Farm & Ranch - June 2020

JUNE 2020




JUNE 2020

USDA funding available to help control soil erosion on cropland

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Telegraph staff reports LINCOLN — Farmers know when they lose soil, they lose profits. Preventing soil erosion is good for the environment and for producers’ bottom line. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has fund- ing available to help Nebraska’s farmers control erosion on their cropland. This funding is avail- able through the Ephemeral Gully Control Initiative un- der the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Eligible producers have until July 13 to apply, according to a press re- lease. Controlling erosion is espe- cially important for recipients of USDA program benefits – like federal crop insurance subsi-

ephemeral gullies. Derickson said, “Ephemeral gullies are those rough spots where water concentrates and causes soil to wash away, cre- ating small ditches. While the damage to cropland appears to be small, if not controlled, the negative impacts like loss of in- puts, decreased soil health and yields can be significant. Plus, it can cause farmers to be out of compliance with USDA’s Food Security Act requirements.” For more information, and to apply for funding through this special initiative, contact NRCS before July 13. Due to the on- going COVID-19 public health situation, producers are encour- aged to call local offices to set up an appointment with NRCS staff over the phone.

dies and conservation program payments. USDA program par- ticipants are required to control erosion on all cropland deter- mined to be highly erodible. The funding available through this special initiative can help farm- ers meet that requirement. Nebraska State Conservationist Craig Derickson said, “Conservation practices such as cover crops and grassed waterways are good solutions for controlling ephem- eral gullies, which is required by conservation compliance pro- visions.” According to NRCS, over the last couple decades, there has been a continual decrease in grassed waterways and terraces being used. On some fields, this has led to increased erosion and

Federal food box program extended

Telegraph staff reports WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to- day announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture will ex- tend the contracts of select vendors from the first round of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. “These extensions are a testament to the great work done by these vendors in support of American agriculture and the American people. They are also a testa- ment that the program is accomplishing what we intended — sup- porting U.S. farmers and distributors and getting food to those who need it most. It’s a real trifecta, which is why we call

it a win-win-win,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in a press re- lease Wednesday. “The efforts of every- one involved form the backbone of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program and its goal to help fill the hunger gap in all of our communities.” USDA is exercising this option to extend contracts for current distributors for the next performance pe- riod, July 1 to Aug. 30, for up to $1.16 billion of food. The deci- sion to extend current contractors was deter- mined based on their performance since May 15. Some ven- dors were extended without any adjust- ment to their delivery amounts, while others’ amounts or locations

were adjusted based on their demonstrat- ed abilities to perform or at the vendor’s re- quest. In line with our commitment to over- sight, these extensions continue to require audits to ensure food safety plans are being followed, 100% U.S. grown and raised food is being procured and delivered, and food products meet all of USDA’s high-quality standards. The gov- ernment chose not to extend some ven- dors’ contracts either in part because of concerns brought up during audits or for performance challeng- es. Additionally, some contracts were not ex- tended at the vendors’ request. Between May 15 to June 17, distributors

have delivered over 17 million food boxes to approximately 3,200 non-profit organiza- tions across the United States including Guam and Puerto Rico. USDA is continuous- ly evaluating how to expand access to the program in areas that are underserved and is in the final stages of determining cities and states who have been affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19 and where additional food boxes are in demand. These underserved areas will be specifically targeted with distribu- tors who will assist in filling the gaps. More information about the Farmers to Families Food Box Program is available at to-families.

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JUNE 2020

USDA: Nebraska crops in good condition

Pasture and range condition The majority of Nebraska pasture

years data by 23%. The USDA reports 85% of the soybeans planted have emerged, also ahead of last years data, by 35%. Of this years soybean crop, 65% percent is reportedly in good condition, 17% in ex- cellent condition, 16% in fair condition, 1% in poor condition and 1% in very poor con- dition. Sorghum According to the USDA, 93% of Nebraska’s sorghum has been planted, ahead of last year by 44%. Data places 86% of sorghum in good condition, 4% in excel- lent condition, 9% in fair condition and 1% in poor condition. Winter wheat Reportedly, 67% of this years winter wheat is headed, only 5% further along than last years data. Data shows, 59% of win- ter wheat across the state is in good condi- tion, 7% in excellent condition, 22% in fair condition, 10% in poor condition and 2% in very poor condition.

