News

American Farm Bureau’s Stallman Calls for Tax Changes

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WASHINGTON, April 8, 2014–Farmers and ranchers need tax certainty to thrive in a modern economy, and making permanent deductions that expired in 2013 is a good first step, the American Farm Bureau Federation told the House Ways and Means Committee today.

“One of the major goals of tax reform should be to provide stable, predictable rules for businesses so that they can grow and create jobs,” American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman said. “Farm Bureau believes that Congress should end its practice of extending important business tax provisions for one or two years at a time. This practice makes it very difficult for farmers and ranchers to plan and adds immense confusion and complexity.”

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American Farm Bureau Federation Statement on EPA’s Proposed ‘Waters’ Rule - April 1, 2014

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“Last week, the American Farm Bureau Federation carefully reviewed EPA’s March 25 release of the ‘waters of the U.S.’ proposed rule. The results of our review are dismaying," said American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Bob Stallman.

“The EPA proposal poses a serious threat to farmers, ranchers and other landowners. Under EPA’s proposed new rule, waters—even ditches—are regulated even if they are miles from the nearest ‘navigable’ waters. Indeed, so-called ‘waters’ are regulated even if they aren’t wet most of the time," Stallman continued.  "EPA says its new rule will reduce uncertainty, and that much seems to be true: there isn’t much uncertainty if most every feature where water flows or stands after a rainfall is federally regulated."

“Under this proposed rule, farmers, ranchers and every other landowner across the countryside will face a tremendous new roadblock to ordinary land use activities.  This is not just about the paperwork of getting a permit to farm, or even about having farming practices regulated," He said.  "The fact is there is no legal right to a Clean Water Act permit—if farming or ranching activities need a permit, EPA or the Army Corps of Engineers can deny that permit.  That’s why Clean Water Act jurisdiction over farmlands amounts to nothing less than federal veto power over a farmer’s ability to farm. 

“EPA accompanied its proposal with a new ‘interpretive rule’ claiming to clarify certain statutory exemptions for agricultural conservation practices, including activities as commonplace and essential to farming as building a fence. But these exemptions apply only to ‘dredge and fill’ permit requirements," Stallman explained.  "They do not protect farmers from federal veto power over pest and weed control, fertilizer application, and other essential farming activities that may result in the addition of ‘pollutants’ to ‘navigable waters,’ -- providing one views every ditch and wet spot across the landscape as ‘navigable waters.’ 

“The American Farm Bureau Federation will dedicate itself to opposing this attempted end run around the limits set by Congress and the Supreme Court," Stallman concluded.  "The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that Congress meant what it said: ‘navigable waters’ does not mean all waters. This proposed rule shows that EPA refuses to accept those limits.”

National Agriculture Day and Honoring Dr. Norman Borlaug

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March 25, 20014-- “On National Agriculture Day, it is only fitting that we celebrate the installation of a memorial to Dr. Norman Borlaug, the scientist most closely identified with dramatically improving agricultural productivity through development of high-yield, disease-resistant crops," said Bob Stallman, American Farm Bureau Federation President.  "All of agriculture is standing a little taller today, seeing a statue of Dr. Borlaug being placed in the U.S. Capitol. His scientific discoveries and hands-on work to transfer food production technology transformed agriculture all around the world. His work moved farm production from subsistence to the fullest abundance and most importantly, gave nations the tools to feed their people."

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Administration to Publish Misguided ‘Waters of the U.S.’ Proposal

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The administration often talks about creating jobs, and with millions out of work the White House is right to focus on the issue. So it’s puzzling that the administration would consider a proposal that will hurt farms and other businesses, making it more difficult to create jobs.

The administration is about to propose regulations to broadly expand the scope of the Clean Water Act. When Congress wrote the law, it was clear that it only applied to navigable waters or, as the law names them, “waters of the U.S.” Two Supreme Court decisions have reaffirmed that those terms do not cover all waters.

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A Clean Chesapeake Bay: It’s the ‘How,’ Not the ‘What’

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By Lynne Finnerty, American Farm Bureau Federation

How would you feel if someone looked at your financial situation and not only told you that you needed to spend less, save more and lower your debt, but also dictated how and when you must do so. This person would hover over you, not allowing you to buy anything unless he or she approved the purchase.

