By Karen Budd-Falen, Budd-Falen Law Offices, LLC
May 29, 2013--This is a plea for help, to raise awareness and public outcry regarding yet another federal government cover-up. The scandal –- the Justice and Treasury Departments’ refusal to inform the American taxpayer how much, and for what, their tax dollars are being spent and despite individual well-meaning Congressmen, the inability of Congress to put forth legislation that requires this information to be available to the American public. How can there be reform of a crisis (or how can radical environmental groups prove that our claims of abuse are blown out of proportion) without transparency and an accounting?Full Article
LARAMIE--Students from across Wyoming learned more about beef cattle production and were recognized for their participation in the 2013 Wyoming Farm Bureau (WyFB) “Ag Books for Kids” contests. The 2013 contests included: Coloring Contest for kindergarten and first grade; Poster Contest for second and third graders; and a Creative Writing Contest for fourth and fifth graders.
This year county Farm Bureaus across the state donated 492 agriculture books to Wyoming elementary schools as part of the WyFB Young Farmer & Rancher Committee “Ag Books for Kids” project. The 2013 book of the year was “Star Becomes a Mother” by Twins Rianna and Sheridan Chaney. The students then had the opportunity to participate in a contest to show what they learned about agriculture.Full Article
Laramie--The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation recently awarded nine college scholarships to the children of Farm Bureau members.
“Providing opportunities for our members’ children to receive a college education is what the Farm Bureau scholarship program is about,” Wyoming Farm Bureau President Perry Livingston said. “This year the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation will provide $5,500 in college scholarships to children of Farm Bureau members. Additionally, most county Farm Bureaus also offer scholarships.”
The Livingston-King scholarship is valued at $1,500. The scholarship is given in honor of former state presidents of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Herbert D. Livingston and H.J. King as well as Buddy and Norma Livingston, the parents of WyFB President Perry Livingston. The scholarship was awarded to Brittany Hamilton, of Weston County. Brittany is the daughter of Monte and Francie Hamilton. She will be a senior at the University of Wyoming where she is pursuing a degree in agricultural communication.Full Article
“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 Senate Judiciary Committee May 21 passed a balanced immigration reform bill that included a fair and workable farm labor provision that sets the stage for Senate action beginning next month,” AFBF President Bob Stallman said.
“The success of American agriculture depends on the workers who show up every day and work in partnership with our nation’s farm and ranch families to tend our crops and livestock. Agricultural labor reform is not about whether foreign workers will grow and harvest our food. That is a matter of fact. It is about whether those foreign workers will tend crops here in the United States, or in their home countries. We believe American food grown on American soil is the best option,” He continued.Full Article
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 9, 2013 – Individual tax code reform is essential for farmers and ranchers, the American Farm Bureau Federation said today in a statement submitted to the House Small Business Committee. According to AFBF, tax reform must be simple, transparent, revenue-neutral and fair to farmers and ranchers.
“Any tax reform proposal considered by Congress must be comprehensive and include individual tax reform,” AFBF stated. “More than 96 percent of farms and 75 percent of farm sales are taxed under IRS provisions for individual taxpayers.”Full Article
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 4, 2013—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.
“Overall, food prices have remained remarkably stable over the past two or three quarters, particularly given the run-up in energy prices over this most recent quarter,” said John Anderson, AFBF’s deputy chief economist.Full Article
The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) is developing a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study for pathogens, ammonia, and chloride impairments in Belle Fourche River Watershed. This study involves the evaluation of existing studies and determining pollutant loads and needed reductions in pollutant loading to achieve water quality standards. Comments will be accepted through May 10, 2013.Full Article
Natura Pet Issues Voluntary Recall of Specialized Dry Pet Foods Due to Possible Health Risk - March 22, 2013
FREMONT, NEBRASKA, March 18, 2013 – Natura Pet Products is voluntarily recalling specific lots of dry pet food because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. No Salmonella-related illnesses have been reported.Full Article
By Kerin Clark, Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation
Nourish. Webster’s Dictionary defines nourish as: “to supply with food; to feed and cause to grow; to nurture; to encourage.” “Generations Nourishing Generations” is the theme for the 2013 National Agriculture Day celebration.
The definition of nourish fits agriculture in two ways. First, generations of farmers and ranchers have supplied generations of consumers with food. Second, generations of farmers and ranchers have encouraged and trained the next generation of farmers and ranchers.Full Article
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 5, 2013—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.
The new Medicare Contribution Tax, which is a tax on unearned income such as capital gains, will burden farmers and ranchers more than many other taxpayers because farming and ranching is a capital-intensive business, AFBF noted in a statement submitted to the House Subcommittee on Oversight of the Ways and Means Committee.Full Article
For the 2012 crop year, crop insurance programs administered by the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) covered over $140 million in crop liability for Wyoming farmers and ranchers. The state had over 2,500 policies in force for 2012, and those policies covered over 1.2 million Wyoming crop acres. Almost 46 percent of Wyoming’s insured producers suffered a loss and received an indemnity in 2012; in fact, the average indemnity per indemnified policy for 2012 was nearly $16,500.