By ELISE BALIN Scottsbluff Star-Herald According to the USDA’s June 7 crop re- port data, Nebraska crops remain in good condition and ahead of last years percent planted and percent emerged data. Corn The USDA reports 100% of this years crop to be planted as of June 7 and significant- ly ahead of last years percentage of crops emerged. According to data, 95% of the corn which has been planted has emerged, compared to last years data which was 19% less than June 7 num- bers. According to the June 8 crop report, the majority of corn plant- ed across the state is in good condition, 63% of the corn is in good condition, 20% of in excellent condition, 16% in fair condition and 1% in poor condi- tion. Soybeans According to the June 7 crop report, 98% of soybeans have been planted in the state, ahead of last

and range land is con- sidered to be in good condition, according the USDA data, 69% of land is in good condi- tion, 8% in excellent condition, 17% in fair condition, 4% in poor condition and 2% in very poor condition. Topsoil and subsoil According to the USDA, topsoil moisture condition data places 2% of Nebraska top- soil to have a surplus of moisture, 76% to have adequate moisture, 19% with short moisture levels and 3% with very short moisture levels. According to USDA moisture condition data, 3% of subsoil has surplus moisture lev- els, 83% with adequate moisture, 12% with

Bloomberg Sixty-three percent of corn planted as of June 7 was in good condition ac- cording to the latest report from the United States Department of Agriculture. Planting has also surpassed its 2019 pace.

short moisture levels and 2% with very short moisture levels.




JUNE 2020

Moderate stocking rates can keep producers on track

a crutial aspect to con- sider, Arterburn said. “Grazing the same plants that have al- ready been grazed, for longer than a month is doing damage,” Arterburn said. When considering rotational grazing, Arterburn said, focus- ing on a rest period is what is vitally impor- tant when creating a management plan. Having a number of pastures to incorporate into grazing rotation al- lows producers to give adequate rest periods for plants to recover, al- lowing enough growth for future grazing. Arterburn said, hav- ing a plan to follow which has been devel- oped during times of sound thinking can allow producers to continue successful grazing during diffi- cult times of drought or a variety of uncertain- ties. “When things get dif- ficult, you start to make emotional decisions in the moment, and hav- ing a management plan

rates into consideration is the most important aspect in managing pasture and grazing lands, Arterburn said. Determining stock- ing rates, can provide producers with a spe- cific number of animals which can be graz- ing on a given amount of land for a specific amount of time, pre- venting overgrazing of pasture land. In terms of grazing intensi- ty, Arterburn said, he suggests producers to keep stocking numbers in the moderate range rather than having a high grazing intensi- ty numbers, matching grazing numbers to the moderate is what Arterburn situation. “People can use resources through ex- tension that can help the find a good mid- dle ground in terms of stocking rate,” Arterburn said, “We want to find a middle ground.” Not only does suc- cessful stocking rates and grazing intensity allow producers to plan for future production, but grazing rotation is

By ELISE BALIN Scottsbluff Star-Herald Creating a graz- ing management and increasing graz- ing sustainability, consisting of proper stocking rates, rotation- al grazing plans, and allowing adequate rest periods, can prepare producers for times of uncertainty, Nebraska beef systems exten- sion educator, Jack Arterburn said. For young pro- ducers or smaller producers with low numbers of grazing animals, creating a grazing management plan can be easy pro- cess which proves to assist in manag- ing the operation as heard numbers grow, Arterburn said. “Especially the smaller guys can ben- efit from an easy management plan, creating a plan ear- ly on is important and much easier than es- tablishing a plan when your numbers are sig- nificantly higher,” Arterburn said. Taking stocking

Elise Balin / Scottsbluff Star Herald

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USDA approves program to feed kids in Nebraska and South Carolina

