Tag Archives: Nebraska Farmers Union

In Farm Country, Grappling With the Taboo of Talking about Climate Change

By Bryce Oates, Climate, Rural Environment and Agriculture Project, Civil Eats

Despite the heated political rhetoric on both sides of the issue, the realities of the changing climate are driving farmers of all stripes to take action . . . [The] evidence that agriculture is a major contributor to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere—as well the role farm practices can play in both mitigating and helping farmers adapt to climate change—has only mounted. And while some advocates are working to bring the conversation to the fore among rural communities, others are more focused on supporting farmers to change their practices and build healthy soil, regardless of what language they use. Read the entire article here.

iStock Photo: Farmer surveying drought conditions.

LINKS TO MORE INFORMATION

  • USDA Climate Hubs
    Our new national and regional websites are designed to ensure that stakeholders from around the Nation can quickly and easily find the information they need to manage climate change risks and ensure the resilience of their production systems.
  • Northern Plains Climate Hub
    The Northern Plains Climate Hub, which serves Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota, delivers science-based knowledge, practical information, management & conservation strategies, and decision tools to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners with the goal of helping them adapt to weather variability and changing climatic conditions.
  • National Farmers Union’s Climate Column
  • Nebraska Farmers Union
    Nebraska Farmers Union members approved five top priorities for 2018 at their last state convention. These Special Orders of Business include: Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and Net Metering: The members of the Nebraska Farmers Union support an increase of the maximum guaranteed access level for net-metering from 25 kilowatts to 100 kilowatts.  Secondly, the members support changing and updating current state law to allow single owners the option of aggregating their multiple meters for the purpose of net metering.
  • The Nebraska State Climate Office (NSCO) is an organization dedicated to delivering science-based climate services at the local and state level. NSCO’s focus is on weather and climate monitoring, climate services, and stakeholder engagement. NSCO’s office includes operation of the Nebraska Mesonet, a state-wide weather observation network with nearly 70 locations across Nebraska that assess local conditions.

NSCO’s Links to More Information

ADDITIONAL PUBLICATIONS OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

FEATURED YOUTH CLIMATE ACTION: OUR CHILDREN’S TRUST
Our Children’s Trust elevates the voice of youth to secure the legal right to a stable climate and healthy atmosphere for the benefit of all present and future generations. Through our programs, youth participate in advocacy, public education and civic engagement to ensure the viability of all natural systems in accordance with science. 

Our mission is to protect earth’s atmosphere and natural systems for present and future generations. We lead a game-changing legal campaign seeking systemic, science-based emissions reductions and climate recovery policy at all levels of government. We give young people, those with most at stake in the climate crisis, a voice to favorably impact their futures.

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RECOMMENDED BOOK

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming
By Paul Hawken  (Editor), Tom Steyer (Foreword)

The 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming, based on meticulous
research by leading scientists and policymakers around the world.

Nebraska Farmers Union’s Five Special Orders of Business for 2018 Include Net Metering & Renewable Fuels Standard

Nebraska Farmers Union members approved five top priorities for 2018 at their recent state convention. These Special Orders of Business are:

#1: Special Order of Business on the Farm Bill and Prolonged Farm Crisis
#2: Special Order of Business on Property Tax Relief
#3: Special Order of Business Supporting the Use of a Private Public Partnership
#4: Special Order of Business on Net Metering
The members of the Nebraska Farmers Union support an increase of the maximum guaranteed access level for net-metering from 25 kilowatts to 100 kilowatts.  Secondly, the members support  changing and updating current state law to allow single owners the option of aggregating their multiple meters for the purpose of net metering.
#5: Special Order of Business on Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS)

Click here for complete details about all five NeFU top priorities for 2018.

Nebraska Farmers Union State Convention: Property taxes, renewable energy top agenda

By Robert Pore, The Grand Island Independent

State tax reform and renewable energy are topics this weekend for the 104th Nebraska Farmers Union State Convention at the Hotel Grand in Grand Island. “Harnessing the Power of Cooperation Since 1913” is the convention’s theme . . . [Nebraska Farmers Union President John] Hansen said wind energy and ethanol are value-added, renewable energy-based opportunities. They use natural resources and agricultural commodities available or grown in Nebraska. The state has more than a $7 billion investment in ethanol and wind energy resources. “It is not the total answer, but it is a big deal,” Hansen said. “It is a tremendous opportunity that stares us in the face in a time of great financial need.” He said the continued economic crisis is driving families off farms and ranches. It is also causing rural communities to lose population. Read more here.

Click here for conference details.

Nebraska Farmers Union brings 8 members to Washington to represent family farmers and ranchers

High Plains / Midwest Ag Journal

Nebraska Farmers Union President John Hansen announced that eight NeFU members will participate in the National Farmers Union Fly-In scheduled for Sept. 10 to 13 joining nearly 300 other Farmers Union members from across the country. Hansen said this year is particularly important because this is the fourth year in a row of below cost of production ag commodity prices . . . This year, the Fly-In will focus on the need to strengthen the farm safety net in the next farm bill; support homegrown renewable energy development; and ensure family farmers and ranchers have access to affordable and quality health care.

Read more here, including the names of all eight Nebraska representatives in this year’s National Farmers Union Fall Fly-In.

