July 23, 2021
Newsletter for July 23, 2021
This Issue:
  • Sullivan Named To Head Water Resources
  • Farm Bureau President Meets With Mexican Officials
  • Farm Bureau Attention On Disaster Assistance When Natural Disasters Happen
  • Gearing Up For Summer Campaign In Support Of Keeping The Stepped Up Basis
  • Livestock Producers – Mark Your Calendar For August 20th Important Webinar
  • Application Process For 2021 Women’s Communications Boot Camp Opens July 19
  • Thank You For Your Response To Farm Bureau Action Request On “Dear Colleague” Letter
Sullivan Named To Head Water Resources
Adam Sullivan has been appointed to serve as Nevada’s 24th State Engineer and Administrator of the Department’s Division of Water Resources (NDWR). Sullivan was named Acting State Engineer in November 2020, when the previous State Engineer, Tim Wilson, retired after 25 years of State service. As State Engineer, Sullivan will lead NDWR.

Sullivan has worked on all aspects of water resources throughout Nevada for more than 20 years and has been with NDWR since 2009. Over the years, he has been at the forefront of tackling many of Nevada’s most complex water issues, with a focus on leveraging the best available science to guide responsible water management decisions and actively collaborating with the broad range of stakeholders and communities across the state. Under Sullivan’s leadership, the Division will continue to proactively address water issues that affect all Nevadans – including increasing demand for limited water resources, floods and prolonged drought, dam safety, and sustainment of our wetlands and freshwater ecosystems – all within the over-arching context of Nevada’s rapidly growing population and the accelerating impacts of climate change occurring in all corners of Nevada. 

Last week (July 15th) Sullivan and his leadership team held a meeting with Nevada water stakeholders, including Nevada Farm Bureau, outlining the priorities that they will be planning as their focus.  The central theme of his message identified sticking with the basics and following the state’s water law.

This was a refreshing change from the agency’s efforts over the past couple of Nevada Legislative sessions where they brought forward bill drafts aimed at taking state law away from recognizing established water rights and principles aligned with the priority doctrine.  Sullivan shared that the agency has been going through major turn-over in the past several years and currently has about a 10 percent vacancy of employees.  He noted that his emphasis will be on filling vacancies, addressing the concerns of institutional knowledge with a training program, giving processes a “fresh eye” to figure out the opportunities for streamlining how things are carried out.

There are also long-term objectives of upgrading what’s known about perennial yield situations in Nevada’s groundwater basins with an objective of securing necessary funding to upgrade information and making documents easier to access.

In addressing various water issues, Sullivan indicated that he and his team will be concentrating on dealing with local issues, working with local people and having a more focused approach on site specific circumstances rather than pushing for statewide changes.
Farm Bureau President Meets With Mexican Officials
On July 21st, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall met with Tatiana Clouthier, Mexico’s Secretary of the Economy, and Esteban Moctezuma Barragón, Mexico’s Ambassador to the U.S., to discuss a variety of trade matters, the use of technology to advance agriculture and the border crisis. Mexico is the third largest destination for U.S. agricultural exports. The following statement may be attributed to Mr. Duvall.

“It was a pleasure to host the Secretary and Ambassador today to discuss both opportunities and challenges facing our two countries. We reiterated our mutual commitment to the USMCA and discussed concerns about seasonal produce imports and exports on both sides of the border.

“We discussed recent decisions by the Mexican government that threaten our strong trade partnership. I expressed the deep disappointment of America’s farmers and ranchers in Mexico’s decision to limit use of technologies – and food produced using such technology – that increase agriculture’s sustainability and ability to meet the growing demand for food. I urged Mexico to return to a science-based approach to corn produced for both human consumption and animal feed. Secretary Clouthier conveyed concerns rising in her country related to increased U.S. interest in country of origin labeling of meat. She urged an approach that honors our WTO commitments.

“Beyond agricultural trade, I conveyed the seriousness of the situation for farmers and ranchers along our southern border who face an influx of migrants crossing their properties. I shared the heartbreaking stories about migrants left abandoned, dangerous smugglers on the run and the concerns of farmers and ranchers for their families’ safety and their farms’ security when homes are raided, fences are destroyed and water supplies are compromised. I was pleased to hear about efforts in Mexico to slow migration along their southern border from Central and South America and to increase border security along their northern border. Still, more must be done to address this crisis.

“Overall, it was a constructive meeting. I am a big believer in establishing personal relationships, especially with so much on the line for our farmers and ranchers. As the third largest destination for U.S. agricultural exports, Mexico is an important trading partner. I look forward to a continuing dialogue with Secretary Clouthier and Ambassador Barragón.”
Farm Bureau Attention On Disaster Assistance When Natural Disasters Happen
Over the past couple of months Western State Farm Bureaus have been working with members and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) in assessing the conditions of a very major and multi-state drought. This AFBF news article is the most recent example of the coverage being given to the Western Drought.

One of the other projects associated with this effort involved a drought assessment and a survey conducted by the AFBF Economics Team. In this report Associate Economist Daniel Munch gave the findings coming from the survey.

