September 10, 2021
Newsletter for September 10, 2021
This Issue:
  • Farm Bureau Leaders Communicate Concerns On Federal Tax Plans
  • New Drought Related Matters
  • State Engineer Provides Decisions On Proposed Designation Of Basins
  • Nevada Farm Bureau Weighs In With Comments To EPA and Army Corp of Engineers On Their Plans To Rewrite Definitions And Rules On Waters They Seek To Regulate
  • Churchill County Farm Bureau Picnic Provides Connections With Members And Candidates
  • Nevada Cattlemen’s Association Seeking Teacher of the Year Nominations
Farm Bureau Leaders Communicate Concerns On Federal Tax Plans
With Farm Bureau members doing an outstanding job of contacting their elected Washington, D.C. representatives, state and national Farm Bureau leaders have also been communicating major concerns over the efforts that Democrat legislators are anticipated to shove forward in the form of massive tax increases.  These new expansive changes in taxes are being sought for the purpose of covering the tab for the $3.5 Trillion 2022 budget that the majority party seems to ram through Congress on their own majority.

Bevan Lister, President of the Nevada Farm Bureau sent this letter to Nevada Congressman Steven Horsford, expressing concerns about the importance for not making the type of tax increases that are being expected to negatively impact farm and ranch families as well as any family-owned businesses.  Horsford is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, a legislative group which will play a strong role in determining what spending and tax details will be brought before the full House for action on the 2022 budget.

Also on September 7, American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Zippy Duvall sent a letter of concern to the leadership of the House and U.S. Senate. Duvall’s AFBF communication was directed at urging a more responsible approach to the spending plans that form the massive $3.5 Trillion budget.

Nevada Farm Bureau also joined a large group of other agriculturally-related interests, signing on to an “Aggies” Coalition letter communicating with the leadership of the money committees in both the House and Senate on stressing prudence on future tax plans they might be mashing together.  At the core of the letter’s theme is the theme --  “…we respectfully request you do not alter or eliminate long-standing tax code provisions that are fundamental to the financial health of production agriculture and the businesses that supply its inputs, transport its products, market its commodities, and support the vibrancy of U.S. livestock and crop production.”

We continue to be grateful for the many Farm Bureau members who continue to strongly weigh in with elected representatives in Washington, D.C.  If you haven’t already sent your email message to your House member and two Nevada U.S. Senators … or even if you have and they haven’t responded – please click here – to be taken to the AFBF portal for sending the emails to your elected representatives.  The system allows you to edit the pre-written email and also provides the opportunity for you to add in personal details of how these tax burdens could impact you and your family.
New Drought Related Matters
As a follow up on work carried out earlier this summer, the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF’s) economic team is now launching a second iteration of the “Assessing Western Drought” survey that they carried out.  While many of the questions from “Round 1” are the same, there are some new ones added or adjusted from the results from last time around.

Many Western State Farm Bureaus jumped into the project last time around (with 678 participants) and gained major input, Nevada could stand to do a little better and we hope that those who are interested in sharing their thoughts/insights are urged to Click Here to participate in the survey.  Danny Munch, AFBF Associate Economist, is leading this survey project and has indicated that they hope to gather the data from those who wish to be part of the project by September 29th.

In other drought-related news, earlier this week the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the agency is planning to further help out through assistance to cover a portion of the transportation costs for feed where the livestock rely on grazing. This news comes as an update to the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP).

To be eligible for ELAP assistance, livestock must be intended for grazing and producers must have incurred feed transportation costs on or after January 1, 2021.  ELAP already covers the costs of hauling water during drought and this change will expand the program beginning this year to cover feed transportation costs.

Under the revised policy for feed transportation cost assistance, eligible ranchers will be reimbursed 60-percent of the feed transportation costs above what would have been incurred in a normal year.  Producers qualifying as underserved (socially disadvantaged, limited resources, beginning or military veteran) will be reimbursed for 90-percent of the feed transportation cost above what would been a normal year’s cost.

A national cost formula, established by USDA, will be used to determine reimbursement costs which will not include the first 25 miles or distances which exceed 1,000 transportation miles.  The calculation will also exclude the “normal” cost to transport hay or feed, if the producer normally purchased some feed.  For 2021, the initial cost formula of $6.60 per mile will be used (before the percentage is applied), but this might be adjusted on a state or regional basis.

