Nebraska: Sen. Fischer named leader of agriculture subcommittee
U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) announced Feb 15 she will serve as the chairman of the Livestock, Marketing, and Agriculture Security Subcommittee on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, which she joined in January.
“Livestock production in Nebraska feeds the world and it’s our state’s number one industry. I am a Nebraska cattle rancher with over 40 years of experience working with agriculture producers and rural and economic development groups all across our state. I’m prepared and excited to be a strong voice for Nebraska on the Senate Agriculture Committee and as the Chairman of the Livestock Subcommittee,” Fischer said.
Nebraska ranks first in the country for cattle on feed, second in total number of cattle and calves, and sixth in hog production, according to USDA reports.
“As a state senator in the Nebraska Legislature and as a U.S. Senator, common-sense agriculture policy has been a top priority for me, and I am honored that I now have an opportunity to be more involved at the federal level,” Fischer said.
“This coming year is going to be critical as the 2014 farm bill expires and the committee works to write the next farm bill. Throughout this process, I’m going to continue traveling Nebraska, as I’ve done for the past five years, and listen to thoughts, suggestions, and concerns from our state’s many ag producers. At this important juncture, my priorities will be supporting an affordable and viable farm safety net, safeguarding crop insurance, and expanding trade opportunities for Nebraska producers and their families.”
Steve Nelson, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau, congratulated Fischer on the appointment.
“As a rancher, Sen. Fischer brings a tremendous level of livestock agriculture expertise to the committee and has a proven track record of working with agriculture producers. One of her first actions as a Nebraska state lawmaker was to protect private information shared by Nebraska livestock producers as part of a national animal identification system. She represented the needs and interests of Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers with that successful legislation and has been doing so ever since,” Nelson said.
A lifelong Nebraskan, Fischer was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012. Born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, Senator Fischer attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and graduated with a degree in education. She and her husband, Bruce, have been married for over 40 years and own a ranching business near Valentine. They have three sons and three grandchildren.
As a cattle rancher, Fischer has deep roots in agriculture. Over the years, she has been involved with several organizations focused on promoting leadership development and strengthening Nebraska agriculture. From 1988-1990, she participated in the Nebraska LEAD program and is a proud alumnae of LEAD Class 8. In 2012, Fischer received the Outstanding LEAD Alumnus award from the LEAD Alumni Association. Additionally, in 1991, Fischer was a Kellogg Fellow for the National Center for Food and Policy Research, Resources for the Future, in Washington, D.C.
Fischer currently serves as a member of the following agriculture organizations: AgBuilders of Nebraska, Sandhills Cattle Association, Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Cattlewomen, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and Nebraska Farm Bureau.
Good conservation and range management practices are an important priority for the Fischer family. The Fischers have received many honors and awards in recognition for their love of the land. These recognitions include: the Nebraska Association of Natural Resource Districts’ State Grasslands Conservation Award, the Society for Range Management’s Rangeman’s Award, and the Nebraska Cattlemen Environmental Stewardship Award.
“I’m pleased Senator Fischer will be joining the Agriculture Committee. We have worked together on a number of successful legislative efforts on behalf of rural America. Given her firsthand experience in the agriculture industry, Senator Fischer will be a welcome addition to the Committee, just in time to represent Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers in Farm Bill negotiations. I have no doubt she will do a fine job,” said Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kansas).
In addition to the Senate Agriculture Committee, Fischer also serves on the following Senate committees: Armed Services Committee; Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Committee on Environment and Public Works; Committee on Rules and Administration; and the Special Committee on Aging.
Fischer has also been designated a “Friend of Agriculture” by NFBF-PAC, Nebraska Farm Bureau’s political action committee. Fischer, who is seeking re-election to the U.S. Senate, received the designation based on her strong track record of supporting Nebraska’s farm and ranch families, according to Nelson.
“Time and again Sen. Fischer has gone to bat for Nebraska’s farm and ranch families, whether it’s involved working legislation in the Senate, or working directly with the administration. We are pleased to once again provide our support and backing to Sen. Fischer as she seeks re-election,” said Nelson.
Fischer’s list of actions supporting agriculture is extensive with many of them involving Nebraska Farm Bureau’s highest policy priorities. Farm Bureau pointed to several in announcing Fischer as a “Friend of Agriculture” including:
Fischer’s introduction of legislation to address misguided regulations on anhydrous ammonia retail facilities that would have left farmers to pay thousands of dollars in increased fertilizer costs with no real benefit to public safety.
Fischer’s efforts to force the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw or vacate the “Waters of the U.S.” rule, a far-reaching regulation that would have infringed on the property rights and management of private land.
Fischer’s work on the “FUELS Act”, legislation to exempt the vast majority of Nebraska’s farms and ranches from having to comply with the EPA’s Spill Prevention Containment and Control (SPCC) regulations originally designed to address spills from large scale fuel storage facilities, such as oil refineries.
Fischer’s introduction of the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method Act (FARM Act) to exempt farms and ranches from reporting routine air emissions from farm animals and their manure; regulations intended to address emissions of hazardous wastes from Superfund sites.
Fischer’s ongoing support for trade deals to expand markets for Nebraska agricultural products.
Fischer’s support for repealing Obamacare, which has resulted in skyrocketing health care costs for farm and ranch families.
Fischer’s efforts to drive sound transportation and infrastructure policy by helping secure the first long-term highway bill in over a decade, while also working to expand broadband internet access for greater Nebraska.
Fischer’s efforts to help deliver federal tax reform to lower tax rates, double the estate tax exemption, and other provisions that allow farm and ranch families to retain their hard-earned dollars for reinvestment in their operations.
Fischer’s recent appointment to the Senate Agriculture Committee allowing her to bring a Nebraska perspective to the development of the next Farm Bill.
Fischer’s ongoing effort to fix federal trucking regulations that fail to meet the unique needs of transporting livestock animals and create challenges for livestock haulers.
Fischer’s work to support agriculture friendly appointments in the Trump administration, including support for Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture and Scott Pruitt as administrator of the EPA.
“With fewer and fewer people engaged in the day-to-day production of food, fuel, and fiber, it is critical to have candidates who understand the needs of production agriculture and its role in our overall national security. As a rancher, Sen. Fischer understands those needs well and provides a critical voice for our interests in Washington D.C.,” said Nelson.
Fischer is also a strong supporter of border security and voted in favor of Senator Chuck Grassley’s (R-Iowa) immigration proposal.
“When it comes to immigration, my top priority has always been border security,” Fischer said, calling Grassley’s proposal a fix for securing the border by constructing a wall, and includes provisions to close loopholes in current law, add enforcement personnel, and thwart drug and human trafficking.
“Importantly, the measure includes the final implementation of a comprehensive biometric entry-exit system. This is something I have long called for so that we can have reliable data to fully understand who is coming in and out of this country. The legislation permanently reauthorizes the voluntary E-verify program, and expedites removal for those who overstay visas, or other authorized periods of admission. Moreover, the bill provides certainty for the DACA recipients,” Fischer said. F
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the June 19, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News