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Our Views

Our Views Columns

NCBA President Marty Smith: Time To Pull Together - Friday, March 20, 2020

March 2020 will go down in history as one of our nation’s most challenging months ever - and that certainly holds true for our beef-producing community as well. The coronavirus and the worldwide economic shock that it has triggered will be with us for a long time to come. But we will get through this challenge just as we have gotten through many others in our past — by pulling together, working together, and moving forward together. Together: it seems to be the most appropriate word for these times. We truly are all in this together. No fancy business title, no amount of money, no geographic feature or political border can fully shield any of us from the risk of illness, or from the economic challenges in the near or long (full story)

NCBA President Marty Smith: Time To Pull Together - Friday, March 20, 2020

March 2020 will go down in history as one of our nation’s most challenging months ever - and that certainly holds true for our beef-producing community as well. The coronavirus and the worldwide economic shock that it has triggered will be with us for a long time to come. But we will get through this challenge just as we have gotten through many others in our past — by pulling together, working together, and moving forward together. Together: it seems to be the most appropriate word for these times. We truly are all in this together. No fancy business title, no amount of money, no geographic feature or political border can fully shield any of us from the risk of illness, or from the economic challenges in the near or long (full story)

NCBA Op-Ed: "Why Sustainability?" - Monday, November 11, 2019

WASHINGTON (Nov. 11, 2019) - National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Vice President, Government Affairs, Ethan Lane, today released the following op-ed for publication: Why Sustainability? By Ethan Lane, Vice President, Government Affairs, NCBA When the topic of sustainability comes up in conversation in cattle circles, it’s common to see heads shaking. It’s not a topic we like to discuss in our industry – primarily because it’s so often raised with bad intentions and worse information. We bristle because we’ve been doing things right in our business for many generations and it’s difficult to accept that outsiders have influence in how we’re doing business. Increasingly, though (full story)

NCBA Exposes Relationship of OCM and HSUS - Thursday, October 3, 2019

WASHINGTON (October 3, 2019) - The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Vice President of Government Affairs, Ethan Lane, today released the following statement in response to a Nebraska rally demanding government intervention to alleviate price disparities impacting cattle markets: “Yesterday, an HSUS-funded organization called the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) held a rally in Omaha, Nebraska entitled the “Rally to Stop the Stealin’ (sic)”.  According to OCM, this event was intended to place pressure on the Trump Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to “fix” our cattle markets in response to the price disparity producers are curr (full story)

NCBA CEO Colin Woodall on U.S. Farm Report - Thursday, October 3, 2019

Provided by Farm Journal (full story)

Member Update: September - Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The volunteer leadership and staff members at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) know the fire at Tyson’s Holcomb, Kan., processing facility, and the ensuing market turmoil, has had a major impact on the cattle industry and the members we represent. We are working closely with state cattlemen’s associations, government agencies and Tyson Foods, to ensure we’re doing everything we can to help get markets back on track as quickly (full story)

The Value of Grazing: The Benefits Just Don’t Stop - Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Livestock grazing provides a vast series of interconnected benefits, something California rancher Mike Williams believes is what makes the practice so valuable. “Fire [prevention] is a key component, but there are ecological benefits that go well beyond that,” said Williams. For example, livestock manure provides an organic fertilizer to rangeland. This delivers nutrients to the soil that increase biodiversity, organic matter, and water-holding capacity. As a result, our climate benefits. “A lot of people are worried about carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Grazing provides storage – it stores the carbon in the soil,” Williams explains. That is because land that is grazed by livestock plays an important (full story)

The Value of Grazing: Land and Species Conservation - Wednesday, August 21, 2019

For wildlife that rely on natural habitat to survive, there is no better partner than ranchers. That’s because ranchers protect and enhance rangeland that many critters call home. Maggie Hanna knows the value of working ranches to many species. Her family’s operation is a part of a large swath of working lands southeast of Colorado Springs, Color. that provides essential habitat for a variety of wildlife in the area. “We have things that range from the Arkansas Darter to wild turkey to antelope. All of these things are able to survive because the land hasn’t been fragmented.” According to Hanna, ranchers manage for a range of factors to that promote healthy ecosystems across rangelands. This includes spe (full story)

