Agricultural News

Tunnel collapse on July 17 causes breach of Fort Laramie Canal – July 19, 2019

July 19, 2019--According to a Goshen Irrigation District news release, during the early morning hours on July 17, an apparent collapse in a tunnel on the Fort Laramie Canal, about one and a half miles south of the town of Fort Laramie, caused water to back up and breach the canal bank upstream of the tunnel. The Fort Laramie Canal provides irrigation water to approximately 107,000 acres in Wyoming and Nebraska served by the Goshen and Gering-Fort Laramie Irrigation Districts and the Wright and Murphey Ditch Company. Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Vice President/Goshen County Farmer Cole Coxbill says the magnitude

Welcome progress on Water Rule changes

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2019 – “The Administration has moved its effort to repeal the 2015 Waters of the United States rule to the Office of Management and Budget, the last step before formal issuance. This is good news and welcome news,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall.

Wyoming’s Todd Fornstrom Testifies Before the Senate on Waters of the U.S. Regulations – June 12, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), welcomed Todd Fornstrom, president of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation, to the committee. Fornstrom was testifying before the committee at a hearing titled “A Review of Waters of the U.S. Regulations: Their Impact on States and the American People.”  Click here to watch Mr. Fornstrom’s testimony.

“Ag Books for Kids” winners announced – May 29, 2019

Students from across Wyoming learned more about agriculture again this year and were recently recognized for their participation in the 2019 Wyoming Farm Bureau (WyFB) “Ag Books for Kids” contests. The 2019 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. (more…)

If Not Us, Who? If Not Now, When? – April 17, 2019

By Randy Dwyer
“If not us, who? If not now, when?” These questions have been posed by many over the years in an attempt to draw attention to causes both large and small. For Farm Bureau farmer and rancher members, the answers to these questions should hold more meaning today than ever before. (more…)

Now is the Time to Weigh in on Proposed Clean Water Rule

By Cyndie Shearing, American Farm Bureau Federation
“Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights” has long been attributed to Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and our nation’s third president. When he wrote those words in 1789, Jefferson could not have imagined how true they would ring more than 200 years later, when the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed an overreaching “waters of the U.S.” rule in 2015 that was more about controlling land than protecting water.

Fortunately, at the end of 2018, after years of litigation and controversy, the agencies proposed a new rule that provides farmers and ranchers with Clean Water and Clear Rules. Now EPA and the Corps want to hear directly from members of the public – including farmers, ranchers, landowners and others who may be subject to regulation – to make sure the new Clean Water Rule provides clear and easily understood guidelines. But with the comment period on the proposed new rule closing on April 15, there’s no time to lose. To have a voice in this process, it’s important to submit your comments online now at www.fb.org/cleanwater.

EPA’s administrator has stated he wants the new Clean Water Rule to work for agriculture and all of America. Below are some key reasons to be optimistic about it:

  •  The proposed new rule provides clarity, regulatory certainty and protects water resources, while respecting the federal-state balance that Congress struck in the Clean Water Act. It alleviates unpredictable and inconsistent case-by-case determinations of which waters fall under the agencies’ jurisdiction. It also brings an end to the decades-long trend of persistent federal government overreach that cannot be reconciled with either congressional intent or judicial precedent.
  • This proposed new “waters of the U.S.” definition is grounded in the Clean Water Act. It’s also consistent with Supreme Court precedent. And it helps correct past agency practice, guidance and interpretations that improperly expanded the scope of federal authority under the CWA.
  • The proposed rule eliminates much of the uncertainty, ambiguity and inconsistency that characterized previous definitions related to the scope of EPA and the Corps’ jurisdiction. The proposal also appropriately places the burden on the government, not landowners, to show jurisdiction in cases where historic evidence is needed.
  • The proposal appropriately defines tributaries to include only those streams that contribute perennial or intermittent (as opposed to occasional or ephemeral) flows to a traditional navigable water. The focus on the well-understood concepts of ephemeral, intermittent and perennial flow allows landowners and regulators to more readily identify tributaries subject to CWA jurisdiction.
  • Under the proposed rule, wetlands adjacent to other jurisdictional waters (traditional navigable waters, tributaries, ditches, lakes, ponds and impoundments) would fall under EPA jurisdiction. With this “adjacent wetlands” definition in place, agencies asserting jurisdiction over isolated, intrastate, non-navigable waters is no longer a possibility.
  • The proposal reaffirms the “prior converted cropland” exclusion, which grandfathered in many acres of cropland and exempted them from federal jurisdiction.

Farmers and ranchers want Clean Water and Clear Rules. Don’t miss this chance to let your voice be heard. Submit your comments online today at www.fb.org/cleanwater.

Cyndie Shearing is director of internal communications at the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Nebraska Farm Bureau Launches Disaster Relief Fund and Information Exchange Portal – March 15, 2019

LINCOLN, NEB., March 15, 2019 – The Nebraska Farm Bureau has launched relief efforts to aid Nebraska farmers, ranchers, and rural communities suffering from the natural disasters that have impacted the state. The relief efforts include the establishment of a disaster relief fund and launch of an online agriculture disaster exchange portal to connect those in need with those who can help. (more…)

Agriculture: Food for Life

When you think about agriculture, food is the first thing that comes to mind for most people.  Food is definitely important for life, however, farmers and ranchers provide for much more than food alone.  Plant and animal biotechnology have resulted in new antibodies for immunizations.  Agriculture has also contributed to research that has helped develop surgical techniques and pharmaceuticals that help save lives.

And that is just the beginning of how agriculture is food for life.  Agriculture protects and provides for open spaces, clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat and local economies. 

Agriculture:  Food for Life and working to Keep Wyoming Strong!  Farmers and ranchers are truly stewards of the planet.  In agriculture, we have the grand responsibility of not only making it work while we are here on earth, but making it work for future generations.  To be a good steward means to implement the kind of management that works.  Making careful and responsible choices for the land that we have been entrusted to care for is important and necessary.

Looking at the number of years a particular business has been operating can be a good indicator of success.  Hundreds of Wyoming farms/ranches have celebrated their centennial anniversaries; meaning their farm or ranch has been in the same family for multiple generations.  Now, that is representation of good stewardship.

The land and its resources must be managed well in order to continue to thrive.  Using advances in technology as well as knowledge of the land, farmers and ranchers are doing more with less.  They also feed their families the same food they grow and raise. 

Farmers and ranchers play a large role as stewards of the land.  They do this in many ways including:  caring for the land by practicing best management practices, providing wildlife habitat, open spaces and fresh air.  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 the land all while providing food for life.

While you are enjoying your favorite food remember to “Celebrate Agriculture,” and its people who care for the animals and the land seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. 

The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation invites all Wyomingites to “Celebrate Agriculture” and learn more about its role in your daily lives and recognize the issues impacting agriculture.  We proudly celebrate Wyoming agriculture and its people every day of the year and specifically on Wyoming Agriculture Day, March 14, 2019.  Visit us at www.wyfb.org.

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“Wyoming Agricultural Literacy Week” is March 4-9

In a room full of Wyoming farmers and ranchers, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed his first proclamation as Governor designating the week of March 4th as “Wyoming Agricultural Literacy Week.” 

“I can’t be more proud than to have Farm Bureau here,” Governor Gordon stated as he took pen to paper declaring the importance of agriculture literacy and Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation’s “Ag Books for Kids” program.

“Ag is important to Wyoming,” Governor Gordon stated.  “There is a work ethic on the farm and ranch that is second to none.”

(more…)

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