Tag Archives: Nebraska Farm Bureau

LINCOLN, NEB. – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to slash meat consumption in schools and other city facilities is being slammed in a letter by Nebraska Farm Bureau. De Blasio’s Green New Deal, a wide-ranging initiative, includes reducing purchases of beef by 50 percent at all city-controlled facilities, including schools, prisons and hospitals.

“This ‘strategic initiative’ aimed at reducing the city’s contribution toward climate change ignores both climate and nutritional science, and only serves to further divide urban and rural populations. As the largest agricultural organization representing the second largest beef producing state, we urge you to reconsider this initiative and help us tell the great story of beef sustainability,” Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president wrote June 13.

New York City also plans to phase out all processed meat products purchased by city agencies. The agricultural sector, and beef in particular, has become the focus of attention by activists who want to highlight the impact eating meat has on global carbon emissions.

“Unfortunately, one of the most harmful and erroneous myths that exist in public discourse today is that U.S. beef production is destroying the planet. The truth, which is backed by peer-reviewed science, is that U.S. beef producers are producing far more beef with fewer inputs and contribute fewer greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than what they are blamed for,” Nelson said.

According to a study recently published in the academic journal Agricultural Systems, beef cattle production only accounted for 3.3 percent of all U.S.GHG. By comparison, transportation, and electricity generation together produced 56 percent. It is also important to note that when compared to 1977, today’s beef producers produce the same amount of beef with 33 percent fewer animals.

“This improved efficiency has reduced the industry’s carbon footprint by 16 percent and has reduced the industry’s consumption of both water and feed as well. Outside of the environmental factors, it should also be noted that today’s beef industry contributes to rangeland health, medical, and pharmaceutical products/research, as well as being one of the most healthy and nutrient rich food products available,” he stated.

Farmers and ranchers are the original environmentalist. Advancements made in U.S. plant and animal technology, genetics, and nutrition have created the most efficient and environmentally friendly food system in the history of the world.

“Unfortunately, despite our success, many of those whose only connection to production agriculture involves three meals a day, seem to be the most vocal about what they perceive are the shortcomings in our industry. It is our hope you look beyond your own very large urban backyard and come visit the American farm and ranch families who devote their lives to producing the food, fiber, and fuel. We would be happy to host you in Nebraska at any time,” Nelson wrote.

LINCOLN, NEB. – “President Trump’s signing of the disaster assistance bill is tremendous news and an important step forward in helping Nebraska farm and ranch families and our rural communities recover from the March flooding and blizzards in our state.”

“This disaster bill includes roughly $3 billion to cover crop damage, including additional funding for farmers prevented from planting due to the floods, as well as payments for on-farm stored grain that was damaged in these flooding events. The bill also provides $558 million in funding for the Emergency Conservation Program, the primary program farmers and ranchers can utilize for fence repair and debris removal, including clearing sand from farm fields.”

“We want to thank the entire Nebraska Congressional delegation for their support for the disaster assistance package and for President Trump signing this package into law.”

“We urge USDA to move forward as quickly as possible in developing the rules and implementing the key programs so they can be put to work in helping Nebraskans.”

A new report says a nearly $200 million decline in Nebraska’s agricultural exports in 2017 was driven by President Donald Trump’s threats to impose tariffs on U.S. trading partners.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau report attributes the drop to decreases in soybean and corn exports, while beef and pork exports both increased in 2017.

The bureau’s senior economist, Jay Rempe, says Trump’s talks of tariffs in January 2017 caused a decline in soybean and other commodity prices. Rempe points out that China’s retaliatory tariffs didn’t occur until May 2018.

The findings come as Trump imposed his latest tariff hike on Chinese goods Friday. Beijing vowed retaliatory measures.

Rempe says Nebraska’s agricultural community will continue to face pressure unless the administration resolves its trade disputes with China, Mexico and other countries.

LINCOLN, NEB. – “We looked around and didn’t know where to start. The devastation was so overwhelming, but the check we received from the Nebraska Farm Bureau Disaster Relief Fund helped us take the first step and know that we are not alone. We are so grateful,” said Tom and Fran Geisler, who farm and raise cattle near Hooper.

“The kindness and generosity of people across Nebraska and the United States is humbling,” said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president. “More than $2 million has been collected for the Nebraska Farm Bureau Disaster Relief Fund, with 100 percent of funds raised going to farmers, ranchers, and rural communities in need of assistance,” said Nelson.

According to the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), 104 cities, 81 counties, and five tribal areas have had emergency declarations. The cost of the damage by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture is estimated at $440 million in crop losses; and $400 million in cattle losses. Other estimates include $449 million in damages to roads, levees, and other infrastructure across the state.

“For us to continue to rebuild our farms, ranches, and rural communities, it will take patience and perseverance to get through the magnitude of the loss and destruction,” said Nelson. “While the response to this fund has been overwhelming, we have seen requests for aid come into the Disaster Relief Fund totaling more than what we currently have in the fund. The amount we have raised doesn’t meet the assistance already requested, and additional applications are received each day.”

The fund was established at the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit, so donations meet the criteria for qualified charitable contributions for tax purposes.

“When we first started the fund, the immediate need in rural areas was water, food, shelter, and medicine for people and animals,” said Megahn Schafer, executive director of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation.

“As health and safety situations stabilize, other needs have emerged, including clearing flood debris from pastures, fields, and homes; rebuilding fences to protect livestock; paying for extra fuel to deliver hay to stranded cattle; and helping restore fresh water to residents and animals in places like Boyd County,” said Schafer.

At Chance Ridge near Elkhorn, funds from the Nebraska Farm Bureau Disaster Relief Fund have been used to buy fuel, food, and lodging for those volunteering to help with clean up. “We serve as a delivery hub for hay and other supplies,” said Autumn Rock of Chance Ridge Event Center. “Because of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Disaster Relief Fund, we were able to help more than 150 farmers from across the state and keep more than 10-thousand head of cattle alive. This fund is truly making a difference.”

The need for assistance, both short term and long term, continues to grow. Each day there are different requests, and the Nebraska Farm Bureau Disaster Relief Fund stands ready to help farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.

“The repairs and recovery from this disaster will take a huge amount of resources. The next step is to provide support for intermediate and long-term recovery efforts in areas where there are gaps in availability of insurance coverage and government assistance,” said Nelson.

“We continue to seek financial donations to meet the growing aid requests coming into the Disaster Relief Fund,” said Schafer. “Every dollar counts. When we all give, we come together as one community, making Nebraska stronger.”

To donate, apply for aid, or access other disaster assistance resources, visit www.nefb.org/disaster.