The Value of Grazing: Preserving Open Spaces - Wednesday, August 14, 2019

As growing metropolitan cities expand to rural areas, farms and ranches that supply food to our growing global population and habitat for thousands of wildlife species are threatened.  Tim Koopmann, a rancher in Sunol, Calif., sees the impact of urbanization first hand. His operation sits on the outskirts of the Silicon Valley, San Francisco's booming technology hub.  "We have maintained this for four generations now as a beautiful piece of land with resources that are protected and enhanced." Ranches provide healthy habitat for endangered species, ecosystem system services that would be lost to development if land was sold off.  Ecosystem services, which can include watershed improvements, well installat (full story)

NCBA Letter to CFTC - Tuesday, August 13, 2019

NCBA request to CFTC.pdf (full story)

NCBA Letter to USDA - Tuesday, August 13, 2019

NCBA request to USDA.pdf (full story)

NCBA Letter to DOT - Tuesday, August 13, 2019

NCBA request to DOT.pdf (full story)

The Value of Grazing: Wildfire Mitigation - Tuesday, August 6, 2019

In December of 2017, the Thomas fire blackened Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. The fire’s large, hot embers left Rich Atmore with a burning memory. As Atmore reflects on the fire, he also recalls the livestock that grazed much of the southern California range. Thanks to livestock, Atmore’s office and home were saved from the devastating blaze. “For about 10 hours we stayed and fought that fire. Thank god for the grazing that we did around the house and around the office,” said Atmore. That is because grazing removes the primary fuel for many wildfires – overgrowth of forage. If left ungrazed, grasslands grow much thicker and taller than usual. “We didn’t have the resources (full story)

Cattlemen in the Courts: What Two Recent Cases Mean for Producers - Thursday, June 27, 2019

In the fight for the future of the cattle industry, the daily drama of Capitol Hill attracts most of the attention. But NCBA invests considerable resources in legal battles that also have implications for farmers, ranchers, and landowners across the country. Two recent Supreme Court decisions illustrate why the judicial system is a critical component of NCBA’s work.   First, in Knick v Township of Scott , the Supreme Court decided that landowners should have direct access to federal court in “takings” cases . A taking occurs when the government illegally seizes property or infringes on a property owner’s right to control their land. In this case, Pennsylvania resident Rose Mary Knick saw the (full story)

Cattle Producers Must Remain Engaged in Dietary Guidelines Process - Thursday, June 20, 2019

  Back in January, NCBA members designated the Dietary Guidelines as a 2019 policy priority . Updated and published every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the dietary advice serves as the cornerstone for federal nutrition programs, nutrition standards, and nutrition education initiatives.     Beef is a high-quality protein with essential nutrients like iron, zinc and B vitamins. Overwhelming scientific evidence consistently shows balanced diets with beef nourish and sustain good health. So why should cattle producers remain engaged in the process?   It is helpful to remember a bit of history. Back in 2015, under (full story)

Needless Paperwork Does Not Protect Rural Communities - Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Last week, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler waived a regulation that would have required livestock producers to report routine air emissions from the decomposition of livestock manure to state and local government entities under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). Media reports were quick to cast the move as a weakening of environmental regulations, but they failed to acknowledge some key realities on the ground. First, state and local first responders made clear that they did not want the reports from routine agricultural emissions. Tim Gablehouse, the president of the National Association of SARA Title Three Program Officials (NASTTPO), noted that these (full story)

2015 WOTUS Rule Suffers Another Blow - Thursday, May 30, 2019

Cattle producers hoping to defeat the Zombie WOTUS once and for all scored another victory this week. A district court in Texas ruled the Obama Administration’s 2015 rule violated the Administrative Procedure s Act – a federal law agencies must follow when drafting regulations.   As co-plaintiff in the case, NCBA argued that the 2015 rule violated several federal laws in addition to the Administrative Procedure Act, including the Clean Water Act, Commerce Clause, and the 10th Amendment. The judge did not address these issues in the ruling, but the decision nonetheless makes clear that the 2015 WOTUS rule should not stand. Court rulings across the country have created a patchwork (full story)

