Weekly Column

Census of Ag: 370,619 U.S. producers report military service

Conducted every five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Census of Agriculture is a count of all U.S. farms and ranches and the producers who operate them.

A question about veteran status was a new addition to the Census released last month. Here are a few takeaways:

Census of Agriculture shows more renewables on farms

Farmers are increasingly adopting renewable energy on their farms. According to the U.S. Census of Agriculture, released on April 11, 2019, solar and geothermal energy systems on farms have increased significantly since the last Census in 2012. In 2017, there were 133,176 farms producing renewable energy—more than double the 2012 total.

The Census reports 90,142 farms had solar energy production in 2017, a 60 percent increase from the 36,331 farms reported in the 2012 census.

Congressional appropriators: please fund farm bill programs

Every five years (or so), Congress passes legislation that shapes the day-to-day living of rural Americans. This legislation is a complex bundle of various programs and policies more commonly referred to as the farm bill. Key Congressional leaders in both the House and Senate influence the farm bill through work on their respective agriculture committees, which is a process that should not be taken lightly.

States, big ag move to revoke basic property rights

Across the nation, six states have passed or proposed policies that serve as a clear rebuke of private property rights. In Utah, Nebraska, Georgia, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Oklahoma, state lawmakers are framing expanded Right to Farm legislation as a litmus test in a divisive political environment. A vote against, we are told, is a vote against agriculture.

Don’t be fooled. It’s a false choice.

Protect your property rights

Our Unicameral Legislature gave first-round approval to Legislative Bill (LB) 227. An amendment to the “Right to Farm Act,” this bill is being sold as a litmus test in a divisive political environment. A vote against, we are told, is a vote against agriculture.

Don’t be fooled. It’s a false choice.

LB 227 is a bill to limit your personal property rights. Every landowner is entitled to the use and enjoyment of their land. When someone or something interferes with that right, you can pursue legal remedies. This is a last resort when nothing else works.

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