December 4, 2020
Newsletter for December 4, 2020
This Issue:
  • Custom Exempt Slaughter Regulations Covered In Dec. 3rd Dept. of Ag Workshop
  • Legislators Named For Natural Resources Committee In Assembly
  • Nevada Climate Strategy Announced
  • Senator Cortez Masto Works For Legislation To Assist Rural Counties
  • USDA Farm Income Estimates For 2020 - More To It Than What It Might Seem To Be
  • AFBF Annual Meeting Registration For Virtual Link Now Available
Nevada Department of Ag Workshop For Custom Exempt Slaughter Regulations Held December 3
Thursday, December 3rd the Nevada Department of Agriculture held a virtual workshop, as part of the process for public input on the proposed regulations for Custom Exempt Slaughter.

 In the 2019 Nevada Legislative session the Nevada Department of Agriculture was granted authority to take over the regulatory oversight from the Department of Health for Custom Exempt Slaughter facilities. The Department has also been conferring with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to fit the proposed state regulations into the status of equivalency with USDA’s requirements.

The December 3rd workshop provided members of the public to hear what the regulations cover and for the opportunity to ask questions or make comments on the proposed regulations. Thank you for the several Farm Bureau members who joined in and participated in this workshop. Nevada Farm Bureau also was involved in seeking clarifications and better understanding of what seem to be very extensive and detailed regulation on not only the facilities involved (fixed or mobile), but also the processes involved with performing custom slaughtering.

As was noted in the Notice for the workshop, persons wishing to submit written testimony or documentary evidence may submit the material by emailing or by mailing to the following address: Nevada Department of Agriculture, Custom meat and poultry program, 405 S. 21st ST, Sparks, NV 89431.

Nevada Farm Bureau policy regarding the overall perspective of harvesting and processing of meat states:

Nevada Meat Inspection Program:                                                140
We propose that Nevada have a state meat certification program with necessary inspections and a functional Nevada Department of Agriculture program which allows for state inspected meats to be sold through in-state commercial channels.
We also support a program that will allow a meat processor to operate with a custom-kill facility or a mobile facility.
Nevada needs to pursue increased opportunities for expanding United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection.

In light of the proposed regulations there are concerns over whether such extensive regulatory requirements, as well as the costs associated for fees and licenses, will be helpful or harm persons to engage in providing custom exempt harvest services.  
Nevada Legislative Committees Taking Shape
Assembly committee membership was released this week and we’ve learned the Senators who will be chairing Senate committees.  Although Nevada Farm Bureau’s scope of work in the legislative process potentially could include any of the 10 Assembly committees, the Natural Resources Committee has been traditionally the working group that bills of interests for agriculture and natural resources go through. 

The committee membership for the Assembly Natural Resources Committee includes: Assemblyman Howard Watts, chairman; Assemblywoman Lesley Cohen, Vice Chair; Assemblywoman Natha Anderson; Assemblyman Alex Assefa; Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton; Assemblywoman Cecelia Gonzalez, Assemblywoman Susie Martinez; Assemblywoman Annie Black; Assemblyman John Ellison; Assemblywoman Alexis Hansen; Assemblywoman Robin Titus; and Assemblyman Jim Wheeler.

On the Senate side, Senator Yvanna Cancela is identified as serving as chair of the Senate Natural Resources committee and Senator Melanie Scheible is named as the vice chair.

The actual process that the 2021 Legislative Session will operate is still uncertain. This is especially of concern having experienced the two special sessions of this past summer where the public wasn’t allowed into the legislative building and the virtual process was so badly operated to only allow 2-minute comments (not infrequently coming in the early morning hours after midnight) or written testimony as the restricted input that was available.
Nevada’s Climate Strategy Is Now Out For Your Review
Adhering to the 2019 Legislature’s marching orders the scheduled release of Nevada’s Climate Strategy has posted on the state’s special website for sharing all you will not want to miss, if you believe that Nevada’s government activity should be geared to taking the global greenhouse gases that are produced in the Silver State to zero by 2050. 

