National Farm News

Farm Bureau and Allies Ask Federal Court to Stop Federal Overreach on Greater Sage Grouse

from American Farm Bureau Federation

Posted 4/5/2016

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. Continue reading

Judge finds evidence EPA was arbitrary, capricious in writing WOTUS rule

From Farm Bureau News

Aug. 28, 2015—District Court Judge Ralph Erickson on Thursday granted a preliminary injunction requested by North Dakota and a dozen other states that sued the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers in June over their Waters of the United States rule.

Judge Erickson “found strong evidence that the EPA was arbitrary and capricious in its rulemaking,” explained American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. “He saw no connection between key provisions of the rule and the science that was presented to support it. Based on evidence presented so far, he ordered that the rule be stopped while the litigation continues to a conclusion.”

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Farm Bureau: Farmer input a must for EPA’s monarch butterfly strategy

from Farm Bureau News

Sept. 1, 2015—A robust, transparent stakeholder process is critical throughout any EPA initiatives related to the monarch butterfly, especially if the agency seeks to promote the growth of milkweed on, adjacent to or near working agricultural lands, Farm Bureau recently told the agency in comments.

Farm Bureau said it backs EPA’s efforts to get input from a diverse group of stakeholders and identify activities that will balance weed management needs across varied landscapes with conservation of the milkweed plant, as stated in the agency’s white paper, “Risk Management Approach to Identify Options for Protecting the Monarch Butterfly.”
The organization highlighted EPA’s understanding that in crop production and other scenarios, milkweed plants are considered weeds. Building on that, the agency noted that in identifying situations in which milkweed can be preserved, the approach must not work against weed management needs.

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Farm Bureau to EPA: Proposed Rule Would Hurt Biofuel Market and Environment

from the Voice of Agriculture

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS, June 25, 2015 – American Farm Bureau today called on the Environmental Protection Agency to rethink its rule to reduce renewable fuels in the nation’s gasoline supply. Nebraska Farm Bureau President and AFBF Board Member Steve Nelson, Iowa Farm Bureau’s Charlie Norris and Illinois Farm Bureau’s Wayne Anderson called the rule groundless and harmful at a special field hearing in Kansas City, Kansas. Continue reading

American Farm Bureau Federation Statement On SBA Call to Withdraw EPA Water Rule

Posted Oct. 1, 2014

American Farm Bureau News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 1, 2014 – The following may be attributed to American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman:

“The Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy today called on the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw its proposed Waters of the U.S. Rule. They did so for a number of reasons we have stated before.

“The SBA’s frankness may surprise some, but it does not surprise us. The EPA has been heedless and cavalier in its disregard for the American farmers who would be most affected by this unworkable proposal. Continue reading

American Farm Bureau Tells Members to ‘Ditch’ EPA Water Rule

from American Farm Bureau

Posted 6/18/2014

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 22, 2014 – The American Farm Bureau Federation today asked its members to resist a proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency that it says will impose unworkable regulations on the nation’s farms.

Published Monday in the Federal Register, the more-than-111,000-word “Waters of the U.S.” proposed rule reflects the EPA’s latest interpretation of the 1972 Clean Water Act. The rule could ultimately lead to the unlawful expansion of federal regulation to cover routine farming and ranching practices as well as other common private land uses, such as building homes. Continue reading

Young Farmers Remain Concerned About Land Availability

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 11, 2014 – Securing adequate land to grow crops and raise livestock was the top challenge identified again this year in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual outlook survey of participants in the Young Farmers & Ranchers program. That challenge was identified by 22 percent of respondents, followed by economic challenges, particularly profitability, which was identified by 15 percent of the respondents.

“For young people today, securing adequate land to begin farming or expand an established farm or ranch is a major challenge,” said Jake Carter, AFBF’s national YF&R Committee chair and a farmer from Georgia. “Another major challenge is figuring out how to excel – not just survive – in today’s economy,” he said.

Other issues ranked as top concerns by young farmers and ranchers included burdensome government regulations and red tape, 12 percent; availability of farm labor and related regulations, 9 percent; water availability and urbanization of farm land, 7 percent each; and health care availability and cost, 6 percent. Continue reading

AFBF sues EPA to block release of livestock info

Posted July 10, 2013

By CAROL RYAN DUMAS | Capital Press

The American Farm Bureau Federation has filed a lawsuit to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from again releasing personal information about thousands of livestock producers and their families.

EPA is expected soon to respond to several Freedom of Information Act requests regarding confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), prompting Farm Bureau to file the lawsuit and seek a temporary restraining order, said Tracy Grondine, AFBF director of media relations.

The plaintiffs allege that release of the information would violate farmers’ and ranchers’ privacy and put them and their operations at risk.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota on July 5.

AFBF and the National Pork Producers Council are seeking an immediate court order stopping EPA’s imminent release of farmers’ and ranchers’ private information until a court can clarify EPA’s obligation to keep personal information about citizens private.

In a written response, EPA said it will review the lawsuit brought by AFBF and NPPC and respond accordingly. Continue reading

AFBF: Death Tax Repeal Act ‘gets the job done’

FB News

Posted 7/3/2013

 

America’s farm and ranch families welcome legislation that would permanently repeal the estate tax, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation, which issued its support for the recently introduced Death Tax Repeal Act of 2013.  The legislation was introduced by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) in the Senate and Reps. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) in the House.

While significant tax relief was enacted last year to help farmers cope with estate taxes, AFBF believes that permanent repeal is still the best solution to protect all farms and ranches. The Death Tax Repeal Act of 2013 would repeal the estate tax, maintain stepped-up basis and make permanent a 35 percent maximum gift tax rate and $5 million lifetime gift tax exemption indexed for inflation. Continue reading

Oregon farm lobby watch water, labeling, land-use bills

Posted 2/3/2013

 

By MITCH LIES
Capital Press

 

Bills to label food containing genetically modified ingredients and restrict their production have put Oregon’s farm lobby on the defensive as the 2013 Legislature gets underway.

But opportunities also are present.

Buoyed by Gov. John Kitzhaber’s proposal to sink $22 million into water development, the Oregon Farm Bureau views the session as an opportunity for irrigated agriculture, said Katie Fast, the organization’s director of government affairs.

“I think this is a year of opportunity for water development in Oregon,” Fast said.

“For the first time in a long time we’re seeing a request for funds for a water-supply development program,” said Brenda Bateman, spokesperson for the Oregon Water Resources Department. “That includes above- and below-ground storage, interstate partnerships to gain access to stored water, and other strategies. And we just haven’t had those kinds of strategic conversations in a very long time.” Continue reading