August Clinic Dates- Financial & Estate Planning, Beginning Farmer Programs, Debtor/Creditor Law, Water Rights and Much More…

Farmers and ranchers are invited to attend a FREE clinic.  The clinics are one-on-one, not group sessions, and are confidential.  The Farm Finance clinic gives you a chance to meet with an experienced Ag law attorney and Ag financial counselor.  These clinic staff specialize in legal and financial issues related to farming and ranching, including financial planning, estate and transition planning, farm loan programs, debtor/creditor law, water rights, and other relevant matters.  Here is an opportunity to obtain an experienced outside opinion on issues that may be affecting your farm or ranch.  Bring your questions!

August Clinic Dates and Locations:

North Platte – Thursday, August 10, 2017

Fairbury – Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Lexington – Thursday, August 17, 2017

Norfolk – Thursday, August 24, 2017

Valentine – Friday, September 1, 2017

To register for a FREE clinic or to receive more information about our services, call Michelle and the Rural Response Hotline: 1-800-464-0258.

These clinics are sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and Legal Aid of Nebraska.

Legal Aid of Nebraska      Farm mediation

Double Down on Local, Fresh Produce with the Double Up Food Bucks Program!

The Double Up Food Bucks program is part of a nation-wide initiative to help low-income people using the SNAP benefit to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.

Anyone currently participating the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and holding an EBT card is automatically eligible for the Double Up program.

At a participating grocery store, whenever an eligible person purchases fresh produce, they will earn $1 in Double Up Food Bucks for every dollar spent, up to $20 per day.

At a participating farmer’s market, the eligible person simply swipes their EBT card at the manager’s booth for SNAP tokens, and will earn Double Up Food Bucks at the same time.

These four Lincoln locations are currently participating:
• Old Cheney Road Farmers Market, 55th and Old Cheney Road
• Fallbrook Farmers Market, 570 Fallbrook Blvd
• Community Crops Veggie Van, 2301 O St
• Leon’s Gourmet Grocer, 2200 Winthrop Rd

The current phase of this program will last until May 31, 2018.

 

For more information, please visit: http://food.unl.edu/DoubleUp or www.DoubleUpNebraska.org

Have You Enrolled in ARC/PLC for 2017?

Today the Nebraska FSA Acting State Executive Director Mike Sander issued a statement reminding farmers and ranchers that the deadline for enrollment in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2017 crop year is August 1st, 2017

Agriculture Risk Coverage provides loss coverage at the county level when actual county crop revenue is less than the guarantee.

Price Loss Coverage provides coverage when the effective price of a crop is less than the respective reference price.

A wide range of crops may be covered under these programs, including: barley, corn, oats, rice, soybeans, and wheat.

If you have not yet enrolled, please call or visit your local FSA office. Find your local office at: https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app

 

For more information, please visit: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/arcplc_program/index

New 16-hour Certificate Offered by NCTA

The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture was recently approved for a new undergraduate certificate in agriculture. According to their June 30 press release, the certificate was created for “college students majoring in a non-agricultural disciplines, high school students seeking a dual credit program in agriculture, or working professionals wanting to upgrade their agricultural competence.”

The certificate is administered via online courses, as well as through dual-enrollment with local high schools.

For more information, please visit: http://ncta.unl.edu/news-releases/ncta-16-hour-ag-certificate-approved

Only a Few Days Left to Register for the Census of Agriculture 2017!

If you are a new farmer or rancher, or have not been contacted by National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), then you have until the end of June to register for the Census of Agriculture.

To qualify to be counted in the Census, you only need to have a place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products have been produced and sold, or would have been produced and sold under normal circumstances in a particular year (here 2017).

So, if you are a farmer or rancher, please make sure that you are counted for the Census!

