The other day I was having a conversation with Chad Moyer of KTIC radio. Chad and I work together on the “Cup O’ Joe with Farm Bureau” radio segment that airs weekdays during the Nebraska Rural Radio Network’s Mid-day programing. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to hear it as “Cup O’ Joe” is meant to provide a daily update on the many different things Nebraska Farm Bureau is working on to help accomplish our mission of making life better for Nebraska’s farm and ranch families.
As is normally the case when Chad and I get together, we have a good laugh and good conversation about the issues of the day affecting agriculture, as we walk through the topics to be covered with the “Cup O’ Joe” segments. Having just completed our 100th segment a couple of weeks ago, Chad has gotten very familiar with the agriculture policy issues Farm Bureau gets involved with. To no surprise, on the list was yet another action by EPA that made little sense to Farm Bureau.
In a joking way, Chad began to give me a hard time about Nebraska Farm Bureau turning into a group of “againsters”, a reference to being against everything. As we continued to razz each other a bit, I pointed out that in the case of Farm Bureau, if we’re opposed to something it generally means we’re for something else.
To his point, Nebraska Farm Bureau has been in the role of opposition more than we generally like to be on several federal policy initiatives, including EPA’s “Waters of the U.S.” rule proposal (check out page X for the full story). Having said that, our opposition to so many of these proposals lies at the core of what Farm Bureau stands for and believes in.
We believe in the importance of clean water and clean air. We believe water is key to our future, and not just for those of us who reside on the farm or ranch. We believe in providing good care to livestock animals. We believe education is important for our children, our communities and our state. We believe there is a place for all different types of agriculture and in the consumer’s right to choose. And we believe that there is a proper and constitutional role for government and for some regulations.
Amongst all those beliefs, there are also beliefs that farmers and ranchers should have the right to use their property to maintain their livelihood. They should be able to work the land without worrying that taxes will be the reason they can no longer do so. And more regulations and more government for the sake of more regulations and more government isn’t always the answer to protecting our water and our air. Nor is taking science out of the equation when it comes to how farmers and ranchers care for their land.
In Farm Bureau we believe in and stand for a great many things. Those beliefs serve as the foundation of how we address the key issues in agriculture today. There is a difference between “opposition” and being an “againster.” And make no mistake, Nebraska Farm Bureau will continue to stand in opposition as necessary to stand up for our core beliefs in representing the interests of Nebraska’s farm and ranch families.
Until Next Month.
Steve Nelson has been involved in farming all of his life. He farms near Axtell in south central Nebraska and produces irrigated corn, hybrid seed corn and soybeans. He was elected as president of Nebraska Farm Bureau in December 2011. A graduate of Hildreth High School, Steve also received a degree from the University of Nebraska College of Agriculture. He is a past president of the Kearney/Franklin County Farm Bureau and served many years on its board of directors. At the state level of Farm Bureau, Steve has served on the State Legislative Policy Committee and Membership Advisory Committee. In the American Farm Bureau Federation, Steve has been chairman of the Feed Grains Committee and has served on the Water Quality Task Force and the Information and Technology Committee. In 2003 he was appointed to the AFBF MAAPP (Making American Agriculture Productive and Profitable Committee) to study the future of American agriculture. The study was completed in January 2006.