Preventing Bad Ideas From Becoming Law

ver the past 11 Nevada Legislative Sessions, the Farm Bureau wrap-up report dealt primarily with accomplishments in terms of bills passed and legislation to be enacted to help Nevada farmers and ranchers. Along the way, there was the occasional “victory” measured by preventing a negative or amending a bad idea into a workable solution. The 2011 Nevada Legislature will be the exception to the trend, with most of the “good things” that happened, taking the form or legislative proposals which were not passed. In a couple of key instances it was the strong response by Farm Bureau members weighing in and making contacts with their elected representatives that made the difference, Busselman observed, adding “the overall grassroots involvement in this session was by far the best I’ve ever been part of.” Legislation To Ban Triple-Trailers Tops The List: AB 188 sought to end the use of triple-trailers on Nevada roadways, precluding the ability to efficiently move Nevada’s alfalfa hay to buyers. In spite of the safety concerns expressed made by proponents of the legislation, triple-trailer combinations are among the safest units traveling the highways with an outstanding track-record of low-accident-rates-permiles-traveled. The teamwork of all of the interests who worked together in expressing opposition to this proposal made the difference in preventing this bill from advancing beyond the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, after narrowly gaining passage in the

Agriculture & Livestock Journal
Transportation Committee. Farm Bureau members were significant contributors in making contacts with legislators on this issue. Nevada Government Will Not Force Consumers To Buy Biodiesel: As drafted SB 146 called for all diesel fuel sold or available in Nevada to be a minimum of five percent “bio” (with provisions that would have increased the mix to 10 percent bio as certain production levels were possible). Nevada Farm Bureau and other like-minded opponents of the forcedmandate were successful in encouraging the Senate Natural Resources Committee to not process the bill for further consideration. Rising from the ashes of SB 146, a next generation of the idea took shape in a post-deadline, leadership sponsored proposal, SB 496. This measure combined a mandatory biodiesel requirement with a proposal for special arrangements regarding solar energy connections to the power grid. At the deadline for passage from the Senate, the biodiesel portion of SB 496 was deleted in order to get enough floor votes for passage. “Whether by legislative action, which kept bills from gaining passage – or through the great use that Governor Brian Sandoval has used his veto pen – we dodged a number of very potentially bad ideas and will be considering Nevada agriculture the better for what won’t be in law.” -Doug Busselman

Volume 63, Number 7 July 2011

Still not giving up on their intent to allow biodiesel to be self-sufficient in the marketplace, without governmental “assistance”, advocates sought a legislative carrier to the end of the session and nearly succeeded in hooking it into another bill before the final bell tolled. Nevada Farm Bureau’s opposition to the legislative efforts of mandating biodiesel was not based on opposing biodiesel, but to the requirement that no other diesel product option would be permitted. If consumers, especially agricultural producers, would have been allowed to make a choice in determining whether they wished to buy the bio product, or some other type of diesel fuel, Nevada Farm Bureau would not have opposed the legislation. Of course, with such freedom of choice, there would not have been any need to have legislation, since biodiesel is already possible and available for purchase. Late-Night Addition To Energy Bill Stopped By Governor Veto Pen: As the clock was ticking down on the 2011 Nevada Legislature, an amendment

Continued on Page 3

American Century Farms the Focus of New Interactive Site
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture launched a new, interactive website that invites the general public to celebrate the contribution of century farms to the heritage of our nation. Century farms are those farms that have been in operation under the same family for more than 100 years. Appropriately named “Agriculture’s Lasting Heritage,” this website tells the story of American farm and ranch families who have shaped the history of our nation. “Agriculture’s Lasting Heritage” also commemorates more than the proud tradition of the American farm and ranch family, according to AFBF President Bob Stallman, who also serves as president of the foundation. “Farms and ranches that have been in the same family, and supporting family members and local communities for generations stand as testament to the true sustainable character of American agriculture today,” Stallman said. “Farmers and ranchers, by nature, are always committed to leaving the land in better condition for the next generation. We are proud to help raise awareness of that through this new website.” “Agriculture’s Lasting Heritage” features a variety of components to interest nonfarmers as well as farmers and ranchers. An interactive map allows the visitor to quickly link to a comprehensive list of state century farm programs and resources. Users will find an immediate connection with the farmers who operate our century farms, as they watch the story unfold through video profiles of a variety of farms. Written profiles also will be provided to offer additional stories of those who have contributed to the sustainability of our agriculture industry, and our nation.

