July 5, 2024

Newsletter for July 5, 2024

This Issue:

  • U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Celebrated As Major Win
  • OSHA Has Announced A Proposal For Heat Standards
  • USDA Milk Marketing Announcement Draws Farm Bureau Partial Favor
  • BLM Pancake Complex Wild Horse Herd Management Plan Available For Comment
  • July 26th Workshop Set For Regenerative Ag – Resiliency For The Future
Nevada Farm Bureau Website

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Celebrated As Major Win

When our last issue of this newsletter came out (June 28th) we were not able to share the news that the U.S. Supreme Court had delivered a major decision, over-turning their past Chevron deference rule.  The 6-3 decision was released on June 28 and was applauded by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) who also participated in the cases leading up to the decision by forming and leading a broad business group coalition urging the Court to overturn Chevron.

Over the past 40 years, the Chevron deference rule has provided an unfair authority which allowed for federal agencies to develop rules and regulations which weren’t covered in laws and then receive extra considerations as being experts by the courts.  The new ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court ought to re-establish the necessary balance and prevent the administrative state from overreaching their authority and seeking to implement regulations that Congress has not authorized through legislation.  It also puts responsibility back on the elected legislators to pass laws which provide clear direction instead of the vague legislation that they have been doing while leaving the details up to un-elected bureaucrats.

The two cases which triggered the decision by the Supreme Court involved the National Marine Fisheries Service and regulations that they had established which required fishermen to pay for federal observers to board their ships and observe their fishing practices.  The law that Congress had passed stated that the federal observers could be required to be on the ships but it did not say that the fishermen had to pay the salaries of the observers. 

Each branch of government should fulfill its Constitutional role – Congress to legislate, the courts to interpret the law and the executive branch to implement the laws as written.

OSHA Has Announced A Proposal For Heat Standards

The national Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) presented their proposal for employee health relating to heat on Tuesday, July 2.  This proposal will be open for public comment after it has been published in the Federal Register and the comment period will extend for 120 days following publication. 

The proposed heat standards would apply to indoor and outdoor workers and sets two different levels for specified attention:  

  •  80 degrees Fahrenheit is being labeled as the “initial heat trigger” and would require that an employer to provide access to potable water for drinking that is placed in areas with ready access for the employees.  The quantity amount that is called for would be one quart of water per employee, per hour.
  • 90 degrees Fahrenheit is called the “high heat trigger” and would require employers to also provide for 15-minute rest breaks at least every two hours and also require the employers to conduct observations for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.

This OSHA Fact Sheet  provides an overview of the agency’s perspective for their proposal and also offers information on how to participate in the public comment process, following the publication of the regulations in the Federal Register.

USDA Milk Marketing Announcement Draws Farm Bureau Partial Favor

Under the 2018 Farm Bill, the class 1 price for fluid milk was set to be 74 cents above the class 3 and class 4 prices.  On July 1st the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that they have a 332 page proposal to revamp the way that fluid milk is priced under the Federal Milk Marketing Orders (FMMO).

American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Zippy Duvall commented July 2nd, on USDA’s proposed amendments to all 11 Federal Milk Marketing Orders.  AFBF has been calling for FMMO reform since 2021 and convened a successful first-of-its-kind industry-wide forum in 2022.

President Duvall’s comments stated:

“We appreciate that USDA held this hearing, recognizing some of our concerns related to milk pricing. We are pleased with the intent to return the Class I skim milk price to the ‘higher-of’ formula as we called for. That said, we’re disappointed in changes that will benefit processors without regard for producers at a time when dairy farmers are struggling, and many have gone out of business. USDA missed opportunities to improve and update price formulas.”

“We also strongly believe make allowances should not be changed without a mandatory, audited survey of processors’ costs. Our dairy farmers deserve fairness in their milk checks and transparency in the formula, but the milk marketing order system can’t deliver that unless make allowances are based on accurate and unbiased data.”

“We look forward to submitting our comments on the recommended proposals and encourage our members to do the same.”

Once the proposed draft rule is posted on the federal register later in the month stakeholders will have 60 days to comment. USDA will then have 60 additional days to issue a final rule. After a final rule is published USDA will plan and hold a referendum of dairy producers to vote on whether to accept or reject the proposed amendments.

BLM Pancake Complex Wild Horse Herd Management Plan Available For Comment

Please remember that the comment deadline is July 15th, for those who are interested in participating in the public comment process for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ely District, Bristlecone Field Office for their proposed for a Herd Management Area Plan of the Pancake Wild Horse Complex.  The Pancake Wild Horse Complex is made up of the Sand Springs West and the Pancake Herd Management Areas.  It also includes the U.S. Forest Service’s Monte Cristo Wild Horse Territory.  While the Pancake Wild Horse Complex also includes the Jakes Wash Herd Area it was determined in the 2008 Ely District Management Plan that there would not be any Wild Horses managed in this area because of the lack of suitable habitat, including insufficient forage and water.

The 30-day comment period ends on July 15, 2024.  Submit written comments to the BLM Bristlecone Field Office, 702 North Industrial Way, Ely, NV 89301, Attn: Ben Noyes. Comments may be submitted electronically at BLM_NV_PancakeComplexMgmtEval2024@blm.gov .  Ben Noyes is the contact person to check with if you have questions regarding the proposed Pancake Herd Management Area Plan.  His phone number is (775) 289-1836.

July 26th Workshop Set For Regenerative Ag – Resiliency For The Future

Don’t forget the Regenerative Agriculture workshop that is scheduled for July 26th.  Those who are interested need to get yourself registered to attend.  The day-long session begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Smith Valley School (20 Day Lane, Smith Valley, NV) and will feature the first half day (around 9 to Noon) “in the field” and visiting the Fulstone Ranch in Smith Valley.  Emily Fulstone will be covering her experiences in the operations of their family’s Vermicompost and Worm House operations.  

The link above will provide an outline of the planned activities for this session and also gives you the opportunity to register for the event, which has a $40 registration fee.

Nevada Farm Bureau policy states: “We support educational sessions and workshops for the purpose of helping in understanding regenerative agricultural practices and principles.”  

Anyone interested in getting first-hand insights from those who are implementing regenerative agricultural concepts in their farming operations will want to take advantage of this program.  Mark your calendars, get yourself registered and plan to be in Smith Valley on July 26th!

Have A Great Weekend!