Kansas Rancher Fights Climate Hot Air - Thursday, May 30, 2019

Climate change is one of the most salient issues surrounding environmental policy conversations in Washington, D.C. today. Last week, the Senate Committee on Agriculture held a public hearing focused on that very subject, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association had one of our own, Kansas rancher Debbie Lyons-Blythe, with a seat at the table. From the moment Chairman Pat Roberts gaveled the hearing to order, Lyons-Blythe testified admirably on behalf of American cattle producers. Lyons-Blythe clearly illustrated the exceptional environmental work and progressive sustainability practices American cattlemen and women across this country implement on their beef operations every day - without prompting from the (full story)

NCBA Legal Brief Defends State Management of Groundwater - Monday, May 20, 2019

Last week, NCBA and a group of other agricultural trade associations filed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in the case Hawaii Wildlife Fund v. County of Maui . Last year, a decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that pollutant releases to groundwater are subject to penalty under federal law if they reach surface water, potentially expanding reach of the Clean Water Act to thousands of previously unregulated cattle operations. The brief presents several specific agricultural practices, including manure storage and land application, that will be subject to additional scrutiny should the Court expand federal Clean Water Act authority to groundwater discharges. The brief quotes Chief Environmental Counsel Scott Yage (full story)

Florida Tour Highlights Cattle as Environmental Solution - Thursday, May 2, 2019

  Earlier this week, NCBA staff and the Florida Cattlemen’s Association spent three days in South Florida with staff of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discussing the importance of cattle ranching as a solution to modern environmental challenges. Over 5.4 million acres of Florida land are used for pasture and rangeland; that’s 15.6% of the state’s total land area. Cattle producers compete with unprecedented urban sprawl with 1,000 people moving into the state per day. Lake Okeechobee in Southern Florida is impaired with high levels of phosphorus, which can lead to algal blooms. Thankfully, cattle are a net exporter of phosphorus in the Lake Okeechobee watershed – taking up phospho (full story)

There is No Alternative to Beef - Friday, April 26, 2019

Today there are more protein choices for consumers than ever before. In addition to the popular animal proteins beef, chicken and pork, newer forms of alternative proteins made from plants, such as soy and peas, are making their way into the marketplace. While alternative proteins and veggie burgers have existed for decades, some of these newer products have significant financial backing resulting in aggressive marketing and great media fanfare. But let’s look at what is really going on in the marketplace. There is No Alternative to Beef (full story)

NCBA Responds to Politico Article on Politics of Meat - Thursday, April 25, 2019

In a recent article for Politico Magazine , Michael Grunwald takes a wide-ranging look at the politics of meat. Covering dense (should we say “meaty”?) topics like the rise of fake meat and climate change, Grunwald’s analysis touches on issues that are top of mind for American cattlemen and cattlewomen. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) took a look at some of the article’s claims to see how they held up. Claim #1: Proponents of the Green New Deal do not want to ban beef Grunwald is correct to point out that the text of the Green New Deal resolution does not make specific policy recommendations for livestock producers. Like most sweeping climate change proposals, the Green (full story)

What's at Steak with Japan - Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Cattle producers celebrated as the U.S.-Japan trade talks kicked off in Washington, D.C. this week. Ambassador Robert Lighthizer hosted Japan’s Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi in the first of what we expect will be multiple rounds of talks. Here is a quick reminder about what is at steak (pun intended) when it comes to Japan: Japan is the largest export market for U.S. beef (over $2 billion in sales last year). Key competitors, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Mexico, currently enjoy a 12 percent tariff rate advantage over U.S. beef. The U.S. Meat Export Federation estimates that, in the absence of a trade deal, U.S. beef annual export losses by 2023 are estimated (full story)

Public Meetings, Brexit Discussions Cap Busy Week at CFTC - Thursday, April 4, 2019

Traders, industry groups, and other stakeholders converged on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) last week, considering a wide range of topics from automation to opening markets. Check out the details below. On Monday the CFTC Commissioners took action on two important regulatory matters, with the ongoing issue of Brexit taking center stage.   Post-Brexit margin requirements : All Commissioners recognized the potential for Brexit to cause chaotic market activity and expressed their commitment to providing as much certainty as possible. As a first step, the Commissioners unanimously agreed to an interim rule designed to give market participants some relief if a Brexit deal is not reached (full story)

