NCBA Members Vote on Policies to Address Border Security, Other Industry Challenges
WASHINGTON - Members of NCBA on July 31, 2010, approved a number of resolutions to guide the association’s policy efforts in Washington, DC. The resolutions were passed during the membership meeting at the culmination of the annual Cattle Industry Summer Conference.
"One of the pressing issues facing our members right now is the out-of-control situation at the U.S.-Mexico border," said NCBA President Steve Foglesong. “The lack of border security has and continues to pose a serious threat, not only to those living and working along the border, but to the entire nation, in terms of personal safety, health, economic welfare and the environment.”
NCBA members resolved to support an 18-point “Restore Our Border” plan developed by the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association. The plan includes securing the border along the international boundary; adding sufficient personnel to secure the border; providing the personnel with all the modern technology and resources necessary to enforce security at the international boundary; and enhancing civil and governmental communications to provide full coverage throughout the border region.
A second resolution calls for full authority for federal agencies and state and local authorities to secure the border, including the suspension of all pending legislation and funding for federal-land designations along the border. Federally-owned lands along the border with certain designations such as “wilderness areas” provide unfettered access for illegal cross-border activities by restricting the motorized access of federal agents responsible for patrolling the land.
In the area of animal health, members resolved that NCBA continue leading the discussions on any animal disease traceability program(s) requiring animal identification. Specifically, the resolution maintains that any federal or state animal identification program should allow low-cost tagging devices paid for by federal or state funds, if possible; ensure confidentiality of producers’ private information; operate at the speed of commerce; allow for herd movement between states; provide producers protection from liability after cattle have left their control; collect data for the sole purpose of disease surveillance, control, and eradication; allow for flexibility in the use of currently established and evolving official identification methods for cattle moving across state lines only; and not replace or impede existing state brand-inspection activities.
"The resolutions we've passed today are a critical step in guiding our policy priorities in Washington, DC," Foglesong continued. "I’m proud to be a member, and leader, of NCBA, an association that works day- in and day-out to maintain a favorable business climate for beef producers to thrive and grow.”
More than 800 cattlemen and women attended this year’s conference, held July 28 – Aug. 1 in Denver, Colo. More coverage of the conference will be featured in next week’s eUpdate and can also be found at www.BeltwayBeef.com.