At 177 years old, the Census of Agriculture tells the story of U.S. agriculture. It provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every county in the nation. The data are valuable to those who serve farmers and rural communities, including federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, extension educators, researchers, even farmers and ranchers themselves. Census results help shape farm programs and boost services for communities and the industry. The Census of Agriculture is a farmer or rancher’s voice, future, and opportunity. For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call (800) 727-9540.

 

Source: https://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Newsroom/2017/06_22_2017.php

Ogallala FREE Workshop- FSA Disaster & Loan Programs (including limited liability entities) and The Nebraska Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Program

You are welcome to attend a free workshop on Farm Service Agency livestock disaster programs, direct and guaranteed loan programs, and the Nebraska Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Program. There is no charge for the workshop.

June 29, 2017 at the Petrified Wood Gallery (418 E 1st St, Ogallala) from 1pm-3pm

To register (and for questions) call the Rural Response Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.

The workshop will provide an overview of livestock disaster programs (LFP, LIP and ELAP) administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and an overview of FSA loan programs (both direct and guaranteed operating and ownership loans, including those programs targeted at beginning farmers and ranchers, as well as the micro loan program and the recently expanded farm storage facility loan program). The workshop will also address some of the issues that arise under these programs when farm and ranches use limited liability entities as part of their business and/or succession planning. There will also be discussion of the benefits and requirements of the Nebraska Beginning Farmer Tax Credit program (NextGen), including requirements for use of this program by family members. The workshop should be useful for established farm and ranch owners, for their successors, and for beginners. (This program is also being offered for CLE credits to bar members.)

 Joe Hawbaker, Agricultural Law attorney, with Hawbaker Law Office, Omaha

Amy Swoboda, Food and Farm Attorney with The Beginning Farmer Project of Legal Aid of Nebraska

This workshop is made possible through the Nebraska Network for Beginning Farmers & Ranchers and the Beginning Farmer Project of Legal Aid of Nebraska, under an outreach grant from the Farm Service Agency, USDA. 

New Funding to Help Deal With Erosion

New funding is available to help farmers control erosion from ephemeral gullies.

Recipients of USDA program benefits are required to control erosion on their lands that are determined to be highly erodible. Special funding from the Ephemeral Gully Control Initiative can help farmers fulfill that requirement.

With the adoption of modern equipment and herbicidal weed controls, grassed waterways have been on the decrease, which has led to an increase in erosion and ephemeral gully development. This increased erosion can negatively impact farmers by causing lower crop yields, but can also cause non-compliance with USDA requirements.

For more information, please visit NRCS in your local USDA Service Center and apply by July 21.

 

Source: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/ne/newsroom/releases/?cid=NRCSEPRD1334028

Good Fences Can Make Good Neighbors

 

Welcome Back Readers,

This week, we are bringing you a couple posts for building a fence. (I apologize for the obvious terrible pun).

Under Nebraska law, adjoining property owners each have a responsibility to maintain fences between their respective properties[1]. There is no duty to erect a fence if both property owners decide not to have a fence. Because there is a statutorily imposed duty on each neighbor to maintain their “just proportion” of the fence, there are instances in which one neighbor may bring an action against the other neighbor.

As always, if you have specific legal questions, please seek out an attorney. This blog post is not a replacement for sound legal advice!

  • Building a New Fence:
    • If a landowner wants to erect a fence, and wants contribution from a neighbor, then the landowner must give written notice to the neighbor, requesting that they build half the fence, or pay for half the fence.
      • This notice must be given at some point before the fence is finished[2].
      • If there is no response to the notice, or the neighbor refuses the contribution request, then the landowner may file a fence dispute action in the county court where the land is located, after 7 days, but within one year of the written notice[3].
    • The neighbors, ideally, would then negotiate and agree about the cost and maintenance of the fence. But, if the neighbors negotiate, and are unable to reach an agreement about the equitable division of responsibility for the fence, then either neighbor may file a fence dispute action without the 7 day notice.
    • There is a fence dispute form that is available through the Clerk of the County Court.
    • After filing, the Clerk will also send out notices regarding mediation[4].
      • If both parties agree, the court may send the case to mediation.
        • Should the parties reach an agreement in mediation, the judge shall enter the agreement as its judgment.
      • If the parties do not agree to mediation, or do not reach an agreement in mediation, the case proceeds in County Court.
  • Minimum Requirements for a Fence:
    • Unless the neighbors agree otherwise, a fence shall be a wire fence[5].
      • Wire Fences must have:
        • At least four wires, of at least #9 size.
        • Secured to posts no more than one rod (16.5 ft.) apart, and also secured to a stake or another post in between those posts[6].
      • Any of the wires may be barbed wire. But if using barbed wire, each strand must be at least #12.5 gauge, and the barbs must be no more than 5 inches apart[7].
      • The fence itself must be at least 4.5 ft. tall, with no more than 12 inches in between wire strands[8].

