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House Approves Technical Ag Education Bill

The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353), recently passed by the House, gives a boost to the high school career and technical agriculture education programs that are so vital to developing the talent and leadership needed in the farming and agricultural services industries, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The measure reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.


Legislation Offers Relief from Federal Water Extortion

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.


Are your Dreams Up to the Challenge?

Enter the Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge.

Agriculture and Food Entrepreneurs Compete for $145,000.

The Challenge is a national competition focused on entrepreneurs with food and agriculture businesses, businesses across agriculture are eligible, including farms, ranches, agritourism, CSAs, food hubs, aquaponics, farm-to-table businesses, local food production and craft breweries.


ISDA to Host WPS Train-the-Trainer Sessions in Idaho

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
wps@isda.idaho.gov. Emailed registrations must include name, phone number, desired session, and the number of people attending the training. Seating is limited.


Ag Groups Reiterate Call for Rulemaking Reform


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.


General Notice on Trucking

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.


AFBF Endorses Bills to Repeal Death Tax

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.


American Farm Bureau Strongly Endorses Perdue for USDA

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.

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