Although producers will self-certify losses and expenses to FSA, producers are encouraged to maintain good records and retain receipts/related documentation in the event these documents are requested to be reviewed by the local FSA County Committee.  The deadline to file an application for payment for the 2021 program year is January 31st, 2022.
State Engineer Provides Decisions On Proposed Designation Of Basins
Last October we were watching closely the hearings to be held across Nevada on proposed designations of 58 groundwater basins. Of that group, 20 proposed orders sought to establish preferred use as part of the designation process and in that process take further consideration of new agricultural water rights off the table.   

Without nearly the hoopla or fanfare, a flush of decisions became known on what the outcomes were for many of the 58 basins in question.  Pulling information from the Division of Water Resources’ website we were able to determine that in August, the State Engineer designated these basins (none of which were also dealt with by issuing “Preferred Use” assignments):

  • Skedaddle Creek Valley Basin (07-098)
  •  Duck Lake Valley (01-016)
  • A portion of the Three Lakes Valley – (Northern Part) (10-168)
  • Newark Valley (10-154)

We were also able to locate a very helpful table to show what decisions were still pending and which of the proposed orders were no longer being considered at this point.. This link ”) takes you to the “Info graph” that the Nevada Division of Water Resources has produced to show this status report.  

Four of the basins on this chart were all designated in August and September of 2020 and were not included in the hearing process for the 58 basins last fall…

  • Long Valley – (009)
  •  Winnemucca Lake Valley – (080)
  • Pyramid Lake Valley – (081)
  • Newcomb Lake Valley – (096)
Nevada Farm Bureau Weighs In With Comments To EPA and Army Corp of Engineers On Their Plans To Rewrite Definitions And Rules On Waters They Seek To Regulate
September 3rd was the deadline for comments to be submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corp of Engineers, leading up to their getting started on the Biden Administration’s desire to rewrite the waters of the United States.  Nevada Farm Bureau submitted this letter as part of that opportunity.  

Complicating the problem with the federal government’s desire to expand their regulatory control was a Judge’s action in Arizona to go along with the request made by the federal agencies to flush the existing rule (Navigable Waters Protection Rule) that the Trump Administration had brought forward and established.  The main excuses that the federal agencies are attempting to meet are the expansion of their control, based on lands with ephemeral features -- which most of the time don’t have any water in the first place.
Churchill County Farm Bureau Picnic Provides Connections With Members And Candidates
Thanks to Norm and Sue Frey of Rambling River Ranch near Fallon for again hosting the 2021 Churchill County Farm Bureau annual picnic.  Along with Farm Bureau member families the event also drew representatives of the Churchill County Commission, the Nevada Legislature and candidates vying in upcoming election contests.  Gubernatorial candidate, John Lee (pictured above to the right of Nevada Senator James Settelmeyer of Gardnerville) attended the picnic to mix with Farm Bureau members and hear their thoughts on how to improve Nevada’s future.  U.S. Senator candidate Sam Brown also attended the picnic to meet Farm Bureau members.  Assemblywoman Robin Titus is another of the elected officials on hand for the afternoon.
Nevada Cattlemen’s Association Seeking Teacher of the Year Nominations
The Nevada Cattlemen’s Association has started their annual quest for “Teacher of the Year” candidates and are asking for your help in soliciting nominations. The deadline for submitting nominations is November 1, 2021.

Nominees must be an elementary, junior high, or high school teacher who incorporates agriculture into their regular curriculum. For example, a teacher who teaches a one-week segment on agriculture and its importance to Nevada. Current Agricultural Education teachers are not eligible. Nominees may also include teachers considered in previous years but were not selected for the award. Nominations must include a completed NCA Teacher of the Year Application Form and an attached short essay describing why the teacher is being nominated.

The winner of this award will receive a $1000 school supply stipend donated by Nevada Agriculture Foundation. The award recipient will also be recognized during the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association’s annual awards banquet on December 11th, 2021 in Elko, NV at the Elko Convention Center. 
 
Anyone may submit a nomination form which is available at www.nevadacattlemen.org. For any questions, please contact the NCA office at 775-738-9214 Nominations may be submitted by email to nca@nevadabeef.org with “2021 Teacher of the Year Nomination” in the subject line; forms may be faxed to 775-738-5208; or sent by mail to, “Teacher of the Year Nomination”, C/O Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, P.O. Box 310, Elko, NV 89803. 

The heritage of Nevada is ranching Nevada Cattlemen’s Association believes that the future of our industry lies in the education of the generations to come, as we explore new and innovative methods of sustainability. Please help us in our efforts to recognize and support our teachers and their vital efforts in educating our youth. 
Have a great weekend!