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Telegraph staff reports WASHINGTON —The USDA has ap- proved Nebraska and South Carolina for the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, a new program authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which provides as- sistance to families of

households to offset the cost of meals that would have otherwise been consumed at school, the USDA said in a press re- lease. For the 2019-20 school year, Nebraska had ap- proximately 160,000 children eligible for free and reduced-priced Please see KIDS, Page F8

children eligible for free or reduced-price meals dealing with school clo- sures. Nebraska and South Carolina will be able to operate Pandemic EBT, a supplemental food purchasing benefit to current SNAP partici- pants and as a new EBT benefit to other eligible

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JUNE 2020

By ROBERT PORE The Grand Island Independent COVID-19 changes to make the shows safe for both the public and the show’s vendors. He Planning under way for Husker Harvest Days

Husker Harvest Days is a three-day inter- national farm show that draws more than 100,000 visitors to the community in mid- September. Husker Harvest Days will cel- ebrate its 43rd year in Grand Island in September. “We are all a go,” Jungmann said. “Things are looking very good.” Nebraska State Fair officials will announce later this month about the future of the fair this year. Jungmann said that while many state fairs have can- celled their fairs this year because of the virus, those fair’s agricultural compo- nents, such as livestock

shows, are still going on. He said it is the con- certs, carnivals and other attractions that draw people closely together that will be cancelled because of the virus. “It’s the things that Husker Harvest Days does that State Fairs are still doing,” he said. “We are purpose- ly a trade show that is held during the middle of the week and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The things that differenti- ate us from the state fairs are the things that are going to allow us to move forward.” Several years ago, Husker Harvest Days and the communi- ty made a huge future commitment to the

electrical infrastruc- ture. Jungmann said the show in both Boone and Grand Island will have the necessary

show when they did more than $7 million in improvements to the facility, including con- creting all the roads and putting in a new

GRAND ISLAND — It was announced Wednesday that the Farm Progress Show, set for Boone, Iowa, for Sept. 1-3, is a go, with Husker Harvest Days, two weeks later, Sept. 15-17, also a go, said Matt Jungmann, man- ager for both shows. That is good news for Grand Island, which is slowly recovering from the COVID-19 pan- demic. Phase 2 of the statewide health direc- tives will go into effect Monday opening the way for other events that draw visitors to the community to grad- ually and safely begin again.

Please see DAYS, Page F8




JUNE 2020




JUNE 2020

Aksarben awards annual Farm Family honors

since that time, near- ly 10,000 farm families have received the award statewide. The Heritage Award was es- tablished in 2014, has been awarded to nearly 100 farm families. “We’re proud to rec- ognize these Nebraska farm families each year. The dedication and perseverance dem- onstrated by these families is a testament to the strong Nebraska values that set our state apart and have been making Aksarben proud, for over 120 years,” said Sandra Reding, Aksarben Foundation president. Due to COVID-19 many County Fairs are still questioning wheth- er to have the fair this year. Instead of hand- ing out the awards at County Fairs, we are

Telegraph staff reports OMAHA — Each year, Aksarben pays homage to the dedicat- ed and hard-working Nebraskan families who have met the in- credible milestone of owning at least 40 acres of farmland within one family for 100 or 150 years, respectively. The Aksarben Foundation, along with Nebraska Farm Bureau Managers, announces this year’s 122 honor- ees for the Aksarben Pioneer Farm (100 years) and Aksarben and the Nebraska Association of Fair Heritage Farm Awards (150 years), the organi- zation said in a press release. Aksarben began awarding the Pioneer Award in 1956, and

working with both Nebraska Farm Bureau and the County Fair managers to get these awards out to our recip- ients across the state. “Nebraska Farm Bureau will work with our regional manag- ers, our county Farm Bureau leaders and county fair managers to set up times to de- liver these prestigious honor.! Nebraska Farm Bureau is proud to help sponsor these farm family awards and are happy to share in this tribute. Nebraska Farm Bureau’s heritage and continuous mission is to serve Nebraska farm and ranch families, and these awards rec- ognize the commitment to preserve and build Nebraska agriculture for future generations,” said Nebraska Farm

