News and Commentary
ISDA to Host WPS Train-the-Trainer Sessions in Idaho
The Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) announced today the schedule for upcoming Worker
Protection Standard (WPS) Train-The-Trainer sessions throughout Idaho. The federal WPS rule went into effect on January 2, 2017, and requires annual pesticide safety training for agricultural workers and pesticide handlers.
Annual training must be conducted by a qualified WPS trainer or a certified pesticide applicator. Trainer certification can be achieved by attending a Train-The-Trainer session. The WPS only applies to those using pesticides for agricultural plant production. This may include farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses.
The Train-The-Trainer sessions are approximately six hours long and will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time. Pre- registration is required. Registration may be requested by emailing the ISDA at
email@example.com. Emailed registrations must include name, phone number, desired session, and the number of people attending the training. Seating is limited.
Encouraging continued bipartisan negotiations on meaningful regulatory reform legislation, the American Farm Bureau Federation and 47 other agricultural organizations again pledged their readiness to work with lawmakers on much-needed improvements to the rulemaking process.
In a letter to Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Ranking Member Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), the groups reiterated key principles for crafting a regulatory reform measure: greater transparency, the use of sound science, greater sensitivity to costs and benefits, strengthened federalism with state partners, a stronger public right to know, and accountability for agencies’ use of economic and scientific data.
USDOT NUMBER AND THE UCR
When the federal UCR (Unified Carrier Registration) debuted in 2007, it swept up many contractors, exempt-for-hire and private carriers—including farmers—in its registration and payment requirements. A pre-requisite of the UCR is registration for the USDOT Number. The requirement is triggered by the “interstate commerce” nature of most farm-to-market deliveries.
The American Farm Bureau Federation has endorsed bipartisan legislation in the House and Senate to repeal the federal estate tax. AFBF President Zippy Duvall said the bills are needed because farm and ranch families continue to face challenges to passing their family businesses to the next generation.
The AFBF-endorsed Death Tax Repeal Act of 2017 was introduced today in the House by Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) and Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.). Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.”
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."
Statement by Zippy Duvall, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding Urban Ag Act of 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C., – "Regardless of where or how America's farmers and ranchers produce food, giving them the technology and tools to succeed supports our nation's strength and security. The Urban Agricultural Act of 2016 would do that for farmers in urban settings. As an organization that supports farmers of all sizes, commodities and production systems, Farm Bureau believes this legislation will build a stronger bond among all farmers--rural, suburban and urban."
"This legislation offers services and support to urban farmers. The research component of the bill is not only critical for production, but also for exploring the risk management, food safety, environmental and economic factors that are critical for economic success.
Farm Bureau, Other Industry Leaders Ask President and Congress to Move Swiftly on TPP Trade Agreement
WASHINGTON, D.C., –The American Farm Bureau Federation, the Coalition of Services Industries, the Information Technology Industry Council and the National Association of Manufacturers today called on the president and congressional leadership to work together to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement by year-end.
In a letter sent this morning, presidents of the four groups laid out the important benefits expected to accrue from the deal – an accord that will give American farms, ranches and companies access to nearly 500 million consumers in the Asia-Pacific region.
WASHINGTON, D.C., -- The Environmental Protection Agency has violated the personal privacy of tens of thousands of farmers and ranchers, according to a unanimous ruling issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
The ruling in American Farm Bureau Federation and National Pork Producers Council vs. EPA concerned the federal agency’s 2013 release to three environmental groups of a vast compilation of spreadsheets containing personal information about farmers and ranchers who raise livestock and poultry in 29 states. The case also related to similar personal information from farmers and ranchers in seven additional states that had yet to be released. The information included the names of farmers, ranchers and sometimes other family members, home addresses, GPS coordinates, telephone numbers and emails. EPA claimed that it was required to disclose the information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
“This was an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy by a federal agency in violation of law,” said AFBF General Counsel Ellen Steen. “The court’s decision is a vindication of the right of farm families to control their own personal information. Farmers and ranchers have a strong privacy interest in their personal information, including their home address, even when they live and work on the farm.”
WASHINGTON, D.C., -- Organizations seeking to vacate the Environmental Protection Agency's and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' expansive "waters of the U.S." rule are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review whether the 6th Circuit Court is the appropriate court to hear challenges to the rule. The 6th Circuit earlier dismissed arguments that legal challenges to the rule should be brought first in federal district court and not courts of appeal.
"This petition to the Supreme Court is not related to the merits of our case and we are confident that eventually the 6th Circuit and the Supreme Court will agree that the rule is unlawful," said Ellen Steen, General Counsel of the American Farm Bureau Federation. "The petition was filed because the jurisdiction question is one that repeatedly arises in challenges to Clean Water Act actions.
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 23, 2016 -- A new poll from Morning Consult shows most voters favor fair trade – something all candidates should keep in mind as a congressional vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement comes closer to reality.
“Most Americans support free trade,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said, “and most farmers do, too. Exports account for almost a quarter of American farm receipts, so opposing fair trade agreements like TPP doesn’t make a lot of sense to rural America.”
Among other things, the August poll found:
• Fifty-seven percent of registered voters have a favorable view of “fair trade.”
LEWISTON, MAINE - Farmers' Almanac, in partnership with the American Farm Bureau Federation, announces its search for three farmers or ranchers to be recognized as "Farmers' Almanac Farmer of the Year."
The contest, announced in the special 200th Collector's Edition of the 2017 Farmers' Almanac, seeks to recognize and share the dedication, hard work and contributions farmers make to our world and society. Stories of outstanding individuals who work hard to bring food to our tables are sought.
"We're looking for farmers and ranchers who have figured out how to keep their centuries-old, family run farms alive and thriving, as well as newcomers who may have just started out in farming or ranching," said Farmers' Almanac Managing Editor Sandi Duncan, Philom. "The people who work in agriculture are vital to our everyday life and we'd like to honor them in the pages of the Farmers' Almanac."
WASHINGTON, D.C., – For farmers and ranchers, immigration reform must balance agriculture’s need for a dependable supply of agricultural labor with enhanced security at our nation’s border. A new video produced by the American Farm Bureau Federation highlights those issues, but with political debate ramping up and no practical solutions on the horizon, farmers say important areas of U.S. food production are at risk.
Farmers and ranchers know that you cannot address immigration reform without tackling the issue of border security, said AFBF President Zippy Duvall, who recently saw the delicate balance between the two issues during a tour of agriculture and border security efforts in Arizona.
Across the nation, farmers and ranchers are experiencing a labor crisis. Reliable and skilled farm workers are harder to come by with each harvest season. And, without an efficient and legal way for a dependable supply of farm workers to enter the country, more U.S. crops are being left to rot in the field. That means consumers will be less able to enjoy American-grown products, according to the video.
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 14, 2016 - Career and technical education and post-high school job training and retraining are essential to the economic viability of rural communities. For that reason, the American Farm Bureau Federation is urging congressional support for H.R. 5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.
The bill reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. In a letter sent to House lawmakers, AFBF encouraged reauthorization of the bill. "A skilled workforce is needed in rural America, just as it is in urban and suburban communities," wrote AFBF President Zippy Duvall.
July 5, 2016 - The House Republican's recently released tax reform plan addresses several important features for farmers and ranchers, including full expensing, exclusions for capital gains and repeal of the estate tax.
"Speaker Ryan, Chairman Brady and House Republicans are to be commended for developing a blueprint for rewriting our nation's cumbersome, convoluted and complex tax code. Their plan is a strong and much-needed start to what will surely be an extensive tax reform discussion," American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duval said in a statement. "We look forward to continuing the conversation about meaningful tax reform that benefits the whole economy."
There are many uncertainties farmers face, including commodity and input prices, as well as Mother Nature, but the tax code shouldn't be as unpredictable as markets or the weather, Duvall noted.
WASHINGTON, D.C., - A new video produced by the American Farm Bureau Federation shines a spotlight on the frustrations of the nation's farmers in finding workers to harvest their crops. While the video highlights peach production in Georgia, it also outlines the scope of the farm labor problem across the U.S.
Hiring a seasonal skilled workforce to bring crops in from the fields to America's tables has proved to be difficult if not impossible for farmers. That's why many farmers rely heavily on a program called H-2A, through which the federal government grants foreign nationals short-term visas to help harvest crops.
"This is a serious issue for farmers across America," said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. "If you have a crop that's ready and your harvest window is narrow and your workers show up late - you're going to lose your crop."
WASHINGTON, D.C., – A cookout of Americans’ favorite foods for the Fourth of July, including hot dogs, cheeseburgers, pork spare ribs, potato salad, baked beans, lemonade and chocolate milk, will cost slightly more this year but still comes in at less than $6 per person, says the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Farm Bureau’s informal survey reveals the average cost of a summer cookout for 10 people is $56.06, or $5.61 per person.
Although the cost for the cookout is up slightly (less than 1 percent), “Prices in the meat case are starting to look better from the consumers’ perspective,” said Veronica Nigh, an AFBF economist. “Retail ground round prices are trending lower,” she noted, pointing to the nation’s cattle inventory and commercial beef production, which continue to rebound from dramatically low levels in 2014 and 2015.
WASHINGTON D.C., - The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture is offering a total of $10,000 in grants to 10 middle school science classrooms and 10 after-school programs serving middle school students. Participating schools will receive $500 each to pilot a new Maker Kit challenge developed by the Foundation.
The STEM-focused Maker Kits encourage students to research scenarios related to food production and build their own models to solve a challenge. A detailed outline on how to conduct the challenge - written by teachers, aligned to national learning standards and reviewed by industry experts - will be provided to pilot schools. Supplies to complete the challenge will also be provided.
Pilot locations will be selected by July 15. Materials will be distributed the first week of August, and pilots must be completed by September 15.
Farm Bureau Hails Supreme Court Victory: Farmers and Ranchers May Sue to Stop Clean Water Regulation of Ordinary Farmland
WASHINGTON, D.C., – A unanimous Supreme Court today ruled landowners may challenge the federal government whenever the Army Corps of Engineers tries improperly to regulate land with regulations designed to protect water.
Landowners have attempted many times to challenge Corps rulings known as jurisdictional determinations, but the government successfully argued that those determinations were not “final agency actions” and the lawsuits were dismissed. Now, when the Corps asserts jurisdiction over low spots that look more like land than water, it will have to do so with the knowledge that its jurisdictional determination can be tested in court.
“Today’s decision removes a huge roadblock that has prevented landowners from obtaining relief from the courts when the Corps illegally claims their land is federally regulated water,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said. “Now, farmers and ranchers can have their day in court when the government tells them they cannot plow a field or improve a ditch without a federal permit.”
WASHINGTON, D.C, - The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has announced the 10 schools receiving this year's $1,500 My American Farm Outreach Grants. They are:
Cassia High School (Burley, Idaho)
Christian Academy of Louisville (Louisville, Kentucky)
Cumberland Valley FFA (Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania)
Elk Grove High School Agriculture Department (Elk Grove, California)
Linn-Mar FFA Chapter (Marion, Iowa)
McArthur FFA (Hollywood, Florida)
North Iredell High School (Olin, North Carolina)
Ponchatoula High School FFA Chapter and Agriscience Department (Ponchatoula, Louisiana)
Sonora High School FFA (Sonora, California)
Waupun Area High School FFA (Waupun, Wisconsin)
WASHINGTON, D.C., - With farm and ranch commodity prices increasingly under pressure, concerns are growing that the agriculture economy may be entering a prolonged period of instability, making the role of the Farm Credit System more important than ever, the American Farm Bureau Federation and more than 50 agricultural groups wrote to the Senate Agriculture Committee.
"Credit availability in good times is singularly important to our respective members. Credit availability in tough times may well mean the difference between producers staying on the land or being forced to abandon their operations," the groups wrote.
The array of credit products offered by both the Farm Credit System and commercial banks, often in a collaborative and cooperative manner, ensures that farmers and ranchers and their industry sector partners have access to financial tools that are vital to their success, according to the groups.
WASHINGTON, D.C, – Three Farm Bureau members today called on the federal government to use more carrots and fewer sticks with farmers who care for land that has often been in their families for generations. Pennsylvania Farm Bureau President Richard Ebert, former Ohio Farm Bureau President Terry McClure and Florida Farm Bureau member Kate English testified before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry.
Ebert told the subcommittee that the Environmental Protection Agency has failed to explain its expectations in the ongoing Chesapeake Bay cleanup.
