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Angus Productions Inc.
Copyright © 2011
Angus Productions Inc.

Ag Policy Committee Discusses
2010 Farm Bill, Border Security

by Kindra Gordon for Angus Productions Inc.

DENVER (Feb. 4, 2011) — Farm Bill discussions in Washington, D.C., will likely kick off this summer, reported Kristina Butts, NCBA executive director of legislative affairs as she addressed the NCBA Ag Policy Committee Feb. 4 in Denver. Butts encouraged NCBA membership to share their input on provisions within the bill.


She shared that, on behalf of the cattle industry, NCBA is currently reviewing guiding principles in preparation for the Farm Bill discussion. Presently, NCBA’s top priority is to eliminate or reduce the livestock title, provisions or directives in the next Farm Bill. Colin Woodall, NCBA vice president of government affairs, explained that the livestock title within previous farm bills is where issues such as country-of-origin labeling (COOL) and the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) were created.


“In our view the Farm Bill is not meant for marketing issues,” Woodall stated.


With specific regard to marketing, NCBA’s stance is that farm policy that guarantees profit, restricts the operation of the competitive marketplace, or dictates who can or cannot own cattle should be discouraged.


Butts clarified that taking out the livestock title would not affect research and conservation programs that have traditionally been in the Farm Bill.


Additional NCBA priorities with regard to the Farm Bill include:

The committee also spent considerable time discussing an interim policy that was initially put forth at the 2010 Cattle Industry Summer Conference by the Arizona Cattle Growers Association regarding border security. Discussion was conducted about the challenges and dangers border ranchers are facing in several border states. Arizona has formulated and 18-point “Restore Our Border” plan that they’d like to see the NCBA organization support as they seek legislative changes on this issue. (More information about the plan can be found at www.restoreourborder.org). A resolution was passed by voice vote to have NCBA support action in securing the international border from California to Florida.


Several expiring resolutions were renewed by the committee, including continuing NCBA’s opposition to legislation preventing horse harvesting and/or processing, and opposing any abolishment of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) or combining NRCS under the Farm Service Agenc (FSA).


NCBA members attending the committee meeting were also encouraged to contribute to the organization’s PAC (political action committee) fund. Ag Policy Committee Chairman Tim Munns from Nevada emphasized that this funding is used on cattlemen’s behalf to create awareness for ag policy issues.  





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