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NCBA and NAMI Respond to USDA Report on Cattle Markets
The USDA suggested broader reporting requirements for meatpacking companies as it investigates cattle market movements driven by the coronavirus pandemic and a fire at a major beef plant. The USDA stated in a report in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice that it continues to investigate potential regulatory violations and anticompetitive conduct within the industry. However, the report does not detail any wrongdoing by meat processors.
“In its analysis of the effects of the fire and the pandemic, USDA found no wrong-doing and confirms the disruption in the beef markets was due to devastating and unprecedented events,” said North American Meat Institute President and CEO, Julie Anna Potts. “It is difficult to see how the USDA’s recommended legislative proposals would have...
New Funding for Cattle Producers to Secure Strong Future for the Beef Industry
The National Cattlemen’s Foundation (NCF) announced its partnership with Cargill to provide funding to North American cattle producers to provide practical tools to help manage market shifts, reduce costs, manage finite natural resource availability and withstand extreme weather events.
The four-year strategic partnership, which was funded by a $3 million contribution from Cargill’s protein business, establishes a professional development scholarship program, and provides educational resources through the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB) and experiential learning in partnership with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).
“Cargill is invested in the future of ranchers and farmers,” Jon Nash, Cargill Protein – North America business leader. “This contribution is just one of the ways...
Government Dietary Guidelines Reaffirm Beef's Important Role in a Healthy Diet
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) thanked the members of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) for recognizing beef’s role in a healthy lifestyle, including the essential role of beef’s nutrients at every life stage. The DGAC released recommendations to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs), the cornerstone of all federal nutrition policy.
The beef community has made it a priority to protect the scientific credibility of Dietary Guidelines and promote accurate information about the nutritional advantages of beef as part of a balanced diet. NCBA, in its roles as both a contractor to the Beef Checkoff and as a member-driven policy association, submitted 21 sets of written comments, provided oral comments, and attended public meetings to...
NCBA CEO Colin Woodall Responds to Burger King #CowsMenu Campaign
The following statement was provided by Colin Woodall, CEO of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association:
"Members of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association are disappointed by the release of Burger King’s #CowsMenu campaign. The nation’s burger restaurants can, and many of them do, play a vital role in helping improve beef’s sustainability and reducing its environmental footprint. Unfortunately, Burger King has chosen a different path, relying on kitschy imagery that misrepresents basic bovine biology – cattle emissions come from burps, not farts – and on the potential impact of a single ruminant nutrition study that was...
USDA Announces Initial Purchase of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced the initial purchase of vaccine for the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank. APHIS will invest $27.1 million in foot-and-mouth disease vaccine, which the agency would use in the event of an outbreak to protect animals and help stop the spread of disease.
Foot-and-mouth disease is an infectious viral disease that affects cloven-hooved animals, including cattle, pigs and sheep; it is not a food safety or human health threat. The disease is endemic in many parts of the world and would have widespread, long-term fallout for livestock and crop agriculture, including...
Industry Reacts to Implementation of USMCA
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement has officially entered into force, replacing NAFTA. The USDA stated that this improved agreement is a better deal for America's farmers, consumers, and workers that will set them up for success for decades to come.
Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, said, "USMCA creates more market access for farmers from across our nation to sell their wholesome and nutritious products to our closest neighbors. This is a better deal for America that will grow our economy and put more money in the pockets of American families.”
Robert Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative, stated, "This marks the beginning of a new and better chapter for trade between the United States, Mexico and Canada, just as President Trump promised he would deliver for the American people." Lighthizer added that the USMCA contains significant improvements and...
NCBA Applauds Introduction of DIRECT Act
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) applauded the introduction of the bipartisan legislation to create new direct-to-consumer options for beef producers, processors and small meat markets without compromising federal food safety standards or market access under existing trade agreements.