NCBA Encourages Senate to Confirm CFTC Commissioner - Thursday, March 14, 2019

This week the Senate Agriculture Committee heard from nominee Dr. Heath P. Tarbert, who is slated to be the next Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).  In his testimony, Dr. Tarbert highlighted his intent and desire to learn from agricultural producers that rely on the futures markets by getting outside of the Beltway and visiting operations in the countryside. The hearing covered a broad range of issues involving agricultural commodity trading, but two exchanges are worth highlighting: Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) asked about a 2018 CFTC report investigating sharp price movements in futures markets. Dr. Tarbert clearly understood the report’s main conclusion: That the current (full story)

Consumers, Producers Still Waiting for #FakeMeatFacts - Friday, March 1, 2019

While NCBA continues to call for more clarity on the production and safety of lab-grown fake meat, lawmakers in Congress have questions of their own. At a recent hearing featuring Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb , U.S. Representative Robert Aderholt (R-AL) asked the Commissioner for more details on the timing and content of the forthcoming regulatory framework. Gottlieb noted that the FDA and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) were close to finalizing a detailed agreement on how to regulate emerging lab-grown protein products, but he did not say whether USDA veterinarians would be involved in the collection of cells from living animals. The latter point is just one of many that have yet (full story)

NCBA Affiliates Deliver Industry Message at WOTUS Hearing in Kansas City - Friday, March 1, 2019

As part of the Trump Administration’s ongoing effort to repeal and replace the disastrous 2015 WOTUS rule, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers officials held a two-day public hearing in Kansas City on the proposed new water rule. The proposed new rule marks a major departure from the 2015 WOTUS rule, which vastly expanded federal government jurisdiction on agricultural land across the country. By contrast, the new rule seeks to limit federal authority and provide clear rules for landowners to follow, without sacrificing the clean water our nation depends on. “Cattle and beef producers have dealt with the uncertainty of the 2015 WOTUS rule for far too long,” said Jessie (full story)

Positive Developments at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission - Wednesday, February 27, 2019

When most cattle producers think about government agencies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency come to mind. But the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) also plays a critical – if lesser-known – role in the lives of cattlemen and cattlewomen. That’s because the CFTC is responsible for regulating the markets for futures and options contracts that many producers use to manage their risk (learn more about futures and options contracts for cattle here ). In the last few weeks, NCBA has taken note of a few positive developments at the CFTC, including:   Increased funding . The CFTC recently received a funding increase of $19 million, bringing the agenc (full story)

Transportation Update: Extending the Electronic Logging Devices Delay for Livestock Haulers - Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Livestock haulers across the country are currently exempt from implementing electronic logging devices (ELDs). The question is: For how much longer? A few months ago, NCBA worked closely with allies in Congress to secure a temporary exemption through December 7, 2018. With less than ten days to go before that exemption expires, NCBA has been making the rounds on Capitol Hill to remind lawmakers that a further extension is necessary. “The livestock industry needs additional time to work with Congress and the Administration on a long-term solution to overly-restrictive Hours of Service rules,” said Executive Director of Government Affairs Allison Rivera. “Extending the ELD implementation delay for livestock hauler (full story)

Three Things to Know: USDA-FDA Announcement on Regulating Lab-Grown Fake Meat - Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) threw a wrench in the Friday evening plans of many fake meat watchers. Just after 4:30 pm, the agencies announced they had agreed on a framework for regulating lab-grown fake meat products. Here are three things every cattle and beef producer should know about the recent announcement. 1. USDA takes the primary . Under the announced framework, the USDA would have the primary role in ensuring that lab-grown fake meat is held to the same food safety and labeling standards as real beef. The FDA would be responsible for all things cellular, including collection of cell samples and cell growth. But oversight (full story)

