Water, Taxes, Farm Bill, Key Issues at Nebraska Farm Bureauís 95th Annual Meeting
Water, Taxes, Farm Bill, Key Issues at Nebraska Farm Bureau’s 95th Annual Meeting
LINCOLN, Neb. – Delegates to the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting will discuss and form policy positions on a number of key issues that affect the well-being of Nebraska farm and ranch families. Delegates will gather Dec. 3-4 at Kearney’s Younes Convention Center to establish policy for the organization on state issues and recommend policy on national issues to the American Farm Bureau, which holds its national meeting in January.
This year’s convention theme is “Managing the Winds of Change,” a reflection of the challenges and opportunities that exist in agriculture today. “Our annual meeting and policy development process is critical to bringing together the collective voice of our members to help shape the public policies that directly affect their livelihood and ability to raise food for a growing population,” said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president.
Among the key issues for discussion at the convention are management of Nebraska’s water resources, tax reform and the farm bill. “Water is the lifeblood of agriculture in Nebraska and our delegates will consider a number of resolutions that examine the way in which we manage both ground and surface water and the integrated management of both,” said Nelson.
Delegates will also consider resolutions targeting tax issues. The Nebraska Legislature will likely have several tax reform proposals before it in January, including measures that examine both income and inheritance taxes. “We have long believed that property tax relief and reform should be part of any major changes in our state’s tax structure and our delegates will further discuss what they would like to see done in that area,” said Nelson. “We also have some major tax issues pending in D.C. such as changes in the estate tax and capital gains that will likely be a topic of discussion.”
Passage of a new, five-year farm bill will also be a major topic among delegates. With the elections now in the rear-view mirror, farmers and ranchers are hopeful Congress can move forward in crafting a farm bill that provides some certainty to farmers and ranchers on farm and conservation programs.
Other issues for deliberation by delegates include topics such as the establishment of a state beef checkoff program, agriculture transportation regulations, EPA flyovers of agriculture operations, electrical inspections on farms and ranches and oversight of the use of antibiotics in livestock, among others.
Outside of discussions on agriculture policy, attendees to the annual meeting will have the opportunity to attend a handful of breakout sessions designed to help farm and ranch families address operational needs. Sessions will be held to help attendees with issues surrounding the passage of the farm or ranch from one generation to the next, identifying how farmers and ranchers can tell the story of agriculture to a non-farm audience and gain insight on the impact of the next farm bill on the agriculture economy. “The Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation was established many years ago to help Nebraska’s farm and ranch families deal with challenging issues, while the times and issues may have changed, our mission has not,” said Nelson.