Agriculture has played a significant role in the development of our nation. With this in mind, “Agriculture’s Lasting Heritage” also provides an opportunity for the visitor to navigate through an interactive timeline of American history and agriculture. Parents, teachers and volunteer educators will enjoy the free educational resources that support continued learning. Lesson plans that intricately combine American history standards with the progression of the agriculture industry are provided complete with all required resources. “On behalf of Capreno and Bayer CropScience, we’re excited to partner with the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture to make this program possible,” said Jeff Springsteen, Capreno herbicide marketing manager. “Bayer CropScience constantly strives to deliver innovations, whether it’s developing a top-performing crop input, or supporting a useful, educational website for consumers. This online resource is a great opportunity to honor the lasting heritage of agriculture and the future of farmers.” Agriculture’s lasting heritage in our nation is enduring and beneficial, due to the commitment farm and ranch families continue to make to the land, and to each other. This project would not be possible without the support of title sponsor Capreno® herbicide from Bayer CropScience. Support the lasting heritage of our industry and visit today!

Date Correction
The date for the Churchill County Farm Bureau Summer Picnic is on Saturday, July 16, 2011, not July 15, as stated in the June Agriculture & Livestock Journal.

(ISSN 0899-8434) (USPS 377-280) 2165 Green Vista Dr. Suite 205 Sparks, NV 89431 Phone: (775) 674-4000 Fax: (775) 674-4004 Publisher: Nevada Farm Bureau Federation Editor: Zach Allen The Nevada Farm Bureau Agriculture & Livestock Journal is published monthly by the Nevada Farm Bureau Federation. Subscriptions are available to Nevada Farm Bureau members, only, at an annual subscription price of $1, which is included in yearly dues. Periodical postage is paid at Reno, NV and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Nevada Farm Bureau Agriculture & Livestock Journal, 2165 Green Vista Drive, Suite 205, Sparks, NV 89431.

July 2011 | Page 2 |

Legislative Review Continued

was added to AB 416, to require NV Energy ratepayers to cover the risks for the costs of transmission lines built to carry alternative energy to out-of-state electrical customers. The amendment was added without the opportunity for a legitimate committee hearing or even to give lawmakers the chance to read the 25-page addition and consider the ramifications. Nevada Farm Bureau, learning of the way the bill was passed and the impact on ratepayers, including agricultural electrical customers who use substantial amounts of power, contacted Governor Brian Sandoval’s office requesting that he veto the bill. This contact was part of a much broader group of interests who, like Farm Bureau were concerned over the impact potential on ratepayers, but who also found it distasteful for the way the legislative process was carried out. Governor Sandoval Vetoes Interim Committee Set-Up: Although not quite as blatant in trying to slip something past someone as the amendment added to AB 416 and covered above, AB 578 wasn’t offered with much chance for citizen input. This bill sought to restructure the interim legislative committees, which meet during the time between the every-other-year regular sessions. The Legislative Counsel Bureau (who wrote the bill) were given the exclusive role of testifying on the proposal before the Assembly Legislative Operations and Elections Committee (which was the closest thing to a “hearing” that the bill would receive) and in classic slamdunk fashion, with party-line votes in committees and on the floors of both the Assembly and Senate, the bill was sent to the Governor to become law. Governor Sandoval vetoed the bill. Nevada Farm Bureau’s specific concerns with AB 578 involved the way in which the Nevada Legislature’s Committee on Public Lands would have been discontinued. This important committee (authorized in Nevada statutes – NRS 218E.500) has had a rich tradition of making a circuit of local meetings, taking input on natural resource issues and matters of importance to rural Nevada. The proposal found in AB 578 would have created an interim committee format with limited members from Senate and