Introduced by U.S. Representatives Dusty Johnson (R - At-Large, SD) and Henry Cuellar (D - 28th Dist., TX), the Direct Interstate Retail Exemption for Certain Transactions (DIRECT) Act of 2020 would amend retail exemptions under current law to allow meat processed under state-inspected establishments to be sold across state lines through e-commerce, providing beef producers and local processors alike with...
NPPC, NCBA Lead Coalition Warning Congress of Agriculture Inspection Funding Shortfall
A coalition of more than 150 agriculture and trade groups led by the National Pork Producers Council and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association sent a letter to Congress warning of a major funding shortfall that could severely weaken agricultural inspections at U.S. borders. The letter urged lawmakers to protect agriculture by appropriating funding to address what may be a $630 million COVID-19 related shortfall through fiscal year 2021.
In the letter, the coalition highlighted a funding shortfall for Agricultural Quarantine Inspection, which plays a critical role in protecting U.S. agriculture from plant and animal pests and diseases. APHIS collects user fees that pay for U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture inspections. Due to the recent economic downturn and travel restrictions as a result of...
NCBA Applauds USDA Relief Plan
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Marty Smith issued the following statement regarding the announcement related to USDA’s plan for distribution of CARES Act funding.
“We appreciate Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s announcement that the agency will soon distribute funding to the cattlemen and cattlewomen who desperately need help during this national emergency. We applaud USDA’s work to quickly craft a plan to distribute the funds to those who need it most and we look forward to learning more about that plan very soon. America’s cattle producers are facing unprecedented crisis after...
NCBA Applauds Bipartisan, Bicameral Letter Urging COVID-19 Relief for Cattle Producers
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) applauded a congressional letter that was sent today to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue, urging swift relief for American cattle producers who have been adversely impacted by the ongoing Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The letter was signed by a bipartisan group of over 145 lawmakers from both chambers of Congress.
“America’s cattle producers have been hit hard by the unforeseen financial challenges brought on by this pandemic. We thank each and every lawmaker that showed their continued support to rural families by signing onto this critical letter,” said NCBA President Marty Smith, a family cow-calf operator from Wacahoota, Fla. “We remain hopeful that...
State Beef Councils Win Major Legal Victory
The Beef Checkoff program and fifteen grassroots-led state beef councils won a major court victory today when the United States District Court of Montana ruled in favor of USDA and the Montana Beef Council in the matter of R-CALF vs. Sonny Perdue and USDA.
NCBA praised the court’s decision, which ends a legal battle that has spanned more than three years and interrupted beef promotion functions in Montana. The case had threatened local input and promotion efforts at the state level across the country.
“The foundation of the Beef Checkoff has always been state beef councils that collect checkoff funds and determine how those investments are used for research, marketing and...
Industry Reacts to Senate Passage of the Coronavirus Stimulus Package
The $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package is expected to pass in Congress. The Senate passed the legislation Wednesday evening and the House is set to vote today. The bill includes $250 billion to make unemployment insurance available to more categories of workers and to extend the duration of benefits. About $150 billion will go to states, distributed according to population size. Another $349 billion will be used as loans for small businesses.
Matthew Shay, President and CEO of the National Retail Federation, said, "Companies that were investing, growing and contributing to a vibrant economy just a few weeks ago have been thrust into survival mode through no fault of their own." The Federation spoke on behalf of the retail industry in a press release by expressing appreciation for the efforts by leaders in Congress and President Trump to...
NCBA Sends Letter to Capitol Hill Urging Relief for Cattle Producers
In response to the ongoing efforts to provide relief to Americans impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane issued the following statement:
“As the country reels both economically and emotionally from the spread of COVID-19, NCBA has been hard at work ensuring that cattle producers remain able to focus on the national infrastructure priority of keeping high-quality beef available to consumers.
“Meeting that challenge requires federal officials at the Departments of Agriculture, Transportation, Interior, Treasury, and more to have a full understanding of how our product gets from the pasture to the plate – and...