“Despite my four-year degree in animal science from a well-known and respected university and 34 years of farming while implementing modern technologies, I don’t understand EPA’s science,” Ebert said. “And no farmer can legitimately comprehend and respond to the reams of academic analyses that have been produced through these meetings and continue to perform the tasks needed to run his or her farm business.”
WASHINGTON, D.C., - "Farm Bureau is pleased to see the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and the State Department launching a new online approval platform today that will hopefully expedite H-2A processing.
"These visa approval delays have gone on far too long and cost farmers across the country hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost business. Without workers in place to plant, tend and harvest, crops are going to waste while bureaucratic paperwork keeps piling up.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Farmers and ranchers want to control the information their equipment collects every time it passes through a field, a survey released today by the American Farm Bureau Federation shows. Farmers also believe that creating a cooperative-style central repository for their data is the best way to enhance its security and maximize its value.
“We asked our members what they thought about data, and it is clear that boosting farmer confidence in security and data management will be critical to unlocking the potential this technology holds,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “This survey also shows that we are on the right track with various ag group initiatives designed to improve data integration and promote transparency about how the data is collected and used.”
AFBF is a founding member of the Ag Data Coalition, an organization created by several leading agricultural groups and companies to help farmers better store and manage their information in a central location. The ADC will establish a co-op-style repository for agricultural data, with farmers having a governing role over the group.
Washington, D.C, – Low commodity prices, tightening credit, expensive land and rising costs for expenses such as seed and fertilizer will lead to financial losses for many farmers and ranchers this year, Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert, Jr. told a House subcommittee today.
Testifying on behalf of the American Farm Bureau Federation and the Illinois Farm Bureau, Guebert encouraged Congress to help farm and ranch families endure what observers agree will be a difficult year. He said Illinois farmers who produce row crops have been hit hard along with the rest of the farm economy.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Agency delays in processing visas for workers who tend and harvest America’s food crops are fast approaching crisis proportions, all but guaranteeing that crops will rot in the field on many farms this year, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said today.
Communications with state Farm Bureaus across the nation have revealed worker shortages in more than 20 states.
“Many farmer members have called us and state Farm Bureaus asking for help,” Duvall said. “They face serious hurdles in getting visas for workers in time to tend and harvest this year’s crops. Paperwork delays have created a backlog of 30 days or more in processing H-2A applications at both the Department of Labor and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.”
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Farmers are feeling the pain of the continued slump in commodity prices, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall told Congress today. Lower prices will affect income for all farmers and ranchers, but will have an even greater impact on new and young farmers who have not built up equity, are renting a significant portion of their land or are paying off equipment.
“The bottom line is that farmers and ranchers are being forced to tighten their belts and pay much closer attention to their financial situation,” Duvall told the House Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management. “They will be in greater need of safety net and risk management programs than has been the case for some time—for some, since they started farming.”
WASHINGTON, D.C., - The Agriculture Department’s Prospective Plantings Report released today suggests low prices for corn and rice will continue, extending the current, two-year farm downturn through the end of 2016, if not beyond.
“The report really highlights how challenging the market is right now for major crops,” said John Anderson, deputy chief economist of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “We currently have adequate supplies both in the U.S. and globally in these commodities. It doesn’t look as though that will change. If we have normal yields, that supply side pressure will not ease up much.”
The 93.6 million acre prospective plantings figure for corn is up from 88.6 million acres planted last year, or close to three times the expected increase of 2 million acres.
With the Railroad Track Maintenance Tax Credit set to again expire at the end of this year, farmers and ranchers are urging Congress to approve the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy (BRACE) Act (S. 2595, H.R. 4626), which would permanently extend the 50 percent railroad track maintenance credit for short line railroads.
"Short line railroads are first- and last-mile carriers that connect small towns, farms and factories to the national network, creating jobs and stimulating economic growth in thousands of local communities. Short line railroads operate 50,000 miles of track or nearly 40 percent of the national railroad network and handle in origin or destination one out of every four rail cars moving on the national system," American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall wrote in a letter urging House and Senate lawmakers to cosponsor the BRACE Act.
WASHINGTON, D.C., - The Agriculture Department's announcement that commodity checkoff funds can be used to help market U.S. farm products in Cuba lets America's farmers invest directly in the growth in trade between the two nations, according to American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall.
"American-grown foods hold a clear competitive advantage in the Cuban marketplace, and the use of farmer- and rancher-generated funds to promote and market U.S. farm goods fits the checkoff mission perfectly," Duvall said.
AFBF and other farm groups have been working closely with USDA in hopes of lifting the prohibition against using agricultural checkoff funds in Cuba.
WASHINGTON, D.C., -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.
According to the Farm Bureau, BLM and the Forest Service violated key laws directing how the federal government must manage federal lands and the process by which land management plans are promulgated. The revised plans largely ignore the congressional mandate that federal lands be managed for multiple uses. Instead, the plans manage millions of acres in Idaho for a single use, and a single species - the greater sage grouse.
WASHINGTON, D.C., -- The American Farm Bureau Federation and a host of other agricultural stakeholders today revealed a ground-breaking data repository that supporters say will give farmers ultimate control over the ever-increasing business data gathered and transmitted by high-tech farm machinery.
Tractors, tilling equipment, planters, sprayers, harvesters and agricultural drones are increasingly connected to the Internet. Farmers don’t always have the ability to precisely control where that data goes, nor transfer it from one data processor to another. The newly formed Agricultural Data Coalition (ADC) will empower farmers to better control, manage and maximize the value of the data they collect every day in the fields.
“Farmers must retain ownership and control of the private agricultural data that originates from the work they do in their fields,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said. “Harnessing that proprietary information for field-level efficiency and effectiveness is the key that will unlock more profitability and the greater adoption of precision agriculture. That’s good for business and the environment, too.”
WASHINGTON, D.C., The farm and ranch families of Farm Bureau raised more than $1.1 million and donated a record of more than 48 million pounds of food to assist hungry Americans as part of Farm Bureau's "Harvest for All" program. Combined, the monetary and food donations also reached a record level of the equivalent of more than 49 million meals.
Now in its 14th year, Harvest for All is spearheaded by members of Farm Bureau's Young Farmers & Ranchers program, but Farm Bureau members of all ages from across the nation contribute to the effort. In all, 19 state Farm Bureaus and the American Farm Bureau Federation heeded the call to action, helping ensure Americans in need can enjoy the bounty of food farmers and ranchers produce.
In addition to raising food and funds for the initiative, farmers and ranchers tallied nearly 16,000 volunteer hours assisting local hunger groups in 2015.
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 4, 2016 – Farmers and ranchers are invited to share their stories about advocating for agriculture with the American Farm Bureau Federation as part of the organization’s just-launched #iAdvocate campaign. Ten lucky contest winners will each receive a $100 Farm Bureau Bank gift card.
To enter, message a photo of yourself advocating for agriculture to the Farm Bureau Promotion & Education Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FarmBureauPandE. Photo entries should include an #iAdvocate white board or sign with a brief explanation of what you’re doing.
Submissions will be uploaded to the “2016 #iAdvocate Campaign” album on the Farm Bureau Promotion & Education Facebook page. Once you have been notified that your photo has been posted, ask others to “Like” and “Share” it on Facebook. Contest winners will be determined based on the highest number of “Likes” received for pictures within the album.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation today released highlights of its 2016 strategic action plan, which addresses public policy issues in the coming year. The plan is a result of deliberations of delegates to the AFBF’s 97th Annual Convention in Orlando.
The board-approved plan focuses the organization’s attention on a number of key issues including:
• Creating a more-positive dialogue with consumers about modern agricultural practices;
• Protecting farmers’ ability to use biotech plant varieties and other innovative technologies;
• Opposing unlawful expansion of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act; and
• Moving forward with congressional approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA, – Delegates at the 97th American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention elected Zippy Duvall to serve as the new president of AFBF and Scott VanderWal as vice president.
Vincent “Zippy” Duvall is a poultry, cattle and hay producer from Greene County, Georgia, and served as president of the Georgia Farm Bureau for 9 years. Duvall has held numerous leadership positions in Farm Bureau and his local community. He is the 12th president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Scott VanderWal is a third-generation family farmer from Volga, South Dakota, and has been president of the South Dakota Farm Bureau since 2004.
Bryan Searle of Bingham County was elected to serve as the 14th Idaho Farm Bureau President during the organization’s 76th Annual Meeting held this week at Fort Hall.
Delegates from 36 county Farm Bureaus participated in the election. Frank Priestley of Franklin County served as Idaho Farm Bureau President for the past 18 years. Priestley was re-elected eight times and was the longest-serving president in the organization’s history.
Farm Bureau Delegates re-elected Mark Trupp of Teton County as vice president. Tom Daniel of Boundary County, Chris Dalley of Bingham County, Rick Pearson of Twin Falls County, and Tracy Walton of Gem County were re-elected to the State Board of Directors. Dean Schwendiman of Fremont County stepped down as a director. He was replaced by Stephanie Mickelsen of Bonneville County. Cole Smith of Bear Lake County was re-elected as the Young Farmer and Rancher Chairman.
WASHINGTON, D.C., - If federal agencies are left the task of developing implementation guidance for the Waters of the U.S. rule, the result will be a continuation of the rule's "liabilities, confusion and chaos." Issuing guidance can't fix a broken rule, according to a letter the American Farm Bureau Federation and other farm groups sent to members of the Senate who voted to oppose bipartisan legislation (S. 1140) seeking to revise the rule.
The groups encouraged the Senators to support any new effort in the Senate "to direct the agencies not to implement this rule and initiate a new, more responsible, balanced and lawful rulemaking."
According to the letter, if the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers are allowed to issue guidance for the implementation of the WOTUS rule, such guidance will be of no assistance to address the rules flaws, since many stem directly from the language used by the agencies in the final rule.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation and a coalition of agricultural and builder groups today asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court ruling that allows the Environmental Protection Agency to micromanage local land use and development decisions under the guise of implementing the federal Clean Water Act. The lower court’s ruling, according to the petition, “opens the door for a dramatic expansion of federal power” and must be overturned.
The lawsuit arose in the context of EPA’s so-called “blueprint” for restoring the Chesapeake Bay, but Farm Bureau points out that the issue at stake is national in scope.
DES MOINES, IOWA — The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture and the International Food Information Council Foundation announced the global launch of “Bringing Biotechnology to Life,” a free educational resource that aims to facilitate learning about agricultural biotechnology and its role in food production. The new curriculum was unveiled at the World Food Prize 2015 Borlaug Dialogue international symposium.
“‘Bringing Biotechnology to Life’ is a science-based classroom resource with applicable lessons related to agriculture,” said Julie Tesch, executive director of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. “This resource is fact- and research-based and has been reviewed by an array of scientists, so the science behind it is very sound.”
“Many consumers do not understand the impact biotechnology makes on agriculture and our lives,” Tesch said. “Our goal is to have this resource provide students with the tools they need to make informed decisions about the practical uses of biotechnology.
The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today ordered the EPA to stop enforcement nationwide of the Waters of the United States rule. In doing so, the Cincinnati-based court recognized that this rule has serious flaws and cannot go forward until the courts have had an opportunity to understand its effect on farmers, ranchers and landowners of all kinds, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said in a statement.
“The judges expressed deep concerns over the basic legality of this rule. We’re not in the least surprised: This is the worst EPA order we have seen since the agency was established more than 40 years ago. The court clearly understood our arguments,” Stallman said.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Most Americans think the Endangered Species Act is outdated and needs to be revised, a survey by Morning Consult shows. The poll conducted in early August adds impetus to congressional efforts to overhaul the increasingly outdated 1970s-era statute.
The survey shows:
· 63 percent of Americans support modernizing the ESA;
· 62 of Americans believe the act should help with species recovery, as opposed to merely cataloguing changes in their populations;
· 69 percent of Americans want the federal government to offer resources to third parties to help species recovery; and
· 49 percent of Americans believe that state or local authorities, rather than the federal government, lead in recovery of endangered and threatened species. Only 31 percent of Americans favor the federal government taking the lead.
AFBF - Due to the success of state and local conservation efforts, the Fish and Wildlife Service announced today its decision not to list the greater sage grouse as an endangered species. The American Farm Bureau is a strong supporter of meaningful recovery efforts and counts today’s decision as a testament to the great strides states and landowners can make when they work cooperatively to develop effective wildlife management plans.