Assembly committees assigned to serve a joint committee with assigned areas to match the topic areas that the committees are responsible for during the regular session. The structure of this type would have basically escalated the legislative process into an annual legislative session with a continuation of policy deliberations flowing from non-session into session and then back into more of the same with only designated committee representatives dealing with matters coming before the exclusive group. Legislation Passed (That We’re Glad About): AB 114 – This is a measure to adjust the fees charged for transferring agricultural water rights and might be one of the more positive accomplishments of the 2011 Nevada Legislative Session. It changes the assessed charges by the State Water Engineer from a $3 per acre foot charge to a flat fee of $750. This fee change came as a follow-up to the changes in related water right charges adopted in the 2009 Nevada Legislature, rolling back slightly this specific type of assessment. The full range of water fees were increased across the board during that Legislative session. AB 368 – Although Nevada Farm Bureau originally opposed this bill, pertaining to brand inspections for saddle horses, finding a workable set of amendments with sponsor Assemblyman Harvey Munford of Las Vegas won our support and eventually unanimous approval in both the Assembly and Senate. As a result of the bill passing and becoming law, persons from states without horse brand inspections are able to come into Nevada with their saddle horses, stay in the state for 15 days and return to their state without having to pay for a Nevada brand inspection. These saddle horse owners are required to travel and present paperwork to prove ownership of the animals and appropriate health papers. The Bills We Would Have Liked To Have Passed: Not much different from a fishing outing, the ones that got away keep you wishing – if only. Two bills fit into this category

for 2011 and would have made the session’s success an even more positive process… AB 329 – Clarifying Wildlife Water Rights – If enacted, this bill would have simply prevented the Nevada Water Engineer from granting water rights to federal agencies, using wildlife as the “beneficial use”, in order to water Wild Horses. Those supporting passage of the legislation, Farm Bureau included, stressed that the change would not have prevented Wild Horses from drinking water (as they currently do without any water right), but would have made certain that federal agencies didn’t acquire an ownership to a private property right under the false pretense of beneficial use for animals which aren’t “wildlife”. After gaining passage of the measure in the Assembly, the Senate Natural Resources Committee avoided processing the bill for a vote and are sending a letter to the interim committee (now likely the Nevada Legislature’s Committee on Public Lands) to further study the unresolved issue. AB 357 – Protection Of Agricultural Research Property – This legislation sought to insert protection into state law for Nevada Agricultural Research assets, requiring that the proceeds and rent from the sale or lease of University Of Nevada Agricultural property be used for the support of current agricultural education/research programs or provided to the development/expansion of similar programs in agriculture at other institutions within the System. Farm Bureau and other agricultural advocates are concerned that with the diminished agricultural program at the state’s Land Grant University (UNR) properties once provided for agricultural research will be sold off and proceeds used for nonagricultural objectives of the University. Farm Bureau policy supports this type of protection for these assets, while drawing attention to a Board of Regent Resolution (81-8) adopted to accomplish the same purpose. When given the chance to follow their resolution, the Board of Regents set it aside and ignored their self-imposed limitation for keeping agricultural assets in use for agricultural purposes.

July 2011 | Page 3 |

A “Truly” Humane Society
By: Jamie Perkins, Chair So, the war is on. More animal rights activists sneaking onto private property for photos that will ‘shock’ the public and incite outrage against those farmers who are so cruel to their animals. I heard a supposed story of something like this happening real close to home just lately.

And yet, through the wild path of Mother Nature’s destruction, we seem to be seeing another story— one of farmers and ranchers giving their all for livestock trapped in fire-ridden areas of the west, or a community Picture courtesy of Jamie’s brother, Nathan Blackner. Nathan has stepping in and been one of many fighting wildfires in Arizona. This particular fire helping out a traveled 22 miles in a day and a half. family who’s hog farm was hit by devastating wind damage—surely not something they Help Needed for Arizona would be willing to do if they didn’t know that they were helping out good people with a good, sound operation. Ranchers Affected by Wildfires A couple of days ago, my grandpa checked the cows out on the range, only to find his motor and generator were missing for the pump that feeds precious water into his reservoir. As upsetting as it was to lose such costly items, his greatest concern was making sure his cattle had the water they needed. A couple years ago, as fires ravaged the rangeland that my parents run cows on, desperate ranchers risked everything to go against the BLM orders and try to get their cows off the range and out of the line of fire headed

July 2011 | Page 4 |




straight for them. The cattle came in scorched, eyelashes singed off, sometimes their hooves were almost melted off, and even then there were plenty that didn’t make it. Those ranchers could have gone to jail had they been caught—they were willing to risk it to save their cattle. My question is, where is the video showing the public that? If ever someone wants to know about the Humane Society of the United States, about PETA, about Mercy for Animals, take the time to tell them about farmers and ranchers of our country, one of the Truly Humane Societies that I know.

