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American Farm Bureau Strongly Endorses Perdue for USDA

The following statement may be attributed to Zippy Duvall, President, American Farm Bureau Federation:

“The nomination of former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue for Secretary of Agriculture is welcome news to the nation’s farmers and ranchers. Gov. Perdue will provide the strong voice that agriculture needs in the new administration. He is an outstanding nominee.


Unity Key for Agriculture’s Continued Success

At the 2017 AFBF Annual Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, AFBF President Zippy Duvall reflected on his first year as president. He pointed to policy wins in getting a GMO labelling bill passed and a Supreme Court victory over the EPA releasing farmers’ private information under the Freedom of Information Act.


Farm Bureau, NASDA Seek Delay of Unlawful EPA Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture have petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to delay the January 2017 start date of its worker protection safety rule. AFBF and NASDA cited EPA violations of federal law as well as incomplete and undelivered compliance and enforcement tools to support their petition.

According to the joint petition to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, the WPS rule was issued in violation of federal law. The proposal, Farm Bureau and NASDA told McCarthy, “fails to advance the purpose of furthering the safety of farmworkers.” The rule’s rapidly approaching implementation also poses “a serious problem for administration of the rule’s requirements” by state departments of agriculture as well as farmers and ranchers who must comply with its terms.

“We ask EPA to delay the effective date to give NASDA members adequate time to prepare for compliance with the rule and to avoid the unfair and unredressable harm to farmers and ranchers,” the groups said.


Beef Education Stakeholders Summit Slated for 2017 Cattle Industry Convention

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 7, 2016 – The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, will host a one-hour gathering of beef industry representatives interested in educating youth about the beef industry on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

The event, held in conjunction with the 2017 Cattle Industry Convention, will focus on creating dialogue with key influencers to identify collective needs, identify shared resources, address key messaging, and effectively leverage current Checkoff resources.


Thanksgiving Dinner Ticks Down to Less Than $5 Per Person

WASHINGTON, D.C., - The American Farm Bureau Federation's 31st annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year's feast for 10 is $49.87, a 24-cent decrease from last year's average of $50.11.

The big ticket item - a 16-pound turkey - came in at a total of $22.74 this year. That's roughly $1.42 per pound, a decrease of 2 cents per pound, or a total of 30 cents per whole turkey, compared to 2015.

"Consumers will pay less than $5 per person for a classic Thanksgiving dinner this year," AFBF Director of Market Intelligence Dr. John Newton said. "We have seen farm prices for many foods - including turkeys - fall from the higher levels of recent years. This translates into lower retail prices for a number of items as we prepare for Thanksgiving and confirms that U.S. consumers benefit from an abundant, high-quality and affordable food supply."

The AFBF survey shopping list includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10 with plenty for leftovers.


Government and Industry Groups Ask Court to Overturn EPA Water Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C.,  - The American Farm Bureau Federation, along with dozens of agricultural, business and municipal entities, today asked a federal court to vacate the EPA's and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' "Waters of the United States" rule. The brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit lays out in detail the substance of the groups' allegations. It follows a year of litigation over which court had jurisdiction to hear challenges to the expansive and unlawful rule.

The coalition's brief explains how EPA flouted important procedural safeguards designed to ensure a fair and thoughtful rulemaking process. EPA tactics included withholding key documents until after the public comment period had closed, ignoring and ridiculing critical public comments and issuing illegal "covert propaganda" in an effort to generate superficial public support for the rule.

"EPA set out to achieve a predetermined outcome and then manipulated the public notice-and-comment process to achieve that outcome," AFBF General Counsel Ellen Steen said. "It treated the rulemaking process like a game to be won instead of a deliberative process for developing lawful and reasonable regulations."


Farm Bureau Scores Big with Keynote Speakers

WASHINGTON, D.C., – Peyton and Archie Manning will keynote the 2017 AFBF Annual Convention & IDEAg Trade Show closing general session on Monday, Jan. 9 in Phoenix.

A future Hall of Fame quarterback, Peyton embodies what it means to be a professional athlete in this day and age, making a lasting impact both on and off the field. He has championed numerous charitable organizations and foundations to further his positive impact on the community, including the PeyBack Foundation, which he founded in an effort to help underprivileged youth in Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana and Tennessee. The two-time Super Bowl champ quarterbacked for the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos after completing his college career at the University of Tennessee.
 
“In some of his recent television commercials, the NFL retiree seems to be embracing his football retirement, so we’re glad to be able to give him something additional to look forward to,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Peyton Manning is a model of success, with a strong work ethic and proven track record of helping others. We look forward to hearing from him about the importance of teamwork and a good game plan. We think the sports star will feel right at home with the superstars of American agriculture.”


'Thank an American Farmer or Rancher' Activity Helps Students Make the Farm-to-Food Connection

WASHINGTON, D.C.,  - "Thank an American Farmer or Rancher," a Thanksgiving-themed activity for pre-K to first-grade students, helps teachers explain where food comes from, courtesy of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture (www.agfoundation.org/) . Through this activity, teachers also ask students to write, draw or create thank you letters or cards for America's farmers.

A free lesson plan and a letter from a farmer, suggestions for books to read, class discussion ideas and more are available online (www.agfoundation.org/projects/thank-a-farmer-or-rancher) .

"Most Americans have never been to a farm and didn't even grow up near one, but they are ready to learn more about where their food comes from," said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. "'Thank an American Farmer or Rancher' is a fun classroom activity that helps young learners make the connection between farms and ranches and the food they eat."

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