So, how will you manage risk in 2013? Wyoming producers are reminded that March 15 is the sales closing date for most seeded spring crops, including barley, corn, sugar beets, and wheat. March 15 is also the last date for new enrollees to sign up for RMA’s Adjusted Gross Revenue - Lite (AGR-Lite) Program, which is a whole-farm revenue insurance program.Full Article
United States Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), United States Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and United States Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) all received the 2012 American Farm Bureau Federation “Friend of Farm Bureau” award. The awards were presented at the 2013 Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Legislative Meeting Feb. 18-19 in Cheyenne.
“Senator Enzi, Senator Barrasso and Representative Lummis all expressed their appreciation for the Farm Bureau’s input on agriculture issues and the work we do to keep agriculture strong and protect private property rights,” WyFB President Livingston said. “We are fortunate to have strong representation of our Wyoming way of life in Washington D.C. through our Congressional Delegation.”Full Article
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 26, 2013—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.
“We want to keep these jobs in America for U.S. workers, not outsource them,” Stallman testified to the House’s Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security. Farm Bureau urged lawmakers to implement a new, market-based labor program administered by the Agriculture Department.Full Article
The 2013 Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Legislative Meeting was held Feb. 18-19 in Cheyenne. Members heard from Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, U.S. Senator John Barrasso and U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis. A legislative banquet provided the opportunity to visit one-on-one with legislators. An informative speaker's forum included a report on the final USDA Animal Disease Traceability Rule; a transportation panel and a presentation on working with your local law enforcement on livestock theft. Visit the WyFB Facebook page (link on the left column of this page) to view photos from the meeting.
Recognizing the importance of the Wyoming agriculture industry and educating school children through reading, the week of February 11th has been designated by Wyoming Governor Matt Mead as “Wyoming Agricultural Literacy Week.”
Educating Wyoming school children about agriculture is the goal of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Committee “Ag Books for Kids” project. 2013 marks the ninth year of the project. The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) Young Farmer & Rancher (YF&R) Committee organizes the project and the county Farm Bureaus across the state donate agriculture books each year to the elementary school libraries across Wyoming.
During the proclamation signing and meeting with the Wyoming Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Committee and YF&R Conference participants on Jan. 17, the Governor emphasized the importance of educating about agriculture through literacy. “One of the great things about our country is because of agriculture most of us go to bed with full bellies,” Governor Mead said. “The problem is so many people don’t understand where our food comes from and the political decisions that are made in a vacuum hurt agriculture. The sustainability of agriculture is a big deal to me.”Full Article
Legislative issues, USDA’s final traceability rule, agriculture transportation and agriculture livestock theft are a few of the topics that will be presented at the 2013 Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Legislative Meeting. United States Senator Mike Enzi will address members on Monday afternoon. United States Representative Cynthia Lummis, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead and United States Senator John Barrasso will speak to the group on Feb. 19.
The meeting will be Feb. 18-19 at the Plains Hotel in Cheyenne. Held annually to coincide with the legislative session, the meeting provides Farm Bureau members the opportunity to meet with their legislators one-on-one and receive updates on current issues. Click here for final agenda.Full Article
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 18, 2013 – Following the delegate session of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 94th Annual Meeting, which wrapped up Jan. 16 in Nashville, the organization’s board of directors met to establish priorities for AFBF’s strategic action plan for 2013.
“This plan represents those issue areas where we believe the American Farm Bureau Federation and its grassroots members will have real opportunities to achieve success this year, as well as challenges we will need to tackle to help safeguard our members’ ability to operate their farms and ranches,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman.Full Article
American Farm Bureau Federation Statement Regarding Fiscal Cliff Package And Farm Bill Extension - Jan. 2, 2012
“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," Bob Stallman, American Farm Bureau Federation President said. "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."Full Article
Johnson County rancher Ryan Fieldgrove and his family are featured on this week’s episode of “America’s Heartland”. “America’s Heartland” is a nationally-distributed television program that airs on Wyoming PBS and RFD-TV.
The show airs weekly and takes a look at the life of farm and ranch families across all 50 states. Fieldgrove and his family ranch in Johnson County. Fieldgrove is president of the Johnson County Farm Bureau. He is a former member of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Committee and just completed his term as state chair of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Agriculture Tax Committee.Full Article
Niobrara County rancher Heather Hamilton wins Wyoming Farm Bureau YF&R Discussion Meet - Nov. 27, 2012
LARAMIE—Niobrara County rancher Heather Hamilton discussed agriculture issues at a recent Wyoming Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Discussion Meet and earned $500 cash and a trip to Nashville, Tenn. Hamilton competed Nov. 17 with other young farmers and ranchers in the event held at the Wyoming Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Laramie.
“It is truly an honor to be selected from such an exceptional and well-spoken group of people to represent Wyoming at the National YF&R Discussion Meet,” Heather Hamilton stated. “I’m looking forward to providing a western rancher’s perspective at that contest.”
Hamilton will represent the Wyoming Farm Bureau in the American Farm Bureau Federation Discussion Meet Jan. 13-14, 2013 in Nashville, Tenn. The winner at the national level receives the choice of a Chevrolet Silverado truck or a GMC Sierra truck donated by GM. The three runner-ups receive a Case IH Farmall tractor, $2,500 cash and a Stihl Farm Boss chainsaw.Full Article