“Conservation plans developed at the state and local levels provide the greatest opportunity for species success, and we believe today’s decision endorses that approach,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “Farmers and ranchers last year called on the federal government to allow time for these plans to work, and now we’re seeing positive results and real success with the birds’ populations across the Western states. State, local and industry partners have accomplished in just a few years a level of success largely unseen through 42 years of federal Endangered Species Act implementation.”
WASHINGTON, D.C., - The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture released a new educational app, "All About Beef," funded in part by the Beef Checkoff.
App versions of "The Steaks are High " and "Grocery Grab" are STEM-based games funded by the Beef Checkoff Program and geared toward students in grades 3-5. In addition to teaching nutrition and environmental facts, the apps also feature kid-friendly beef recipes.
The My American Farm games, including "The Steaks are High" and "Grocery Grab" are available on the iTunes store for iPhone and iPad, at Google Play for Android devices, on Amazon for the Kindle Fire and on www.MyAmericanFarm.org.
Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding Injunction Against EPA Water Rule
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 28, 2015 – “Last night Chief Judge Ralph Erickson of the District Court of North Dakota issued an order to stop the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule in its tracks. He found strong evidence that the EPA was arbitrary and capricious in its rulemaking. He saw no connection between key provisions of the rule and 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.
“We applaud the court’s decision. The so-called Clean Water Rule is yet another example of EPA’s reckless and unlawful behavior in the face of science, economics and the law. Whether you’re a farmer, a rancher, a homebuilder or landowner of any stripe, the evidence is clear: This rule simply has to be stopped.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – A series of maps released today by the American Farm Bureau Federation show how the EPA will radically expand its jurisdiction over land use if its controversial Waters of the United States rule takes effect as expected August 28. That expansion comes even as major parts of the rule remain largely incomprehensible to experts and laypeople, alike.
The maps, prepared by Geosyntec Consulting, show the dramatic expansion of EPA’s regulatory reach, stretching across wide swaths of land in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Montana. In Pennsylvania, for example, 99 percent of the state’s total acreage is subject to EPA scrutiny. Landowners have no reliable way to know which of the water and land within that area will be regulated, yet they must still conform their activities to the new law.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Expanding America’s pipeline infrastructure would relieve the nation’s overburdened freight rail network and improve service for farmers nationwide, according to a new study from the American Farm Bureau Federation.
The booming energy business in the Upper Midwest spiked rail congestion and freight costs for farmers in the region and cut their profits by $570 million during the 2014 harvest. The AFBF study found that the average North Dakota corn farmer may have received $10,000 less than the traditional market rate for the crop. Increasing U.S. pipeline capacity – particularly in the Bakken region – is a prime solution for adding freight system capacity overall and relieving rail congestion, according to AFBF.
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 2, 2015 – The American Farm Bureau Federation, Texas Farm Bureau, Matagorda County Farm Bureau, and 11 other agricultural and industry groups today asked a federal court to vacate the controversial new rule redefining the scope of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The complaint, filed in federal district court in Texas, claims the new rule grants EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers broad control over land use far beyond what Congress authorized in the Clean Water Act. The lawsuit also claims vagueness and over-breadth of the rule violate the U.S. Constitution. The groups also challenged EPA’s aggressive grassroots advocacy campaign during the comment period, which reflected a closed mind to concerns expressed by farmers and others.
EPA and the Corps first proposed the rule in March 2014, promising clarity and certainty to farmers, ranchers, builders and other affected businesses and landowners. “Instead we have a final rule that exceeds the agencies’ legal authority and fails to provide the clarity that was promised,” AFBF General Counsel Ellen Steen said. “AFBF filed this lawsuit to do everything we can to protect the interests of farmers and ranchers, but litigation is not a quick or perfect fix. It is long, cumbersome and expensive, and it leaves farmers and others facing immediate harm and uncertainty under this rule.”
U.S. agriculture took a big step forward this week with the U.S. Senate’s bipartisan passage of Trade Promotion Authority.
The legislation is vital to Idaho agriculture and every other farm state that depends on the ability to export commodities.
“Congress moving this legislation to the President’s desk sends a strong signal to foreign governments that we mean business at the bargaining table and are ready to complete new agreements that will break down trade barriers and open new markets all over the world,” said Idaho Farm Bureau President Frank Priestley.
Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). TPA is a legislative procedure, written by Congress, through which Congress defines U.S. negotiating objectives and spells out a detailed oversight and consultation process for trade negotiations. Under TPA, Congress retains the authority to review and decide whether any proposed U.S. trade agreement will be implemented. TPA does not provide new power to the Executive Branch.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – “American farmers and ranchers lead the world in food production thanks to ceaseless hard work and innovation. Expanding access to international markets continues this story of growth and prosperity.
“The House’s bipartisan passage of trade promotion authority legislation today brings us a step closer to completing ambitious trade negotiations around the world. Congressional support is critical to breaking down trade barriers and completing ambitious new trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. TPA streamlines negotiations and strengthens our position at the bargaining table.
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 10, 2015 – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s passage of a bill to stop the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. Rule shows Congress is listening, even if the EPA won’t.
The controversial WOTUS rule gives federal agencies new powers to regulate many normal farming, ranching and business activities, making it the largest federal overreach in memory.
The Federal Water Quality Protection Act, S. 1140, would force EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to scrap its own, extreme interpretation of the Clean Water Act and return to the drawing board, this time to craft a new rule that would fall within the parameters of Congress’ intent. The EPA and Army Corps would be required to take into consideration the valid concerns of farmers, ranchers, home builders and others who would be affected by the new rule.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation is now accepting applications for the Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge. Entrepreneurs will compete for $145,000 in startup funds. Applications must be submitted by June 30.
The competition provides an opportunity for individuals to showcase ideas and business innovations being cultivated in rural regions of the United States. It is the first national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs working on food and agriculture businesses.
Competitors must have an idea for a business that is related to food and agriculture. Businesses related to food and agriculture include farms or ranches, value-added food processing, food hubs, community-supported agriculture programs (CSAs), farm-to-table restaurants and farmers’ markets. Businesses indirectly related to food and agriculture include support services such as crop scouting, agritourism, ag advertising agencies and ag technology companies.
AFBF — While farmers and ranchers strongly support work on agricultural sustainability, there is no scientific basis for incorporating sustainability concepts in federal dietary guidelines, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
In comments regarding the scientific report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, Farm Bureau noted that the government’s dietary guidelines strongly influence policy development, program administration and delivery and the educational message directed toward American consumers with respect to food and nutrition issues, which makes it imperative that the Health and Human Services Department and USDA base the guidelines on well-established, widely accepted scientific evidence.
“Unfortunately, the scientific report of the advisory committee goes well beyond its designated scope of work, delivering a report that strongly suggests the committee would base dietary guidelines on more than health and nutrition considerations. The report includes an extensive section on the topic of sustainability, citing a need ‘to have alignment and consistency in dietary guidance that promotes both health and sustainability,’” Farm Bureau said, quoting directly from the report.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – California Farm Bureau President Paul Wenger addressed the urgent need for trade promotion authority at a press conference on Capitol Hill today. The American Farm Bureau Federation and state Farm Bureaus across the nation are calling on Congress to secure agriculture’s stake in the international marketplace by passing the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2015.
America’s farmers and ranchers exported more than $152 billion in farm goods last year alone. But that growth is at serious risk due to non-scientific standards and high tariffs around the world.
“For America’s farmers and ranchers to see continued export growth, we must pen deals that knock down trade barriers,” Wenger said.
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 30, 2015 – The American Farm Bureau Federation praised the bipartisan leadership of Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) today as they introduced the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, which would put in check the Environmental Protection Agency and its attempt to broaden the definition of “waters of the U.S.”
“Tens of thousands of farmers, ranchers and land owners have spoken out, but EPA has yet to fully acknowledge the proposal’s potential impact on everyday farming activities,” AFBF President Bob Stallman said.
Through social media, America’s farmers and ranchers explain why they do certain things when raising animals for food. This communication is not just one way. Facebook posts from the farm, tweets from the tractor seat and blogs from the “back 40” allow members of the non-farming public to ask questions on everything from how today’s food is grown to how it is processed and eventually brought to market.
Although a growing number of farmers use social media to interact with consumers, trepidation about answering tough ag-related questions causes some to shy away from using this valuable communications tool. But it doesn’t have to be that way, according to a couple of social media experts who teamed up recently to share time-tested tips with Farm Bureau members.
“Be authentic in telling your story,” says Lyndsey Murphy, digital media specialist at the American Farm Bureau. “Speak for you and your farm, not the whole of agriculture,” she advises. If you’re not sure how to answer a question, it’s perfectly OK to say you don’t know but will find the answer.
Within the food industry, there is no issue as challenging, divisive and confusing as food labeling. The issue has been further clouded by recent attempts to pass state and local laws calling for labels on foods with ingredients developed through biotechnology, regardless of the actual impact on the quality, safety or nature of the food product.
Farm Bureau supports the bipartisan Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, which reinforces both the standards and authority of the Food and Drug Administration in regulating GMO labeling. The bill (H.R. 1599) would set forth national standards relating to labeling foods derived from biotechnology, and would preempt any state or local labeling requirements. H.R.1599 also charges the Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Marketing Service with creating protocol and labeling standards, similar to those used for organics, to identify and market products as non-GMO.
The FDA’s food labeling guidelines are designed to provide information to help consumers make healthy and safe food choices. This proposed bill would reinforce the existing requirements applied to labeling food products derived from plants developed through biotechnology. FDA generally regulates the final product, not the process, of plant genetic modification. Contrary to activist claims, FDA already requires labels for any food product that has been materially changed, regardless of whether it comes from conventional or biotech plant breeding. For example, foods must be labeled if ingredients contain proteins from the most common allergens, or when there are genetic differences in nutritional content.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – “State-led mandatory food labeling initiatives mislead consumers about the safety of GM foods, even though there is no credible evidence linking a food-safety or health risk to the consumption of GM foods. These state labeling initiatives mask the benefits of biotechnology in food production and can lead to decreased food supplies. Creating a national labeling standard will give consumers the information they need while avoiding the unnecessary confusion and added cost of a patchwork of state laws.
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 18, 2015 – Farm Bureau member Brandon Whitt today urged Congress to repeal the estate tax to free up farmers and ranchers to build stronger businesses and benefit their local communities. Whitt, who farms in Tennessee, testified before the House Ways and Means Committee, where he outlined the harmful impact the estate tax has on family-owned businesses.
“Agriculture looks different on farms from state to state but we all face the same reality that an uncertain tomorrow can bring,” Whitt said. While facing unpredictable weather and fluctuating markets, farmers and ranchers make decisions to expand their businesses and remain competitive. “Why should uncertainties over estate taxes be added to these others? Our job is hard enough as it is.”
The Idaho Farm Bureau Federation and the Twin Falls County Farm Bureau recently donated $20,000 to be used in an agricultural history display at a new visitor center.
The new center will be located on the canyon rim overlooking the Snake River in Twin Falls County. Construction is currently wrapping up on the modern, functional facility and when opened to the public it will serve as a regional welcome center, offering information and inspiration to thousands of visitors to Southern Idaho.
A grand opening is slated for April 30.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The farm and ranch families of Farm Bureau raised more than $1.2 million and donated a record of nearly 42 million pounds of food to assist hungry Americans as part of Farm Bureau’s “Harvest for All” program in partnership with Feeding America. Combined, the monetary and food donations also reached a record level of the equivalent of more than 46 million meals.
Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding Passage of H.R. 636
WASHINGTON, D.C., – “America’s farmers and ranchers need reliable tax tools to help them stay competitive in spite of changing weather and fluctuating markets. With the passage of H.R. 636, America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015, Congress is one step closer to securing Section 179 small business expensing permanently.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – 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.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture launched its new giving campaign, “Seed the future, grow together,” at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 96th Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show in San Diego in January. Donors contributed more than $30,000 to build awareness, understanding and a positive public perception of agriculture through education.
“For those with a stake in agriculture’s future, there is no more important investment,” said Julie Tesch, executive director of the Foundation.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Following the delegate session of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 96th Annual Convention, which wrapped up this week in San Diego, the organization’s board of directors set AFBF’s strategic action plan to address public policy issues for 2015.
The board-approved plan focuses the organization’s attention on: advancing legislation that addresses agriculture’s long- and short-term labor needs; protecting farmers’ abilities to use biotech plant varieties and other innovative technologies; opposing expansion of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act; and advancing legislation that reforms the Endangered Species Act.