NCBA Statement on Beef from Brazil
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Senior Director, International Trade and Market Access, Kent Bacus today released the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture restoring access to the U.S. for Brazilian beef:
“NCBA strongly supports science-based trade and the Trump Administration’s efforts to enforce science-based trade with all trade partners. But to be clear, NCBA has serious concerns about the re-entry of Brazilian beef to the U.S. market.
“NCBA has frequently questioned the lack of scientific evidence that was used to justify Brazil’s initial access to the U.S. market in 2016, and unfortunately, we were not surprised when Brazil forfeited its beef access to the U.S. in 2017 due to numerous food safety violations. NCBA praised Secretary Perdue for standing up for science-based trade and holding Brazil accountable for their numerous violations by...
Marty Smith of Florida Elected President of National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
Fifth-generation Florida rancher Marty Smith was elected president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) at the annual Cattle Industry Convention this afternoon. He replaces Jennifer Houston of Sweetwater, Tenn., 2019 NCBA president.
Smith operates Smith Brothers-Wacahoota, LLC, a cow-calf operation in Central Florida, that has been in continuous operation since 1852. It retains ownership through feedlots in Texas, Kansas and Iowa.
Smith graduated from the University of Georgia with a BSA in Agricultural Economics and Animal Science. While at UGA, he was on the livestock judging team and served as president of Ag Hill Council. He was also active in...
NCBA Releases Consumer Research Showing Widespread Confusion About Contents of Plant-Based Fake Meat
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) today released survey results that show widespread consumer confusion regarding the ingredient composition and purported benefits of plant-based fake meat products.
In an online survey of more than 1,800 consumers, less than half of the respondents understood the labeling term “plant-based beef” was intended to describe an entirely vegetarian or vegan food product. One major source of confusion uncovered by NCBA’s research is that approximately one third of surveyed consumers believed that plant-based fake meat products contained at least some real beef in them. When asked to evaluate specific product labels and marketing materials from some of the leading plant-based fake beef products currently on the market, the results were astonishing...
NCBA 2020 Policy Priorities
This morning, the Executive Committee of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) approved the organization’s top 2020 Policy Priorities. Approval came at the annual Cattle Industry Convention in San Antonio, Texas.
Like last year, NCBA’s top policy priorities include issues related to international trade, proper regulation of fake meat, and regulatory reform, although after a series of significant policy victories in 2019, this year’s priority list is focused on implementing and protecting those gains while further advancing progress into new territory.
For example, after helping secure bilateral trade deals with Japan, China, and the European Union, as well as the ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, NCBA’s focus this year will turn to...
Ranchers Urge Congress to Oppose Voluntary Grazing Permit Retirement Act
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and Public Lands Council (PLC) announced opposition to H.R. 5737, the Voluntary Grazing Permit Retirement Act, introduced yesterday by Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA). The bill would require federal land management agencies to permanently end livestock grazing on any allotments where the current permittee has accepted a payout in exchange for relinquishment of their term grazing permit.
“Grazing is an essential and irreplaceable tool for federal land managers,” said fifth-generation Oregon rancher and PLC President Bob Skinner. “Depriving them of this tool—the oldest of the multiple-uses—in order to...
Industry Reacts to EPA's WOTUS Rule
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army fulfilled a promise of President Trump by finalizing the Navigable Waters Protection Rule to define "waters of the United States" (WOTUS). For the first time, the agencies are streamlining the definition so that it includes four simple categories of jurisdictional waters, provides clear exclusions for many water features that traditionally have not been regulated, and defines terms in the regulatory text that have never been defined before.
Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, stated, "President Trump is restoring the rule of law and empowering Americans by removing undue burdens and strangling regulations from the backs of our productive farmers, ranchers, and rural land-owners. The days are gone when the Federal Government can claim a small farm pond on private land as navigable waters." Perdue thanked President Trump and Administrator Wheeler for...
Western Ranchers Welcome BLM Action to Improve Grazing Regulations
Western ranchers welcomed a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Notice of Intent (NOI), which appeared in today’s Public Inspection and will publish in the Federal Register on January 21st, announcing that the agency is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on new grazing regulations. The NOI opened a public comment period and announced that in-person scoping meetings will be held across the West.