Correcting the Record: NCBA's Position on Fake Meat - Friday, October 19, 2018

A recent report by the Congressional Research Service on lab-grown fake meat oversight highlights a common point of confusion in the ongoing regulatory debate. The report inaccurately claims that “NCBA believes cell-cultured meat falls under the definition of meat in [the Federal Meat Inspection Act].” Other analysts and industry groups have reached the same mistaken conclusion, likely due to NCBA’s insistence that U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) should lead federal oversight of lab-grown products. In fact, NCBA says that lab-grown fake meat fits the definition of a “ meat food product ,” which is not the same as “ meat ” under federal law. It is important to note that Congr (full story)

Cooler Heads Can Prevail on ESA Modernization - Monday, July 9, 2018

Ranchers across the U.S. take pride in their role as land managers and environmental stewards. That’s why livestock groups were quick to support new legislation that would modernize the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The legislation , proposed by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), is intended to refocus the ESA process on wildlife recovery. The status quo clearly is not working. Less than 2% of species that receive an ESA listing are ever delisted. Out of the 1,661 total species listed as endangered, less than a third have a recovery plan. Meanwhile, agenda-driven outside groups have become adept at exploiting the ESA to dominate the policy process and tie-up land managers in endless litigation. This is not the way conse (full story)

Fake Meat Manufacturers Are Calling for FDA Oversight. Will Anybody Listen? - Thursday, June 14, 2018

Somebody has been reading the Good Food Institute’s talking points. In a recent op-ed published by Forbes , former Obama Administration official Susan B. Dudley calls on Congress to give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate lab-grown fake meat products. After repeating the typical environmental and animal welfare critiques that have been used against the beef industry ad-nauseum (find some new material, would ya?), Dudley claims that the FDA should regulate lab-grown fake meat because the production process does not involve slaughter. This is a text book argument advanced by fake meat promoters. In fact, the Good Food Institute wrote a blog post with the same claim way back in April 2017.   (full story)

Breaking Down Recent Congressional Action on ELDs and Hours of Service - Wednesday, June 13, 2018

It has been an exciting 24 hours for all those following developments on the livestock transportation front, including legislation that would affect electronic logging devices (ELDs) and Hours of Service rules for livestock haulers. Yesterday two new pieces of legislation – one in the Senate and one in the House – were introduced with the goal of providing much-needed relief for livestock haulers across the country.  The Context Current Hours of Service rules do not provide the needed flexibility that live animal haulers need to safely haul livestock across the country. Instead, the current rules – coupled with the implementation of electronic logging devices and lack of flexibilities – jeopardize the (full story)

Three Takeaways: FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez Testifies at Transportation Hearing - Tuesday, May 22, 2018

This morning, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee heard from Ray Martinez, Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Administrator Martinez provided testimony about a wide range of transportation issues, including the implementation of electronic logging devices (ELDs) and Hours of Service (HOS) rules for livestock haulers. Here are three big takeaways: Working with the agricultural community is a top priority. In his opening statement, the Administrator stated that FMCSA is committed to addressing the unique needs of the agricultural community. Later, he told Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) that the agency is engaged in discussions with livestock haulers and hears their concer (full story)

Keep the Beef Checkoff in the Hands of Producers - Thursday, May 17, 2018

By Kevin Kester, 2018 NCBA President Every beef producer knows that demand is king. Investing the time, resources, and hard labor required to raise cattle and produce beef only makes sense if consumers are willing to buy the final product. That is why in 1988, the nation’s cattle and beef producers voted to approve a consumer marketing program known as the Beef Checkoff. Today, despite having support from three of four producers, that program is under attack. The misguided effort to unwind years of producer-led work comes from U.S. Representatives Dave Brat (R-VA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). Together Representatives Brat and Blumenauer are pushing an amendment to the 2018 Farm Bill that would harm the beef industry and unde (full story)

House Appropriators Should Support USDA Regulation of Lab-Grown Protein - Monday, May 14, 2018

This week, the full House Appropriations Committee is expected to consider the fiscal year 2019 House Agriculture Appropriations bill . Included in the bill is an important provision that would place lab-grown fake meat products under U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversight. If you care about the health and welfare of consumers, that’s good news.   NCBA first called for USDA oversight of lab-grown protein because the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service is the agency best-placed to ensure these fake meat products are safe and accurately labeled. Chairman Robert Aderholt (R-AL) and other members of the House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee should be commended for recognizing the benefits of USDA (full story)