Paying tuition to put your kid through college? Stop. You can’t afford it, no matter how important it may be to you and your family. You would be required to take a second job to make more money, even if it meant sacrificing other goals such as caring for an elderly parent. You would be forced to sell your home and rent a smaller one, even if it would not accommodate your needs.

While the changes might benefit your overall budget, they may not be the right solutions for you. If you’re like most people, you would welcome the advice, but you would prefer to make the tough decisions yourself, based on what works for you and your family.

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“Wyoming Agricultural Literacy Week” is March 10-15

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            Recognizing the importance of the Wyoming agriculture industry and educating school children through reading, the week of March 10th has been designated by Wyoming Governor Matt Mead as “Wyoming Agricultural Literacy Week.” 

            Educating Wyoming school children about agriculture is the goal of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Committee “Ag Books for Kids” project.   2014 marks the tenth year of the project.  The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) Young Farmer & Rancher (YF&R) Committee organizes the project and the county Farm Bureaus across the state donate agriculture books each year to the elementary school libraries across Wyoming.      

            During the proclamation signing and meeting with the Wyoming Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Committee on Feb. 26, the Governor emphasized the importance of educating about agriculture through literacy. 

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Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Legislative Meeting Feb. 27-28 in Cheyenne

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Legislative issues, health insurance, telecommunications, Wyoming water strategy and estate planning are a few of the topics that will be presented at the 2014 Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Legislative Meeting. 

The meeting will be Feb. 27-28 at the 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.

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AFBF Asks Court to Restore State Authority in Chesapeake Bay Lawsuit - Jan. 28, 2014

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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 28, 2014—The American Farm Bureau Federation this week asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to reverse a Sept. 2013 federal court ruling that upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s total maximum daily load (TMDL) for the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  The court will decide whether EPA exceeded its Clean Water Act authority by mandating how nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment runoff should be allocated among farms, construction and development activities, as well as homeowners and towns throughout the 64,000 square mile Chesapeake Bay watershed.

“This case involves whether EPA can assume authority over land use and water quality policy decisions that Congress specifically reserved for state and local levels of government,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “Last year the district court ruled that EPA can dictate how and when states and localities must restrict land uses, even to the point of banning development or demanding that specific areas be taken out of agricultural use. 

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Farm Bureau Delegates Set Public Policy Positions for 2014 - Jan. 14, 2014

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SAN ANTONIO, January 14, 2014–Voting delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 95th annual meeting today approved resolutions that will provide the organization with authority from its grassroots members to push Congress toward the goal line on unfinished issues like the farm bill and ag labor.

“Securing victories on those issues is critical to our competitiveness as individual farmers and ranchers, and to our nation’s success as a food producer,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman, who was re-elected to his eighth two-year term as the organization’s president. “Farm Bureau made progress on our priorities this past year, more so than most other organizations, and this year, our delegates have provided us direction to work with Congress to complete this agenda.”

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Delinquent brand period ends - Jan. 3, 2014

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The Wyoming Livestock Board wants to remind people that the delinquent brand period has drawn to a close on the 2013 renewal period.  In accordance with new legislation passed in 2013, any brand that was up for renewal and was not renewed by the March 1 deadline was considered delinquent.  Any delinquent brands that were not renewed by December 31, 2013, will be declared legally abandoned and by law will be available to be applied for by other applicants.  As part of the abandoned process all delinquent brands not renewed before December 31, 2013, will be moved to the abandoned brand category at the soonest convenient time after January 1, 2013.

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Wyoming Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference Jan. 23-24 in Cody

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“The Power of Grassroots” is the focus of the Jan. 23-24, 2014 Wyoming Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher (YF&R) Conference.   Wyoming young farmers and ranchers are invited to attend the YF&R Conference at the Holiday Inn in Cody.  The conference is open to all young agricultural producers between the ages of 18-35 (no membership necessary) and all Farm Bureau members.  Children are welcome.

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Converse County rancher Rachel Grant wins Wyoming Farm Bureau YF&R Discussion Meet

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Converse County rancher Rachel Grant discussed agriculture issues at a recent Wyoming Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Discussion Meet and earned $500 cash and a trip to San Antonio, Texas.  Grant competed Nov. 16 with other young farmers and ranchers in the event held at the Wyoming Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Laramie.

