Policy Actions Taken at Summer Conference
WASHINGTON - Members of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) addressed current policy priorities at the 2006 Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Reno last week, passing new resolutions and directives to make amendments to the 2006 Policy Agenda.
The official NCBA Policy Book is a detailed, almost 200-page compilation of policy priorities on more than 50 cattle industry issues.
“Our policy committees tackle an incredible amount of issues, with everything from the Farm Bill to nutrition policy to trade barriers to Death Taxes on the agenda,” says Andy Groseta, chairman of NCBA’s public policy group and Arizona cattle producer. “Fellow members come from across the nation to hash out the biggest issues that are hitting the cattle industry right now and make some specific decisions on how to move forward on these priorities.”
This summer, 11 interim resolutions, directives and recommendations were approved by the NCBA Board of Directors. Along with new edits to policies, NCBA members analyzed the overall state of the industry in one-on-one discussions with top government representatives, trade officials and other industry leaders.
“Right now, priority issues include the 2007 Farm Bill, environmental policy issues, the Death Tax and ongoing international trade issues,” says NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Jay Truitt.
“We are actively involved in pushing a huge list of policy priorities all year long,” says Groseta. “After the meetings in Reno, NCBA’s D.C. staff is already back in Washington, hitting the ground running with the list of recommendations and policy updates.”
The following addendums were made to NCBA policy this summer and will serve as interim policy until reviewed and voted on by NCBA members at the 2007 Cattle Industry Convention, scheduled for January 31 - February 3 in Nashville, Tennessee. The full NCBA 2006 Policy Agenda can be found online at: www.beefusa.org.
Property Rights and Environmental Management:
· Members passed a resolution that NCBA will seek regulations and legislation to clarify federal wetlands and non-navigable waters jurisdiction consistent with recent Supreme Court decisions.
· Cattle producers passed a directive outlining NCBA's guiding principles and priorities in the 2007 Farm Bill, including specific priorities for natural resources and conservation, marketing, commodity programs, nutrition, credit, trade, research, energy, disaster assistance, animal activism, animal identification and animal health policy.
· NCBA officers are directed to establish a task force to address immediate needs of livestock producers following natural disasters to facilitate cattle-specific emergency needs and coordinate interagency activates to respond to the industry in a timely manner.
· Members passed a resolution supporting updating the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act to standardize requirements and reduce the burden of regulations on vehicles used for transporting cattle and farm equipment.
· NCBA members passed a resolution supporting retaliatory measures against nations who close their borders to U.S. beef due to unscientific food safety concerns, administrative errors or a single shipment of beef not meeting agreed upon requirements.
· NCBA members passed a resolution instructing staff to work to require U.S. troops worldwide to be supplied with U.S. processed beef.
Tax and Credit Issues:
· NCBA approved a resolution aimed at relieving the Death Tax burden from thousands of America’s farmers and ranchers. While NCBA still steadfastly supports full and permanent repeal of the Death Tax, cattlemen in attendance approved a directive providing NCBA with the flexibility to support a compromise measure, if it is the only option for reducing the uncertainty surrounding the current Death Tax timetable.
· Members passed a resolution supporting changes to the IRS Code section 1031 g (1) to: (1) increase the reporting deadline on replacement properties from 45 to 180 days, (2) increase the limit of replacement properties from three to six and (3) increase the amount of time a taxpayer has to receive exchanged property from 180 to 365 days.
· A resolution was passed directing NCBA to work to exempt income received as rent on agricultural property from Social Security taxation.
· NCBA members passed a resolution to work to secure a permanent commitment of annual funding for specific research by the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium including: research on data management, database preservation, DNA inclusion in genetic evaluation, application of multi-breed capacities for genetic evaluation programs, enhancement of the scope of international evaluation, development of new traits for evaluation, new methods to enhance accuracy and productivity of evaluations, and user-friendly software.