Due to the catastrophic impact of Arizona wildfires, many Arizona ranchers have lost grazing land. If you have grazing land available for lease please contact Liz Foster at the Arizona Farm Bureau. You can contact Liz at 408-635-3611 or by E-mail at

For the Birds and Bees: National Pollinator Week

RENO, -- The of week June 20-26 goes to the birds and the bees – and to all of the other pollinators that keep our world growing and productive. June 20-26 was National Pollinator Week, and its intent is to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators to plants, animals, and humans. As pollinators gather nectar and pollen for their survival, they are responsible for the reproduction (the production of fruits, seeds, nuts, etc.) Pollinators on the Web of 70 percent of all flowering plants and two-thirds of For information on NRCS programs, visit www.nv.nrcs. crop plants. This ecological service is worth $14.6 billion annually in the United States, quite a chunk of change for For information on pollinators, visit this diverse batch of insects, birds and mammals. pollinators. Unfortunately, many of the world’s pollinators are at For a copy of NRCS’ “Be Kind to Pollinators” brochure, risk. Studies have shown that about a third of the nation’s call 1-888-526-3227. managed honeybee colonies are lost each year, a trend that For a Native Bees pollinator poster, visit http://pollinator. has held steady for the past five years. Pesticides and other org/NativeBees.htm. toxins have also reduced the number of butterflies and other For information on National Pollinator Week, visit www. crucial pollinators. But it’s not all gloom. An army of agencies and Some other helpful sites are groups have assembled to help restore and protect conservation/ and pollinator populations. And there are things you can do in your very own yard to help pollinators flourish. First, you can incorporate pollinator friendly plants into your landscape. A diverse planting of mostly native plants is typically best. By diverse, we mean use of flowers, shrubs and trees with different shapes, colors and times of bloom. You can also provide nesting sites for bees, called bee blocks. To make a bee block, start with preservative free lumber and drill holes 3/32 to 3/8 inches in diameter. Holes should be spaced 3/4 inches Membership Discount Code #809019789 apart, and they should only be open at one end. Nevada Store Locations Avoid using pesticides. While pesticides kill those Grainger Grainger Grainger pesky bugs, they take out a lot of beneficial bugs, 2401 Western Ave 1175 American Pacific 900 Packer Way too. Explore non-pesticide options when protecting Las Vegas, NV Henderson, NV Sparks, NV yourself and your plants. Planting certain plants can Phone (702) 385-6833 Phone (702) 385-6833 Phone (775) 331-7504 ward off unwanted bugs or attract those good bugs toward them off for you. Visit Grainger’s website at You can also promote pollinator habitat in your

community. Green spaces like parks and golf courses can provide valuable habitat for pollinators. As urbanization continues to deplete natural lands, these green spaces can serve as sanctuaries for pollinators. Encourage your local leaders and golf course owners to use landscaping and pesticide management best suited for pollinators. Roadsides are another resource for helping pollinators. American roadsides have 10 million acres of land that could be ideal habitat. Ask your local and state highway officials to plant or allow native vegetation to colonize roadsides, creating an aesthetically pleasing vista for motorists as well as helping pollinators. USDA and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recognize the importance of pollinators. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack designated this week as National Pollinator Week as a way to honor pollinators, “which provide significant environmental benefits necessary for maintaining healthy, biodiverse ecosystems,” Secretary Vilsack wrote in his proclamation. The NRCS promotes pollinator habitat in its cost-share programs, which gives landowners incentives to establish nectar corridors and pollinator nesting habitat.