Grant will represent the Wyoming Farm Bureau in the American Farm Bureau Federation Discussion Meet Jan. 11-12, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas.  The winner at the national level receives the choice of a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado or a 2014 GMC Sierra pickup valued at $35,000 donated by GM.  The three finalists receive a Case IH Farmall Tractor, $2,500 cash and $500 in STIHL merchandise from STIHL.

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Wyoming Farm Bureau sets policy for coming year - Nov. 20, 2013

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Laramie— Policies dealing with livestock trespass, taxes, wildlife damages and support of the coal industry were among the many policies adopted at the 94th annual meeting of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB).  Held Nov. 14-16, 2013 in Laramie, Wyo., the meeting is an important step in the grassroots policy development process of Farm Bureau.

“Farm Bureau policy is founded on the protection of private property rights, constitutional government and individual freedoms,” WyFB President Perry Livingston said.  “The policy discussions focused on many different issues relating to our founding principles.”

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Wyoming Farm Bureau members donated the equivalent of 5,672 meals to help Wyoming families in need - Nov. 20, 2013

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Wyoming families facing hunger received a boost mid-November with the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmer & Rancher (YF&R) Committee “Harvest for All” project.  The annual food and fund drive to benefit Feeding America food bank affiliates in Wyoming raised the equivalent of 5,672 meals for Wyoming families.

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Converse County’s Frank and Leslie Eathorne receive Wyoming Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award - Nov. 20, 2013

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LARAMIE—Frank and Leslie Eathorne, of Converse County, were awarded the 2013 Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award at the 94th annual meeting of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB).  Presented Nov. 15, the award is given to those who have gone above and beyond in their service to agriculture.

“Frank and Leslie have never lost sight of their goal,” stated Wyoming Farm Bureau President Perry Livingston.  “We appreciate all they have done for the good of the Farm Bureau organization and the good of agriculture in Converse County and Wyoming.”

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WyFB Annual Meeting Photos on Facebook - Nov. 18, 2013

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For annual meeting photos and information, visit our Facebook pages.  1) WyFB Facebook and 2) WyFB Young Farmers and Ranchers Facebook.  Click on the links in the left column of this page.  The pages are open so you do not need to have an account to view the photos.  The 2013 WyFB Annual Meeting was Nov. 14-16, 2013.

Perry Livingston elected to ninth term as Wyoming Farm Bureau President - Nov. 16, 2013

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LARAMIE—Perry Livingston, of Sundance, was elected to his ninth term as President of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) at the organization’s 94th annual meeting in Laramie.  Livingston and his family run a cow/calf operation in Crook and Weston Counties.  

“Agriculture continues to be one of the economic forces that drives the private industry in the state of Wyoming,” WyFB President Perry Livingston said.  “It is a real privilege to be associated with the members of the Farm Bureau organization.”

Voting delegates elected Todd Fornstrom to his first term as WyFB Vice President.  Todd and his family farm in Laramie County.  He and his wife, Laura, have four children.  Fornstrom has served in many different leadership positions within the organization; including Laramie County Farm Bureau President; a member of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Committee; and state chair of the WyFB General Issues Committee.  He is also a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation Sheep and Goat Advisory Board.

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The "South Dakota Farm Bureau Cares" Fund for Atlas Blizzard

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The early-October blizzard, so powerful it has been named "Atlas," was devastating to many ranch families in Western South Dakota. Tens of thousands of head of livestock were lost in the storm. Losing all or part of the herd that you -- and your family for generations before you -- has worked so hard to build up is a deep emotional blow. From an economic perspective, the ranchers will be facing a very difficult time in the weeks and months ahead as they decide how to regain their footing and rebuild.

We at South Dakota Farm Bureau have established The "South Dakota Farm Bureau Cares" Fund to help ranchers impacted by the blizzard.

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WyFB Annual Meeting Nov. 14-16

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LARAMIE--The 94th annual meeting of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Laramie Nov. 14-16, 2013; preceded by the WyFB Foundation Symposium.  

Featured speakers at the annual meeting include United States Representative Cynthia Lummis; United States Senator Mike Enzi; American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Senior Counsel for Public Policy Danielle Quist; Paul Schlegel, AFBF Director, Environment and Energy Policy; and Kevin Spafford, Founder of Legacy by Design and eLegacy Connect.  Full agenda attached.

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