Tag Archives: Ranching

MANHATTAN, Kan – Kansas’s number of farms and ranches increased during 2018, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The number of farms and ranches in the State, at 58,900, was up 300 farms from 2017.

Numbers of farms and ranches in Kansas with less than $100,000 in agricultural sales increased 200 farms from a year earlier while operations with more than $100,000 in agricultural sales increased 100 farms.

Land in farms and ranches in Kansas totaled 45.8 million acres, unchanged from 2017. The average size of operation, at 778 acres, was down 4 acres from a year earlier.

Nebraska’s number of farms and ranches declined during 2018, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The number of farms and ranches in the State, at 45,900, was down 400 farms from 2017. Numbers of farms and ranches in Nebraska with less than $100,000 in agricultural sales decreased 200 farms from a year earlier while operations with more than $100,000 in agricultural sales decreased 200 farms.

Land in farms and ranches in Nebraska totaled 45.0 million acres, unchanged from 2017. The average size of operation, at 980 acres, was up 8 acres from a year earlier.

Access the National publication for this release at:

Find agricultural statistics for your county, State, and the Nation at www.nass.usda.gov

Nebraska Extension and 4-H in Southwest Nebraska is reaching out to our communities to participate in the 4-H’ers Helping 4-H’ers program. The bomb cyclone that created devastating flood and blizzard conditions across much of Nebraska is a month behind us however, the reality of it continues for many families as they work to rebuild what they lost. These events has impacted the lives of many 4-H’ers and we are asking residents and businesses from Arthur, Chase, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Hayes, Hitchcock, Lincoln, Keith, Perkins and Red Willow counties to help us reach the goal of helping 100 4-H’ers with disaster relief. When a 4-H member is in need, we want them to know that Southwest Nebraska cares.

The Nebraska 4-H Foundation is the sponsor of the 4-H’ers Helping 4-H’ers program. It is devoted to helping 4-H members and their families in times of need through generous donations. When disaster strikes, no matter how large or small, 4-H’ers Helping 4-H’ers will be there to help! The Foundation seeks contributions year round to be used to help 4-H’ers and families for major disasters such as flood, tornado, blizzard, loss of home due to fire, or serious illness.

This program is being used by 4-H’ers and families whose life has been impacted by the recent floods and blizzards in Nebraska. A committee meets weekly to award funds to those that have applied to this program and qualify.

4-H’ers Helping 4-H’ers funds are available to any Nebraska 4-H family, who has been impacted by a disaster and has been recommended for support by a 4-H parent or guardian, 4-H volunteer, or 4-H alumni. Grants are limited to $100 for an individual and $500 for a family. There is no deadline to apply to atne4hfoundation.org/

Donations may be dropped off or mailed to your local Nebraska Extension Office or given directly through the Nebraska 4-H Foundation at ne4hfoundation.org100% of donations will go help 4H’ers and 4-H families.

Contact your local Nebraska Extension office if you have questions.

The Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund is providing financial assistance on a statewide basis to needy or distressed cattle producers in Nebraska impacted by Winter Storm Ulmer/Bomb Cyclone.

Eligible applicants under the Fund include any cattle producer with an operation located in a county or tribal area falling under an emergency or disaster declaration made by the Nebraska Governor or Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). Moreover, applicants must demonstrate genuine need or distress as a result of the disaster by providing relevant asset information and certifying their assets are not sufficient or adequate to rebuild from the damage suffered.


Membership in Nebraska Cattlemen is NOT required for an applicant to receive relief.


Submitted applications must be fully completed and have all required eligible expense documentation attached or enclosed to be considered. Applicants may submit documentation and requests for reimbursement for cattle production expenses not paid for by insurance or other governmental sources, including but not limited to costs for rebuilding and recovery for lost fencing and pens, feed, livestock/carcass removal or other necessary cattle production costs directly related to rebuilding from the winter storm.   Documentation can include copies of receipts for purchases of supplies, invoices for repairs, photos of damage, etc.


Applicant must demonstrate that expenses/losses incurred were related to cattle production and directly caused by recent storms and flooding as the result of Winter Storm Ulmer/Bomb Cyclone in the State of Nebraska.


