Statement by Steve Nelson, President, Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation, Congressional Action on Appropriations

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LINCOLN, NEB., – “We are appreciative of the Senate’s action Dec. 13 and the House’s action last week in passing an omnibus spending package that addresses many of the key issues of interest to Nebraska farmers and ranchers.”

“Among those of interest is $2.7 billion for agriculture research programs, including funding for the Agriculture Research Service.”

“In addition, this legislation prevents United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) from implementing a new beef checkoff program. Delegates to Nebraska Farm Bureau’s annual meeting just last week expressed concerns about the implementation of an additional beef checkoff program as has been proposed by USDA Secretary Vilsack.”

“We are also pleased by the inclusion of language that requires both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the interpretive rule associated with Sec. 404 wetland permitting under the agency’s “Waters of the U.S.” proposal. While this measure does not address the underlying legal and policy concerns of the proposed “Waters of the U.S.” regulation including Sec.402 permits for certain practices on farms, this is a step in the right direction as we work for full withdrawal of the “Waters” proposal.”

“We look forward to the President approving this measure for the betterment of Nebraska farm and ranch families.”