“We will work to advance all the issue positions approved by our farmer and rancher delegates this week, but this plan represents those issue areas where we believe the American Farm Bureau Federation and its grassroots members have clear opportunities to achieve success at this time,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “These are high-stakes issues that we must advance to help safeguard our members and their abilities to operate their farms and ranches.”
SAN DIEGO, – State Farm Bureaus were presented awards at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2015 Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show recognizing their stellar performance in membership achievement and implementation of outstanding programs serving Farm Bureau members in 2014.
The Pinnacle Award, the highest award a state can earn for program and membership achievement, was awarded to: Idaho, Iowa, Massachusetts, Montana, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
The Awards for Excellence were awarded to state Farm Bureaus that demonstrated outstanding achievements in six program areas: Education and Outreach; Leadership Development; Member Services; Membership Initiatives; Policy Development and Implementation; and Public Relations and Communications. The Awards for Excellence winners by state and category are:
Boise –The Idaho Farm Bureau Federation celebrated 75 years as an organization during its annual convention in Boise, December 2-4.
The organization got its start back in September of 1939 in Murtaugh.
Delegates representing 41 of Idaho’s 44 counties discussed policy and set the organization’s course for 2014 debating a wide range of agriculture and natural resources matters.
Delegates to the 75th Annual Convention adopted new policy on fuel taxes to help improve Idaho’s roads and bridges, endangered species with regard to sage grouse, opposed establishment of new free-roaming herds of bison outside Yellowstone Park and adopted new policy language on the establishment of national monuments and wilderness areas.
The University of Idaho Extension is offering Idaho Ag Market Outlook Seminars December 9 - 11th.
Please click on Read More below to see all details.
Idaho residents strongly encouraged to support Boulder White Clouds petition effort
Click on link to sign petition:http://www.yourboulderwhiteclouds.org/home.html
WASHINGTON, D.C., – All 19 “My American Farm” games offered by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture can now be played online using any type of tablet, including all versions of Apple iPad.
Thanks to a generous technology enhancement grant by DuPont Pioneer, each game was updated to enable online game-play on all tablets. Users can now simply visit www.myamericanfarm.org through a PC/Mac or tablet and play all games with ease.
My American Farm is an educational game platform launched in 2011 to engage pre-K through fifth grade learners in agriculture. Today the free site offers 19 agriculturally themed games and more than 100 free educator resources such as lesson plans, activity sheets and comics.
Idaho residents strongly encouraged to support Boulder White Clouds petition effort
Click on link to sign petition:
Ditch the Rule
Click on link to see the "Ditch the Rule" page.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The Agriculture Department’s much-anticipated October report on agricultural supply and demand for the 2014-2015 marketing year delivered few surprises today, the American Farm Bureau Federation said.
With planting numbers rolled into the latest USDA report, projections are honing in on the final harvest numbers.
“We’re seeing corn and soybean yields round out to what we have anticipated for this year’s bumper crop,” AFBF Deputy Chief Economist John Anderson said. Corn yield expectations are up to 174.2 bushels per acre and soybeans are at 47.1 bushels per acre. Both numbers are slightly higher than last month’s estimate, but remain well within anticipated ranges. Estimates on harvested acres of corn, now at 83.1 million, are down several hundred thousand acres from last month. With harvest expectations totaling 14.475 billion bushels of corn, the industry is certain to see the record crop expected.
Idaho residents strongly encouraged to support Boulder White Clouds petition effort
Click on link to sign petition:
Ditch the Rule
Click on link to see the "Ditch the Rule" page.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2014 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will improve farm loans by expanding eligibility and increasing lending limits to help more beginning and family farmers. As part of this effort, USDA is raising the borrowing limit for the microloan program from $35,000 to $50,000; simplify the lending processes; updating required “farming experience” to include other valuable experiences; and expanding eligible business entities to reflect changes in the way family farms are owned and operated. The changes become effective Nov. 7.
“USDA is continuing its commitment to new and existing family farmers and ranchers by expanding access to credit,” said Harden. “These new flexibilities, created by the 2014 Farm Bill, will help more people who are considering farming and ranching, or who want to strengthen their existing family operation.”
Idaho residents strongly encouraged to support Boulder White Clouds petition effort
Click on link to sign petition:
Ditch the Rule
Click on link to see the "Ditch the Rule" page.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The following may be attributed to American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman:
Idaho residents strongly encouraged to support Boulder White Clouds petition effort
Click on link to sign petition:
Ditch the Rule
Click on link to see the "Ditch the Rule" page.
Washington, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation released a series of short educational videos today to help farmers and ranchers understand the rewards and risks of data-analysis technologies sweeping the agricultural landscape.
Idaho residents strongly encouraged to support Boulder White Clouds petition effort
Click on link to sign petition:
Ditch the Rule
Click on link to see the "Ditch the Rule" page.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation hailed the strong bi-partisan effort by members of Congress as they urged Senate and House leadership to preserve the cash accounting system farmers and ranchers rely on to grow their businesses.
SPOKANE, Wash., — The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency reminds Idaho producers affected by recent excessive rain and hail related crop damage of important procedures for claiming losses under the federal crop insurance program. All producers should refer to their crop insurance policies for complete details on providing notice of damage or loss.
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 5, 2014 – A new animated video produced by the American Farm Bureau Federation is part of the organization’s popular Ditch the Rule campaign. The two-and-a-half minute animation explores how the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed “Waters of the U.S.” rule is regulatory overreach and unnecessary.
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 1, 2014 – Overreach by the EPA and immigration are sure to top the agenda as Farm Bureau members prepare for serious discussions with members of Congress now in their home districts.
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 30, 2014 – The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture reached a new audience of more than 4,000 students of elementary to high school age recently in Prince George’s County, Maryland, at the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington’s 20th annual Thingamajig Invention Convention. The event attracted students from across Maryland and the Washington, D.C. area, allowing them to participate in interactive educational activities and create eco-friendly inventions for the chance to win prizes.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has awarded 11 $500 mini-grants to communities across the nation. The grants are awarded through the Foundation’s White-Reinhardt Fund for Education program.
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 17, 2014 – The American Farm Bureau Federation last night released to Congress a comprehensive document that responds, point by point, to numerous inaccurate and misleading comments made about the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest clean water rule. Nancy Stoner, EPA acting assistant administrator for water, made the statements in a recent agency blog post.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – A new report from the Agriculture Department updates projections for the 2014-15 crop marketing year. The report offered a mixed bag of projections on top crops grown by the nation’s farmers, says the American Farm Bureau Federation.
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 9, 2014 – During a Day of Action with events in Washington, D.C., and in more than 60 congressional districts across 25 states, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Partnership for a New American Economy, Business Roundtable and other groups are urging Congress and the administration to work together to enact immigration reform.
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 1, 2014–Farm Bureau is pleased to announce that a new FB Member Advantage! program with Polaris Industries Inc., is available to eligible members in participating states, effective immediately. The roll-out of the new three-year program with Polaris, the leading manufacturer of off-road vehicles, demonstrates Farm Bureau’s continued investment in exceeding member expectations.
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 19, 2014—A new Environmental Protection Agency rule will illegally expand EPA jurisdiction to millions of acres of once-unregulated farm land, exposing farmers to fines and penalties for ordinary farming activities, the American Farm Bureau Federation told Congress today.
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 18, 2014 – With 218 co-sponsors – more than half of the House of Representatives – on board, legislation to repeal estate taxes is ripe for floor action, the American Farm Bureau Federation said today.
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 10, 2014 – Signing of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 into law today puts America’s inland waterways and port infrastructure on a solid and sustainable foundation to contribute to U.S. economic growth, jobs and global competitiveness for generations to come, said the American Farm Bureau Federation.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – “The American Farm Bureau Federation is pleased the EPA has extended the time available to comment on new and highly burdensome clean water rules. This is a victory for farming families and a clear signal that America’s farmers know how to stand up and be counted.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Water Act rule is rife with errors, lacks transparency and would greatly expand strict federal control over land that was previously not regulated by the federal government, according to a report by economist and University of California-Berkley faculty member Dr. David Sunding.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Water Act rule is rife with errors, lacks transparency and would greatly expand strict federal control over land that was previously not regulated by the federal government, according to a report by economist and University of California-Berkley faculty member Dr. David Sunding.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation has endorsed a bill to prohibit the federal government from listing the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act as long as states prepare and carry out plans to protect the species within their borders.
WASHINGTON, D.C., - The American Farm Bureau Federation has produced a new series of videos and launched a website (http://goo.gl/ujjnny) to help farmers, landowners and other stakeholders better understand the provisions of the 2014 farm bill. Featured content includes videos on key commodity program and crop insurance provisions of the farm bill.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – 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.
Boise—The Idaho Farm Bureau added two new social media properties while re-launching their smartphone application this spring.
“As the nation’s largest general farm organization, the American Farm Bureau represents farmers and ranchers who use every type of agricultural production system to provide the safest food possible both here in the U.S. and abroad. Our farmers and ranchers are encouraged by the bipartisan leadership of Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Jim Matheson (D-Utah) and Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) for introducing H.R. 4432, The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. This measure will make it clear that the Food and Drug Administration should be the nation’s foremost authority on the use and labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients.
WASHINGTON, April 8, 2014–Farmers and ranchers need tax certainty to thrive in a modern economy, and making permanent deductions that expired in 2013 is a good first step, the American Farm Bureau Federation told the House Ways and Means Committee today.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – “Last week, the American Farm Bureau Federation carefully reviewed EPA’s March 25 release of the ‘waters of the U.S.’ proposed rule. The results of our review are dismaying.
New Report Shows Labor Challenges Lead to Loss in GDP, Farm Income as U.S. Farmers Lose Market Share of Imports
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The Partnership for a New American Economy and the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform today released a new report showing how American families are eating more imported fresh produce today than ever before, in substantial part because U.S. fresh produce growers lack enough labor to expand their production and compete with foreign importers.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – 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.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Farmer and rancher members of Farm Bureau from around the country officially kicked off the organization’s new “Our Food Link” program in conjunction with a conference for state leaders of Women’s Leadership and Promotion & Education programs.
“Our Food Link is a year-round program that county and state Farm Bureaus use to provide consumers of all ages and backgrounds with information about today’s agriculture,” explained Terry Gilbert, a Kentucky farmer and chair of the American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee. The AFBWLC spearheads the program with participation open to all Farm Bureau members.
WASHINGTON, D.C., The American Farm Bureau Federation, as part of a multi-industry coalition of 636 business organizations—154 of them agriculture-related—today urged Congress to move forward with immigration reform this year.
In a letter sent to House Republican leadership, the coalition noted that all of the signatories are “united in the belief that we can and must do better for our economy and country by modernizing our immigration system.” Further, “Done properly, reform will deter illegal immigration, protect and complement our U.S. workforce, better respond to changing economic and demographic needs, and generate greater productivity and economic activity, while respecting family unity.”
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The farm and ranch families of Farm Bureau raised more than $810,000 and donated a record of more than 32 million pounds of food to assist hungry Americans as part of Farm Bureau’s “Harvest for All” program in partnership with Feeding America. Combined, the monetary and food donations also reached a record level of the equivalent of more than 34 million meals.
“The Department of Labor’s decision to withdraw enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s small farm grain bin guidance is a positive step forward for agriculture. The American Farm Bureau Federation is optimistic that this action will result in OSHA’s compliance with the small farm exemption as required by law.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – An approach to agricultural labor reform that focuses solely on immigration enforcement would raise food prices over five years by an additional 5 percent to 6 percent and would cut the nation’s food and fiber production by as much as a staggering $60 billion.
WASHINGTON, D.C., — A guidance memo produced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on grain bins and grain storage should be withdrawn because it provides authority for enforcement activities on small farms that are exempt under law, the American Farm Bureau Federation told Congress today. While Farm Bureau has always made farm safety a priority, the OSHA memo overreaches agency authority and circumvents clear legislative language, according to Farm Bureau.
“A comprehensive agricultural labor plan that works for all sectors of agriculture, and across all regions of our nation, is long overdue. The American Farm Bureau Federation commends the House leadership for recognizing that farmers and ranchers need access to a legal and stable workforce, as Congress works to fix our broken immigration system. The leadership’s principles released today are a positive step in moving this process forward.
WASHINGTON, D.C., Following the delegate session of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 95th Annual Convention, which wrapped up this week in San Antonio, the organization’s board of directors met to set AFBF’s strategic action plan to address public policy issues for 2014.