Bureau President Steve Nelson. To commemorate this milestone, each of these families will receive an engraved plaque and gatepost marker at the coun- ty fair in the county where their farm is lo- cated. The area Aksarben Farm Families for 2020 are: Custer County » Edward Spanel — Edward T. Spanel Family Farm, established 1919. Dawson County » Frank Boyd, Inc. — Heidebrink Family Farm, established 1919. » Hicken McNulty Koch, LLC — Hicken McNulty Koch Family Farm, established 1920. Deuel County » Eugene and Alice

» Joey and Myra Large/JL5 Enterprises, LLC — John W. Large and Harry Large Family Farm, established 1916. Keith County » Roger and JoAnn Sprakel — Roger and JoAnn Sprakel Family Farm, established 1919. Lincoln County » Robert and Sara Wiseman — Frels Family Farm, established 1897. » Ostergard Family — Ostergard Family Farm, established March 1, 1920. » Gerald Wood — Wood Family Farm, established 1920. McPherson County » Lila Arensdorf — Arensdorf Family Farm, established 1919. Perkins County » Victoria Kumor — Joseph and Anna Kumor Family Farm, established 1920.

Radke — Adam Radke Family Farm, established 1919. Dundy County » Betty E. Jessee Life Estate / Melissa Cochran, Julie Jessee and Katie Markheim Remainder — Luther K. and Mary E. Alsbury Family Farm, established 1908. Furnas County » Richard and Judy Campbell — Richard M. Campbell Family Farm, established 1919. » Don and Aneta Harding — Harding Farms, established 1918. Gosper County » Glenn and Shauna Hilker — Glenn and Shauna Hilker Family Farm, established 1919. Hayes County » Kevin Large — John W. Large and Harry Large Family Farm, es- tablished 1916.

TRACK from Page F4

tension and the Natural Resources Conservation Service can help producers establish effective and sustainable grazing plan, Arterburn said. “I think everyone can benefit from a management plan,” Arterburn said.

to follow that was created in a sound mindset can be extremely benefi- cial,” Arterburn said. Resources through Nebraska ex-




JUNE 2020

KIDS from Page F4

cy designation during which the school would otherwise be in session. The implementa- tion of Pandemic EBT is in line with USDA’s commitment to keep Americans safe, se- cure, and healthy during this national emergency and to keep kids fed when schools are closed. USDA is working with states and local authorities to ensure schools and other program oper- ators can continue to feed children. This lat- est action complements previously-announced flexibilities for the Child Nutrition pro- grams that: » Allow parents and guardians to pick up

the ways we do things but it is not going to be anything that will keep people from coming to the show.” Jungmann said every year the show features the cutting edge of ag- ricultural technology and this year is no ex- ception as there will be a number of automat- ed farm equipment and machinery on display for the first time. “This year you are going to see robot-con- trolled tractors,” he said. Jungmann said there has been great re- sponse from vendors about participating in this year’s Farm Progress shows. He said international com- panies, such as vendors from Italy which has been hit hard by the virus, will not be par- ticipating, tough, in this year’s show. “We have been im- pacted by the virus in some ways, but for the most part we are in good shape to have a good show,” he said. meals to bring home to their kids. » Temporarily waive meal times require- ments to make it easier to pick up multiple-days’ worth of meals at once. » Allowmeals be served in non-congre- gate settings to support social distancing. » Waive the require- ment that afterschool meals and snacks served through certain pro- grams be accompanied by educational activities to minimize exposure to the novel coronavirus. » Allow states to serve free meals to chil- dren in all areas, rather than only those in ar- eas where at least half of students receive free or reduced-price meals.

States have the option to submit a plan to the Secretary of Agriculture for providing these benefits to SNAP and non-SNAP households with children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to pan- demic-related school closures. State agencies may operate Pandemic EBT when a school is closed for at least five consecutive days during a public health emergen-

lunch, or approximately 45% of children in par- ticipating schools. For the 2019-20 school year, South Carolina eligible for free and re- duced-priced lunch, or approximately 61% of children in participat- ing schools. Under FFCRA, had approximate- ly 494,000 children