Generations Join in Celebrating the Beef Products They Raise - Tuesday, May 8, 2018

By Dawn Caldwell Chair, Federation of State Beef Councils Among the most gratifying aspects of the cattle industry is its multi-generational nature. For instance, I grew up listening to my Grandpa’s stories of raising cattle and taking them to the stockyards, and riding with my Dad while we showed the calf crop to a field man for the auction market. We would sit in the sale barn with nervousness and pride as our calves went through. I never considered a life without cattle. I’m not unique in that. Families have taken a tremendous amount of pride in their work and this lifestyle for more than a century. Whatever your role in the industry is, I hope you have a story of satisfaction and success (or better yet, sever (full story)

The Path Forward for Tax Reform - Thursday, October 26, 2017

By Danielle Beck On the heels today’s successful budget resolution vote in the U.S. House of Representatives, tax reform is all set to move forward. While some elements of the budget resolution are not binding, specific instructions in the text give Republicans the ability to move tax legislation through the Senate on a simple majority vote. The latest milestone follows weeks of public engagement from the Administration and Congress. In speeches, talk show interviews, and op-eds, Republicans have been pushing the benefits of their tax plan, known as the Unified Framework for Fixing the Broken Tax Code. The Unified Framework includes encouraging details for America’s cattlemen and women. Chief among them is the commitme (full story)

Why We Fight for Regulatory Reform - Wednesday, October 11, 2017

by Scott Yager With talk of tax reform and health care dominating the halls of Congress, it was not surprising that a hearing held by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law passed without much fanfare. Held on September 28 th , the hearing featured testimony from Jason Carter, Executive Director of the Virginia Cattlemen’s Association (VCA), who discussed his perspective on a key regulatory issue facing VCA members. Regulatory reform is a gritty, technical process that often fails to make headlines. Nonetheless, it is some of the most critical work that NCBA and our allies engage in. Mr. Carter’s testimony focused on how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is creat (full story)

Want to Know If Free Trade Agreements Work? Look At Our Exports to Korea. - Wednesday, March 15, 2017

by Kent Bacus    There’s been a great deal of discussion recently about whether free-trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are on balance positive or negative for American workers and businesses.   That debate will continue, but one thing is absolutely certain: opening foreign markets to American agricultural exports has been an enormous boon for America’s farm and ranch families, who provide the world with a safe and abundant food supply. American consumers are blessed with a safe, affordable, and abundant food source, but Americans alone cannot consume all of the agricultural goods that we produce. For many years (full story)

Global Beef Producers Allied on Trade Liberalization and Sustainable Production - Thursday, November 3, 2016

The 2016 annual conference of the International Beef Alliance (IBA) hosted by Beef and Lamb New Zealand in Taupo, Oct. 16 – 21, offered the opportunity for leaders of the major beef producers groups of Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay, and the United States to exchange views on a wide variety of topics including trade liberalization, sustainable beef production, and young leader development. The Alliance, which represents 46 percent of global beef trade and 63 percent of global beef exports, is particularly concerned by the growing rhetoric opposing trade.   The rising tide of global protectionism threatens to undermine momentum in trade reform that has to date delivered subst (full story)

Fed Cattle Exchange to be Included in AMS Livestock Mandatory Reporting - Thursday, September 29, 2016

Beginning on Oct. 5, 2016 sales conducted through the Fed Cattle Exchange, an online trading platform, will be included in USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service Livestock Mandatory Reporting cattle reports as negotiated purchases. The cattle industry requested this reporting and NCBA is pleased with USDA's decision to include these transactions.     The Fed Cattle Exchange provides a web based interface where feedlots can offer pens of market ready cattle for sale, and packers can bid on those offerings in a timed format, similar to an online auction. The Fed Cattle Exchange was launched this year as a new method for marketing slaughter cattle in response to the decline in the cash slaughter cattle market. This decl (full story)

