THE NEBRASKA DEMOCRATIC PARTY’S RURAL CAUCUS WILL WORK TOWARD:
1. PROPERTY TAX RELIEF: Agricultural land should be taxed on the basis of its annual ability to earn income and not on the basis of fluctuating market values for land.
2. OPEN MARKETS: Competition must be restored in the markets to buy seed, fertilizer and supplies and to sell crops and livestock. Vertical integration hurts local markets. Country-of-origin labeling puts control back in the hands of producers.
3. LOCAL FOOD: Producers should have the right to sell to local retail markets, including hospitals and schools. Community gardens and farmers markets should be encouraged.
4. LEVEL PLAYING FIELDS: Subsidies should be paid only to actual family farmers and ranchers. Too many subsidies and incentives are handed out to non-Nebraska corporations, off farm managers and packing houses.
5. PROPERTY RIGHTS AND LOCAL CONTROL: We must end foreign corporate ownership of farm and ranch land and protect local rights to control the use of land. Energy development in particular must have clear siting, setback and decommissioning regulations that do not abuse eminent domain for private gain.
6. TECHNOLOGY: Producers must be full partners in developing technologies in the hemp industry, biofuels, LED greenhouses, water sensors and onsite solar and wind power applications. Installing broadband is long overdue and our local public power boards, who brought electricity to rural Nebraska, can lead the way again.
7. RIGHT TO REPAIR: Producers should have the right to fix their own equipment. #NEBDEMSNebraskaDemocrats.org
THE NEBRASKA DEMOCRATIC PARTY’S RURAL CAUCUS ALSO BELIEVES IN A STRONG, PROSPEROUS, NEW FUTURE FOR OUR RURAL COMMUNITIES AND WILL WORK TOWARD:
1. ECONOMIC REVIVAL: Low- and no-interest loans should expand small business, provide for the rebuilding of needed infrastructure and renew retail shopping districts. Private-public partnerships should lead the way.
2. HOUSING: The existing housing stock should be updated. And affordable housing should be expanded, particularly for seniors and young people.
3. COMMUNITY SCHOOLS: Local schools must be preserved as the bedrock of local community life.
4. LOCAL HEALTH CARE: Hospitals, community clinics, nursing homes and mental health facilities must remain reasonably nearby for everyone. Transportation to long distance care and long-term facilities must be readily available.
5. DEFEND SMALL: Big corporations and big box stores are putting small businesses out of business on our Main Streets. Economic incentives to help local enterprises are needed to stop corporate overreach.
There seems to be a story everyday about our Farmers & Ranchers. Generally the stories are not good. According to the Omaha World Herald and an American Farm Bureau Federation Report, "Farm bankruptcies are on the rise in Nebraska and Iowa in the wake of catastrophic weather events and rocky trade environment." In fact there are 24% more bankruptcies this year than last. Nebraska and Iowa producers also say they’ve struggled with the administration’s generous granting of waivers to federal ethanol requirements, which has helped push down grain prices. $5 corn and $13 beans are now $3.73 corn and $7.50 soybeans at local elevator. Bloomberg reports commodity prices 11/10 of $3.77 corn and $9.31 for soybeans. This represents a 25.4% decline in corn and 28.4% decline in soybeans prices.
While grain prices are down, Farmers & Rancher suicides are up. According the Washington Post, "A 2017 study found that farm owners and workers were three to five times as likely to kill themselves on the job compared with other occupations. Calls to suicide hotlines around farm country have risen, prompting new federal and state programs targeting farmers’ mental health, including support groups, public awareness campaigns and funding for counseling.
53% of Farmers & Ranchers say this is their hardest year ever.
Where we can't do anything about the weather, we CAN do something about our support for our Nebraska Farmers & Ranchers. The tariffs must be re-examined. Support must be increased, not with handouts, but with legislation that is efficient and effective.
The Chris Janicek For U.S. Senate campaign supports the Nebraska Democratic Party's Rural Caucus and the Rural Nebraska Bill of Rights.