The Agriculture Committee is responsible for processing legislation involving the following subject areas:
Chairman Johnson Announces Ag Committee Hearings
On Dairy Growth and Brand Law in Grand Island
LINCOLN: Senator Jerry Johnson, Chairman of the Legislature’s Agriculture Committee, announced that the Committee will conduct a public hearing on September 4th at the Grand Island City Council Chambers. The city council chambers are located at 101 East 1st Street in Grand Island, near the intersection of HWY 30 and South Locust Streets.
The committee will hear testimony for two interim study resolutions. Interim study resolution LR 270 introduced by Senator Ken Schilz of Omaha directs the committee to examine the fee structure supporting the functions of the Nebraska Brand Committee. LR 214 introduced by Senator Johnson asks the Committee to examine means to implement recommendations of a study of Nebraska’s dairy industry completed in November last year by the Department of Agriculture at the direction of the Legislature. Both study resolutions were introduced earlier this year during the 2015 legislative session.
Last session, the Legislature approved LB 85 which increases the maximum inspection fee that may be charged for brand inspections performed by the Brand Committee. While the Legislature approved the additional fee authority, debate on LB 85 sparked discussion about the need to examine the revenues supporting the Brand Committee and to explore means to diversity its funding base. The LR 270 study is also intended to initiate discussions on other ways the Brand Committee might be able to provide value and service to producers.
LR 214 was introduced as a forum to follow up the Dairy Growth and Development Study, completed by the Department of Agriculture as directed by LB 914 enacted in the 2014 legislative session. The report identified avenues for growth in both dairy production and processing in Nebraska and includes recommendations of the Director. The report can be found at http://www.nda.nebraska.gov/promotion/dairysurvey.pdf
According to Senator Johnson, growth in Nebraska’s dairy sector has been stagnant, but there are opportunities for expansion and reason for optimism that Nebraska can attract new investment in dairy farms and dairy processing facilities. “We need the direct economic benefits that dairy production brings, and an expanded dairy sector would be a much needed diversification of our agricultural base.” Senator Johnson said he hopes that the interim study can provide guidance for initiatives that can help support the dairy industry in the next legislative session.
The hearing for LR 270 will begin at 11:00 a.m. and the hearing for LR 214 will begin at 1:15 p.m.. At the conclusion of the hearings, the committee’s schedule includes time for members of the Committee to visit to the State Fair where the committee will be hosted by the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce and the State Fair Board.
September 4. 2015
Grand Island City Council Chambers
100 East 1st Street
Grand Island, Nebraska
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Public Hearing
LR 270 (Schilz) Study the fee structure of the Nebraska Brand Committee
12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Lunch catered by the Nebraska Dairy Industry Association
1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Public Hearing
LR 214 – (Johnson) Examine means to implement the LB 941 Dairy Growth Study
3:00 p.m. Arrive at Fonner Park/State Fairgrounds
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Free time — Members to observe fair activities and facilities at their
4:30 p.m – 6:00 p.m 5 Points Arena Balcony
Reception hosted by the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce