National Cattlemen's Beef Association

Agriculture’s meeting season will be mostly digital this winter

Farm groups, from local cooperatives to large national organizations, traditionally hold their annual meetings during the winter, when field work is at a minimum and a meeting in town mixes business with a social get-together. Many of the national meetings will be held online this time due to the pandemic.

Court documents show beef checkoff sends millions to cattle lobby

Newly released documents in a lawsuit between a group of independent Montana cattle ranchers and the USDA show that millions of dollars from an industry marketing fund are being diverted to the top cattle lobby, which some ranchers have long claimed misappropriates those funds for political use. The case could reshape how the beef checkoff, as the marketing program is called, is administered.(No paywall)

Big Ag says Sen. Warren’s proposals ‘miss the mark’

After a week in which Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat who's running for president, was in the spotlight for her call to check the power of big agribusiness and "level the playing field for America's family farmers," Big Ag began to hit back, insisting her ideas are out of touch with reality.  

USDA tiptoes into cell-based ‘meat ‘ argument

An estimated 40 companies worldwide are in the race to bring to market cell-based meat — "clean meat" in the eyes of proponents and "fake meat" according to ranchers. Asked if the product qualifies as meat, Deputy Agriculture Undersecretary Mindy Brashears responded, "This is something we will be talking about. That is an important priority for us."

Big Beef seeks to expand its tax on Oklahoma ranchers​

Big Ag is back on the offensive in Oklahoma, less than a year after voters defeated a bill that would have stripped the state’s residents of their ability to regulate corporate farming. The Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association wants ranchers to pay an additional $1 tax per head of cattle sold in the state, and will hold a Nov. 1 vote on the tax for Oklahoma cattle producers. Family farm advocates say that much of the money collected under such checkoff taxes is funneled to private industry groups that use it to promote the interests of corporate agriculture over independent farmers.

Cattle group features EPA’s Pruitt in video for repeal of clean-water rule

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt stars in a 78-second National Cattleman's Beef Association video that urges farmers and ranchers to file comments about repeal of the so-called Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, "and ...about how to get it right as we go forward." Pruitt's role in the video, which directs viewers to the NCBA website to file comments, "has drawn the attention of experts in government ethics," says E&E News.

NCBA chief executive sees ‘unholy alliances’ to drive producers out of business

Ongoing lawsuits against the producer-funded beef checkoff are part of a drive by activists "to end beef promotion and, ultimately, the production of beef in the United States," says the chief executive of the largest U.S. cattle group. "We might disagree on policy matters within the industry, but it’s another thing entirely to target the volunteer-led state beef councils through unholy alliances with animal rights activists and others intent on driving beef producers out of business," wrote Kendal Frazier of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association in an essay on Drovers.

Senate confirms lobbyist Bernhardt as No. 2 at Interior

Colorado native David Bernhardt won Senate confirmation as deputy Interior secretary, the No. 2 job at the department, on a mostly party-line vote, reported the Denver Post. A high-ranking Interior official in the past and most recently part of a law-and-lobbying firm in Denver, Bernhardt was described by Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren as a walking conflict of interest.

A three-year process to get a $2 beef checkoff

A cattle industry leader spelled out a three-year timeline that ends with a doubling of the current $1-per-head beef checkoff. Scott George, past president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, provided the timeline during a session at the...

Livestock, poultry groups ask Congress to approve TPA

Groups representing U.S. cattle, hog and poultry producers urged lawmakers to approve rules that assure trade agreements will get a yes-or-no vote with no amendments.

New idea for beef checkoff update – a vote on $2 fee

Under a new attempt for harmony over the beef checkoff program, the proposed $2 per head fee would be put to a nationwide referendum among cattle producers, says DTN.

The beef about the checkoff

David Pfrang and Jim Dobbins, who live in the rolling hills of northeastern Kansas, are "two farmers raising an few cattle and a lot of Cain," says Harvest Public Media in a deep dive into the politics of the beef checkoff program.

A recap: Congress constrains whole-grain rule, beef checkoff

The government funding bill approved by Congress would relax a requirement for schools to use more whole-grain rich foods and block USDA from creating a new beef checkoff program.

NFU proposes no beef checkoff money to groups that lobby

The second-largest U.S. farm group called for "a major course correction" of the beef checkoff program. The National Farmers Union spelled out five principles "to turn the checkoff into an effective tool," including a referendum every five years on...

USDA drops idea of new, separate beef checkoff

USDA won't proceed with its proposal for a new and separate beef checkoff program, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in DTN interview, acceding to congressional opposition.

USDA asks comments on a new, separate beef checkoff

The Agriculture Department seeks public comment on all aspects, from the size of the assessment to who will be in charge, of a separate beef checkoff program that it intends to create.

USDA could take step this week toward new beef checkoff

The Agriculture Department could ask for suggestions as early as this week on how to structure a new beef checkoff program, said an official at the largest U.S. farm group.

WTO again says U.S. meat-orgin labels distort world trade

For the second time, the World Trade Organization ruled U.S. meat-origin labels are a violation of global trade rules. The ruling, which can be appealed, opens the door to retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods if the regulations are not modified. Appeals generally are not successful at this stage at WTO but they can delay an adverse decision for a couple of months.

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