SAN ANTONIO, – Precision ag is being replaced with “Big Data” and “AgInformatics” as sources of innovation in agriculture, Matt Bechdol, founder of GeoSilos, a consulting firm focused on leveraging place-based solutions for agriculture, said at a workshop at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 95th Annual Convention.
SAN ANTONIO, – Although technology has enabled farmers and ranchers to keep up with the demands of a growing world, it is increasingly under attack by consumers. According to Dr. Jayson Lusk, regent’s professor for the department of agriculture economics at Oklahoma State University, the biggest obstacle that agricultural technology must overcome is educating consumers about how it’s used. Lusk spoke to farmers and ranchers about how they can reach those consumers at a conference sponsored by Dow AgroSciences at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 95th Annual Convention.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has released a new educational game entitled “The Great Seed Search” that gives learners the opportunity to experience the global nature of the agriculture industry.
Sun Valley – Delegates to the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation’s 74th Annual Meeting reelected President Frank Priestley and Vice President Mark Trupp on Thursday morning.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – A new resource guide developed by Farm Bureau and the Farmer Veteran Coalition Partnership is now available.
WASHINGTON, D.C., — The American Farm Bureau Federation’s 28th 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 $49.04, a 44-cent price decrease from last year’s average of $49.48.
WASHINGTON, D.C., —The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has released a new educational game entitled “Power Up” that helps young learners discover the importance of energy in agriculture.
WASHINGTON, D.C., -- In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association and U.S. Canola Association raised concerns regarding ongoing delays, lack of transparency and arbitrary decisions in China’s process of approving new biotechnology traits. The letter comes as the three administration officials prepare for a meeting of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) with the nation’s largest trading partner this December.
WASHINGTON, D.C., - More than 250 organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, sent a letter today to House and Senate agriculture committee members and leadership advocating passage of a five-year farm bill as soon as possible. The groups are urging Congress to move forward on a unified farm bill that preserves a five-year authorization for all programs, while continuing the partnership between the nutrition and farm communities.
WASHINGTON, D.C., - Effective immediately the standard $500 Farm Bureau incentive available to members in participating states for acquiring eligible GM vehicles has been extended to include Buick Encore and Chevrolet Volt models.
Farm employers are facing a deadline relative to the Affordable Care Act. By October 1, employers are required to provide each employee with an Exchange Notice.
Shoppers Find Higher Prices for Poultry and Dairy Products
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Shoppers are paying slightly more for food items at the grocery store compared to the first half of 2013. Higher retail prices for meat items such as boneless chicken breasts and dairy products, among other foods, resulted in a slight increase in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s latest Semi-Annual Marketbasket Survey
WASHINGTON, D.C., - Effective immediately and continuing through April 1, Chevrolet and GMC are offering exclusively to Farm Bureau members in participating states an additional $1,000 incentive on the acquisition of any new 2013 or 2014 regular cab, heavy duty (2500/3500 series) truck. This is in addition to the standard $500 Farm Bureau incentive, which brings the total Farm Bureau incentive on Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra HD models to $1,500.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The September World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report released by the Agriculture Department forecasts a bin-busting corn crop coupled with significantly smaller projected ending-stocks for soybeans.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has released a new educational game entitled “Load the Lunchbox” that helps young learners connect the food in their lunchboxes to the farmers who produce it.
MITCHELL, SOUTH DAKOTA, – Farm Bureau is working hard to “Bring the Heat” during the August congressional recess, so members of Congress know they need to get things done when they return to Washington, according to American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The highly anticipated August World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report was released Monday by the Agriculture Department. This first report of the year to incorporate farmer survey and field plot measurements to projected yield and production potential indicates a record crop.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation announced today the acquisition of Cygnus Business Media’s agricultural events and publications. The purchase includes five IDEAg branded farm shows – Minnesota Farmfest, Dakotafest, Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show, Northern Illinois Farm Show and the IDEAg Interconnectivity Conference. The business also publishes Feed & Grain Magazine and Case IH’s Farm Forum magazine.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation and more than 400 leading U.S. businesses and advocacy organizations called on the House to enact immigration reform legislation. The letter, sent today, was signed by a broad cross section of industries that includes agriculture, housing, retail, tourism, hospitality, technology, engineering, manufacturing, finance, venture capital, consumer electronics and others with a combined presence in every state in the United States.
AFBF - As the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service carries on with its years-long deliberation over whether to list the greater sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act, ranchers in the West are still working together and with community groups to develop plans for preserving sage-grouse habitat while at the same time providing a viable economic climate for producers.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – “The American Farm Bureau Federation looks forward to moving ahead with fundamental farm policy legislation, following House passage today of H.R. 2642. While we don’t yet know what the next steps will be, we will be working with both sides of the aisle and both chambers of Congress to ensure passage of a new five-year farm bill.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Four innovators in agriculture received monetary awards and research funding jointly presented by the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation, an independent federal government agency, and the American Farm Bureau Federation. The awards honor scientists, educators and high school students for their contributions to science and research in agriculture.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Protecting farmers’ and ranchers’ right to privacy is a top priority, said the American Farm Bureau Federation, which took legal action today to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from publicly releasing personal information about thousands of farmers and ranchers and their families. EPA is expected to respond to several Freedom of Information Act requests this week, prompting AFBF to file a lawsuit and seek a temporary restraining order before the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – “Delay of the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act by one year will allow the administration to streamline the process for complying and provide farm employers with the information they need to follow the law.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation today asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia to determine that livestock and poultry farmers do not need Clean Water Act discharge permits for ordinary stormwater runoff from their farmyards. The joint motion, filed by AFBF, West Virginia Farm Bureau and West Virginia poultry farmer Lois Alt, would garner a big win for farmers nationwide if the court rules in their favor.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has released two new educational guides to accompany the books “Beef in the Story of Agriculture” and “Beef an A-Z Book.” Both guides are developed for elementary grade classrooms and follow Common Core and national standards for education.
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 19, 2013 – The American Farm Bureau Federation supports legislation introduced today in both the House and Senate that would permanently repeal the estate tax. Sen. John Thune’s (R-S.D.) bill, The Death Tax Repeal Act of 2013, coupled with bipartisan legislation of the same title introduced by Reps. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), is welcomed by America’s farm and ranch families.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The June World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report released today by the Agriculture Department reflects the slow corn planting season across much of the Corn Belt due to snow, rain and cool weather, according to analysis by the American Farm Bureau Federation.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation recently commended the Senate for quickly moving forward to complete work on the bipartisan 2013 farm bill, the Agriculture Reform, Jobs and Food Act. The bill provides needed risk management tools and a viable economic safety net for America’s farmers and ranchers, according to AFBF President Bob Stallman.
(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter will be featured in a series of public service announcements (PSAs) airing throughout this irrigation season to promote canal safety. The 30-second PSAs were produced by the State of Idaho, the federal government and a consortium of businesses and broadcasters. They begin airing on radio and television stations throughout southern Idaho on May 29 and continuing through early fall.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation, in conjunction with the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, has announced the 2013 Farm Bureau Photo Contest. The contest is open to all state and county Farm Bureau members and staff above 18 years of age at the time of entry, including professional photographers.
“The House Agriculture Committee today approved its version of the 2013 Farm Bill. That bill joins the version approved on Tuesday by the Senate Agriculture Committee. This provides a great reason for optimism we will have a new long-term farm bill this year. That belief is further supported by the fact that the bills are more striking in their similarities than in their differences. Both bills provide a solid start for a farm bill that serves America’s farm and ranch families. The emphasis on crop insurance as a risk management tool, combined with flexibility that the measures offer through other safety net choices, will go a long way in ensuring a stable agricultural economy over the next few years.
WASHINGTON, - Farmers and ranchers need a tax code to manage the risks associated with agriculture while complying with tax liabilities, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. In a statement filed today with the House Ways and Means Committee for a hearing on small business taxation, AFBF urged congressional members to maintain cash accounting tools and higher small business expensing limits in any tax code rewrite.
"The Senate Agriculture Committee today put the farm bill on a solid road toward success. By following a bipartisan path and approving its farm bill legislation, the committee moved the farm bill forward with provisions that work well for America's farm and ranch families. We are especially pleased that this bill places a high priority on crop insurance as a risk management tool and that it also offers a measure of flexibility through safety net options beyond crop insurance.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation has joined with a diverse group of 44 conservation, environmental, crop insurance and agricultural organizations in distributing a position paper that outlines a common-sense compromise to link conservation compliance and crop insurance premium assistance and to oppose means testing, payment limitations or premium subsidy reductions for the crop insurance program.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Strong leadership by U.S. government officials in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations will yield positive results for American agriculture, the American Farm Bureau Federation told Congress recently.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Providing new farm bill programs for fruit and vegetable farmers would help ensure a strong agricultural economy and benefit the health of the entire nation, American Farm Bureau Federation Vice President Barry Bushue told Congress today.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Poultry and livestock farmers scored a win Monday when a federal court rejected efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency to dismiss a case brought by West Virginia poultry farmer Lois Alt, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
WASHINGTON, D.C.,– “The American Farm Bureau Federation is pleased a framework was reached today on agriculture labor provisions between the Agriculture Workforce Coalition, of which AFBF is a member, and the United Farm Workers. These successful negotiations will help provide America’s farmers and ranchers a much needed legal labor supply, while paving the way for many farm and ranch workers to obtain legal status.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Shoppers paid slightly more for food at the grocery store at the beginning of 2013. Higher retail prices for meat items such as sliced deli ham, boneless chicken breasts and ground chuck, among other foods, resulted in a slight increase in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s first Semi-Annual Marketbasket Survey. The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals was $51.54, up $1 or about 2 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. Of the 16 items surveyed, 11 increased and five decreased in average price compared to the prior quarter.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – A crop report issued recently by the Agriculture Department indicates that America’s farmers are preparing to plant 97.3 million acres of corn, one of the largest crops in history, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. The forecast is on target with what grain industry analysts had expected.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – American Farm Bureau, Inc. has launched a new national member benefits website – FB Member Advantage!. The new website provides eligible Farm Bureau members with a functional and user-friendly platform to learn about member benefits. FB Member Advantage! replaces the FB Country website.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation supports the addition of Japan as a negotiating partner in the Trans Pacific Partnership. As a major U.S. trading partner, Japan would bolster the reach of the TPP for U.S. agriculture.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Securing adequate land to grow crops and raise livestock was the top challenge identified in the latest survey of participants in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers & Ranchers program. That challenge was identified by 20 percent of respondents, followed by burdensome government regulations and “red tape,” which was identified by15 percent of the young farmers and ranchers responding.
WASHINGTON, D.C., - New Medicare taxes, the health insurance tax and penalties for failure to meet coverage requirements will harm the nation’s farm and ranch families, the American Farm Bureau Federation told Congress today.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation and other members of the Coalition for Animal Health this week hosted an educational briefing for congressional staff on meat production, public health and the importance of antibiotics. The briefing focused on helping legislators understand how and why farmers and ranchers use antibiotics.
WASHINGTON, D.C., - A new, modern guestworker program for agricultural workers is needed so that U.S. farmers and ranchers can continue growing food, tending livestock and contributing to the nation’s economy, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman told Congress today.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Farmer and rancher members of many local Farm Bureaus are reaching out to consumers in their communities to talk about how to cut costs while putting nutritious meals on the table for their families during Food Check-Out Week.
The University of Idaho Extension is offering a 4-week course for any operation that will undergo a change of leadership from one generation to another within the next few years. Topics in this course will include:
* Starting the Conversation
* Succession Planning, Passing the farm to the next generation.
* Retirement Planning, How can we pay for retirement?
* Estate Planning Tools, Trusts, Wills, Probate, Estate Taxes, Gifting, Business Structure, and many others.
* Guest Speakers: Accountant, Attorney, Insurance/Financial Planner
Bonneville County Extension Office, Idaho Falls
Starts February 28.
Registration is required by February 25, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The United States and Japan officially sealed an agreement this week that will allow exports of U.S. beef from cattle less than 30 months of age to enter that Asian market starting Feb. 1. The agreement was a long time in the making and its positive influence on U.S. beef markets could mean more than an immediate increase in trade volume with Japan, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
“The time is long overdue for our nation to have a comprehensive agricultural labor plan that works for all sectors of agriculture and across all regions of our nation. The American Farm Bureau Federation is encouraged by the immigration reform principles put forth by a bipartisan group of eight Senators. We are especially pleased the senators recognized that agricultural labor provisions must be part of any substantive effort to reform immigration policy. We are hopeful that this will provide the needed framework to move forward during the 113th Congress with a legislative solution for America’s agricultural labor shortage.