Nevada Farm Bureau Members Receive 10% Discount

July 2011 | Page 5 |

Energy Cost Run-up Drives Retail Food Prices
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 9, 2011 – Retail food prices at the supermarket increased during the second quarter of 2011, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey. The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals was $51.17, up $2.10 or about 4 percent compared to the first quarter of 2011. Of the 16 items surveyed, 14 increased and two decreased in average price compared to the prior quarter. The total average price for the 16 items was up about 8 percent compared to one year ago. “The effects of continued raw energy cost increases are reverberating throughout the food industry and consumers are bearing the brunt of it,” said AFBF Economist John Anderson. “After food leaves the farm, costs for transportation, marketing, processing and storage come into play. As energy prices continue to run up, shoppers are feeling the pinch at the supermarket.” Sirloin tip roast, Russet potatoes, sliced deli ham and bacon increased the most in dollar value compared to the first quarter of 2011. Together, these four items accounted for most of the quarter-to-quarter increase: sirloin tip roast, up 52 cents to $4.48 per pound; Russet potatoes, up 43 cents to $3.07 for a 5-pound bag; sliced deli ham, up 35 cents to $5.26 per pound; and bacon, up 32 cents to $4.18 per pound. “Strong consumer demand for meats and dairy products continues to influence retail prices,” said Anderson. “Consumer demand for meats and dairy products began to recover in 2009, continued through 2010 and is still a factor as we move into the middle of 2011.” Other items that increased in price compared to the first quarter were ground chuck, up 19 cents to $3.29 per pound; whole milk, up 16 cents to $3.62 per gallon; vegetable oil, up 13 cents to $3.01 for a 32-ounce bottle; toasted oat cereal, up 12 cents to $3.17 for a 9-ounce box; apples, up 11 cents to $1.56 per pound; orange juice, up 4 cents to $3.18 for a halfgallon; eggs, up 3 cents to $1.65 per dozen; bread, up 2 cents to $1.86 for a 20-ounce loaf; bagged salad, up 1 cent to $2.67 per pound; and flour, up 1 cent to $2.52 for a 5-pound bag. Two items decreased in average retail price between the quarters: boneless chicken breasts, down 23 cents to $3.09 per pound; and shredded cheese, down 7 cents to $4.56 per pound. Most items showing an increase in retail price from quarter-to-quarter also showed year-to-year increases. Compared to one year ago, Russet potatoes increased 22 percent; bacon rose 18 percent; ground chuck was up 14 percent; and sirloin tip roast was 9 percent higher. “Further retail price increases are likely to be the new normal as we move through 2011, especially for meats. It takes time for farmers to increase the size of their herds to in order to meet higher demand,” Anderson explained.

The year-to-year direction of the marketbasket survey tracks with the federal government’s Consumer Price Index ( report for food at home. As retail grocery prices have increased gradually over time, the share of the average food dollar that America’s farm and ranch families receive has dropped. “In the mid-1970s, farmers received about one-third of consumer retail food expenditures for food eaten at home and away from home, on average. Since then, that figure has decreased steadily and is now about 16 percent, according to the Agriculture Department’s revised Food Dollar Series,” Anderson said. USDA’s new Food Dollar Series may be found online at app/. Using the “food at home and away from home” percentage across-the-board, the farmer’s share of this quarter’s $51.17 marketbasket would be $8.19. AFBF, the nation’s largest general farm organization, has been conducting the informal quarterly marketbasket survey of retail food price trends since 1989. The mix of foods in the marketbasket was updated during the first quarter of 2008. According to USDA, Americans spend just under 10 percent of their disposable annual income on food, the lowest average of any country in the world. A total of 72 shoppers in 30 states participated in the latest survey, conducted in May.

