Sponsored By
Nebraska Farmer Logo

Nebraska Department of Ag director named

Nebraska Notebook: Producers affected by wildfires can apply for assistance; farm and ranch lease workshops are scheduled.

November 29, 2022

3 Min Read
Pasture damaged by wildfires
AFTER THE FIRES: Producers who were affected by wildfires this past year have until May 31 to apply for conservation assistance through EQIP.Curt Arens

Nebraska Gov.-elect Jim Pillen announced he will be appointing family livestock producer Sherry Vinton as the next director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

"Sherry will be a key partner in helping implement my vision of growing Nebraska agriculture," Pillen said. "As a lifelong Nebraskan and livestock producer, she is a leader in Nebraska agriculture who knows the importance of the industry for the future of our state. Sherry will work to protect farmers and ranchers against anti-agricultural policies and groups, promote free and fair trade, ensure competitive markets, and defend our land."

Vinton is the first vice president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau. Since 1983, she has run her family cow-calf operation near Whitman, where she manages the business end of the ranch's operation. She is a member of the Grant County Farm Bureau at both the state and local levels.

Vinton represented Congressional District 3 on the Nebraska Environmental Trust board for 14 years. She attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she studied accounting. Vinton will officially be appointed after Pillen is sworn into office.

"I am grateful to Steve Wellman for his years of service to the state and his help in growing agriculture," Pillen said. "As a lifelong farmer, Steve will continue to be a leader for agriculture in Nebraska."

Apply for help after wildfires

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has funding available to assist agricultural producers whose land was affected by recent wildfires. Landowners have until May 31 to apply.

Through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, funding is available to help producers plan and implement conservation practices on farms and ranches affected by natural disasters. EQIP funding is available to assist in this wildfire recovery effort by planting cover crops on affected cropland and to defer grazing on rangeland.

“Numerous fires have impacted farmers and ranchers across Nebraska, leaving ground vulnerable to erosion,” said Rob Lawson, state conservationist for NRCS. “We can assist landowners with installing conservation practices to help prevent any further damage to their agricultural land and aid in the recovery of rangeland productivity and soil health.”

“NRCS can help with recovery efforts,” Lawson added. “Our staff works one-on-one with landowners to assess the damage and develop approaches that lead to an effective recovery of the land.”

The application sign-up for this wildfire assistance is happening now and will run through May 31. Applications will be assessed, and even though some lands may be eligible for assistance, it is not guaranteed that all acres will receive financial assistance because of limited funding.

Interested landowners and operators should contact their local NRCS office in the USDA service center for applications and more information.

Farm and ranch lease workshops

Nebraska Extension and the Center for Agricultural Profitability at UNL will host a series of in-person workshops covering agricultural land management and leasing considerations for 2023. They will be held at locations across the state during the winter months — including Ord, Albion, Norfolk, West Point, Saunders County, Holdrege, Hastings, O’Neill, Beatrice, Hartington, Lincoln and Lyons.

The workshops will offer updated leasing information relevant to landlords and tenants, including tips for communication and negotiating. They will address topics such as equitable rental rates, managing and adjusting farmland leases, landlord-tenant issues, pasture leasing, crop share leasing, and other management considerations.

The presentations will be led by Allan Vyhnalek, a Nebraska Extension educator specializing in farm and ranch transition and succession, and Jim Jansen, Nebraska Extension agricultural economist.

The meetings are free, but registration is required for each date. More dates may be added. A complete schedule and registration information is available at cap.unl.edu.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like