NASHVILLE, Tenn., – Voting delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 94th annual meeting expressed support for a bipartisan, reform-minded farm bill, crafted around a broad, flexible, crop-insurance-based program, including risk-management protection for peanuts, rice, forage and specialty crops.
NASHVILLE, Tenn., – With 25 percent of the nation’s energy coming from on-farm sources by 2025, farmers and ranchers need to be engaged in the discussion regarding the many issues, benefits and challenges related to on-farm energy development, Dale Arnold, director of energy development at the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, told growers at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 94th Annual Meeting.
NASHVILLE, Tenn., – In an environment of highs and lows for prices, market demands and costs, the one thing sought by farmers in terms of transporting their goods to market is certainty. That was the sentiment of a panel of transportation specialists from several state Farm Bureaus during an issues conference at the American Farm Bureau Federation's 94th Annual Meeting.
Report forms for the 2012 Census of Agriculture should arrive in mailboxes any day now – if they haven't already. Completed forms are due by February 4, 2013. Farmers can return their forms by mail or online by visiting a secure website at www.agcensus.usda.gov.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – “While much work remains on addressing the spending side of the ledger, the fiscal cliff package that was just approved injected a good dose of certainty into our nation’s tax policy. That is a major achievement. The measure restored the $5 million exemption level for the estate tax, which was in danger of falling to just $1 million. On the minus side, the top estate tax rate increased from 35 percent to 40 percent. Permanent capital gains tax provisions that retain lower rates was a positive point, as was the inclusion of enhanced expensing provisions for businesses.
WASHINGTON, D.C., - In a surprise about-face, the Environmental Protection Agency has withdrawn an order demanding that West Virginia poultry grower Lois Alt obtain a Clean Water Act discharge permit for stormwater runoff from her farmyard or face up to $37,500 per day in penalties. While the action is a great victory for Alt, it leaves unresolved a major legal issue with serious implications for other livestock and poultry farmers that must be addressed, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – A group of top-notch young agricultural leaders were named this week to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee. The AFBF Board of Directors selected some of the organization’s most active and dedicated young members to be part of the 2013-2015 YF&R Committee. Their terms will officially begin on March 1, 2013.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation is pleased with the outcome of a year-long discussion of the Agriculture Department’s Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture on ways to promote coexistence in agriculture. The AC21 presented its report to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to be used as guidance to enhance working relationships among farmers growing different types of crops, specifically biotech and non-biotech crops.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture is celebrating the release of “Feeding Minds – Cultivating Growth,” the latest educator resource to be developed by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. The guide and accompanying books can be purchased online starting early next week at www.agfoundation.org.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The retail cost of menu items for a classic Thanksgiving dinner including turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all the basic trimmings increased less than 1 percent this year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. AFBF’s 27th 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 $49.48, a 28-cent price increase from last year’s average of $49.20.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – "The American Farm Bureau Federation congratulates President Barack Obama on his re-election, as well as those candidates elected to serve during the 113th session of Congress. A number of important issues lie ahead of us, both for our nation, and for American agriculture. It is vital that, under the president's leadership, all our elected officials come together in a bipartisan fashion to resolve the challenges we face.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Twenty-five county Farm Bureaus nationwide were recognized by the American Farm Bureau Federation for innovative program ideas in this year’s County Activities of Excellence Awards program. The winners will be highlighted during AFBF’s 94th Annual Meeting, Jan. 13-16, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Shoppers paid slightly more for food at the grocery store during the third quarter of the year, with many popular breakfast staples showing an increase in retail price. Higher retail prices for eggs, bacon, orange juice, milk and toasted oat cereal, among other foods, resulted in a slight increase in the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Quarterly Marketbasket Survey.
WASHINGTON, D.C., — The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia has ruled that the American Farm Bureau Federation has a right to join in a lawsuit over the scope of the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate poultry and livestock farms under the Clean Water Act. In July, AFBF asked for permission to join on the side of West Virginia poultry grower Lois Alt, who brought suit to challenge an EPA order demanding that she obtain a CWA discharge permit for stormwater runoff from her farmyard. The West Virginia Farm Bureau has also joined the lawsuit. EPA aggressively opposed the Farm Bureaus’ participation.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney recently spelled out their positions on agriculture issues for the American Farm Bureau Federation. In a questionnaire, both candidates went into detail about their positions on energy, environmental regulations, farm labor and more.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation today urged Congress to reform the capital gains tax because of its detriment to young and beginning farmers. In a statement submitted to the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees’ joint hearing on tax reform, AFBF said the cumbersome tax makes it difficult for current farmers to pass the torch to a new generation of agriculturalists.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The Agriculture Department’s monthly crop report lowered the 2012 production forecasts for corn and soybeans. Economists with the American Farm Bureau Federation said the report was “bearish” for corn prices in one respect, because the estimate for ending stocks was not reduced as much as expected by some market analysts.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – With the expiration of the current farm bill quickly approaching, and in the midst of the worst drought in a generation, Farm Bureau members, along with farmers and ranchers from across the nation, rallied at the nation's capitol today. American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman emceed the "Farm Bill Now!" rally on Capitol Hill.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation encourages the public to protect health and the environment by protecting groundwater on Protect Your Groundwater Day (Sept. 11) and every day.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman and Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, have been announced as the masters of ceremony for the upcoming "Farm Bill Now" rally.
POCATELLO - On Thursday, Aug. 23, the American Farm Bureau Federation will be asking Americans to remember the many individuals and families facing severe struggles due to this year’s devastating drought. Suggestions for a National Day of Prayer for Drought Victims have come from a number of people throughout farm country as a way to support people facing challenges related to the ongoing drought.
WASHINGTON, D.C.,– The following statement was sent to congressional members recently by a coalition of organizations representing U.S. agriculture:
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation said today that a House proposal to extend the current farm bill for one year fails to move the nation any closer to securing a comprehensive, long-term farm bill and the organization would stand in opposition. “A one-year extension offers our farm and ranch families nothing in the way of long-term policy certainty,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “Farmers and ranchers always face decisions that carry very serious financial ramifications, such as planting a crop, buying land or building a herd, and we need clear and confident signals from our lawmakers.”
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation recently expressed appreciation for a series of emergency actions announced by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to provide much-needed assistance to America’s farm and ranch families suffering from the drought gripping much of the nation.
WASHINGTON, D.C., — The American Farm Bureau Federation and a number of other farm groups today urged the House to vote yes for farm kids and farm families across America by supporting H.R. 4157, the Preserving America’s Family Farms Act. The House will debate and vote on the legislation later today.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – “The most widespread drought in a generation has imposed great stress on people, crops and livestock. While the full impact on the nation won’t be known for several months, many farmers already know they won’t have a crop. Ranchers and livestock producers are having difficulties getting feed and forage for their livestock. The on-farm economic impacts are real and serious.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Citing a lack of data to support limiting antibiotic use in livestock, the American Farm Bureau Federation has told the Food and Drug Administration that it is concerned with proposals that would restrict antibiotic use based on unproven theory
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation is concerned about the impact that mandates and new taxes contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would have on America’s farm and ranch families. The organization today asked members of the House to vote for H.R. 6079, also known as the Repeal of Obamacare Act.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – “Farmers, ranchers and rural residents need affordable and accessible health care. We remain concerned that mandating individuals and businesses to buy insurance will impose an expense that creates economic hardship, particularly for self-employed individuals and small businesses.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – “The bipartisan farm bill approved by the Senate (S.3240) provides farmers improved risk management tools consistent with Farm Bureau's core principles. While no farm bill is perfect, this is a solid bill that was worthy of Senate approval. The bill includes important reforms and is fiscally responsible, while including important provisions to enhance crop insurance, maintain a viable marketing loan program and minimize the potential for farm program provisions to drive producer decisions.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed updates to its national air quality standards for both coarse and fine particulate matter. EPA proposed no changes to its standards for coarse particles, which include dust commonly generated by typical farming practices and driving on unpaved rural roads.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – A coalition of agricultural organizations sent a letter yesterday to Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., who is seeking to restrict severely antibiotic use in livestock and poultry production, pointing out the stringent federal approval process and regulation of antibiotics, the lack of human health risks from their judicious use in livestock production and the benefits they offer in food animal production.
Members of the coalition include the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Feed Industry Association, American Meat Institute, Animal Health Institute, American Veterinary Medical Association, National Cattleman’s Beef Association, National Chicken Council, National Milk Producers Federation, National Pork Producers Council, National Meat Association and the National Turkey Federation.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation today sent a letter to the Senate outlining the organization’s priorities in, along with its concerns about, the Senate Agriculture Committee’s proposed 2012 farm bill, S. 3240. In a letter, AFBF President Bob Stallman said that with Farm Bureau’s suggested improvements, he believes S. 3240 moves toward the organization’s core principles for rational, acceptable farm policy and his organization would support passage of the bill.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman at a hearing recently on Capitol Hill reemphasized his organizations' support of a single commodity option and a strong crop insurance program in the 2012 farm bill. Speaking before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management, Stallman said he was confident AFBF's approach could easily provide a safety net that meets regional and commodity differences, while also staying within the budget.
WASHINGTON, D.C., –“The American Farm Bureau Federation congratulates Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and USDA on the department’s 150th anniversary. President Abraham Lincoln is known for many achievements during his lifetime, but a little known triumph of his – that affects all Americans – was the establishment of the United States Department of Agriculture 150 years ago today.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation this week asked members of Congress to support H.R. 4965, a bill that would preserve existing U.S. water rights and responsibilities to the Clean Water Act. The bipartisan bill was introduced by Reps. John Mica (R-Fla.), Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio).
WASHINGTON, D.C., – “The Labor Department’s notification today that it is withdrawing proposed rules that would have prevented many young people from working in agriculture is the right decision for our nation’s family-based agriculture system. Farm Bureau appreciates the administration’s decision and efforts by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to listen to farmers, ranchers and other rural Americans. We also know that this would not have happened without the efforts of Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) and others in Congress, and we thank them for standing up for agriculture and the rural way of life.
Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding April 24 Detection of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
WASHINGTON, D.C., - “American beef and dairy products are safe. The safeguards our government has in place to detect any incidence of this disease are clearly working. The report of a cow with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, discovered during the pre-rendering process, is proof that our detection system works.
WASHINGTON, D.C., - Numerous provisions of the Senate Agriculture Committee’s draft farm bill follow the American Farm Bureau Federation’s core principles for “rational, acceptable farm policy,” but there is room for adjustments to improve the legislation.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Retail food prices at the supermarket increased slightly during the first quarter of 2012 with protein staples – meats and cheese – showing the greatest increase in price, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation recently endorsed Senate legislation that would help protect America’s farm and ranch families from potentially crippling blows of the federal estate tax following a farm owner’s death.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – This week, the American Farm Bureau Federation, Western Energy Alliance and Public Lands Council questioned the administration’s commitment to job and economic growth in comments submitted to the Bureau of Land Management on greater sage-grouse policies in the West.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – National farm policy must strike a balance between the need for a strong, effective safety net to protect farmers and ranchers against catastrophic revenue losses and fiscal soundness for the nation, the American Farm Bureau Federation told Congress.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation is supporting measures to make certain farm vehicles exempt from federal motor vehicle regulations that are appropriately aimed at the long-haul trucking industry. AFBF is urging senators to support two amendments to the pending transportation bill (S. 1813).
WASHINGTON, D.C., – “Groundwater is important to you!” is the core message of National Groundwater Awareness Week 2012, March 11-17. Now well into its second decade, Groundwater Awareness Week spotlights one of the world’s most important resources – groundwater.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture launched an interactive website last year that invites the general public to celebrate the contribution of century farms to the heritage of our nation.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The farm and ranch families of Farm Bureau last year raised more than $556,273 and donated more than 10 million pounds of food to assist hungry Americans as part of Farm Bureau’s “Harvest for All” program through Feeding America. Combined, the monetary and food donations provided nearly 13 million meals.
WASHINGTON, D.C., — Passage by the House on Thursday of a bill to increase domestic energy supplies, including development of a vast new source in the oil shale deposits of the American West, helps provide the type of energy solutions America needs, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Young people and the contributions they make as members of farm and ranch families are vital to American agriculture, according to Missouri hog farmer Chris Chinn. Testifying on behalf of the American Farm Bureau Federation, she told the House Small Business’ Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade that proposed Labor Department regulations on child labor would have negative impacts on rural America.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging congressional members to oppose legislation that would restrict the use of antibiotics in livestock and poultry. In letters to Senate and House members, AFBF said the legislation would handicap veterinarians and farmers in their efforts to maintain animal health and protect the nation’s food supply.