Tracking Milk and Egg Trends
For the second quarter of 2011, shoppers reported the average price for a half-gallon of regular whole milk was $2.31, up 6 cents from the prior quarter. The average price for one gallon of regular whole milk was $3.62, up 16 cents. Comparing per-quart prices, the retail price for whole milk sold in gallon containers was about 25 percent lower compared to half-gallon containers, a typical volume discount long employed by retailers. The average price for a half-gallon of rBST-free milk was $3.18, down 5 cents from the last quarter, about 40 percent higher than the reported retail price for a half-gallon of regular milk ($2.31).The average price for a half-gallon of organic milk was $3.77, up 7 cents compared to the prior quarter—about 60 percent higher than the reported retail price for a half-gallon of regular milk ($2.31). Compared to a year ago (second quarter of 2010), the retail price for regular milk in gallon containers was up about 18 percent while regular milk in half-gallon containers rose 12 percent. The average retail price for rBST-free milk increased 6 percent compared to the prior year while organic milk was up about 3 percent. For the second quarter of 2011, the average price for one dozen regular eggs was $1.65. The average price for a dozen “cage-free” eggs was $3.20, nearly double the price of regular eggs. Compared to a year ago (second quarter of 2010), regular eggs decreased 7 percent while “cage-free” eggs increased 10 percent.

July 2011 | Page 6 |

Nevada Farm Bureau Adds Lands’ End Business Outfitters as Member Benefit
Sparks, NV. - Nevada Farm Bureau has added Lands’ End Business Outfitters to our service-to-member benefits. Lands End offers high quality apparel for men and women along with promotional items such as bags, totes, business merchandise, and much more. Many of their products can be embroidered or embossed. The Lands’ End Business Outfitters benefit allows Nevada Farm Bureau members to save 10% of merchandise and 10% off logo application fees. At various times throughout the year, special pricing and promotions may be offered, so keep an eye out for those. For the most up-to-date information regarding member benefits check us out online at Lands’ End offers outfitting ideas that fit the way you Farm Bureau members work. And smart incentives or awards that last long after Nevada Farm Bureau submitted a new logo the event ends. We’ll add your Farm Bureau logo to save 10% at design that can be placed on clothing and other the items you want. Or send you undecorated apparel. The choice is yours.You’ll always save 10 % on product merchandise. In addition to the new Nevada Lands’ End. & logo fees. Plus there’s no minimum to buy. Farm Bureau logo, a customer may also choose Shop online: or call: 800.916.2255 from standard Farm Bureau logos. Shopping made easy! Nevada Farm Bureau has set up an online store for members. The online store incorporates the Farm Bureau discount and allows for logos to be applied, if a logo is desired. To access the new online store visit Customers may also place orders by calling Lands’ End Business Outfitters directly at 800-916-2255. For a complete listing of all Nevada Farm Bureau membership benefits visit our website at and click on Membership Benefits.

Farm Bureau and the Farm Bureau National Logo are registered service marks owned by the American Farm Bureau Federation, and are used by Lands’ End Business Outfitters under license from the American Farm Bureau Federation.

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American Farm Bureau Picks 6th Leader Class
WASHINGTON, D.C., – The American Farm Bureau Federation has selected a group of 10 young agricultural leaders to participate in the sixth class of the Partners in Agricultural Leadership honors program. Selected to participate in the 2011 program are: Rachel Bina, North Dakota; Jonathan Cavin, Virginia; Travis Gebhart, South Dakota; Megan Gravois, Louisiana; Heather Hill, Indiana; Theresa Lawton, Massachusetts; Hilary Maricle, Nebraska; Jason Rodgers, South Carolina; Malissa Fritz Schentzel, Minnesota; and Misty Wall, Utah. Farm Bureau’s PAL program is carried out with support from the Monsanto Company, Farm Credit and AFBF. It is designed to strengthen participants’ leadership skills and put their abilities to work for the benefit of agriculture. “We’re pleased to announce the members of the sixth PAL class and we look forward to the contributions they will make as individuals and collectively to strengthen American agriculture and tell the farmer’s story,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “Each of the previous PAL classes has been an outstanding success. Thanks to continued partnerships with Monsanto and the Farm Credit Foundation, we are confident this class also will prove to be a stellar experience