“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for BLM permittees to set the record straight,” said Dr. J.J. Goicoechea who chairs the NCBA Federal Lands Committee and PLC’s Grazing Regulations Working Group. “We have endured Bruce Babbitt’s ‘Range Reform’ for over 25 years—and the land, native grasses, and...
Industry Applauds Senate Ratification of the USMCA
The Senate passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, by a bipartisan vote of 89-10. The USMCA will advance United States agricultural interests in two of the most important markets for American farmers, ranchers, and agribusiness. The agreement builds upon existing markets to expand U.S. food and agricultural exports while supporting food processing and rural jobs. Canada and Mexico are the first and second largest export markets for U.S. food and agricultural products, totaling more than $39.7 billion food and agricultural exports in 2018, supporting 325,000 American jobs. Now, the USMCA will be heading to President Trump's desk for his signature.
Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, said, "We’ve long waited for this day and now USMCA will finally head to the President’s desk. The passage of USMCA is great news for America’s farmers and ranchers. With Congressional consideration now complete...
Ranchers Approve of NEPA Changes
President Trump announced noteworthy changes to the National Environmental Policy Act that would make it easier for federal agencies to approve infrastructure projects. NEPA was first introduced in 1970 to create and maintain conditions under which humans and nature can coexist, and has not undergone changes since 1986. Ranchers must be reviewed under NEPA for many reasons, but most common examples include renewal of a term grazing permit, construction of range improvements, or for eligibility to participate in USDA programs. However, due to litigation, outside pressure, and an abundance of caution, these costly processes can be further delayed. These delays create...
NCBA Welcomes First Phase In U.S.-China Trade Deal
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) CEO Colin Woodall issued the following statement regarding today's announcement that the U.S. and China have agreed to a phase one trade deal:
“The announcement of a phase one deal with China is welcome news for the U.S. beef industry. While we wait to learn more about the details of the agreement, we are optimistic that this positive news will bring long lasting relief to farmers and ranchers who have been targeted with China’s retaliatory tariffs for many months.” said Woodall. “While tariffs grab most of the headlines, China’s unjustifiable...
NCBA Applauds U.S. Senate Introduction of Real MEAT Act
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) today applauded the introduction of the Real MEAT (Marketing Edible Artificials Truthfully) Act of 2019 by U.S. Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska. The Senate bill is a companion to H.R. 4881, which was introduced by U.S. Representatives Roger Marshall (R - 1st Dist., Kansas) and Anthony Brindisi (D - 22nd Dist., N.Y.) in October.
“It’s clear that fake-meat companies are continuing to mislead consumers about the nutritional merits and actual ingredient composition of their products,” said NCBA President Jennifer Houston. “We commend the efforts of Senator Fischer on introducing this legislation, which would end deceptive labeling of fake meat products and allow cattle producers to...
NCBA Seeks Clarity and Consistency in Beef Origin Labeling Practices
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the nation's oldest and largest national organization representing American cattle producers, today reaffirmed its policy supporting voluntary country-of-origin labeling (COOL). Because the association takes the concerns of its members and stakeholders seriously, its Executive Committee has unanimously approved efforts to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) to address the Agency’s longstanding policy on geographic origin statements.
Specifically, NCBA is seeking solutions to the labeling requirements and verification procedures in place for beef products labeled as “Product of the U.S.A,” “Made in the U.S.A.,” or similar origin claims, which will resolve the concerns of beef producers, work at the speed of commerce, meet America's trade obligations and...
Legislation to Preserve Family Farms Introduced in Congress
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) today announced its strong support for the “Preserving Family Farms Act of 2019.” Introduced by U.S. Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D - 20th Dist. - Calif.) and Jackie Walorski (R - 2nd Dist. - Ind.), this important bipartisan legislation would expand IRS Code Section 2032A to allow more ranchers and farmers to take advantage of the special use valuation and protect family-owned businesses from the devastating impact of the death tax.