In the first of a planned two-issue series, Munch also authored a Farm Bureau Market Intel piece which offers background insights of his review of the aid provided for last year’s instances which triggered disaster relieve, but still left $3.6 billion in uncovered losses. The project also broke down details to a state level basis with this information presenting Nevada-specific insights for 2020 payments made through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) The second page of the AFBF background paper for Nevada’s 2020 WHIP+ payments covers the details of how the calculations used in the report were made. Overall the numbers for Nevada are based on very limited recognition of Nevada agriculture as a whole…only a few crops are used for the coverage provided and only three counties were documented in the analysis.

Looking forward, with discussions beginning to take shape for the next Farm Bill, the policy questions facing Farm Bureau farmer/rancher members who chose to become involved in the annual process of establishing organizational policy, deals with the direction this type of disaster assistance might take.  In past considerations there has been partial protection made available through insurance based programs as well as disaster payments authorized by Congress.  Debate is starting to consider the possibility of funding a permanent standing disaster relief system.

In the mix, much of Nevada’s agriculture falls outside of the framework for what commodities are included.

We welcome your feedback and thoughts on what, if anything might best address what Nevada agriculture requires.  Email those thoughts to doug@nvfb.org
Gearing Up For Summer Campaign In Support Of Keeping The Stepped Up Basis
In a couple of weeks Congress will be returning to their respective states for the traditional “August Recess.”  Things have changed quite a bit from when this timeframe included in district, face-to-face meetings, but there is still a great opportunity for constituents to seek ways to send their messages for elected representatives.

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) has developed this outline on specific activities for Farm Bureau members to use in connecting with Congressional members, urging support for keeping the stepped up basis.  The priority of delivering important messages on the stepped up of basis especially is important for those in Nevada who live in the 4th Congressional District.  The combined district from large rural areas of Nevada (sections of Clark, Esmeralda, Lyon, Lincoln and Nye Counties) are represented by Congressman Steven Horsford. 

Congressman Horsford is a member of the key House Ways and Means Committee and has been noticeably silent on the subject of the stepped up basis.  For those who are constituents of Congressman Horsford, please use this link to plug into Congressman Horsford’s website and send an email through this portal.  The major points you need to incorporate into your email – along with your personal story of the importance for protecting your family’s ability to maintain the ability for future generations to continue your farm/ranch operation – Congressman Horsford needs to make his position on the issue of stepped up basis known and it is also important that he uses his committee appointment to become a leader in protecting the stepped up basis.  As you have any opportunity to participate in a local meeting that Congressman Horsford might hold in your area, please make the effort to attend and share these messages.

If you don’t live in Nevada’s Congressional 4th District or you aren’t able to use the outline that is suggested by the AFBF August Recess Toolkit, please use the AFBF Action Request System to send email messages to all of the members of the Nevada Congressional delegation.
Livestock Producers – Mark Your Calendar For August 20th Important Webinar
With the August calendar filling fast and more than enough to do already, please find a way to join and be part of an important livestock management webinar. On August 20th, 2021, two nationwide university extension efforts, the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Community and the iAMResponsible Team working on antimicrobial resistance, are joining together to offer a webinar on how different livestock sectors are approaching the complex problem of antimicrobial resistance.  Perhaps you can print out this flyer and attach it to your refrigerator as a reminder…

The use of antibiotics in livestock production has been scrutinized in recent years as increasing antimicrobial resistance has become a modern-day global health crisis. Growing resistance has resulted in greater interest among livestock producers in potential strategies to reduce their need for antibiotics and the presence of resistant organisms in their facilities. 
 
Invited speakers will be presenting on research and management strategies to improve antimicrobial stewardship in animal production and across the food production system. Hear from Dr. Heather Fowler, representing the National Pork board, where she works as the director of producer and public health, she will be sharing how the pork board is advising on and supporting improvements in antibiotic stewardship for pork production nationwide. Dr. Emmanuel Okello, University of California-Davis, will be discussing work he has been a part of to develop useful decision support tools for antibiotic use in dairy production. Finally, we will hear about a new certification program: One-Health certified, for poultry production from Dr. Jon Moyle of University of Maryland and the first one-health certified poultry farm in the U.S. from Harley Greiner of Mountaire Farms, Delaware. 
 
These presentations will provide insight into the vast array of efforts currently underway in livestock production industry and research to address growing antimicrobial resistance, which poses a serious threat to the health of both humans and animals. This link will provide you with the ability to connect to the webinar on August 20th – 11:30 a.m.
Application Process For 2021 Women’s Communications Boot Camp Opens July 19
A major program of training Farm Bureau women to serve the vitally important role of being effective spokespersons for agriculture is again shifting into gear.  The American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee will host the Women’s Communications Boot Camp in Washington, D.C., November 2-5. This is an intensive training opportunity for any female Farm Bureau member interested in building skills needed to communicate about agriculture and for Farm Bureau. Applications for this class of Boot Camp will open July 19 and must be submitted by August. 19.

Anyone interested in being part of this training process will need to complete an on-line application. Nevada Farm Bureau will be happy to assist in getting that application completed and sent in to meet the deadline.  Please contact Kyle Reber at Kyle@nvfb.org

Women's Boot Camp graduates use their training: 
  • by positively influencing elected legislators.
  •  by creating or acting upon local media opportunities to support Farm Bureau’s policy work.
  •   by joining social media campaigns to share positive messages about agriculture.
  •   by influencing consumers when planning and implementing outreach events.
  • by speaking about agricultural innovations and enterprises with a variety of audiences, community groups, in classrooms and with neighbors.
Have a great weekend!