The Nebraska Farm Bureau’s 100th Annual Meeting and Convention, Dec. 3-5 at the Younes Conference Center, in Kearney. Nearly 500 farmers and ranchers from across the state will gather for leadership development and discussion of key food and farm issues.
*News Conference* - Monday Dec. 4 – 1:30 p.m.
Impact of NAFTA on Nebraska Agriculture – Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president and Jay Rempe, Nebraska Farm Bureau senior economist will release a new report detailing the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on Nebraska agriculture.
Story Ideas/Agricultural Issues
Tax Reform and Agriculture – Property taxes have become one of the highest costs and greatest expenses associated with farming and ranching in Nebraska. Tax reform is one of Farm Bureau’s top issues and will be a key issue in the 2018 legislative session. At the federal level, Congress is attempting to pass the first significant tax reform legislation in more than 30 years. This will also have a tremendous impact on Nebraska farmers and ranchers.
State of the Farm Economy – The agriculture economy continues to slow, impacting Nebraska farm and ranch families, rural communities, and the state’s broader economy. How is the slow down affecting farmers purchasing decisions and how is that impacting Nebraska’s overall economy?
Biotechnology – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is continuing to finalize the GMO labeling rules enacted by Congress in 2016. How will this affect Nebraska farmers and ranchers?
2018 Farm Bill – Discussions are already underway about the next Farm Bill. What are farmers and ranchers looking for in the next round of agriculture programs and why is the Farm Bill important to Nebraskans, including those who don’t live or work on the farm?
Trade – International trade continues to be a hot topic in Washington, D.C. Why are farmers and ranchers concerned about the future of NAFTA, as well as trade with China, Japan, and South Korea?
Monday, Dec. 4 – Leadership Development
Dr. Lowell Catlett, futurist – When Farmers Rule the World
The mechanical and chemical revolutions in agriculture are being dwarfed by the information age. Yet all three of these eras now are reaching critical mass whereby singularity is rapidly approaching—the age when the possibilities in agriculture are infinite—when the value of the information exceeds the value of the products produced. It puts those involved with agriculture at the forefront of the most important changes in recorded history. (Dr. Catlett will deliver the keynote address at 9:30 a.m. in Diamond 4,5,9,10)
Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president – The State of Nebraska Agriculture
What are the key issues facing Nebraska farm and ranch families? How is Farm Bureau making life better for members and strengthening Nebraska? Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve
Nelson will address those issues and more in his annual State of Agriculture address. (Nelson will deliver his State of Agriculture address at 12:00 p.m. during the lunch function in Crystal 1-3)
Andrew Walmsley, director of congressional relations, American Farm Bureau; Jordan Dux, director of national affairs, Nebraska Farm Bureau – What Farmers and Ranchers Can Expect from Washington, D.C. in 2018
Walmsley and Dux will lead a workshop providing individuals with a look at Congress’ agenda for 2018 including tax code reform, biotechnology, and the 2018 Farm Bill. (Walmsley and Dux will lead workshops running from 1:00 - 2:15 p.m. and then again from 2:30 - 3:45 p.m. in Diamond 3)
Terry Harrington, president of BASE – Strategies to Help You Save on Health Insurance and Medical Expenses in 2018
Healthcare is spiraling out of control. BASE is a company that provides tax-advantaged plans and compliance services to expand employees benefit plan strategies. Participants will learn how BASE can assist with managing health care costs. (Harrington will lead workshops running from 1:00 - 2:15 p.m. and then again from 2:30 - 3:45 p.m. in Diamond 2)
Amber Pankonin, registered dietitian and agriculture communications consultant – Fighting Myths with Facts. A Healthy Conversation About Food and Agriculture
Participants will understand that the number one driver of food choice is taste. Amber Pankonin, a registered dietitian, will share tips on how to fight food myths with facts and stories about agriculture. (Pankonin will lead workshops running from 1:00 - 2:15 p.m. and then again from 2:30 - 3:45 p.m. in Diamond 6)
The Growers Gala – Mapping our Success - Megahn Schafer, executive director, Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation
The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the number of Nebraskans who understand and value agriculture as a source of food, fuel, and economic vitality in our state. (Please contact NEFB staff to arrange interviews with Schafer on Foundation programming and activities)
Tuesday, Dec. 5 – Farm and Food Issues
Voting Delegate Session
The agriculture policy development portion of the annual meeting provides farmers and ranchers from across the state the opportunity to discuss and debate agriculture issues and determine Nebraska Farm Bureau’s positions on agriculture issues for the coming year.
(General Session will run from 8:30 - 11:30 a.m. and then will resume from 1 - 4:30 p.m. in Diamond 4,5,9,10 – Nebraska Farm Bureau staff can aid in identifying farmers and ranchers to discuss key issues affecting farmers and ranchers)
We Love Our Members Lunch – Young Farmers and Ranchers Awards Announced
- Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award Winner
- Excellence in Agriculture Winner
- Discussion Meet Winner
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts
Ricketts will provide remarks to Dec. 5 lunch attendees.
Banquet – Silver Eagle Award Announced
Merlyn Carlson, Former Nebraska Agriculture Director
(Carlson will receive Nebraska Farm Bureau’s highest honor, the Silver Eagle Award during the annual banquet at 6:00 p.m. in Crystal 1-3)