Farm Policy News

Beginning farmers and ranchers benefit from act introduced this week in Congress

Do you support beginning and aspiring farmers and ranchers? Your voice is needed!

This week, a bill supporting beginning and aspiring farmers and ranchers – the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act (BFROA) – was introduced in Congress by Reps. Tim Walz (D-MN) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE). 

The Center for Rural Affairs understands the challenges beginning farmers and ranchers face, and has endorsed BFROA. You can learn more about the bill here.

America's family farmers and ranchers let down 

Family farmers and ranchers have waited years for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to institute basic fairness protections in the poultry and livestock industries.

However, last week, officials announced a rollback of two rules of the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA); decided not to move forward with an interim final rule of the Farmer Fair Practices; and said they will take no further action on a proposed regulation of the Farmer Fair Practices Rule.

NE Property Tax Question Looms Ahead of 2018 Session

With the state unicameral legislature out of session until 2018, policy advocates are using the downtime to drum up conversations about imbalances in the state's tax system, particularly agricultural property taxes. 

Jordan Rasmussen, a policy associate with the Center for Rural Affairs, says shifts in land values resulted in an annual property tax increase of about 11 percent on agricultural land from 2005 to 2014. 

Rural Red Alert: Tell your representative to vote no on tax cuts for the wealthy

Both the U.S. House and Senate have passed their versions of a budget resolution, including “reconciliation” instructions to cut spending and pave the way for Congress to pass sweeping tax cuts for the wealthy with only 51 votes.

While the Senate and House bills differ greatly, the latest reports suggest the House is looking to accept the Senate version and vote on the bill TODAY.

Local FARMS Act feeds rural economies

Last week, the Local Food and Regional Market Supply Act (The Local FARMS Act) was introduced in Congress by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE).

Through an investment in programs and policies that spur economic development, the act prioritizes the development of new markets for farmers and expanded healthy food access for American families.

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