GC Resolve flourished from its founder’s roots

 By John Liesveld, Fremont Tribune

GCResolve

Graham Christensen grew up immersed in values of public service, integrity, education and all the responsibilities that come from work on a family farm. His family farm, established in 1867 under the Homestead Act, operates on about 800 acres in his hometown of Oakland, just north of Fremont.

Christensen also grew up in the era of the 1980s farm crisis, where he learned the value of hard work. He came to understand that when a person runs up against difficult times, maintaining the ability to speak out for what you believe imparts great purpose and impact on individuals’ own circumstances, as well as on the surrounding community. Read more here.

Photo: Courtesy GC Resolve. Graham Christensen, founder and owner of GC Resolve, is working on a solar project for a Nebraska family farm.  

Nebraska’s Clean Energy Future

By Kietryn Zychal, The Reader

Graham“There is a large and united coalition growing in Nebraska. It started with the pipeline and it is moving into clean energy,” said Graham Christensen, Director of the Nebraska Farmers Union, and member of a new coalition called Clean Energy Nebraska. “There are a lot of people working hand in hand. There is no going backward,” he said. The Farmer’s Union, the Nebraska Wildlife Federation, The Nebraska Sierra Club and The Center for Rural Affairs are members. Each organization appeals to a different audience. Continue reading.

Clean Energy Nebraska’s Website: www.cleanenergynebraska.org
Photo: Graham Christensen, District Director of the Nebraska Farmers Union, Owner of GC Resolve LLC

Forum speakers tout benefits of renewable energy

Art Tanderup discusses the solar panels he uses to generate electricity at his Neligh-area farm during a renewable energy forum Thursday night in Norfolk. Since January, the panels have supplied 82.5 percent of the energy he’s used, which decreased his energy bill by 66 percent compared to the same time frame in 2014.

By Christina Lieffring, Columbus Telegram  

NORFOLK – The Nebraska Farmers Union organized a forum Thursday evening at Northeast Community College’s Lifelong Learning Center, where presenters discussed renewable energy’s impact on the economy, climate change and faith.

NECC’s dean of applied technology, Lyle Kathol, first presented on the opportunities for students and professionals with the development of wind energy in Nebraska. NECC offers the state’s only wind energy technology associate degree, a two-year program that trains students to work in construction or repair of wind turbines.

Read more here.

Available grant funding & incentives for renewable energy projects:

  • A USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant, if awarded, would cover 25% of the project.
  • Federal Tax Credit of 30% for qualified installations
  • Accelerated depreciation for businesses
  • Self-Employment Tax Credit

An energy revolution: Stringent emission rules are changing the way energy is delivered, favoring renewables, natural gas over coal

by Russell Hubbard, Omaha World-Herald

Warm rooms in winter, cool ones in summer, humming factories and well-lit offices.

In a nation such as the United States, it is easy to take such workaday energy matters for granted.

But the way it is done is all changing. The energy generation system that underlies the wealthiest nation in world history is undergoing the biggest transformation since the dawn of the steam age.

“We are at a historical point of change,” said Michael Shonka, vice president of the Nebraska Solar Energy Society. “People generally aren’t aware of history happening until it is over, and then they say, ‘Wait, that was a revolution.'”

To continue reading, click this link.

Thank you to everyone who supported our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign!

Nebraskans for Solar and Habitat for Humanity of Omaha would like to thank everyone who contributed to our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, “Solar Power for Habitat for Humanity Families.”

Over 100 donors supported the campaign, including:

Bank of the West $2,500
Bold Nebraska $1,000
An anonymous contribution from a California couple $500
43 contributions from 2014 Earth Day events $725
67 donations on our Indiegogo campaign site $10, 885

100% of these funds will be used to solar power two Habitat for Humanity houses, one in the Benson neighborhood and another one in South Omaha. Nebraskans for Solar and Habitat for Humanity of Omaha are continuing to raise funds to solar power three additional houses in 2014.

These families will be able to reduce their monthly energy costs by harnessing power from the sun for the next 20 to 25 years!

The money they save can be spent on food, healthcare, education, and other needs, benefiting their families and communities for a very long time.

Each solar hot water system is compact but powerful, generating about the same amount of energy per day as a 3-kilowatt solar electric system, or twelve 250-watt solar panels.

As we stated throughout our Indiegogo campaign, these gifts will pay our contributors back, greening our community and raising awareness about solar energy and how it benefits people and the environment.

As soon as all five houses are built or rehabilitated and the solar systems installed, each of our donors will receive an invitation to a solar tour and presentation.

We also wish to thank our supporting organizations for their help in spreading the word about our campaign to people who want more renewable energy in our communities:

Bold Nebraska, Community Power Network, Green Bellevue, Green Omaha Coalition, Institute for Local Self Reliance, Nebraska 350.Org, Nebraska Farmers Union, Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light, Nebraska Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, Sustainability Leadership Institute, and Transition U.S.

Helen Deffenbacher, Fundraising/Grants Director, Nebraskans for Solar hdeffenbacher@cox.net

Kathy Katt, Senior Director of Development and Marketing, Habitat for Humanity of Omaha kkatt@habitatomaha.org