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DAYS from Page F5

said they are working with vendors, who have shown enthusiasm to participate in both shows and make the event safe for all who attend. In recent years, Husker Harvest Days has had to expand its grounds to accom- modate the growing number of vendors who want to be a part of the show. During the three- day event, more than 600 vendors have their latest products and ser- vices on display for the public to see. “We are working on creating one-way traf- fic flows inside the show site, widening the admission points and working in those places where people are com- ing into close contact, such as information booths, food service, admissions and those kind of things,” Jungmann said. “We are changing some of


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JUNE 2020

Goggins: We must protect our small producers By JOE GOGGINS Western Ag Reporter The last three months foreign-owned, that control over 80% of market share the rules or stepped out of bounds, there were penal- ties or consequences. light on these issues has, in turn, caused numer- ous U.S. Senators and Commentary

in the beef supply chain. Again, I can hear Dad hol- lering from up there in heaven, “Wake Up, America, this is wrong!” Since Pat is no longer with us and can’t blow off some steam, I’m go- ing to do it for him. Young people in America have grown up competing in little league baseball, little guy football, soccer, basketball, speech and dra- ma, band, 4-H, FFA, Little Britches Rodeo, High School Rodeo, you name it … We have all been taught how to be good, competitive citi- zens of this country. However, in all of these endeavors growing up we had a referee and that ref- eree taught all of us how to play fair. That referee taught us that if we broke

The real problem we have in the livestock industry is that at the highest level of the beef supply chain, the fed cattle and packer level, we have no referee . There is no question in my mind that the number one problem we have with- in this industry, which is the same today as it was 50- plus years ago, is the lack of competition and fairness we have at the fed cattle lev- el. The difference between today and 20 to 30 years ago is that over the past six months the Holcomb fire and the COVID-19 pan- demic have totally exposed the unfairness and lack of competition at the fed cat- tle and packer level of the beef industry. This spot-

Representatives from both sides of the aisle and State Attorney Generals to raise their eyebrows, start ask- ing questions, and urging the Department of Justice to investigate continued al- legations of price fixing within the cattle market and to examine the cur- rent structure of the beef meatpacking industry for compliance with U.S. anti- trust laws. Folks, we as producers, yearling operators, back- grounders, finishing lots, and yes, consumers, have been waiting a lifetime to have this take place. Now, we have a referee, the DOJ, which has full subpoena

us blessed to be raised in this great country. I would venture to guess that today very few schools even teach the young people of this great nation about the val- ue of the Constitution of the United States. Right now, I can hear Dad saying, “Wake Up!” to the leaders of this country and the folks who make up our education cur- riculum. 2) The other concern ol’ Pat would have put at the forefront of his discussions and columns at this point in history would have been the absolute lack of compe- tition and fairness we have at the fed cattle level of the American beef industry. We have four meatpackers in the U.S., two of which are

have caused many of us to spend hours ref lecting on the state of our industry, our nation, and our world. I have repeatedly thought about what our late father Pat Goggins would have been writing about at this moment in time. I truly believe he would have been focusing on two main issues. 1) The Constitution of The United States and the personal rights and free- doms we, as Americans, are granted, or I should say are supposed to be granted. My father preached to each of us as young people growing up the importance of read- ing the Constitution and understanding its mean- ing and worth to those of

Please see SMALL, Page F10









JUNE 2020 F10



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independent DOJ in- vestigation. I think we are all against more gov- ernment regulation but there’s one thing we have to keep in the front of our minds – “unregulat- ed captialism destroys competition.” I will say it again, “unregulat- ed captialism destroys competition.” Our number one fo- cus at this point in time as an industry, whether it be from NCBA, USCA, R-CALF, LMA, Farm Bureau, Farmers Union, etc., should be to de- mand and fight for an independent DOJ in- vestigation into the dealings our country’s meatpacking industry. When turning to Congress, the beef in- dustry has always had too many ‘ asks .’ I fully realize our many as- sociations have their own agendas of which we can’t all agree upon. However, we can all agree there is a real lack of competi- tion and fairness at the fed cattle and packer level and it is the big- gest issue facing our industry today. It has been for a long time. Now, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring some positive, much-needed change to it. In my opinion, all our other agendas, many of which are vi- able, are nothing but a pimple on an ele- phant’s rear compared to a DOJ investigation at this particular point in history. I admire the many solutions circulating through our industry discus- sions brought forth by groups like NCBA, USCA, and R-CALF. I think everyone’s heart is in the right place and their intent is gen- uine. However, for the