When you click on the highlighted link above for the state’s special website, you can scroll down the page to the sections that are included on the Nevada Climate Strategy. Beyond the Executive Summary and the other boxes you can click on to read the specifics within each highlighted topic, you won’t want to miss the “Climate Mitigation Policies: NDEP Policy Catalog” for a look at some of the ideas on the drawing board for Nevada citizens to be given the opportunity to be obligated to do.
Nevada Senator Cortez Masto Works With Fellow Legislators For Greater Federal Investment in Rural Communities
This past Wednesday (December 2) U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada and Steve Daines of Montana and U.S. Representative Chris Stewart of Utah led their House and Senate colleagues in rolling out a bipartisan, bicameral legislative package to help level the playing field for rural communities in areas with large amounts of federal land. The federal government manages roughly 28 percent of the 2.27 billion acres of land in the United States, the majority of which is found in western states and in every county in Nevada. This dynamic can limit the local ability to generate tax revenue, and the communities that are found in these areas are typically small, rural, and under resourced. The More Opportunities for Rural Economies (MORE) Grants Package works to address this disparity by providing more constructive grant competitions to build and maintain local infrastructure. 
“With over eighty five percent of land in the Silver State managed by the federal government—the highest of any state in the country—we need to do more to ensure that our western rural communities are able to compete fairly with other parts of the country,”said Senator Cortez Masto. “With limited ability to generate tax revenue, many communities are left without the resources to leverage federal investments in infrastructure that supports our Nevada schools, small businesses, and health care facilities. Our MORE legislative package aims to change that by expanding access to economic development, broadband programs and transportation grants to communities to build a stronger rural Nevada.” 
“The millions of acres of federal land in Montana can make it difficult for many counties and local communities to generate tax revenue necessary to invest in transportation and infrastructure,” said Senator Daines. “That’s why we introduced bipartisan legislation that will help ensure our rural communities can compete for access to critical federal resources that help expand economic development and support local economies.” 
“Too many counties in Utah and throughout the West face education, infrastructure, and housing shortages due to the amount of untaxable federally controlled land,”said Representative Stewart. “By providing technical assistance in obtaining grants and lowering the cost share requirement, these two bills will help ease the burden for rural counties with low populations.” 
"NACO enthusiastically endorsed the MORE grants package drafted by Senator Cortez Masto, we applaud the Senator for listening to the needs of rural Nevada and appreciate her willingness to advocate for issues critical to all of Nevada's counties,"said Humboldt County Commissioner Jim French. "As the 2020 president of NACO, I am happy to see that rural counties will see increased access to federal dollars to support county operations and provide much needed services for our citizens." 
“Nearly 62 percent of America’s counties – mostly rural – have untaxable federal public lands within their boundaries. These counties’ ability to secure federal infrastructure and economic development grants is too often hindered by federal matching requirements,” said National Association of Counties Executive Director Matthew Chase. “Challenges in qualifying for these grants limit economic opportunities at a time when the economy needs a shot in the arm. Counties support the MORE USDA Grants and MORE DOT Grants Acts, which will expand access to much-needed investments in our communities. We applaud Senator Cortez Masto and Representatives Stewart, Cook, Simpson and Lamborn for their leadership and call on Congress to swiftly pass both pieces of legislation.” 
Additional co-sponsors of these bills include: 
  • MORE USDA Grants Act: Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV), Rep. Paul Cook (R-CA), Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), Sen. Daines (D-MT), Sen. Risch (R-ID), & Sen. Crapo (R-ID) 
  • MORE DOT Grants Act: Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV), Rep. Paul Cook (R-CA), Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), & Sen. Daines (D-MT) 
USDA Farm Income Estimates Indicate That 2020 Is A Banner Year
Over the past week, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released an estimate that farm income for 2020 will be $120 billion, the highest level of farm income since the record set in 2013. The 2013 number was $124 billion. Although cash receipts, which cover income from sales of products, are forecast to be their lowest since 2016, the totals of government assistance (in all the various forms) boosted the totals to the $120 billion level. Thirty-nine (39) percent of the 2020 income came from government payments and include ad hoc support, farm programs and conservation payments. American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Chief Economist Dr. John Newton offered his insight in this AFBF Market Intel Report On Net Farm Income.
Registration Open for American Farm Bureau Virtual Convention, Featuring Mike Rowe, Rorke Denver and Beth Ford
WASHINGTON, December 3, 2020 – The American Farm Bureau Federation opened registration (when you click on this link to Register - Use the Option - "Virtual Annual Convention Registration in the Top Box...It is for individuals who are registering themselves) today for the 2021 American Farm Bureau Virtual Convention and unveiled the lineup of featured speakers including Mike Rowe, Rorke Denver and Beth Ford.