Submitted applications will be reviewed individually by a committee selected by the Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund Board of Directors. Eligibility for financial assistance will be determined on a case-by-case basis with the goal of distributing relief so as to maximize the Fund’s charitable impact to support cattle producers in Nebraska. The total amount that each applicant will be eligible to receive will be determined after the application period ends in accordance with the above stated impact goal. The review committee has the right to reject any and all applications for any reason.


Applications must be completed and have all required documentation to be considered.
Applications for relief must be postmarked by May 31, 2019. No application will be considered if postmarked after that date.


Completed applications must be mailed to 4611 Cattle Drive, Lincoln, NE 68521 or scanned and e-mailed to disasterrelief@necattlemen.org.

Lincoln, NE.  The Nebraska Farmers Union Board of Directors met April 13th for their spring board meeting.  They spent a good deal of time reviewing bills before the legislature. Their list of legislative positions is below.


Strong Support


  1. Property tax reform and relief.NeFU reaffirmed their strong support for the efforts of Nebraskans United Coalition to broaden the sales tax base, eliminate income tax exemptions, and more fairly fund K-12 education.  Efforts to undo the one billion shift from state income and sales tax based education funding to property taxes over the last 25 years must be addressed this session.  There must be immediate and substantial property tax relief.

  1. Take full advantage of the 2018 Farm Bill’s decriminalization of industrial hemp.The board reaffirmed their longstanding support for Senator Lathrop’s LB457 that removes industrial hemp from the scheduled drug list and Senator Wayne’s LB657 that authorizes 2019 hemp production under the rules and regulations still in place under the 2014 Farm Bill, and authorizes the development of state rules and regulations that accommodate the USDA guidelines that will authorize production under the 2018 Farm Bill. They welcome the prospect of adding a new profitable crop as an option for farmers to consider.

  1. Expansion of Cottage Foods. The board reaffirmed their support for Senator Crawford’s LB304 that expands the opportunity for people to sell non-potentially hazardous “cottage foods” already allowed at farmers markets from their homes or at certain events.  Many of these cooks are farm women.

Strong Opposition


  1. Efforts to radically change Right to Farm protections. The NeFU board took strong opposition to Senator Hughes LB227 that undermines Nebraska’s Right to Farm’s traditional protections for agricultural activities and neighbors.  It would provide carte blanche nuisance exemptions for one neighbor who dramatically changes or expands their operation at the expense of their neighbors, most of whom are also farmers. The clear intent of this bill is to proactively provide nuisance exemptions for Costco poultry growers and other mega CAFO livestock operations. Everyone in rural Nebraska should use good neighbor practices and be responsible for the well-being of their neighbors. LB227 picks one winner at the expense of all their next door neighbors who will be the losers.

  1. Efforts to undermine Nebraska wind development.  The NeFU board strongly opposes Senator Brewer’s LB155 and LB373 and Senator Bostelman’s LB700.  All these bills are unnecessary, and intended to discourage wind development in Nebraska. Wind development has brought $3 billion of new capital investment and tax base and millions of dollars additional income landowners and local and state taxes.  These bills are intended to yank the Nebraska “Welcome Mat” for clean burning renewable energy that uses no water, emits no carbon, and uses only willing buyer/willing seller landowner easements. Only willing landowners have wind turbines on their land.

Farmers appears set for a familiar weather event this week as forecasters say another bomb cyclone, or similar event, will hit parts of the Great Plains and Midwest.

Numerous weather forecasters now say models are showing one to two feet of snow, if not more, in the northern reaches of the Missouri River basin, the same area that flooded in March from a bomb cyclone event. The storm this week overlaps areas hit last month, but the bulk of the predicted heavy snowfall is expected further north, into South Dakota and Minnesota.

The so-called cyclone, which presents a unique shape clearly defined on weather maps, is expected to form Wednesday afternoon. The storm creates a swirling air pattern and includes conditions that allow for significant precipitation. However, forecasters say round two should not be as disastrous as the first bomb cyclone in March, as spring seasonal conditions are limiting the potential for storm. Still, the storm signals more flooding along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.

The National Weather Service last month predicted flooding to last into July.

As far as first jobs go, opening gates on my grandparents’ ranch was the best I could ever imagine. I don’t remember how old I was when I started helping. I do know it led to my first experience with the majestic plural.