over the last 50-plus years, had capital- ism been functioning and operating correct- ly we would have had 150-plus meatpack- ers today. Instead, we currently have four – two of which are foreign-owned – com- panies controlling over 80% of the mar- ket. Something, over those past 50-plus years, has prevented capitalism at the high- est level of the beef industry from func- tioning correctly. The only way to discover what that ‘something’ may be is through an

then our solution as an industry is real simple – if we want the live- stock industry to be sustainable for genera- tions to come, we have to change the laws at the fed cattle level to make it more fair and equitable for everyone involved. I passionately be- lieve that we have a once in a lifetime op- portunity, through a DOJ investigation, to bring some fairness and competition to the fed cattle level. In the past six months, I’ve found myself wondering if

time being, we are all relying on cowboy math. We have never had a true, independent investigation of the meatpacking indus- try by someone with full subpoena pow- er – that’s huge . We have all waited a life- time for this. A DOJ Investigation will give this industry true, proven facts that will provide us very vi- able solutions. And yes, I said plural solu- tions that we can ask to have mandated by Congress if needed to make our industry fairer and more equi- table on a consistent basis for everyone in- volved. So, let’s all put our other agendas on the sideline for a moment and band together as an industry with just one ask . And that ask is for an independent DOJ investigation into the dealings of the meatpacking indus- try. I firmly believe after an investigation we will have many vi- able solutions to make our industry more competitive and fair- er for all sectors. I think many of the so- lutions in which we can’t all agree upon at this point in time will come to fruition after an investigation. As my father would say, “we need to wake up .” This is a great op- portunity to keep our farms, ranches, feedlot operations, and Main Street rural America businesses viable to pass on to future gen- erations. The key to this industry staying generational and not becoming totally ver- tically integrated is to promote competition and fairness at the fed cattle level. It is a proven fact that when

the feeding industry makes a profit, 100% of the time they rein- vest it back into the cow/calf and yearling sectors of the industry and, for that mat- ter, rural America. When the packer makes money, which is very consistently, they rarely rein- vest back into rural America. Somehow, through a DOJ in- vestigation when a referee steps in, we will get some viable solutions that require the meatpacking in- dustry to reinvest into the feeding indus- try which ultimately trickles down to rural America. Wake up, America, we have to fight for our nation’s feeders so they will have a con- sistent chance of being fairly treated and be- coming profitable again. This is our once in a lifetime opportu- nity to get this right. Demanding a DOJ in- vestigation should be the number one pri- ority for each one of our industry groups. I don’t care which or- ganization you are affiliated with, call them, write them, and email them. This is our best shot at preserving our industry, our com- munities, and our lifestyles for the gener- ations yet to come. It’s time we all “ wake up ” and fight to give the young people within our industry a rea- son to want to remain in production agricul- ture and the chance to make a living at some- thing they love. This article was orig- inally published June 4 in the Western Ag Reporter, a week- ly newspaper based in Billings, Montana.

power and the capabil- ity and resources to do a thorough investiga- tion. Many have asked me if I am concerned that, after a thorough inves- tigation, the Justice Department will find the meatpacking in- dustry has been doing business and living to the letter of the law. I say, ‘heck no .’ It doesn’t scare me because if the meatpacking indus- try is doing business to the letter of the law,

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will have to fall on the individual. You should have between 8 to 10 times your annual salary in life insurance. For instance, if you make $50,000 per year, you should carry $500,000 worth of life insurance to protect your family if you’re gone. That goes for your spouse as well. If you are dependent on 2 incomes, you’ll need to protect both of you. There are several types of life insurance so choose the type of policy that makes the most sense for you. Term Insurance: Term Insurance is one that lasts for a specified period of time such as 10, 20, or 30 years. These are usually less expensive with premiums that remain locked for the defined period of time but if you want the policy to continue after that period of time, the premium sky-rockets. So if you don’t die before the policy times out, your rate will jump drastically. Many term policies are convertible to permanent ones without evidence of good health but do it as early as possible to keep the premiums down. You’d be amazed at what $30 a month will buy depending on your age. Permanent Insurance: Traditional Whole Life policies offer the most guarantees. The monthly premium is guaranteed, and there is a guaranteed cash value and death benefit. Most whole life policies will last until the client is age 100 (for older policies) or 121 (for newer policies) so you probably won’t outlive the insurance policy. They also can roll the annual dividends into the policy to increase the death benefit and/or cash value of the policy. Universal Life is more flexible than traditional whole life because premiums can vary from year to year. It has maximum guaranteed premiums and minimum

