Beef group working to lure new members
WASHINGTON — The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has launched a nation-wide membership campaign aimed at the one million beef cattle producers it seeks to serve across the country.
“The issues are Black & White,” is the theme of the sophisticated black and white mail-out that recently arrived in beef cattle farmer’s mailboxes. It outlines the various ways NCBA strives to work for the industry.
“Today, the decisions being made in Washington are impacting the future of our entire industry,” Kevin Kester, NCBA president, wrote in a letter included in the packet. “The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association continues to engage in conversations surrounding stewardship animal welfare and the rights of our members. But many other issues-such as trade, fake meat, the welfare of endangered species, the Farm Bill, technology and resource conservation still exist.”
Two of the nine issues highlighted in the drive literature may be of special interest to cattle producers in Virginia, especially the southwestern part of the state, John Robinson, NCBA vice president for membership and communications, said in a telephone interview. These are its work concerning Electronic Logging Devices and fake meat.
“NCBA collaborates with Congress to delay ELD enforcement for livestock haulers and provide increased flexibility within House of Service regulations,” the material states.
These regulations deal with hours drivers spend on the road. Shortening driving times have the potential for limiting delivery of cattle, especially from Virginia farms to points in the mid-west, he said, noting that this needs to be done in both a timely and affordable fashion.
Such limits could also cut the price farmers receive for their cattle as any costs cut into what people can pay for cattle, Robinson continued.
The mailer points out that NCBA leads efforts in Washington to make sure that all current and future fake meat is properly marketed and regulated.
The proposed Farm Bill is a major concern for its organization as it moves forward.
“NCBA advocates that the Farm bill include strong research and conservation titles to ensure that we remain as efficient and competitive as possible in producing beef, while also providing incentives for continued stewardship of our natural resources,” the material states.
The other issues presented to prospective members are as follows:
• CERCLA and EPCRA Reporting. NCBA urges Congress to pass legislation that will eliminate the reporting burden for agricultural producers.
• Endangered Species Act. NCBA works to modernize the ESA to prevent abuse by activists and believes he ESA must be reformed to include recovery plans for a species at the time of listing. The act must also implement measurable benchmarks and encourage voluntary pre-listing conservation.
• Resource Conservation & Recovery Act. NCBA argues that the RCRA has been misused the target dairy and livestock producers, placing the agricultural community in a gray area of legal uncertainty.
• Tax. NCBA opposes any reforms to the tax code that would create new barriers for the next generation of agriculture producers.
• Trade. NCBA understands the value of international markets, which add nearly $300 in value per head. Because of the importance of our international markets, we support open markets and science-based standards that level the playing field for U.S. beef producers.
• Waters of the United States Regulations. NCBA works to provide regulatory certainty on any new WOTUS regulation introduced by the Environmental Protection Agency and to reduce any undue burden placed on farmers and ranchers.
Other issues included defending cattlemen’s private property rights against overreaching governmental regulations; protecting cattlemen’s family legacies with estate tax relief; adding value to cattle and beef by working to open international markets; delivering cutting edge producer education opportunities to improve cattlemen’s bottom lines; and constantly watching for potential threats from animal rights groups.
“As we look toward the future, I truly believe that our strength as cattlemen will be found in the ability to speak with a central voice of authority, Kester, stated in his letter. “A voice informed by decades of experience-some of it earned by a lifetime of ranching, some of it passed down from generation to generation. More than ever, we need an NCBA that is willing to declare what’s right and what’s wrong. We need cattlemen working to maintain a thriving and productive beef industry for all.”
Additional information is available at JoinNCBA.org or by calling 866-233-3872.
1-800-634-5021 410-822-3965 Fax- 410-822-5068
P.O. Box 2026 Easton, MD 21601-8925