NCBA Working to Address Market Volatility - Friday, January 15, 2016

In December, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association hosted a meeting with producer-members to identify ways to address the concern of market volatility as a result of high-frequency trading. The meeting brought together industry traders, economists, and hedgers who all delivered evidence and first-hand accounts to support the shared concerns.   At the Cattle Industry Convention in San Diego CME Group Executive Chairman and President Terry Duffy will be speaking to NCBA's Cattle Marketing and International Trade Committee. In anticipation of the meeting, NCBA has identified and formally asked him to address several critical areas of interest: 1. Livestock contracts must be monitored, measured, and controlled through (full story)

Colombia Grants Full Access for U.S. Beef - Friday, January 15, 2016

At the end of December, Colombia opened its border granting full access for U.S. beef. Since 2003, Colombia placed BSE-related restrictions on bone-in cuts, but recent updates to Colombia's protocols mean that U.S. beef products are no longer subject to export verification (EV) requirements. Kent Bacus, NCBA associate director of legislative affairs said this increased access is positive news for the cattle industry as export markets continue to grow. "I'm pleased Colombia recognizes the strong protocols we have in place and has granted us full access once again," said Bacus. "This will allow us greater access to their consumers who demand the high-quality product we produce." In 2012, the U.S. passed the Colombia Free-Trade Agr (full story)

Senate SubCommittee Holds Hearing Addressing ESA - Thursday, October 1, 2015

On September 29 th , the Senate Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife held a briefing titled “Improving the Endangered Species Act: Perspectives from the Fish and Wildlife Service and State Governors.” The briefing consisted of two panels including Dan Ashe, Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Governor Mead of Wyoming and Governor Bullock of Montana. Prior to the hearing, the Public Lands Council and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association submitted a letter to the committee leadership to address problematic and outdated Act.   “While the original intent of the ESA was positive, it has not been reauthorized since 1988 and has an abysmal record of success,” the let (full story)

US District Court Overturns ESA Listing for Lesser Prairie Chicken - Thursday, September 3, 2015

On Sept. 1, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas overturned the Administration’s listing of the Lesser Prairie Chicken under the Endangered Species Act. Ruling in favor of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association and other plaintiffs, the judge concluded that the listing was arbitrary and capricious and that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to properly follow its own process for listing determinations in this matter. Further, conservation efforts have already been undertaken across millions of acres over five states to improve habitat and diminish threats to the Lesser Prairie Chicken. The Court determined these conservation efforts, which have resulted in a 25 percent increase in the population of Less (full story)

Kansas Cattleman Testifies to Fallacy of COOL - Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing today to discuss the implications of retaliation due to the failed Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling program. Jaret Moyer, cattle producer and president of the Kansas Livestock Association, testified at the hearing. “Proponents of COOL have long said mandatory labeling would increase demand for U.S. beef,” said Moyer. “After six years of implementation, it is clear that this is not the case.” Moyer cited a November 2012 study published by Kansas State University that determined demand for beef has not been positively impacted by COOL. He also referenced an April 2015 report to Congress authored by K-State Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics Glynn (full story)

Forest Service Withdraws Groundwater Directive - Thursday, June 25, 2015

Last week, the U.S Forest Service formally withdrew their proposed ground water directive, a decision applauded by the livestock industry following a years-long effort opposing any expansion of federal control over water beyond existing limited control via federal statute and Federal Reserve rights. The directive, proposed in 2014, would have allowed the Forest Service to regulate activities on or near National Forest System lands based on their interpretation on how those activities could affect groundwater and despite private water development and property rights. Public Lands Council Executive Director Dustin Van Liew said the USFS directive was an unprecedented infringement of private property rights. “Private water (full story)

BLM and USFS Release Resource Management Plans for Sage Grouse - Thursday, May 28, 2015

Today, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service released their final environmental reviews for proposed land use plans for the greater sage grouse habitat on public lands across 10 western states. Upon initial review of the resource management plans, the livestock industry is concerned the BLM and USFS have overstepped. Inclusion of one-size-fits-all requirements on how multiple uses, including livestock grazing, will be managed on public lands is not the answer to conserving sage grouse. The agencies have included legally questionable provisions in the Resource Management Plans which run contrary to what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has requested for protecting the bird. These plans are yet another example (full story)

