Cattle Industry Convention Sets Policy for 2012


The 2012 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show sets a new attendance record in Nashville, Tennessee.

NCBA Sets Policy For 2012

International trade, cattle payment efficiency and herd health were among the key policy issues members of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) honed in on during the 2012 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in Nashville, Tenn. Outgoing NCBA President Bill Donald said the grassroots policy process was put into action this week as policy resolutions, which originated in local and state cattlemen organizations, advanced through committees and were passed by NCBA members during the annual convention.

“NCBA’s policy is not developed in a board room in Washington, D.C. It’s developed, debated and deliberated on by cattlemen and women. This process is and always has been the strength and backbone of the organization,” Donald said. “From the health of the herd, economic profitability, international trade and more, NCBA members worked this week to ensure a successful and sustainable U.S. beef industry.”

Donald said NCBA members keyed in on international trade, specifically the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), during the convention. He said a resolution was passed that codified NCBA support of a TPP that removes tariff and non-tariff trade barriers for U.S. beef to participating countries, which include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Donald said NCBA insists all participating countries, as well as any countries that join the TPP in the future, must fully abide by guidelines set by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Trade was not the only issue considered by NCBA members. NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall said a resolution was passed to encourage a more efficient payment system for fed cattle. Woodall said at a time when it takes more capital to feed cattle and when cattle feeders want to buy replacement cattle in a timely manner, a recent announcement from the U.S. Postal Service that first class mail delivery will slow in the future will cause problems for the efficient delivery of payment for cattle. He said NCBA will work with the packing sector of the industry to development a more efficient and expeditious payment system for fed cattle.

Donald, who is a Montana rancher, said the current management of bison on federal lands by the Department of Interior (DOI) has cattlemen concerned about the health of the cattle herd. While co-mingling of bison and other native wildlife with cattle is unpreventable, Donald said the relocation of the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) or other federally-owned bison is a liability cattlemen aren’t willing to bear. NCBA members passed a resolution opposing the relocation of any bison outside the current GYA management area, the expansion of that area and any increase in the currently authorized GYA bison population.

Cattlemen Question EPA On CAFO Reporting Rule

Ellen Gilinsky with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) faced a roomful of cattlemen and women at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s annual convention held in Nashville, Tenn. Gilinsky, who serves as a senior policy advisor to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, received questions regarding the proposed Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 308 CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) Reporting Rule. The center of concern stems from what was referred to as a serious overreach of EPA’s authority. NCBA Deputy Environmental Counsel Ashley Lyon said the proposed rule could put the nation’s food system at risk of increased terrorist attacks.

“EPA should pull this rule. The agency needs to redirect its focus to working with states and other partners to attain already publicly available information that would allow them to work toward their goal of improved water quality,” said Lyon. “This can be done in a way that does not put our food system at increased risk.”

According to concerns raised, this rule was developed through a consent decree with environmental groups. Cattlemen voiced their deep concern that more and more regulations are coming from these type of agreements where cattle producers don’t have a seat at the table. The proposed rule requires all cattle operations meeting the regulatory definition of a CAFO to report a long list of information about their operations to EPA, including latitude and longitude (or street address) of the production area, acres available for land application of manure, type and number of head and contact information for the owner or authorized representative. EPA would place this information on the agency’s website in an easily searchable database, where Lyon fears extremists could access the information with the intent to do harm to cattle operations or the nation’s food system. Gilinsky said EPA received a number of comments on the proposed rule prior to the closing of the comment period on Jan. 19. She said the agency understands the cattle industry’s biosecurity and privacy concerns.

“We are very interested in working with you. We want to work in partnership,” said Gilinsky. “We heard your concerns about biosecurity. We are very open to ideas on how to get information. We just want the information. We worked really closely with USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) and what we came up with was actually a result of our work with USDA.”

Gilinsky said the final rule will be released on July 13, 2012. If finalized as proposed, Lyon said any non-compliance with the rule would be a violation of the CWA and be subject to fines of up to $37,500 per day. Lyon also said she was encouraged by the comments made by Gilinsky. 


Watch February 1, 2012 Cattlemen to Cattlemen Episode


Watch January 31, 2012 Cattlemen to Cattlemen Episode


Tight Supplies Expected in 2012

As cattle supplies remain tight and global demand intensifies profitability for cattle ranchers will continue in the year ahead, CattleFax analysts told cattlemen during remarks delivered at the 2012 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in Nashville, Tenn.

