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Navigating Washington, D.C.

NCBA staffer updates cattlemen on policy issues and stresses need for representation.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Jan. 27, 2016) — Kristina Butts, senior executive director of governmental affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), spoke to an audience of producers and industry professionals Jan. 27 as part of the 23rd annual Cattlemen’s College® at the Cattle Industry Annual Convention & NCBA Trade Show in San Diego, Calif.

Butts leads NCBA’s lobbying activities and works closely with the USDA and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to promote communication between agricultural producers, industry leaders and political leaders on Capitol Hill. In 2015, she was recognized as one of Vance Publishing’s 40 Under 40 in Agriculture young professionals.

Butts serves as the “middle person,” helping translate and relate the message of agriculture to traditional staffers who lack a direct connection to the ranching industry.

She stressed the importance of D.C. representation by NCBA members and ranchers on the Hill. An increasing number of Congress members and other policy stakeholders come from urban backgrounds and have little or no knowledge of agriculture.

Public engagement, public policy engagement and the sharing of personal stories from agricultural professionals to political professionals are areas Butts said we can always and should always be working to improve. She said farmers and ranchers need to look for ways to make their stories relatable to staffers. She urged the audience to tell their stories.

Butts spoke on subjects like Waters of the United States (WOTUS), the Farm Bill, nutrition programs and animal health. She continually stressed the importance of telling your story and working to relate to representatives on the Hill.

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