guaranteed cash values and death benefits. Instead of dividends, universal life policies earn interest at the credited interest rate determined every year. But if you underfunded the plan early, the insurance company may want additional monies later to maintain the same coverage. Newer policies are called Guaranteed Universal Life policies that as long as you paid a fixed premium every month without a late payment, they will guarantee the policy to age 120. There are plans that combine a permanent policy with a term policy. You can purchase a smaller Whole Life policy along with a term rider. Let’s say that you want a $200,000 whole life policy that will last until age 121 along with a $200,000 term rider that will last 20 years. Those are nice policies that will help a consumer get through the house payment years, then the permanent plan can carry you into retirement. Just as your homeowners insurance won’t pay a claim if you didn’t have the policy prior to the hail damage, life insurance companies won’t approve unhealthy applicants. Clients controlling their cholesterol or blood pressure with medication probably won’t have trouble finding a policy but if the doctor is recommending an upcoming surgery, you’ll have to complete the surgery before applying for the coverage. The younger you are when you apply, the less expensive the policy but don’t think you’re too old. I had one 60-year old client that purchased a $250,000 20-year term policy for $150 per month so it may be less expensive than you think. There is truly a need for life insurance. Let’s look at Jim and Mary Anne’s situation. Jim had a $150,000 life insurance policy through his work and an individual $250,000 Whole Life policy at home. When Jim

retired 5 years ago, his $150,000 policy at work went away. He and his wife, Mary Anne, depended on their monthly social security checks-his at $2000 and hers at $900 as well as his pension check of $1400 for a comfortable retirement income of $4300 per month. Unfortunately, Jim had a heart attack last year at age 70 and passed away. Now Mary Anne was going to receive only one social security check as Social Security lets the surviving spouse chose which check will continue. Of course, most people chose the higher amount. Consequently, Mary Anne was able to continue receiving $2000 per month from social security. But Jim’s pension was set up to go away at his passing so that $1400 per month was gone. Thank goodness for Jim’s forethought in purchasing that $250,000 life insurance policy. Mary Anne received a check within 30-45 days that was income tax-free and took it to their insurance agent who suggested a single premium annuity to start paying her a monthly income of $1800 per month for life. That, combined with Jim’s social security check, produced a lifetime income of $3800 per month which was still reasonably comfortable for Mary Ann. That’s much different than if Jim didn’t have any life insurance and her income was reduced to $2000 per month. The simple question is, would someone who depends on you suffer financially if you were to die tomorrow? If the answer is “yes”, then you need life insurance. If you have questions or want to visit about your life insurance needs or want a quote, please call Rebecca Nordquist at Phares Financial Services at 308-532-3180 or email me at I’ll be happy to visit with you.

By Rebecca Nordquist, RD, MHA, CLTC

We think of our Dads as the family Protector. A man that plans ahead and sets up provisions that will protect his family…just in case. Does the family need his income, would the family be able to maintain their living standards if Dad passed away? If not, life insurance could be the answer. Fewer American adults own life insurance today than in 2004. Only 61% of men and 57% of women have some sort of life insurance coverage yet life insurance should be part of the foundation of your family’s financial security. According to LIMRA, more U.S. adults are relying on employer-sponsored life insurance. The problem is when you leave the organization, your life insurance doesn’t come with you. If you are self-employed, the need is even greater. Most planners recommend that you maximize whatever your employer offers as well as have an individual policy that will carry you through retirement. Some employers only offer a $10,000- $20,000 policy which basically covers funeral expenses so the majority of the insurance


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