“The economic signals are in place for restocking to begin this year,” said CattleFax Chief Executive Officer Randy Blach. “All we need now is a little encouragement from Mother Nature.”

Art Douglas, of Creighton University, set the expectation that, although there have been three months of near-normal rainfall in parts of Texas, drought will continue to play a role in determining if and when the cowherd expands. Douglas expects much of Texas to return to dry conditions by late-spring or early summer. He also predicts drought will spread into southern California, the Northern Plains and coastal areas of the southeast United States.

“By March a trough of low pressure should become established in the inland West and this will lower temperatures though precipitation will remain light at 75-90 percent of normal along the coast,” said Douglas. “These dry spring conditions will extend from the Pacific Northwest into the northern Plains. Dry spring weather is expected to persist in the Southeast where precipitation should run 80 percent of normal in coastal areas. Florida should show some improvement in moisture conditions by late spring.”

Despite shifting drought conditions, Blach told the audience he expects cattle inventory numbers will decline slightly in 2012 and reach a low point in 2013, before increasing in 2014 and beyond. Although herd growth may remain elusive, an increase in average carcass weights will partially offset the decline in inventory numbers, he said. The decline in cattle numbers means prices can be expected to move higher in 2012. Tight supplies of cattle and beef will be compounded by continued growth in the export markets, with expanded access into Japan and continued increases in the volume and value of beef being sold into export channels, according to Blach.

 “We anticipate additional good news from Japan, perhaps during the first half of the year,” said Blach of the effort to expand trade to include beef derived from cattle up to 30 months of age.

He said Japan won’t be the only export market to see significant growth during 2012. In fact, U.S. beef exports, which set records in 2011, will likely set new highs in 2012 as a result of strong overall global demand and continued weakness in the U.S. dollar.


A Day In The Life Of Bill Donald 


CME Establishes $100 Million Fund To Protect Cattlemen

The CME Group Inc. (CME) established a $100 million fund to protect farmers and ranchers who utilize CME. Cattlemen attending the 2012 Cattle Industry Convention heard from Bryan Durkin, CME chief operating officer, who said on behalf of CME that they felt an “inherent” responsibility to help their customers. He said there is more to be done.

“We are in unchartered territory,” said Durkin. “There are a lot of facts that still need to be sorted out. We took an important first step for farmers and ranchers.”

Durkin said MF Global found a way to manipulate a system that has been working flawlessly for 75 years.

The fund will not help former MF Global customers who haven’t received all their money as a result of the bankruptcy. There is an estimated $1.2 billion shortfall in customer segregated accounts. Durkin said customers with accounts in the United States have received about 72 cents on the dollar. Under the new fund, farmers and ranchers will be eligible to receive up to $25,000 per account if they lose money resulting from the bankruptcy of a clearing member. Durkin said farming and ranching cooperatives will be eligible for up to $100,000 per cooperative. He said if losses are more than $100 million, those customers will be eligible for a pro-rate share of the fund up to $100 million.

Durkin said doing everything possible to prevent a repeat of MF Global is top priority for CME.

“All viable solutions should be explored. We understand the significant risk you face every day,” said Durkin to the room full of cattlemen and women. “It is our responsibility to restore your confidence. We will work with industry groups including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) to explore options to give farmers and ranchers more protection.”

NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall was pleased by CME’s recent actions. He said it is a good first step and speaks volumes for CME’s commitment to protect their customers. Woodall added that CME took this step on its own accord.

Allied Industry Partners Helps Relieves Stress

 NCBA Urges Federal Land Officials To Work With Ranchers

The proposed forest planning rule and efforts to prevent sage grouse from being listed on the Endangered Species list were among the topics discussed during the Federal Lands Policy Committee of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), which met Fri., Feb. 3, 2012, at the 2012 Cattle Industry Convention. Committee chairman Joe Guild, who is a rancher from Nevada, said the issues discussed at the meeting will have long-term impacts public lands ranching.

“NCBA has repeatedly raised concerns to the U.S. Forest Service about the detrimental impacts its proposed forest planning rule would have on federal lands ranching,” Guild said. “Once again, cattlemen urged the Forest Service to walk away from the proposed forest planning rule and to work with us on a plan to manage the land and its resources while sustaining a productive ranching industry.”

