Farm Policy News

2019 Nebraska Legislative Priorities

Elected representatives in Nebraska will debate a host of contentious issues during the 2019 legislative session, including economic development, budget and tax, health care, energy and environment, and food and agriculture.

Relevant developments concerning priority legislation will be shared via email. To sign up for updates, email info@cfra.org.

Abuse of agricultural trade aid costs U.S. taxpayers

For many years, the Center for Rural Affairs has advocated for support of common-sense and effective policy reform to close loopholes in the farm safety net and curtail further abuse of taxpayer dollars. In preparation for a farm bill, I shed light on tiresome abuse of farm program payments and the implications of poor policies that support this abuse. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t the only example of exploitation of loopholes and abuse of taxpayer dollars by some farming operations. Payments from the Market Facilitation Program, administered by U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency, are also being misused.

Conservation Stewardship Program deadline fast approaching

An important deadline is coming up quickly for certain contract holders with the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Farmers and ranchers who started their first CSP contract in 2014 are eligible this year to apply to renew for a second CSP contract. Interested farmers and ranchers have until Dec. 31 to sign contract modifications with their local Natural Resource Conservation Services (NRCS) office.

Nebraskans push to add new veteran farmers

With the 2019 legislative session just around the corner, champions of Nebraska's Beginning Farmer Tax Credit are hoping to leverage the program's success to open more land to military veterans.

Created in 2001, the program offers both landowners and new farmers tax incentives and mentorships with experienced farmers during critical start-up phases. Jordan Rasmussen, policy manager with the Center for Rural Affairs, said bringing new, younger people into farming has created positive ripple effects across the state.

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