Agricultural News

What to Watch for in 2020

The start of a new decade holds a lot of promise for American farmers and ranchers. Much-anticipated progress in hemp regulation, sustainability, technology and a presidential election will be key items to watch for this year. While 2019 was challenging overall for agriculture, the last few weeks of the year featured promising developments likely to carry over into the new year.

We are one Farm Bureau–AFBF President Zippy Duvall speaks at Centennial Banquet

“You, the county members, are the most important people in our organization,” American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Zippy Duvall told Wyoming Farm Bureau (WyFB) members during the organization’s 100th Annual Meeting Centennial Banquet held Nov. 14.

Wyoming Farm Bureau members donated the equivalent of 12,413 meals to help Wyoming families in need – Nov. 22, 2019

LARAMIE, Nov. 22, 2019--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 fund drive and raffle to benefit the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies raised $3,103.35 which is the equivalent of 12,413 meals for Wyoming families.

Laramie County Community College student Kathi LaPoint wins Farm Bureau Collegiate Discussion Meet – Nov. 22, 2019

November 22, 2019—Laramie County Community College (LCCC) student Kathi LaPoint discussed agriculture issues at the Wyoming Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Collegiate Discussion Meet and earned $300 cash and an expense-paid trip to Louisville, Kentucky. LaPoint competed Nov. 12 in Laramie. Twelve competitors representing LCCC, Sheridan College and the University of Wyoming (UW) entered the competition. The competition is designed to simulate a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected.

Wyoming Farm Bureau sets policy for coming year; elects leaders – Nov. 21, 2019

November 21, 2019— Irrigation infrastructure, taxes, private property rights, and migration corridors were among the many topics included in policies adopted at the 100th annual meeting of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB). Held Nov. 13-15 in Laramie, Wyo., the meeting is an important step in the grassroots policy development process of Farm Bureau. “County Farm Bureau members start the policy development process at the local level,” said Ken Hamilton, WyFB Executive Vice President. “The process continues through the district, state and national levels as members discuss a wide variety of policy issues that are of concern to them.” Infrastructure

Todd Fornstrom elected to fourth term as Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation President – Nov. 15, 2019

LARAMIE, Nov. 15, 2019—Todd Fornstrom, of Laramie County, was elected to his fourth term as President of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) at the organization’s 100th annual meeting in Laramie.

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.”

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Farm Bureau Releases Strategic Action Plan Goals for 2019 – Feb. 1, 2019

The American Farm Bureau Federation today released its top public policy goals for the year. The AFBF board approved its 2019 Strategic Action Plan following delegate action during the organization’s 100th annual convention in New Orleans.

AFBF will use the goals as a guide for strategic planning and grassroots activity throughout 2019. The five top issues are:

  • 116th Congress: Build relationships to educate and work with members of Congress, with support from Farm Bureau’s grassroots leaders and lobbying programs, to promote policies that benefit farmers, ranchers and rural communities.
  • Agricultural Labor: Enact legislation that helps farmers and ranchers meet their labor needs.
  • Infrastructure: Work for greater investment in rural and agricultural infrastructure, including broadband internet access; rural roads and bridges; inland waterway locks and dams; sea ports; and agricultural research.
  • Regulatory Reform: Work for reform of the rulemaking process to ensure that federal rules are supported by science and created in a transparent manner, while identifying specific regulations and regulatory opportunities that improve the ability of farmers and ranchers to remain productive and competitive.
  • Trade: Defend and expand trade opportunities for U.S. agriculture.

The AFBF board also approved a set of “watch-list” issues at the New Orleans meeting. AFBF will monitor these issues as part of its ongoing strategic planning process. These include:

  • Animal Agriculture: Increase efforts to defend animal agriculture production and promote meat consumption, as well as work for policies to enhance animal ag producers’ productivity and profitability, such as transportation issues unique to livestock and poultry production, aquaculture and apiculture.
  • Energy: Ensure policy that enhances the availability and affordability of energy for farmers and ranchers and encourages the growth of renewable energy production. Monitor climate legislation to ensure it does not unduly burden or restrict agriculture.
  • Farm Policy: Monitor implementation of the 2018 farm bill to ensure farmers’ and ranchers’ needs are met.
  • Labeling: Monitor rules and practices dealing with labeling of food and agricultural products, including milk and milk substitutes, cell-based food and food containing ingredients that are products of biotechnology.
  • Mental Health: Promote resources for farmers and their families who are struggling with substance addiction, depression and other mental health challenges.
  • Taxes: Continue working to eliminate the estate tax, promote other tax policies that benefit farmers and ranchers, and preserve the Unrelated Business Income Tax exemption that allows Farm Bureau to be a voice for farmers and ranchers.

The priorities and watch-list issues are only some of the topics the organization will address in 2019. AFBF continues to identify opportunities to take action consistent with the policies set forth by the organization’s farmer and rancher delegates from across the country. 

USDA to Reopen FSA Offices for Limited Services During Government Shutdown – Jan. 16, 2019

(Washington, D.C., January 16, 2019) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that many Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices will reopen temporarily in the coming days to perform certain limited services for farmers and ranchers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has recalled about 2,500 FSA employees to open offices on Thursday, January 17 and Friday, January 18, in addition to Tuesday, January 22, during normal business hours. The offices will be closed for the federal Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday, January 21. (more…)

Duvall Reviews Achievements, Plots Course as Farm Bureau Moves Toward Centennial – Jan. 13, 2019

In front of a celebratory gathering of approximately 7,000 farmers and ranchers from across the nation, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall opened AFBF’s 100th Annual Convention by outlining a few of the organization’s many historic accomplishments – from leading the way on the nation’s first farm bill in the 1930s to helping develop the Food for Peace Program in the 1950s. As AFBF heads toward a new century of service to America’s farm and ranch families, Duvall said the organization will continue to be guided by the honorable principle that “farmers want to feed people.” (more…)

American Holiday Symbolism and Traditions Have Deep Rural Roots – December 20, 2018

By Robert Giblin

Christmas and other December holidays have changed a lot over the years, but even amidst wide-scale, rapid transformation, many holiday season traditions and ideals that have been influenced by farm communities and rural America still endure. Rural America continues to symbolize the American ideal of what the Christmas and holiday seasons are all about, as it has since the early days of our country. (more…)

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