Harvest of Help Donations

We at the Franklin County Farm Bureau wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. We pray that your families are healthy and you have enough food on your tables. If you know of someone in need please give them a helping hand and pray for those you know are suffering – either from health issues or loss. Never forget where your blessings come from and thank GOD for everything you have.
We are currently taking donations for our annual Harvest of Help. All monies received go to make purchases of food for the Franklin County Food Pantries. This is a tax deductible donation to the Franklin County Farm Bureau Foundation – you can mail your check to P O Box 457, Benton, IL 62812 or if you need more information please call 435-3616 today.
For those of you who contacted your congressman and senators Oct 27-28 to prevent a drastic $3 billion cut over ten years in the federal crop insurance program: Thank you.  Unfortunately, we might need your help again in the coming days as Congressional negotiators work to finalize details of the deal struck to restore crop insurance cuts that are part of the recently enacted two-year budget agreement.
To make a long story short, we learned last week that two congressional leaders — Democratic House minority leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Harry Reid — now say that they never agreed to the deal.   Despite what Pelosi and Reid say, negotiations are moving in the right direction as Republican and Democratic leaders on the both House and Senate agriculture committees are working with appropriators to find the money to plug the $3 billion budget hole without reopening the farm bill.  The Crop Insurance Coalition, which includes Farm Bureau, is not making any specific recommendations for cuts but continues to make the rounds on Capitol Hill to shore up support for crop insurance in both the House and Senate.
IFB continues to discuss both the importance of crop insurance and our strong opposition to cuts with the Illinois delegation, and we will continue to monitor the situation closely in the coming days.   The week after Thanksgiving could be critical as major policy questions in omnibus are addressed and the countdown begins to the December 11 expiration of federal spending authority.
IFB is asking our House delegation to cosponsor a bill that would eliminate the $3 billion in crop insurance cuts.  So far, Reps. Mike Bost, Rodney Davis, Darin LaHood and John Shimkus have signed on to H.R. 3845, the Crop Insurance Restoration Act.
Not only are we working to see the promised crop insurance budget fix included in the FY16-17 omnibus spending package, two more top IFB priorities — WOTUS and tax extenders — must also be addressed in the spending bill.   IFB is urging a multi-year extension of Section 179 small business expensing and bonus depreciation along with language to either block or defund EPA and Corps’ ability to implement WOTUS through September 30, 2017.
We are fortunate that the Sixth District Court of Appeals put the brakes on WOTUS and that a sizable majority of both the House and Senate have voted overwhelmingly to withdraw and rewrite the rule.  In addition, the Senate voted last month to “disapprove” of WOTUS and the waters rule is high on list of so-called “policy riders” to be included in the spending bill.   The evolving Syrian refugee issue adds further complexity to the high stakes spending bill debate and has given President Obama yet another reason to threaten a veto.
PECANS ARE IN – extra-large pecan halves – $9 for a 16 oz. bag and chocolate covered pecan halves – $8 for 12 oz. Supplies are limited so please call 435-3616 to reserve yours today.
Just a reminder that you can go to our website at fcfbil.org to get local news and all local member discounts anytime. If you have any questions please call the office at 435-3616.
Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.

Gay Bowlin, Manager


PECANS ARE IN – extra-large pecan halves – $9 for a 16 oz. bag and chocolate covered pecan halves – $8 for 12 oz.

We are taking orders for fruit – 4/5 bushel of grapefruit or tangelos – $25 or 2/5 bushel is $15. For a 4/5 bushel of oranges the price is $31 and for a 2/5 bushel of oranges it is $21. The fruit will be here either December 14 or 15. Orders for fruit must be in by November 23rd.

It has been a long fight over the past 18 months, but the dam’s about ready to burst on a regulation that will greatly impact farmers.

Both chambers of Congress are now on record against the EPA’s onerous new “waters of the United States,” or WOTUS rule, which dramatically expands the reach of the federal Clean Water Act regulation across our rural landscape.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate took a rare but necessary action to disapprove of a federal regulation. With encouragement from Farm Bureau members and support from U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, the Senate decided that the WOTUS rule “shall have no force or effect.”

“Writing a rule from behind a desk at the EPA in Washington that makes farmers in Illinois question their right to use their own private property is the very definition of regulatory overreach, and I have consistently opposed this rule,” Sen. Kirk said.

Thank you Sen. Kirk.

And with a strong bipartisan majority, the U.S. House last May passed H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015, which also requires withdrawal of the WOTUS rule. Again, thank you to Congressman Bost for supporting the legislation.
In addition to creating liability on our land, the regulation creates nothing but uncertainty for farmers unsure of where federal control begins and ends on their land.

And that sets up farmers to be targets of agency enforcement actions and citizen lawsuits. We’ve seen this play out before. If this rule cannot be stopped, we are absolutely certain that court decisions will ultimately force us to obtain permits for routine farming practices like applying fertilizer or pesticides.

Fortunately, last month, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a nationwide stay on the regulation. The court concluded that certain aspects of the rule, including a new, broad definition of “tributary,” are at odds with a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Clean Water Act. In addition, the Sixth Circuit wrote that the EPA’s rulemaking process was not only “suspect” but built on shaky scientific evidence. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

The House has acted. The Senate has acted. And now the courts are calling this regulation into question.

That’s why Farm Bureau will continue to work hard with our congressional allies over the next several weeks to pass legislation to either block or — at the very least — defund implementation of WOTUS through the end of this administration.

Our members believe strongly that it’s time to end this regulatory nightmare. It’s time drown EPA’s WOTUS rule.

Just a reminder that you can go to our website at fcfbil.org to get local news and all local member discounts anytime. If you have any questions please call the office at 435-3616.

Remember we are farmers working together. If we can help let us know.