MFBF Hosts Summer Commodity Conference
The Mississippi Farm Bureau Fed-eration 2021 Summer Commodity Conference will be held July 21-22 in Jackson, Mississippi.
On July 21, MFBF President Mike McCormick will host a reception for conference participants at 5:30 p.m. at the MFBF building, 6311 Ridgewood Road, Jackson. The conference will be held July 22 at the Mississippi Trade Mart Center on the Mississippi State Fairgrounds, 1200 Mississippi Street, Jackson. Registration begins at 9 a.m., and the meeting begins at 10 a.m.
Speakers during the general session and major segment tracks include:
• Dr. Harry Vroomen, vice president of economic services, The Fertilizer Institute.
• Tanner Ehmke, lead economist, Knowledge Exchange Division, CoBank ACB.
• Andrew Walmsley, director of congressional affairs, American Farm Bureau Federation.
Lunch will be provided at the conclusion of the major segment tracks. Individual commodity breakout sessions will follow. To register, go to https://bit.ly/35gjrwK. For more information, contact your Farm Bureau regional manager.
Online Program For New Landowners, Ag Operations
The Generation Next: Our Turn to Ranch online course is open for registration. The 12-week program, offered by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, runs from Aug. 16- Nov. 7.
The program cost is $300, and it is limited to the first 100 registrants. Participants should register as soon as possible at http://bit.ly/OurTurntoRanch.
Dr. Megan Clayton, AgriLife Extension range specialist, Corpus Christi, says the program targets new landowners, those who are inheriting land or those who are looking to start a new agricultural operation on an existing ranch.
The online school allows participants to work toward developing a business plan with support from professionals who specialize in each field and topic. It will address everything from tax implications and insurance needs to developing grazing or wildlife leases.
Attendees will hear from experts who will cover land management techniques and resources, alternative ranching, ecotourism opportunities and direct marketing. Clayton says participants should plan to spend about two hours per week on the lesson and activities.
Past participants have said the course is easy to follow and the presentations were informative and professional. Many people who have taken the course say they have received so much information beneficial to running a ranch, including “a lot they didn’t even know they should know.”
For more information, contact Clayton at 361-265-9203.
National Coalition Presses For Water Supply Infrastructure
Citing an “acute and critical need” magnified by another all-too-familiar drought, a national coalition representing thousands of Western farmers, ranchers, water providers, businesses and communities recently urged Senate leaders to take action on the shortcomings of aging water infrastructure.
In a letter to Chairman Joe Manchin and Ranking Member John Barrasso of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the coalition said federal investment in a diversified water management portfolio that serves a broad range of water uses must be included as essential infrastructure in the next legislative package.
The coalition includes more than 220 organizations from 15 states that collectively represent $120 billion in agricultural production — nearly one-third of all agricultural production in the country — and many of the local and regional public water agencies that supply water to more than 75 million urban, suburban and rural residents.
The coalition warned that changing hydrological conditions and an expanding population in the West raise concerns about the future viability of the nation’s water infrastructure. To keep water flowing to farms, ranches, cities and the environment, the coalition said substantial federal investment is needed to bolster deteriorating storage and conveyance facilities and build new ones.
As part of a comprehensive water management portfolio, the coalition identified:
• More than $13 billion in Bureau of Reclamation water infrastructure needs over the next 10 years, including storage and conveyance, dam safety, rural water, water-smart technologies, and water recycling and reuse projects.
• $34 billion for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to undertake forest restoration, watershed protection and flood prevention projects.
• $1.75 billion for Army Corps of Engineers water storage projects and environmental infrastructure.
The coalition concluded the letter with a call for Congress to streamline regulation and permitting processes, along with other reforms, to ensure the timely construction of federal water projects as part of President Biden’s jobs and economic recovery plan.