BOISE - Former Green Bay Packer Jerry Kramer will address the Idaho Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Rancher’s Annual Leadership Conference at 10 a.m. on Saturday January 28th, at the Boise Hotel and Convention Center.
HONOLULU – Solid risk management "has never been more important" for producers of the nation's major commodities, given a range of volatility factors, North Carolina State University Extension specialist Nicholas Piggott told producers at the American Farm Bureau Federation's 93rd Annual Meeting.
HONOLULU, – National farm policy should be rewritten this year to establish a program that protects farmers from catastrophic revenue losses by using a flexible combination of fiscally responsible tools, said voting delegates at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 93rd Annual Meeting.
HONOLULU – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack delivered a clear message to farmers and ranchers attending the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 93rd Annual Meeting.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Retail food prices at the supermarket declined slightly during the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey.
Two recent news reports contained troubling year-end news for farm families.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The popular agricultural gaming site MyAmericanFarm.org just released a new game for students in kindergarten through second grade.
COEUR D’ALENE – Delegates at the 72nd Annual Idaho Farm Bureau Convention reelected Frank Priestley to serve an 8th consecutive two-year term as President of Idaho’s largest general farm organization.
Idaho's Ada County FB Recognized for Zoo Boise Contributions
WASHINGTON, D.C., – A total of 25 county Farm Bureaus from across the country were recognized by the American Farm Bureau Federation for innovative program ideas in this year's County Activities of Excellence program. The winners will be spotlighted during AFBF's 93rd annual meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii Jan. 8-11.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Congressional ratification of three bilateral free-trade agreements between the United States and Korea, Colombia and Panama, as well as approval of Trade Adjustment Assistance, is welcome news for farmers and ranchers, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The Agriculture Department’s October crop report released today shows a reduction in the U.S. corn crop compared to the September report, mainly because of a drop in the estimate for harvested acres.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging Congress to maintain capital gains rates at the current 15 percent level and strongly backs legislation introduced today that would eliminate the sunset of the current tax rates for capital gains and dividends.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Strong global demand, especially for pork and other protein-rich foods, was a primary driver behind higher retail prices at the supermarket during the third quarter of 2011, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey.
WASHINGTON, D.C.,– New legislation introduced by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating naturally occurring farm dust is welcome news for the nation's farmers and ranchers, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
WASHINGTON, D.C.,– There is something every person can do to protect groundwater – the largest source of fresh drinking water in the United States and the world – beginning on Protect Your Groundwater Day which is Sept. 13, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
WASHINGTON, D.C., — As far as professions are concerned, farming and ranching are among the most challenging. A new interactive online game offered by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, "The Ultimate Challenge," delivers key lessons about agriculture while providing a fun gaming experience.
More than 30 percent of U.S. farmers and ranchers are women and their numbers continue to grow. Fortunately, opportunities for women involved in today’s agriculture are virtually unlimited. But some challenges still remain. That is why the Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee strives to empower women to use their enthusiasm, dedication and talent to change perceptions about agriculture, family farms and ranches and the role of women in these arenas.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – While farmers are benefiting from positive commodity prices, rising production costs remain a concern, according to economists with the American Farm Bureau Federation
WASHINGTON, D.C.,– Congress must help alleviate the burden of an ever-increasing array of federal environmental regulations on agriculture, according to Arizona Farm Bureau President Kevin Rogers, who testified today before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee. Representing the American Farm Bureau Federation, Rogers told the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy that the breadth and extent of the regulatory challenges facing U.S. agriculture are tremendous
WASHINGTON, D.C., - “The American Farm Bureau is pleased that a memorandum between Mexico and the United States has been signed, bringing an end to the long-running dispute over Mexican truck access north of the border.
WASHINGTON, D.C.,– The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture launched a new, interactive website that invites the general public to celebrate the contribution of century farms to the heritage of our nation. Century farms are those farms that have been in operation under the same family for more than 100 years. Appropriately named “Agriculture’s Lasting Heritage,” this website tells the story of American farm and ranch families who have shaped the history of our nation.
WASHINGTON, D.C., - A challenging weather year for farmers and ranchers all across the country is clearly reflected in today’s crop report released by the Agriculture Department with drops shown in production, stocks and acreage forecasts for corn compared to the May report.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – After learning firsthand from state Farm Bureaus about recent flooding devastation in the southern United States the American Farm Bureau Federation now estimates that nearly 3.6 million acres of farmland has been impacted by the natural disaster. On a Farm Bureau nationwide call late last week, states also reported an estimated 40 percent of this year’s rice crop has been affected.
WASHINGTON, D.C., - The inability of Congress and the administration to move three stalled free trade agreements is hurting U.S. economic growth, testified American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman today before the House Agriculture Committee. Combined, the Korea, Colombia and Panama agreements would add nearly an additional $2.5 billion to the U.S. economy through agricultural trade.
WASHINGTON, D.C.,– Testifying before two congressional committees, American Farm Bureau Federation Vice President Barry Bushue said the process for crop protection registration is “hopelessly broken.” Bushue, who testified before a joint public hearing of the House Committee on Agriculture and the House Committee on Natural Resources, cited the need for reconciliation between two federal agencies that both perform crop protection risk assessments.
WASHINGTON, D.C., - Americans are experiencing sticker shock at the gas pump these days, but high fuel costs are hitting America’s farmers and ranchers especially hard. According to testimony presented today by the American Farm Bureau Federation, government figures show farmers this spring will pay almost 85 percent more than they paid in 2000 just to plant their crops.
WASHINGTON, D.C., — The American Farm Bureau Federation, along with other agriculture groups, has filed a motion to intervene in federal court in a lawsuit aimed at imposing needless restrictions or bans on pesticide use.
WASHINGTON, D.C., - In a major court victory for the American Farm Bureau Federation and other farm organizations, a unanimous federal court of appeals has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency cannot require livestock farmers to apply for Clean Water Act permits unless their farms actually discharge manure into U.S. waters. The ruling was welcomed by the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Pork Producers Council and several other agriculture groups that filed suit against EPA in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
WASHINGTON, D.C., — America’s farmers and ranchers are being challenged by an onslaught of regulations, guidance and other requirements being issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to Carl Shaffer, president of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.
WASHINGTON, D.C, – The biggest news in the Agriculture Department’s crop report released recently is the drop in projected U.S. wheat exports and the subsequent bump in stocks, according to Dr. Bob Young, chief economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation.
As winter departs and spring blooms across the country, Farm Bureaus are making safety a top priority through the Agricultural Safety Awareness Program. As a part of ASAP, March 6-12 has been designated as Agricultural Safety Awareness Week.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Groundwater is important to every person, and there is something every person can do to be a good groundwater steward – that’s the core message of the 2011 National Ground Water Awareness Week, March 6-12.
JACKSON, MISS., – Farmer and rancher members of many local Farm Bureaus are reaching out to consumers in their communities during Food Check-Out Week (Feb. 20-26) by offering information and cost-saving tips on putting nutritious meals on the table.
WASHINGTON, D.C.,– The farm and ranch families of Farm Bureau last year raised more than $273,000 and donated more than 18 million pounds of food to hungry Americans as part of Farm Bureau’s “Harvest for All” program through Feeding America. Combined, the monetary and food donations provided the equivalent of more than 16 million meals.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – America’s farmers and ranchers will receive a “double economic jolt” from the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of greenhouse gases, the American Farm Bureau Federation told a House subcommittee today.
WASHINGTON, D.C., - The inability of Congress and the administration to move three stalled free trade agreements is hurting U.S. economic growth, testified American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman today before the House Ways and Means Committee. Combined, the Korea, Colombia and Panama agreements would add an additional $3 billion to the U.S. economy through agricultural trade.
WASHINGTON, D.C., American Farm Bureau, Inc. and Hughes Network Systems, LLC, have signed an agreement to offer HughesNet High Speed Internet service at a special rate to Farm Bureau members. The service will provide Farm Bureau members in rural areas a workable solution to upgrade from slow, dial-up Internet access.
ATLANTA – Farmers and ranchers attending the Grassroots Engagement With Social Media issues conference at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 92nd annual meeting picked up pointers on how to effectively share their stories and connect with non-farmers.
ATLANTA – Delegates at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 92nd Annual Meeting voted to maintain a strong farm income safety net, address dairy price volatility and urge greater oversight of regulatory actions by the Environmental Protection Agency.
WASHINGTON, D.C., — Retail food prices at the supermarket increased slightly during the fourth quarter of 2010, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – A diverse group of agricultural organizations are voicing their opposition to controversial legislation that would substantially change the Clean Water Act by expanding the Environmental Protection Agency's authority. In a letter to members of the Senate, the groups were critical of "an 11th-hour effort" to include the controversial bill S. 1816, The Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act, in the potential Lands, Waters and Wildlife omnibus legislation.
USDA will be conducting a FREE interactive webinar offered by Red Book Credit Services as part of its Red Book University series on the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. The webinar is entitled “Grant Opportunity: Enhancing the Competitiveness of Specialty Crops” and will be held on Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 2:00 pm Eastern Time.
You can also find the registration form on the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program home page at www.ams.usda.gov/scbgp.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation called the formation of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance an “unprecedented initiative and new opportunity” for agricultural producers to engage with key audiences.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Topics ranging from environmental policy and food safety to the 2012 farm bill and use of social media by farmers and ranchers highlight a slate of conferences during the American Farm Bureau Federation's 92nd annual meeting, Jan. 9-12 in Atlanta, Ga.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of E15 (gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol) for model year 2007 and newer cars and light-duty trucks is a step toward strengthening America’s commitment to home-grown energy, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The most pressing issue for America’s farmers and ranchers in Congress is the prompt passage of legislation to provide estate tax relief, keep capital gains tax rates and extend other important tax provisions that expired at the end of 2009 or are set to expire at the end of 2010, according to American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Provisions in the new health care law that require farms, ranches and other businesses to complete an Internal Revenue Service Form 1099 for any expenditure totaling more than $600 in a calendar year create an unnecessary and costly paperwork burden, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
WASHINGTON, D.C, – The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging Congress to help ensure rural Americans have the same access to high-speed broadband internet services that Americans in more populated areas enjoy.
Members of Congress and school children have wrapped up their summer recesses. Students have returned to their schools, giddy with tales of their summer adventures and with glowing anticipation for a new school year. Chances are good that members of Congress are a bit more somber on their return to Capitol Hill.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging Farm Bureau members to take steps to protect ground water during the inaugural Protect Your Ground Water Day set for Sept. 14.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Mexico's trade retaliation against the United States is expanding in size and scope due to the U.S. government not meeting obligations to allow Mexican trucks to operate in the United States. Due to this inaction, America's farmers and ranchers are paying a steep price and the American Farm Bureau Federation is calling for immediate action to correct the matter.
POCATELLO — The Idaho Farm Bureau Federation is offering domestic water well and spring testing in Cassia and Minidoka Counties starting August 18th.
Fundamental Changes Are Necessary to Meet Goal of National Export Initiative
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), the Coalition of Service Industries (CSI) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) put forth a comprehensive approach today to double U.S. exports in five years – a key goal of President Obama’s. Under this approach, the three organizations outline policy changes needed to improve market access and level the playing field in a competitive global market. Doubling exports in five years is an ambitious but achievable goal if major changes are enacted.
WASHINGTON, D.C., - The American Farm Bureau Federation backs an amendment to the small business lending bill that would permanently reform the federal estate tax and has asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), to allow the Senate to consider the proposal.
WASHINGTON, D.C.,– Retail food prices at the supermarket increased slightly during the second quarter of 2010, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey.
WASHINGTON, D.C., - The House Agriculture Committee’s recent approval of the Cuba trade bill will help increase agriculture exports to that island nation and help make U.S. agricultural goods the products of choice in the Cuban marketplace, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
WASHINGTON, D.C.,– The 2012 farm bill must continue to provide the nation’s farmers a dependable safety net, but given today’s tight budget outlook, the legislation must also be fiscally responsible. The best way to do that is to maintain the basic funding structure and baseline of the 2008 farm bill, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman told members of the Senate Agriculture Committee recently.
WASHINGTON, D.C., Small and independent meat processors are at significant economic risk due to increased regulatory costs included in a preliminary draft guidance document issued by the Food Safety and Inspection Service, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. That document spells out new and costly requirements for local meat processors under the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Systems Validation proposal.