NCBA President Jennifer Houston said that ranchers and farmers are very appreciative of the death tax relief that was passed as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), but that many cattle producers are either still vulnerable to...
NCBA Applauds Introduction of Hours of Service Legislation
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association today applauded the introduction of bipartisan legislation by U.S. Reps. Angie Craig (D – 2nd Dist., Minn.) and Lloyd Smucker (R - 11th Dist., Penn.) that would provide flexible and common-sense relief from Hours of Service (HOS) rules for agricultural haulers.
The Responsible & Efficient Agriculture Destination (TREAD) Act would ensure that the current Hours of Service exemption that applies to the 150-air-mile radius from the source of an agricultural commodity adds the same 150 air mile radius flexibility to the back end of a trip, or the destination. The bill also clarifies that...
Cattlemen Applaud Introduction of Real MEAT Act of 2019
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) today applauded the bipartisan introduction of the Real MEAT (Marketing Edible Artificials Truthfully) Act of 2019 by U.S. Reps. Roger Marshall (R - 1st Dist., Kansas) and Anthony Brindisi (D - 21st Dist., N.Y.)
“A growing number of fake meat products are clearly trying to mislead consumers about what they’re trying to get them to buy,” said NCBA President and Tennessee cattlewoman Jennifer Houston. “Consumers need to be protected from deceptive marketing practices, and cattle producers need to be able to compete on a fair, level playing field. We want to thank Congressmen Brindisi and Marshall for leading the way on this very important issue.”
Specifically, The Real Meat Act will...
NCBA Applauds Introduction of Livestock Risk Management and Education Act
Todd Wilkinson, South Dakota cattle producer and NCBA Policy Division Vice Chair, today released the following statement in response to the introduction of the Livestock Risk Management and Education Act by U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.):
“NCBA applauds Representative Dusty Johnson's introduction of the Livestock Risk Management and Education Act yesterday on the House floor. This legislation will provide boots-on-the-ground cattle producers with critical resources and opportunities to increase their understanding and engagement with risk management tools. This bill speaks directly to our core values as an industry - arming producers with...
South Dakota Cattleman to U.S. Senate Committee: American Beef is Climate Change Solution
South Dakota cattle producer Todd Wilkinson today told a U.S. Senate subcommittee that contrary to the claims of some environmental and anti-animal-agriculture activists, "American beef production and consumption is a climate change solution."
"Climate policies that unfairly target cattle producers fail to recognize the positive role of cattle and beef in a healthy, sustainable food system," Wilkinson told members of the U.S. Senate's Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety. "Rather than adopting misguided policies that threaten the viability of farmers and ranchers, we want to shift the conversation."
The subcommittee held today's hearing on the issue of "Reducing Emissions While Driving Economic Growth: Industry-Led Initiatives." In his testimony, Wilkinson discussed...
Cattlemen Participate in White House Event Spotlighting Federal Overreach
Two members of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) joined President Trump at a White House event spotlighting past federal overreach by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). During the event, the President signed two Executive Orders that will provide more clarity and transparency to often-daunting and complicated federal regulatory processes.
"Today’s event at the White House demonstrates the effectiveness of our association’s efforts in having meaningful and lasting positive impacts on regulation reforms that benefit our industry, rural communities and family ranching operations," said Nevada public lands rancher J.J. Goicoechea, who participated in this West Wing event. "We stand ready and committed to...
NCBA Statement on Trade Agreement with Japan
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Jennifer Houston today issued the following statement after attending a White House ceremony in honor of the bilateral trade agreement between the United States and Japan that will lower Japan’s massive tariffs on U.S. beef.
“I was deeply honored to attend the ceremony at the White House where we celebrated a bilateral trade agreement with Japan. As the top market for U.S. beef exports, Japan accounts for one quarter of our exports and roughly $2 billion in annual sales. As a beef producer, I understand the value of exports to my bottom line, and President Trump understands that increased access to foreign markets like Japan is the economic stimulus we need. We are grateful for President Trump’s leadership and for the hard work of...
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