News and Commentary
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 20, 2017 – The Water Rights Protection Act, introduced in the House, could bring U.S. ranchers much-needed relief from ongoing efforts by the federal government to extort privately held water rights from law-abiding citizens, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
“It’s time to put a stop to federal strong-arming of ranchers by a government that owns the majority of the land for grazing west of the Mississippi,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said. “Water is the most valuable resource for every farmer and rancher. Unfortunately, the federal tactics we’ve seen in recent years have little to do with conservation and everything to do with big government and control.”
In recent years, federal land managers in the West have demanded increasingly that the ranchers who work the land surrender their water rights to the government or leave. Public lands are meant to be enjoyed and shared by our citizens, and America’s ranchers play a critical role in caring for these lands. The government’s treatment of these ranchers is not only unfair, but unconstitutional, AFBF said.
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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.