The AFB Virtual Convention will be held Jan. 10-13, 2021, and for the first time ever, registration fees are being waived to give all Farm Bureau members and anyone interested in agriculture the opportunity to experience one of agriculture’s premier events from the comfort and safety of home. 

“We are excited to open up the doors of this event and to bring home the high-quality content our attendees have come to expect from our events,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said. “Our featured speakers this year are no strangers to Farm Bureau. We are honored to have Mike Rowe, Rorke Denver and Beth Ford join us as we reflect on this unique year and press on, stronger together, for agriculture and our rural communities.” 

Best known for his hit TV series Dirty Jobs and most recently his show Returning the Favor featuring people making a difference in their communities, Mike Rowe will join the AFB Virtual Convention as our special guest for a fireside chat in the closing general session. As the country’s leading advocate for skilled labor and the CEO of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, Rowe seeks to debunk myths and misperceptions about blue-collar jobs. His foundation has granted millions of dollars in scholarships to help close the skills gap. 

Land O’ Lakes President and CEO Beth Ford will join AFBF President Zippy Duvall to discuss hot topics and issues facing agriculture today. A native of Sioux City, Iowa, Ford is a passionate advocate for farmers and rural America and is committed to connecting consumers to the farmers and rural communities who grow their food. Ford was recently recognized by Fortune Magazine as one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders and Most Powerful Women. Under her leadership, Land O’Lakes, Inc. will soon join AFBF in the century club in 2021, when it celebrates 100 years as a farmer-owned cooperative.

The AFB Virtual Convention will also feature an inspirational and entertaining keynote address from Navy Seal Commander Rorke T. Denver. Commander Denver has run every phase of training for the U.S. Navy SEALs and led special-forces missions in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and other international hot spots. He starred in the hit film Act of Valor, which is based on true SEAL adventures, and shares his personal story in his New York Times bestseller, Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior. He is the founder of Ever Onward, a fresh, new brand designed to use Navy SEAL principles to call leaders to action, to be bold so they can perform at their highest levels. 

This open invitation is a rare opportunity to attend the American Farm Bureau convention free of charge simply by registering. Registration will provide access to live sessions as well as special on demand programs focused on hot topics in agriculture. Featured live events include: 
  • AFBF President Zippy Duvall’s annual address
  • Ag Innovation Challenge
  • Young Farmers & Ranchers competitions
  • Foundation Night In, featuring soon-to-be-announced musical performances
  • Workshops focused on what farmers and ranchers need to know in 2021 

Workshop topics range from the future of the livestock industry to financial planning for disasters and from standing up for agriculture with effective advocacy to sustainability in 2021 and what it will mean for farmers and ranchers. 

View the full agenda here and register for free here (when you click on this link to Register - Use the Option - "Virtual Annual Convention Registration in the Top Box...It is for individuals who are registering themselves) Registration is required. 
Have a great weekend!