By Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation
While the Environmental Protection Agency continues to court America’s farmers to support the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule (WOTUS), the messages of the agency’s charm offensive could actually be telegraphing a regulatory nightmare for many farmers across wide swaths of prime farm and ranch country.
Based on messages recently delivered by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, coupled with language in the proposed WOTUS rule, the EPA appears ready to make prairie potholes a categorical “water of the United States.” That would subject owners of prairie potholes to an unnecessary, punishing and patently duplicative blanket of bureaucracy.Full Article
The ability of landowners to protect their property rights was strengthened as a result of Senate File 12 (Trespassing to Collect Data) passed by the Wyoming Legislature and signed into law by Wyoming Governor Matt Mead on March 5.Full Article
“The opportunity for young people to have literacy in agriculture is not only good for general learning it is also good for the basic understanding they need to have of where things come from, most importantly food,” Wyoming Governor Matt Mead stated during a February meeting with Wyoming Farm Bureau (WyFB) Young Farmer and Rancher (YF&R) Committee members.
Recognizing the importance of the Wyoming agriculture industry and educating school children through reading, the week of March 9th has been designated by Governor Mead as “Wyoming Agricultural Literacy Week.”Full Article
For the 2014 crop year, crop insurance programs administered by the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) covered nearly $110 million in crop liability for Wyoming farmers and ranchers. The state had over 2,400 policies in force for 2014, and those policies covered over 2 million Wyoming crop acres. Over 21 percent of Wyoming’s insured producers suffered a loss and received an indemnity in 2014; in fact, the average indemnity per indemnified policy for 2014 was nearly $20,000.Full Article
Notice Regarding Transition from Use of Wyoming Green ID Tag to Silver Official ID Tag - March 5, 2015
The Wyoming Livestock Board is moving away from the use of the Wyoming green tag as official identification for cattle due to federal official identification requirements.Full Article
By Dr. Steve Savage
Pests are nothing new: They have often disrupted agriculture in the past. However, two unique aspects of our times exacerbate such risks.Full Article
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 9, 2015 – A federal district court in Minnesota ordered EPA late Friday not to release farmers’ and ranchers’ personal information while AFBF and co-plaintiff National Pork Producers Council appeal the court’s decision dismissing their lawsuit. By dismissing the suit, the court ruled that farmers are not harmed when the government compiles and releases a storehouse of personal information, so long as individual bits of that information are somehow publicly accessible, such as through an Internet search or on a Facebook page.Full Article
--Deadline March 1, 2015
Farm Bureau members and their family members are encouraged to apply for one of nine college scholarships offered by the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation. The applications are available at county Farm Bureau offices, on the web at www.wyfb.org (click on education tab) or by calling 800.442.8325.Full Article
Wyoming Livestock Board would like to remind brand owners that all brand ID numbers ending with a dash five (- 5) must be renewed no later than midnight on March 1, 2015. The Brand recording office will be sending certified renewal letters out very soon as a reminder to those folks who still owe renewal fees on their Wyoming brands.Full Article
Legislative issues, Wyoming’s Water Strategy, livestock health issues and wolves are a few of the topics that will be presented at the 2015 Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Legislative Meeting.
The meeting will be Feb. 12-13 at the Little America Hotel 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
SAN DIEGO, January 13, 2015 – Farmer and rancher delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 96th Annual Convention today approved resolutions that will provide the organization grassroots authority to ask Congress to finish many measures that remain unsettled at the start of 2015.Full Article
Trespass, telecommunications and transportation are three of the key areas on which the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) will focus in the upcoming legislative session, according to Ken Hamilton, WyFB Executive Vice President. The 2015 Legislative Session will convene on Jan. 13.Full Article
Scientists in grass height and sage-grouse nest success study say facts being misrepresented - Dec. 19, 2014
Scientists whose study found a positive relationship between taller grass and sage-grouse nest success are concerned environmental groups are using findings to incorrectly label livestock producers as responsible for the birds’ decline.Full Article
A passion for farming, family, friends and Farm Bureau leads Cole and Sammie Coxbill in the work they do for agriculture. This young couple, members of the Goshen County Farm Bureau, have been appointed to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Young Farmer & Rancher (YF&R) Committee for 2015-17. The committee is comprised of 16 positions representing all regions of the U.S.Full Article
The expansion of federal jurisdiction, broader definitions and regulation of new areas that are not jurisdictional and the increase in regulatory uncertainty were stated in a recent policy statement by The Energy Council as some of the reasons the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should withdraw the proposed “Waters of the U.S.” rule. In the December 2014 policy statement, The Energy Council calls for a replacement proposed rule to reflect the necessary consultations that should take place with the States.Full Article
--WWP has four staff attorneys and as of 2011 had received over $2.3 million in EAJA funds
In June 2014, fifteen landowners in Fremont County, Wyoming and Lincoln County, Wyoming filed a civil trespass lawsuit against Western Watersheds Project (WWP) and Jonathan Ratner WWP Director for Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, and John Does 1-10 with the Western Watersheds Project, Inc. for intentionally and without landowner permission trespassing and entering private property.
In a July response filed by Western Watersheds Project, the group alleges the case is an attempt to silence the group. According to the landowners’ attorney, Karen Budd-Falen, this lawsuit is strictly about trespass. “Private citizens do not have the right to cross private property without permission,” said Budd-Falen.Full Article
“All in with Farm Bureau YF&R” is the theme of the Jan. 16-17, 2015 Joint Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher (YF&R) Conference in Deadwood, S.D. The Wyoming Farm Bureau and the South Dakota Farm Bureau are joining together for a joint conference you won’t want to miss. 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.Full Article
A public hearing on the proposed listing of the Northern Long-Eared Bat as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act will be held Dec. 2 in Sundance, WY. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service will hold an informational meeting from 6-7 p.m. followed by a public hearing from 7-8 p.m. The Crook County Commission encourages attendance at this meeting as the potential listing will impact not only Crook, but Weston and Campbell counties as well. The public hearing will be at the Crook County Courthouse basement.
Wyoming Farm Bureau members donated the equivalent of 6,503 meals to help Wyoming families in need - Nov. 21, 2014
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 6,503 meals for Wyoming families.Full Article
Northwest College student Bryce McKenzie discussed agriculture issues at a recent Wyoming Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Collegiate Discussion Meet and earned $300 cash and a trip to Nashville, Tenn. McKenzie competed Nov. 13 in the event held at Sheridan College. Fifteen competitors representing Sheridan College, Eastern Wyoming College, Northwest College and the University of Wyoming entered the competition.Full Article