presented Feb. 25, the award is given to those who have gone above and beyond in their service to agriculture.Full Article
“It is important for kids to learn that food in fact does not come from the grocery store, it is a stop on the way,” Wyoming Governor Matt Mead stated during a February meeting with Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation members. “It (food production) requires not only the ability to have generations in agriculture, but then to have the lands and the means and the policies to allow farmers and ranchers to grow food.”
Recognizing the importance of Wyoming agriculture and educating school children through reading, the week of March 7th has been designated by Governor Mead as “Wyoming Agricultural Literacy Week.”Full Article
American Farm Bureau Federation Joins Initiative To Give Farmers Control of Data They Collect - March 3, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 3, 2016 – The American Farm Bureau Federation and a host of other agricultural groups today revealed a ground-breaking data repository that supporters say will give farmers ultimate control over the ever-increasing business data gathered and transmitted by high-tech farm machinery.Full Article
--March 1 application deadline
Farm Bureau members and their family are encouraged to apply for one of nine college scholarships offered by the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation. The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation scholarship deadline is March 1, 2016. One scholarship is valued at $1,500 and eight scholarships are valued at $500 each.Full Article
Members of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Committee elected Cole Coxbill, of Goshen County, as the committee’s chairman for 2016. He began his one-year term at the conclusion of the AFBF YF&R Conference held mid-February. He will also serve a one-year term on the AFBF board of directors.Full Article
Legislative issues and current agriculture issues will be presented at the 2016 Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Legislative Meeting. The meeting will be Feb. 25-26 at the Radisson Hotel (formerly Holiday Inn) in Cheyenne. Held annually to coincide with the legislative session, the meeting provides Farm Bureau members the opportunity to meet with their legislators one-on-one and receive updates on current issues.Full Article