“We’ll get this gate,” my grandfather would say with a chuckle as we approached the pasture. “We” of course meant me. The worse the weather, the harder he’d laugh. Being the gate-getter led to many other “we” jobs. Post-hole digger, wire stretcher and thistle cutter were some. The list of less than glamorous tasks stretches to the horizon.

My favorite job was mowing hay because I could sit in the comfort of an air-conditioned cab, provided I didn’t break a section on the sickle bar. The same was true for running the baler, but fixing a twisted belt took more time and was far itchier than swapping out a broken section.

One assignment that really made my heart thump was hauling hay out of a bottomland meadow. The trip to involved getting the truck, trailer and its 12,000-pound load up a steep hill with a blind curve.

The first trip was the most daunting, but my grandfather did offer some advice: “You want to go fast enough you make it to the top, but not so fast you lose control of the load. Do that and we’ll be fine.”

He stayed in the field and watched as I gripped the wheel with white knuckles and motored down the road. I made it to the top with momentum to spare and the load intact.

That was the summer after my freshman year at Kansas State University, my last on the ranch. After that I was a city dweller. I got a degree in journalism, fell in love with the Flint Hills and bounced around various newspapers in the area for a little over a decade.

When my title changed from reporter to editor, I began using the royal “we” with reporters. I couldn’t utter it without thinking of my grandfather and the ranch.

I’m sure I’ve romanticized much of the work. Some was tedious, most was hard. Harder than sitting in an office looking at a computer screen. But I’d often thought about getting closer to my rural heritage. Then the opportunity at Kansas Farm Bureau came up, and now they’re stuck with me. Don’t worry, we’ll be OK.

And my grandfather wasn’t above using the majestic plural to help me avoid embarrassment. The best example is when he helped avert a catastrophe of my own making.

I was probably 5 or 6 when it happened. I had followed him out to the shed to see a baby calf. While he was busy with the calf, I rolled the gate that separated the tack room from the pen off its track. I could tell something was wrong, but I didn’t know how to right the gate. Just as I started to panic that I’d done serious damage, my grandfather came to my rescue.

“We’ll fix this,” he said as he hoisted the gate into place.

LINCOLN, NEB. – The Nebraska Farm Bureau has launched relief efforts to aid Nebraska farmers, ranchers, and rural communities suffering from the natural disasters that have impacted the state. The relief efforts include the establishment of a disaster relief fund and launch of an online agriculture disaster exchange portal to connect those in need with those who can help.

“Nebraska is a special place with special people. Many of our friends and neighbors across the state are suffering. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost or are missing loved ones, and to all those who have been impacted by the recent blizzard and massive flooding events,” said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president. “We want to do what we can to help. We believe our relief fund and information exchange can be of assistance.”

Money donated to the Disaster Relief Fund will be targeted to aid Nebraska farmers, ranchers, and rural communities affected by recent storms and flooding. Priority will be given to efforts to restore health and safety in rural communities and to farm and ranch households that have been damaged or displaced by the natural disaster.

“The fund’s targeted recipients are farm and ranch families and rural communities in the disaster areas who have immediate needs as a result of the natural disaster, those who cannot get assistance from other sources, those who will have to wait until they receive other assistance, and those who have losses not covered by insurance,” said Nelson.

To aid farmers and ranchers in recovery, the Nebraska Farm Bureau has also opened the Agriculture Disaster Exchange portal. The online portal housed on the Nebraska Farm Bureau website allows members to share information, providing a place for those in need to make requests for assistance and for those looking to help, to offer it.

“The Agriculture Disaster Exchange operates like an online ‘want ad’ page. If a member has extra hay to sell or donate to a livestock producer in need, they can post it there. If a member needs help or equipment to remove debris after flooding, they can post that type of request as well. Those are just examples of how the exchange can be used by our members. The goal is to provide an online clearinghouse so members can interact and help each other during tough times,” said Nelson.

To donate or apply for aid from the Disaster Relief Fund, utilize the Agriculture Disaster Exchange portal, or access other disaster assistance resources, visit www.nefb.org/disaster.

Donations will be made to a fund established in the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit. Any donations made to the fund are tax-deductible.