for participants.” The PAL program provides young farmers and ranchers with the opportunity to hone their leadership skills after they have served as AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee members/officers or participated in competitive YF&R events. “Another benefit of this program is that it often serves as a bridge between YF&R and other agricultural leadership roles,” Stallman said. By participating in PAL, the young leaders will enrich their skills in problem solving, persuasion and consensus building. At the same time, they will be deepening their knowledge of specific agricultural and public policy issues. Upon completion of the PAL program, participants will be fully equipped to represent agriculture in the media, on speaking circuits or in legislative activities. PAL graduates serve as “advocates for agriculture,” telling the farmer’s story and promoting awareness on issues important to those in the farm-to-consumer food chain. State Farm Bureaus nominate applicants for the PAL program. Applicants must be “Sweet 16” finalists in the national YF&R Discussion Meet; top 10 finalists in the YF&R Achievement Award or Excellence in Agriculture Award competitions; former members of the AFBF YF&R committee or former state YF&R committee chairs. Visit yfr.pal for more information on the PAL program.

July 2011 | Page 8 |

President James “Hank” Combs 702-399-0641 Vice President Paul Mathews 775-728-4588 District Director Jim Hardy 702-398-3137 District Director Carla Pomeroy 775-423-3801 District Director Craig Shier 530-570-5834 Women’s Committee Chairman Cindy Hardy 702-375-8124 Executive Vice President Doug Busselman 800-992-1106 County Farm Bureau Presidents Central Nevada County Carl Newberry 775-482-9739 Churchill County Sonya Johnson 775-423-6156 Clark County Glen Hardy 702-398-3343 Douglas County Fred Stodieck 775-782-2863 Elko County Rama Paris 775-744-4388 Humboldt County Arlow Nielsen 775-272-3498 Lander County Paul Young 775-964-2044 Lincoln County Bevin Lister 775-962-5541 Lyon County Darrell Pursel 775-463-4900 Washoe County Louie Damonte, Jr. 775-851-0220 White Pine County Tyler Seal 775-238-0804

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July 2011 | Page 9 |

by Bob Stallman, American Farm Bureau Federation

When Did Food Become So Complicated?
Sustainability. Organic. Biotech. Big Ag. Local. Pure. These are just a few labels being tossed around freely to discuss something that I’ve always thought of as a pretty simple and straightforward concept: Eating. There is no doubt that a handful of people aspire to dictate what is placed on America’s dinner tables. Unfortunately, in meeting their objective, these self-subscribed food activists are turning the simplicity of food into a complex political agenda. All Shapes and Sizes Food. Everyone is talking about it. From food activists to the Prince of Wales – who recently made a U.S. visit for the sole purpose of telling us how to farm – everyone has an opinion on how food should be produced in the U.S. I am an ardent believer in open debate. It’s one of the cherished rights we have as U.S. citizens. But, the advocates of the food debate are using an all-or-nothing approach, without taking into consideration consumer demand and need. Many argue that all U.S. food should be sourced locally, if not produced individually for household consumption. With the global population expected to reach 9 billion in the next 35 years, and with the U.S. as a major global food resource, do we really want to backpedal and wipe the slate clean of years of food advancements that allow us to help feed a hungry world? Although I am a conventional farmer, I admire agriculture’s many facets. Organic, local, biotech-free, no-till, etc., are all important and have their place in the bigger picture. Agriculture comes in all shapes and sizes from a local farm stand to a large operation. I think National Public Radio summed it up best in a recent segment: “To [many] this is what the future should be – fruits and veggies grown on small farms, nearby the city. But, get over it. This isn’t the future – not if we want to feed everyone.” Where’s the Farmer? Somehow during this food debate, the farmer has been shunned. There have been several major food summits held recently in Washington, D.C. Speaking on the panels were food activists and national thought leaders. Unfortunately, no farmers were invited to participate. Who knows food better than those who grow and raise it? Because of the hard work of U.S. farmers and ranchers, Americans today have more food choices and spend less of their disposable income on food than practically anyone else on earth. Americans are living longer than ever before because today’s food system allows for better nutrition and food safety. Family-owned farms make up more than 97 percent of our nation’s farms. They include small-scale and large-scale operations, as well as organic, traditional, no-till and biotech, among other production methods. The fact is, whatever label you attach to them, they are getting the job done. The food revolution that is being sought by some may indeed come to pass, but it will not happen without genuine consumer demand and resulting market signals. And it surely won’t happen without the input of America’s food providers – farmers and ranchers.

July 2011 | Page 10 |

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