Jim Peña, U.S. Forest Service associate deputy chief, told cattlemen he expects the forest planning rule to be finalized in less than a month. The proposed rule will set management requirements for the 155 forests and 20 grasslands that constitute the National Forest System. Guild said the proposal is unworkable and shifts the focus from multiple-use to non-use and preservation. Specifically, Guild said cattlemen oppose the requirement to “maintain viable populations of species of conservation concern.” He said there is no scientific consensus on what level of any given population is viable or how it is to be managed.

In December 2011, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service released a plan to implement sage grouse protections into land use and resource management plans on 45 million acres of federal lands with the goal of preventing the listing of sage grouse on the Endangered Species list. Guild said while the intent to prevent the bird’s listing is a worthy goal, NCBA and other livestock groups must stay engaged to ensure that the agencies’ plan is workable for ranchers and does not unduly prohibit livestock grazing. He said NCBA will submit comments on the scoping period for the plan before the current deadline of Feb. 16, 2012.

“Well managed grazing is the primary tool for managing federal lands. We are the solution,” Guild said. “When you quintuple the sage grouse population in 20 years through grazing, you cannot say we are the problem. We urge the agencies to listen to our concerns, work with us on issues and help us sustain this industry for future generations.” 

 Wyoming Ranch Wins National BQA Award


 Estate Tax New Priority Issue

A recording-breaking crowd of nearly 7,000 cattlemen and women from across the country jockeyed for a seat at the second general session of the 2012 Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Trade Show in Nashville, Tenn. NCBA President-Elect J.D. Alexander painted a picture of regulatory chaos in Washington, D.C., but pointed to grassroots advocacy as the primary reason the cattle industry was able to “weather the storm.”

“Because of the partnership between our state affiliates and your national organization, we managed to prevent ourselves from being the main course at the big government café,” said Alexander, who is also a cattleman from Nebraska. “This partnership – this grassroots policy process – is the shining star of this industry. You have a voice and it is being heard loud and clear.”

Alexander used the slew of regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency; the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration’s proposed rule on livestock marketing; and the Department of Transportation’s proposed rule, which would have required cattlemen to acquire commercial driver’s licenses, as examples of cattlemen’s successful pushback of burdensome regulations. Alexander said NCBA will continue pushing for practical legislation and a commonsense approach to regulations. He called the estate tax his top policy priority as the 2012 NCBA president.

 “I pledge to you that my top priority as your president is to do all I can to build beef demand and producer profitability. This can only be accomplished if we are allowed to operate without government intervention and, most importantly, if decisions are made to ensure future generations are able to take over our family businesses,” Alexander said. “The death tax is the biggest deterrent to young people returning to the cattle business. What we need now are jobs, a stable economy and food for a growing global population. Leaving the next generation to choose between a life they love or the inability to pay the estate tax is not something we will tolerate.”

NCBA Welcomes New Member To Team


NCBA Recognizes Those Who Tell Agriculture’s Story

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association recognized three communications and journalism professionals at the 2012 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show for outstanding work in 2011. In its second year, NCBA recognizes two communications professionals from a NCBA state affiliate organization and cattle breed association. The organization also recognizes one agricultural journalist. According to NCBA President Bill Donald, the intent of the award program is to offer well-deserved recognition to individuals who are staunch advocates of the U.S. cattle industry.

“Effective communications is critical to the success and sustainability of any organization, including NCBA. NCBA’s own communications team works day in and day out to ensure the organization’s message is heard. However, the team recognizes they can’t do it alone,” said Donald. “The efforts of state affiliate and breed association communications teams are crucial to a successful and cohesive message about the U.S. beef cattle industry and the farmers and ranchers who work 365 days of the year to provide beef for a global population.”

The recipient of the 2011 Excellence in Communications and Public Relations for a state affiliate is Carmen Fenton, director of public affairs for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA). Fenton has been with TSCRA since 2008. The recipient of the 2011 Excellence in Communications and Public Relations for a breed affiliate is Angie Stump Denton, director of communications for the American Hereford Association (AHA). Denton has been with AHA since 2005.

According to Donald, agricultural journalists play a key role in educating cattlemen and women about issues impacting the cattle industry. That is why NCBA, for the second year in a row, is recognizing a journalism professional for his or her work. The 2011 Excellence in Agricultural Journalism award was presented to Pete Crow, publisher of the Western Livestock Journal (WLJ). Crow’s family has been publishing WLJ every week since 1922.