WASHINGTON, D.C.,– The U.S. Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s nationwide ban on the cultivation of biotech alfalfa. This remands the case back to the District Court and then back to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to determine what interim measures can be implemented while the agency completes its environmental impact statement process.
WASHINGTON, D.C., “The American Farm Bureau Federation is pleased with the proposed rule issued by the Agriculture Department’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) dealing with competition in the livestock and poultry industries.
WASHINGTON, D.C., - The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and AG CONNECT Expo 2011 announced they are teaming up in 2011 with the co-location of the 2011 AFBF Annual Meeting and AG CONNECT Expo 2011 and, both to be held in early January 2011 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
WASHINGTON, D.C.,– The House is expected to vote soon on legislation that includes a number of tax provisions vital to farmers and rural America.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation and 48 other farm groups have joined together in urging the Senate to adopt a resolution that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act without prior congressional approval.
WASHINGTON, D.C., - Following two years of tough economic times for livestock producers, 2010 is shaping up to be a much better year thanks to an improving economy and tighter supplies of beef, pork and poultry.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman recently called for Congress to stop dragging its feet and pass the Colombia, Panama and South Korea free trade agreements. In a press conference with other agriculture groups, Stallman said Congress’ inaction on the FTAs is costing U.S. agriculture lost market share and competitiveness.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Tax incentives play a key role in the development and production of renewable energy, and the American Farm Bureau Federation is urging Congress to pass two bills that would extend renewable fuel tax credits for five years.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation said it supports the Grow Renewable Energy from Ethanol Naturally (GREEN) Jobs Act of 2010 (S. 3231). The legislation, introduced Tuesday by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), would bring the nation one step closer to energy independence.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation has joined with other agricultural groups in a unified call for permanent and meaningful estate tax relief for America’s farm and ranch families.
WASHINGTON, D.C.,– Retail food prices at the supermarket showed a modest increase during the first quarter of 2010, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Now is the time for Congress to nullify greenhouse gas permit requirements that were announced this week by the Environmental Protection Agency. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, efforts under way in Congress and legal challenges undertaken by state governments are offering corrective paths to undo a very real disaster headed toward farm and ranch families.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation’s legal department has launched a new “Legal Affairs” section of AFBF’s Voice of Agriculture Web site. The purpose of the new section is to give Farm Bureau members a better sense of the legal involvement of AFBF through its legal advocacy program.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Profitability, increasing government regulations and the impact of activist groups are the top concerns of America's leading young farmers and ranchers, according to a survey conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Washington, D.C, -- The American Farm Bureau Federation is urging members of the House to “to stand with our nation’s agriculture producers” and vote “no” on the massive bill that will dramatically transform the nation’s health care system.
WASHINGTON, D.C,– Combined, the Colombia, Panama and Korea free trade agreements represent almost $3 billion in increased U.S. agricultural exports. Congressional action to approve those agreements would help set an aggressive trade agenda that is important to the U.S. economy and the creation of American jobs, AFBF President Bob Stallman today told leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture committees.
Seattle, WA - State Farm Bureaus were recognized for excellence in membership achievement and for implementing outstanding programs serving Farm Bureau members in 2009. American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman presented the awards during AFBF’s 91st annual meeting.
Pocatello - As the economic squeeze continues, many Americans remain concerned that the cost of a healthy diet is out of reach. However, according to an Agriculture Department study, the cost of eating healthy hasn’t changed as much as some less-healthy alternatives. Eating healthy food while on a budget does require smart shopping.
Washington, D.C., - Lower courts failed to adequately consider the mountains of evidence that prove biotech alfalfa is safe, and thus those courts abandoned a well-established legal principle when they banned the planting of the crop. That is just one of the points supporting a request for the United States Supreme Court to review a case related to biotech alfalfa, according to a brief filed by several groups.
Washington, D.C., - The American Farm Bureau Federation is partnering with the Agriculture Department’s National Agricultural Library to create the National Curriculum and Training Clearinghouse for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. The new information-sharing program will help those who have decided to pursue a career in agriculture and will help support Farm Bureau’s commitment to rural development.
Leaders from a broad spectrum of Idaho’s agriculture community announced support today of Monsanto’s proposed Blackfoot Bridge phosphate mine, which will allow for the continued domestic production of specialty herbicides that help farmers produce food more efficiently, and do so in an environmentally sound manner.
Washington, D.C., - The Agriculture Department is forecasting a record U.S. soybean crop and the second-largest corn crop ever. But thanks to tight global soybean supplies, soybean prices should be under less pressure than corn prices where the huge crop is giving a bearish tone to the market, according to Terry Francl, senior economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Washington, D.C., — Legislation that would remove the word “navigable” from the Clean Water Act (CWA) and allow the Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency to regulate all interstate and intrastate waters could put farmers in “regulatory quicksand,” according to Missouri Farm Bureau President Charlie Kruse.
Washington, D.C., – American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman today asked the Senate Agriculture Committee to take an active and aggressive role in the climate change debate, but cautioned committee members that rushing to pass such sweeping legislation would be a fundamental mistake.
Washington - The federal government must learn to live within its means. That strong message was conveyed Wednesday to the American Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors by an internal committee created to analyze the national deficit. The AFBF committee, known as the Federal Deficit Task Force, made a set of recommendations for Farm Bureau members to consider as they formulate policy for 2010.
Washington, D.C., - American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman today said that the House-passed climate legislation will have little to no impact on global temperatures. Testifying before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Stallman said without the adoption of similar actions by other countries, the U.S. “will be embarking on a fool’s errand.”
Washtington, D.C., - Retail food prices at the supermarket decreased slightly for the third consecutive quarter, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey.
Washtington, D.C., - In testimony recently on Capitol Hill, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said it was a long, hard road to passage of the 2008 farm bill, however it is now time to implement the bill.
Washington, D.C., - Climate change legislation unveiled last week (H.R. 2454) “ignores the complex needs of a very diverse U.S. agricultural industry” and will draw opposition from the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Washington, D.C., - A total of 50 $1,000 scholarships for agricultural studies have been awarded by the National FFA Organization in conjunction with the American Farm Bureau Federation and the Dodge Division of Chrysler LLC.
Washington, D.C., - The American Farm Bureau Federation joined 38 other agricultural and commodity groups in expressing strong opposition to the more than $16 billion in cuts to the farm safety net proposed in President Barack Obama’s 2010 budget.
Idaho State Department of Agriculture Announces Ag Day Event. Department to Sell Lunches at Capitol Annex for “What A Farmer Makes”
Massachusetts case is a watershed battle against federal control of private property nationwide CARVER, MA - Pacific Legal Foundation announced today the formal launch of the “Charlie Johnson Legal Defense Fund,” to help a Massachusetts farmer fighting a federal land grab with implications for private property owners across the country.
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 25, 2009 – Farmer and rancher members of many local Farm Bureaus will reach out to consumers with practical information and tips on how to put nutritious meals on the table with fewer dollars during Food Check-Out Week, Feb. 15-21.
The American Farm Bureau Federation today launched a web site targeted at consumers. The site, Your Agriculture, at www.fb.org/yourag, is aimed at educating the non-farming public about agriculture issues, farmers and ranchers and the food, fiber and fuel they grow.
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 9, 2009—Farm Bureau and its farm and ranch families last year raised more than $160,000 and donated more than 6.7 million pounds of food to hungry Americans through the organization’s “Harvest for All” program. Combined, the monetary and food donations provided the equivalent of 6.4 million meals through Feeding America-affiliated food banks across the country.
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 22, 2009 – An economic stimulus bill up for consideration by lawmakers must include investment in programs that will strengthen American agriculture and rural life, the American Farm Bureau Federation said today.
SAN ANTONIO--Winners of the Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Award, Discussion Meet and Excellence in Agriculture competitions were announced recently at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 90th annual meeting. James G. Williams of Idaho won the Discussion Meet. He will take home a 2009 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck, courtesy of Dodge, plus free registration to the 2009 YF&R Leadership Conference.
WASHINGTON, DC, – Livestock producers must provide definitive origin information to slaughter facilities under the new country-of-origin-labeling (COOL) rule that went into effect this month. To help producers comply, the American Farm Bureau Federation has prepared guidelines for providing necessary COOL documentation to buyers.
BOISE – The Idaho Farm Bureau Federation kicked off a fundraiser this week for two Owyhee County ranchers who went through a 10-year court battle initiated by a federal agency, won, and then got stuck with over a million dollars in legal fees.
Officials with the Coalition for Idaho Water say the group is pleased with a new salmon recovery biological opinion that deals with the operation of Upper Snake River dams and reservoirs released by the Federal government today.
WASHINGTON, D.C.,- Highly volatile conditions have affected the cash and futures markets where farmers and ranchers sell their grains, oilseeds, cotton and livestock. Federal regulators must keep a close eye on the situation, engage as needed and be ready to consider reform measures, according to American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman.
WASHINGTON, D.C.,– A possible mega-merger of three of the country’s five largest beef packers with the largest beef processor has the attention of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) because of its likely impact on all segments of the U.S. beef industry.
Throughout the year, America’s farmers work hard to produce the staples of life – food, fiber, renewable forest products and crops for homegrown biofuels. While National Agriculture Day, observed on March 20, celebrates farmers’ and ranchers’ contributions to American society, many farmers will tell you the true celebration can’t really start till their job is done.
BURLEY - The Idaho Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers are putting their money where their worries are - the Idaho Meth Project. At their annual meeting the group voted to support the Project with fundraising activities throughout the year and pledged $700 on the spot.
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 14, 2007 –Family farmers and ranchers have long opposed estate taxes because of the devastating effects the tax can have on their farm and ranch businesses when a family member dies. That’s why the American Farm Bureau Federation, the country’s largest organization representing farmers and ranchers who grow every commodity marketed commercially in this country, supports permanent repeal of the federal estate tax.
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 31, 2007 – “As Congress moves toward possible approval of a new farm bill, Farm Bureau members believe it is important the Agriculture Department has a strong leader at its helm. The president has nominated Ed Schafer to be that leader. Mr. Schafer hails from North Dakota, a state with a rich agricultural heritage, and we look forward to working with him to strengthen American agriculture.
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 22, 2007 – Today’s tight cattle supplies and strong prices are likely to remain in place through the first quarter of 2008, according to American Farm Bureau Federation analysis of the Agriculture Department’s most recent Cattle on Feed report.
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Retail food prices at the supermarket increased slightly in the third quarter of 2007, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey. The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 basic grocery items in the third quarter of 2007 was $44.03, up about 2 percent or $1.08 from the second quarter of 2007.
WASHINGTON, D.C., -- Agriculture is on the front lines of the immigration debate in America and farmers, ranchers and growers desperately need a solution to the labor challenges they face, the American Farm Bureau Federation told Congress today.
WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 25, 2007 – Supplies of feeder calves and fed cattle are tight and may get tighter this winter and into the spring of 2008, according to analysis by American Farm Bureau Federation economists.
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 12, 2007 – The latest yield projections by the Agriculture Department show U.S. farmers remain on target to harvest a large corn crop in spite of drought in some portions of the Corn Belt, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Although the Agriculture Department has revised its 2007 net farm income estimate up $20 billion to a record $87.1 billion on the strength of higher livestock and crop prices, the glass is only half full for America’s farmers since farm production costs are also escalating, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Leading Farm Organizations Challenge Dannon and Other Food Companies on Retreat from Sustainable Agriculture Practices
WASHINGTON, D.C., – Leaders of the nation’s top farming organizations joined together today in urging food companies to recognize that their sustainability goals, intended to reduce the use of natural resources, cannot be achieved without the use of modern agricultural practices, despite any misleading assertions to the contrary.
This focus on deceptive food company marketing claims is in response to Dannon’s recent pledge to eliminate the use of safe and proven crop technology to feed the dairy cows that supply milk for its yogurt products. Dannon is one of several prominent food manufacturers and retailers that in recent years has taken steps to eliminate genetically-modified ingredients from its supply, claiming that such a move improves the sustainability of its products.
In a letter sent today to Mariano Lozano, head of Dannon’s U.S. operations, the farm groups said that the company’s strategy to eliminate GMOs “is the exact opposite of the sustainable agriculture that you claim to be seeking. Your pledge would force farmers to abandon safe, sustainable farming practices that have enhanced farm productivity over the last 20 years while greatly reducing the carbon footprint of American agriculture.”