Plains Ag Notebook: Neb. ag groups supporting gubernatorial candidate Ricketts; New USDA website for tomorrow's farmers

Neb. Cattlemen Association, Farm Bureau Support Ricketts

The Nebraska Cattlemen Association and the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation’s Political Action Committee both recently announced its support for Nebraska Republican Gubernatorial Nominee Pete Ricketts.

“Pete has been successful in business because he understands when opportunities exist,” said Steve Nelson, president of Nebraska Farm Bureau. “There is a world of opportunity to grow Nebraska’s agriculture economy in a way that will keep younger generations coming back to the farm. That means creating a climate that encourages growth in our livestock farming sector and growth in biofuel businesses; and working to build markets for agriculture commodities. Pete Ricketts understands those opportunities and he’ll move our state in the right direction in those areas.”

— Staff reports

New USDA Website a One-Stop Shop for the Farmers of Tomorrow

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced a new resource:, aimed at connecting new farmers and ranchers with USDA resources, programs and support.

On, new farmers can find information about accessing land and capital, managing risk, finding education, outreach and technical assistance, growing businesses and markets, and investing in the land and environment.

It also shows how these programs and services work in real-life situations.

The 2012 Ag Census shows that diversity, youth engagement, and diversity of production models for agriculture are all increasing. There was an 11.3 percent increase in young, beginning principal operators who reported their primary occupation as farming.

At the same time, the average age and experience level of farmers and ranchers in America continues to rise.

— U.S. Department of Agriculture

New Flex Fuel Pumps Open in Three Nebraska Towns

New flex fuel pumps are now open in three Nebraska towns: Lewis and Clark Mini Mart in Crofton, Tom’s Service in Pierce, and Country Partners Coop in Spalding.

These locations add to the more than 85 locations in Nebraska with E85/flex fuel pumps that offer ethanol-blended fuels such as E85 for flex fuel vehicles. Lewis and Clark Mini Mart and Tom’s Service both offer E85 and E30 for flex fuel vehicles, as well as E10 for all vehicles. Country Partners Coop in Spalding has E85, E30, and E20 for flex fuel vehicles in addition to E10.

To find a list of retailers that offer E85 and other mid-level ethanol blends visit the Nebraska Ethanol Board website at or check the Nebraska Corn Board website at

— Nebraska Corn Board

Johanns acts to block EPA ‘power grab’

U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., recently cosponsored a bill preventing Obama Administration efforts to expand federal regulatory jurisdiction.

The bill, authored by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., prevents the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers from finalizing a proposed rule that would ignore limits established by Congress regarding regulation of bodies of water in the United States.

If finalized, the rule would expand federal regulatory authority beyond navigable waters, which was the scope of jurisdiction established by Congress.

“Imposing more regulatory burdens on American families, farmers and job creators is the last thing we need from an administration that has repeatedly pushed the envelope beyond congressional authority.”

The proposed rule, which has generated much uncertainty in the agriculture community, would expand federal jurisdiction of U.S. water under the Clean Water Act to include water that has even the remotest connection to traditionally navigable waters, such as farm ponds, ditches, streambeds, and even low lying areas that may be dry for much of the year.

— Office of U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns, R- Neb.

Six Nebraska Counties Designated as Presidential Disasters Due to Storms

Six Nebraska counties have been designated as primary natural disaster areas due to severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding.

Those counties are Clay, Fillmore, Saline, Saunders, Seward and York.

They were declared a Presidential Major Disaster on June 17 based on storms occurring on May 11 and 12.

This designation authorizes Emergency Loans for eligible producers.

In addition to the Emergency (EM) Loan Program, FSA has other loan programs and disaster assistance programs which can be considered in assisting farmers to recover from their losses.

— Nebraska Farm Service Agency

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The Fence Post Updated Jul 7, 2014 11:22AM Published Jun 30, 2014 11:48AM Copyright 2014 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.