*If another type of fence is desired, such as: rail, board, rail-and-post, pole-and-post, hog-and-sheep-tight, and other fences; the requirements may be found in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 34-115.

We will be back later this week with some tips about maintaining an existing fence.

“Love your neighbor as yourself; but don’t take down the fence.” – Carl Sandburg

 

[1] Neb. Rev. Stat. § 34-102.

[2] Neb. Rev. Stat. § 34-112.02(1).

[3] Neb. Rev. Stat. § 34-112.02(2).

[4] Neb. Rev. Stat. § 34-112.02(4).

[5] Neb. Rev. Stat. § 34-102(2).

[6] Neb. Rev. Stat. § 34-115(5).

[7] Id.

[8] Neb. Rev. Stat. § 34-116.

FSA Disaster and Loan Programs- Grand Island- FREE WORKSHOP

Date- Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Time- 10:00am- noon

Location– Hall County Extension Office, Grand Island

The workshop will cover Farm Service Agency livestock disaster programs, direct and guaranteed loan programs, and NextGen (Nebraska Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Program). It is intended to be useful for established farm and ranch owners, their successors, and for beginners.

To register or for questions, call the Rural Response Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.
Topics include:
  • FSA livestock disaster programs
    • Livestock Forage Program (LFP)
    • Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP)
    • Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP)
  • FSA loan programs
    • both direct and guaranteed operating and ownership loans including those programs targeted at beginning farmers and ranchers\
    • micro loan program
    • the recently expanded farm storage facility loan program
  • Will address some issues that arise under these programs when farm and ranches use limited liability entities as part of their business and/or succession planning
  • Benefits and requirements of NextGen (Nebraska Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Program), including requirements for use by family members.
Presenters
  • Joe Hawbaker, Agricultural Law Attorney, Hawbaker Law Office, Omaha
  • Amy Swoboda, Food & Farm Attorney, Beginning Farmer Project, Legal Aid of Nebraska
These workshops are made possible through the Nebraska Network for Beginning Farmers & Ranchers and the Beginning Farmer Project of Legal Aid of Nebraska under an outreach grant from the Farm Service Agency, USDA.

March Clinic Dates

Farmers and ranchers are invited to attend a FREE clinic.  The clinics are one-on-one, not group sessions, and are confidential.  The Farm Finance clinic gives you a chance to meet with an experienced Ag law attorney and Ag financial counselor.  These clinic staff specialize in legal and financial issues related to farming and ranching, including financial planning, estate and transition planning, farm loan programs, debtor/creditor law, water rights, and other relevant matters.  Here is an opportunity to obtain an experienced outside opinion on issues that may be affecting your farm or ranch.  Bring your questions!

These FREE farm and ranch clinics are being held in:

March Clinics:

Norfolk clinic – Friday, March 3rd

Norfolk clinic – Thursday, March 16th

Fairbury clinic – Monday, March 27th

To sign up for a clinic or for more information, call Michelle at the Nebraska Farm Hotline:  1-800-464-0258.

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture and Legal Aid of Nebraska sponsor the farm finance clinics.

Farm mediation                  Legal Aid of Nebraska