A Call-to-Action on Transportation - Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Cattle Transportation Symposium, an effort led by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, with support from the Beef Checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program and Colorado State University, was held May 14 th and 15 th in Fort Collins, Colo.   The event brought together all sectors of the beef industry to discuss and evaluate current transportation issues in the beef industry, with a focus on potential research areas and solutions for the future of cattle transport in the United States.   Nearly 100 attendees were on hand to hear from industry leaders, transportation experts, and to participate in hands-on demonstrations involving trailer design and safety during the two day symposium.     (full story)

FWS, NOAA Propose Actions on ESA - Thursday, May 21, 2015

On Monday, May 18 th , the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) that would require petitioners to solicit information from relevant state wildlife agencies prior to submitting a listing petition to the Services. The proposed rule would also limit petitions to one species at a time. According to FWS and NOAA, this new set of tools will improve the effectiveness and demonstrate the flexibility of the ESA. According the official press release, FWS and NOAA will be unveiling additional proposals over the coming year to achieve four broad goals; 1.) Improving science and increasing transparency; 2.) Incentivizing voluntary (full story)

House Natural Resources holds Sage-Grouse Hearing - Thursday, May 21, 2015

On Tuesday, May 19 th the House Natural Resources Committee held an oversight hearing on “Empowering State Management of Greater Sage Grouse.” The purpose of the hearing was to examine the conservation efforts of states, to give states the opportunity to explain their role as wildlife managers, and to support true cooperation between the federal agencies and state and local governments. Witnesses included Kathleen Clarke, Director of the Utah Public lands Policy Coordinating Office and former Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM); Dustin Miller, Administrator of the Idaho Office of Species Conservation; John Swartout, Senior Policy Advisor to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper; and Dr. Ed Arnett, Senior Scientist (full story)

House Ag Committee Passes COOL Repeal Legislation - Thursday, May 21, 2015

After over a decade and two administrations failing to successfully implement the rule, House Agriculture Committee approved legislation (H.R. 2393) to repeal Country of Origin Labeling by a vote of 38 to 6. Originally introduced in the 2002 Farm Bill covering beef, pork and chicken; and implemented in 2008, COOL has been detrimental to the U.S. livestock industry and without benefit to U.S. consumers. After multiple rulings against the U.S. by the World Trade Organization, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President and Chugwater, Wyoming, cattleman, Philip Ellis said this action by Congress is long overdue. “As a fifth-generation rancher I am proud of the products we produce and we produce the best beef (full story)

Bill Introduced to Allow States to Retain Control of Sage Grouse Management - Thursday, April 23, 2015

Legislation that would prevent the Department of Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from listing the Greater Sage Grouse under the Endangered Species Act was introduced by Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) in the Senate this week.   The Sage Grouse Protection and Conservation Act reassures state management of the bird, rather than a federal management plan and the ESA by allowing states to implement individual conservation and management plans for the recovery of great sage-grouse. Once a state has submitted a plan, the Secretary of the Interior would be required to share scientific data with states, assist states in crafting and implementation of the state’s plan, and must recognize these state plans for (full story)

Interior Secretary Announces the Bistate Sage Grouse Population will not be Listed - Thursday, April 23, 2015

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced this week the decision to not list the BiState greater sage grouse population under the Endangered Species Act, a decision PLC and NCBA applaud. In the statement released by the Department of Interior, USDA Under Secretary Robert Bonnie applauded the efforts of ranchers and local governments for their work to conserve sage grouse habitat. “Together, we’ve worked with ranchers, conservation groups, local governments in Nevada and California to take proactive steps to restore and enhance sage-grouse habitat while also helping them improve their ranching operations,” Bonnie said. “The decision to not list the bi-state sage-grouse proves this work has paid (full story)

Tipton and Barrasso Reintroduce Water Rights Protection Act - Thursday, April 16, 2015

Today, Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) and Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) reintroduced bipartisan legislation to protect water rights. Supported by Public Lands Council and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, H.R. 1830 Water Rights Protection Act reinforces the limit to federal jurisdiction of water and provides a means to combat the Federal Government by way of the USFS and the Bureau of Land Management from seizing water rights without just compensation in exchange for land use permits.   The legislation comes as a result of directive by the Forest Service that allowed the agency to take water rights from private entities, despite private water development and property rights. Public Lands Council Executive Director (full story)