READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, May 27th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

National FFA Organization Picks New CEO

The National FFA Organization and the National FFA Foundation have new leadership after picking Scott Stump as the new CEO of both organizations. Stump lives on a small ranch in Colorado with his wife, Denise, and their three children. He has a background in agricultural education, career and technical education, and the FFA. He received his bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Education from Purdue University. “it’s with great anticipation that I return to National FFA in this leadership role,” Stump says. “I know from personal experience as a student and as a parent the positive difference FFA makes in the lives of students across this nation.” Stump also says he looks forward to working with FFA’s talented national staff, committed board members, state and local leaders, and supporters to advance and expand the organizations’ collective impact. Ronnie Simmons, Chair of the National FFA Foundation Board of Trustees, says they’re excited to welcome Scott Stump to their team. “Scott brings decades of experience to the table, having been a part of FFA and agricultural education at nearly every level, including as a student member, classroom teacher, state staff, and national staff,” Simmons says. Stump replaces Mark Poeschl, who resigned in January after leading the organization for five years.

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Groups Ask Court to Vacate Trump Water Rule

Environmental groups have asked a federal court to vacate the Navigable Waters Protection Act enacted during the Trump Administration. The motion for a summary judgment comes as the Biden administration continues to review the existing water rule. DTN says the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League filed the motion in a South Carolina U.S. District Court. They asked the court to vacate the rule based on what they call undisputed facts, including what they say has been lost protection for U.S. waters. In its motion, the Coastal Conservation League says the Army Corps of Engineers has been “flooded” with requests to get approved jurisdictional determinations securing the right to “pollute or fill newly excluded streams and wetlands free of the Clean Water Act’s permitting regulations.” They say in the past year that the law has been in effect, the rule’s threat to the nation’s waters has already been profound. However, agriculture groups support the current rule because they say it simplifies questions about the Clean Water Act jurisdiction that farmers face on their land. The groups call the Trump-era rule an “arbitrary policy reversal” that removed the Clean Water Act’s protections for millions of miles of streams and tens of millions of wetland acres.

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NBB Happy with Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension Proposal

The National Biodiesel Board thanked a bipartisan group of senators and representatives for introducing the Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension Act of 2021. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Reps Cindy Axne (D-IA) and Mike Kelley (R-PA) introduced the legislation that would provide the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry certainty for an additional three years. It would support continued growth in the U.S. production of better, cleaner fuels that are reducing carbon emissions now and boosting rural economies. “As Congress looks to jumpstart economic growth, rebuild infrastructure, and reduce carbon emissions, they can count on biodiesel and renewable diesel to help achieve those goals,” says Kurt Kovarik, NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs. “Biodiesel and renewable diesel are on average 74 percent less carbon-intensive than petroleum diesel and have cut more than 140 million tons of carbon emissions since 2010.” The U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel industries support 65,000 jobs in America and more than $17 billion in economic activity each year. Biodiesel production supports approximately 13 percent of the value of each U.S. bushel of soybeans. “The biodiesel tax credit continues to be extremely successful in expanding consumer access to clean, low-carbon fuels,” Kovarik adds.

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Iowa Coalition Reminding Biden of His Biofuels Promise

Iowa lawmakers sent a letter to President Joe Biden and Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack asking them to support the biofuels industry and seeking information on how proposed tax changes will affect farmers. The senators and representatives sent the letter to remind Biden that he promised to promote renewable fuels, including ethanol, to support rural America. The letter points out that despite the promise, the administration’s proposed infrastructure bill would spend $174 billion to subsidize electric vehicles while hardly mentioning the biofuel industry. A Successful Farming article said when the plan was introduced in March, Ag Secretary Vilsack announced that the president’s proposed $2 trillion infrastructure plan, known as the American Jobs Plan, would include money toward increasing the production of biofuels. The Iowa lawmakers say they want the president to recognize that biofuels can be used as a permanent energy solution to help decarbonize the transportation sector. “Biofuels should not be treated as a transition fuel but prioritized as a fuel of the future,” the letter says. The lawmakers also state in the letter that they want data from the USDA showing how a proposed change in the tax law affecting capital gains taxes would affect farm estates.

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Foundation for Agriculture Awards Ag Literacy Grants

The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture awarded $9,500 in grants to ten communities that are creating new ways to educate the public about agriculture. The end goal of each grant is to help communities with the funding they need to help people of all ages understand agriculture and the important role it plays in their lives. “The Foundation for Agriculture is pleased to highlight these ten communities that are bringing innovative agriculture literacy ideas into the classroom,” says Daniel Meloy, the foundation’s executive director. “The grant program is an exceptional way for educators, volunteers, and other leaders to get started on or expand an ag literacy project.” The criteria for selecting winners included the effectiveness of demonstrating a strong connection between agriculture and education, how successfully the project enhances learner engagement in today’s food, fiber, and fuel systems, as well as the timeliness and processes for accomplishing project goals. The foundation gave grants to recipients in Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, and South Carolina.

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USDA Initiative to Quantify Climate Benefits of CRP

The USDA’s Farm Service Agency announced an initiative to quantify the climate benefits of the Conservation Reserve Program contracts. The multi-year effort will enable USDA to better target CRP toward climate outcomes and improve existing models and conservation planning tools while supporting USDA’s goal of putting American agriculture and forestry at the center of climate-smart solutions to address climate change. “CRP is a powerful tool for implementing voluntary, measurable conservation outcomes to mitigate the impacts of climate change,” says FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux (DOO-sheh-know). “Nearly 21 million acres are currently enrolled in the program that prevents the equivalent of more than 12 million tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.” He also says further quantifying program benefits will allow the agency to better target CRP to achieve continued climate wins across environmentally sensitive lands while strengthening their modeling and conservation planning resources for all producers.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.