The awards are sponsored by Chuck Zimmerman, owner of AgWired, said misinformation about agriculture can often plague enthusiasm of agricultural communications and journalism professionals. He said the NCBA awards provide much-needed encouragement to individuals tasked with telling the true story of American agriculture. AgWired is a leading

NCBA Backs Department of Labor’s Reconsideration

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Bill Donald welcomed a crowd of roughly 6,000 cattlemen and women to Nashville, Tenn., for the 2012 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show with news that the U.S. Department of Labor announced today, Feb. 1, 2012, the agency’s intent to reconsider a portion of its proposed rule related to on-farm child labor. Donald commended American farmers and ranchers for making their voices heard on the proposed rule, which could have restricted, and in some instances totally prevented, America’s youth from working on farms and ranches.

“You’ve all probably heard of the Department of Labor’s proposed rule that would prevent youth under the age of 15 from working on farms and ranches. The department announced this afternoon that they will re-evaluate the original proposal. This is big news. Your voices – our voices – were heard,” he said. “This issue goes to the very fiber of who we are in this country. It goes right to the fact that businesses are looking to fill positions with farm and ranch kids because they have a work ethic. They do their chores before they get on the school bus and do them again when they get home. So thanks to all of you, the Department of Labor listened finally.”

Specifically, the department will reconsider the “parental exemption” portion of the proposal. According to Donald, the proposed rule would have prevented youth under the age of 15 years from working on farms or ranches owned by anyone other than their parents. He said it failed to take into consideration youth working for an aunt or uncle or for a partnership with which their family is involved. He added in rural America, working on a neighbors’ farm or ranch is a way of life and taking away that opportunity for America’s youth would result in fewer people entering into production agriculture.

The Department of Labor received thousands of comments on the proposed rule and announced they would continue seeking input on the “parental exemption” language. The department said it expects to re-propose a rule in early summer 2012. Donald said the agency did not go far enough and should scrap the provision completely.

“Rather than strapping our hands behind our backs and preventing American youth from learning the ropes of food and fiber production from today’s farmers and ranchers, the department should scrap this provision completely. Instead, it should work with farmers and ranchers to ensure the rules on the books are workable,” Donald said. “Rules and regulations, including those related to America’s youth working on farms and ranches, need to ensure safe working conditions. But the original proposal simply goes too far. Cattlemen’s voices were heard today. We will continue working to ensure our kids and grandkids have the opportunity to earn a living producing the safest, most nutritious beef in the world.”


Cattlemen and women who can’t make it to the 2012 Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Trade Show in Nashville, Tenn., will have two unique opportunities to experience the event. NCBA’s Cattlemen to Cattlemen is bringing the convention directly to viewers around the country. Tues., Jan. 31, and Wed., Feb. 1, NCBA’s Cattlemen to Cattlemen host Kevin Ochsner will bring you the latest cattle industry news and information straight from the NCBA Trade Show.

The Jan. 31 episode will feature an in-depth look at the state of the beef cattle industry from both NCBA Chief Executive Officer Forrest Roberts and NCBA President Bill Donald. The special live show, which will air at 6:30 p.m. Mountain Standard Time (MST) on RFD-TV, will also include two roundtable discussions about both the state of the beef cattle industry in Tennessee and what is ahead for 2012 in the Southeast.

“This year’s Cattle Industry Annual Convention and NCBA Trade Show is going to be an action-packed, one-of-a-kind event,” said Roberts. “NCBA’s Cattlemen to Cattlemen is excited to bring news, education and sights and sounds of the entire experience to folks around the country who weren’t able to make it to Nashville.”

Cattlemen to Cattlemen LIVE from Opryland Hotel

On Wed., Feb. 1, NCBA’s Cattlemen to Cattlemen will air a special two-hour edition of the show featuring convention highlights, new products and education from the NCBA Trade Show floor. The show will broadcast live from 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. MST on RFD-TV. These episodes will be available on the program’s website at The program is also on Facebook and can be followed on Twitter.

The Northern Ag Network’s Russell Nemetz will be helping with both of these live broadcasts as one of the roaming reporters working the NCBA Trade Show interviewing guests.

NCBA’s Cattlemen to Cattlemen is an award-winning program providing information on the U.S. beef cattle industry since February 2007. Sponsors of the program include Purina Mills; John Deere; Pfizer Animal Health; Merck Animal Health; Dow AgroSciences; Roper Apparel and Footwear; and Stetson Apparel and Boots.

Source: NCBA & Cattlemen to Cattlemen

Posted by Northern Ag Network 

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