U.S. Cattle Industry Leaders Establish Direction for Policy, Checkoff Programs

More than 700 at Summer Business Meeting in Denver, Colo.

DENVER, Colo. (July 13, 2017) – More than 700 cattle industry leaders are gathering at the Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting in Denver this week to help create direction for industry programs. The meeting runs July 13-15.

The event includes sessions of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Cattlemen’s Beef Board, American National CattleWomen and National Cattlemen’s Foundation. Among the purposes of the yearly conference is to create a framework for checkoff and policy efforts on behalf of U.S. cattle producers for the 2018 fiscal year, which for NCBA and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board begins Oct. 1.

Keynote speaker at Thursday’s Opening General Session is Eric Baumgartner, executive vice president of VML, a global marketing ad agency. Baumgartner will provide insight into the advent of technologies that are changing how consumers purchase almost everything they buy, from hamburgers to vacations. General Session I is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.

Also at the Summer Business Meeting, results from the 2016 National Beef Quality Audit are being unveiled. About every five years since 1991 the NBQA has delivered a set of guideposts and measurements for cattle producers and others to help determine quality conformance of the U.S. beef supply.

“While cattlemen and women continue to improve their operations and the beef they produce, here has been tremendous volatility in our industry over the past couple of years,” said Craig Uden, a beef producer from Nebraska and NCBA president. “To maximize their success cattle producers need to understand not only the impact of their own operations but everything in the world that affects how they do business today.”

Joint Committees and Subcommittees will meet on Thursday and Friday to develop proposals for 2018 checkoff-funded research, education and promotion programs. Also on Friday NCBA policy committees will meet to determine priorities and discuss strategies for 2018. The NCBA Board will hold its board meeting on Saturday. The meeting of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board will take place on Friday, July 14.

“Cattlemen and women from across the country are taking time out of their busy lives to help make decisions that will have an impact on the direction our industry takes,” said Uden. “Meetings like this are a testament to the unselfish dedication these individuals have for the future of the beef cattle industry.”

 

President Signs Resolution to Repeal BLM Planning 2.0

President Trump today signed a congressional resolution directing the Bureau of Land Management to repeal their Planning 2.0 Rule. Wyoming rancher and NCBA and PLC member Joel Bousman was in attendance at the White House for the signing. Ethan Lane, executive director of PLC and NCBA federal lands, applauded the action and called it a significant victory for western ranchers.

“BLM’s Planning 2.0 Rule would have caused a wholesale shift in management focus at BLM by prioritizing ‘social and environmental change’ over ensuring the multiple use of public lands,” said Lane. “When you couple the wholesale shift away from multiple-use with the elimination of stakeholder and local input, the rule was unworkable for western communities. We applaud the action by President Trump and look forward to working with the new Administration to bring together a streamlined planning process that works for livestock ranchers and the western communities that depend on the use of BLM lands.”

American Beef: Number One in South Korea

For the first time in 13 years, American producers in November surpassed Australia in beef imports that have cleared customs into South Korea.

 

The Korea Customs Service reported this week that 13,921 tons of American beef were brought into the country in November vs. only 10,310 tons from the Land Down Under. That’s up 20 percent over November 2015, and export value is up 21 percent to $619 million – the highest it has been since July 2013.

 

Even better news for American beef producers is the fact that even before December’s numbers are in, 2016’s exports to South Korea have already shattered 2015’s final tally of $847.4 million. From January through November 2016, American producers exported $929.3 million to South Korea – a whopping 25 percent increase. When December’s numbers are reported, South Korea will join Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, and Mexico as the fifth nation to import more than $1 billion worth of American beef in a single year.

 

Overall U.S. beef exports in November 2016 made up almost 15 percent of all production and 11.7 percent for just muscle cuts – the best levels in two years. 2016 exports through November account for 13.5 percent of all U.S. production – up 13 percent from 2015’s numbers. November’s per-head beef export value reached a 2016 high of $294 – up five percent from a year earlier.

 

This historic rise in American beef exports to South Korea underscores the tremendous importance of international trade to our industry. NCBA continues to work to break down unnecessary trade barriers so American producers can have greater access to the 96 percent of the world’s consumers who live outside our country.

 

The ever-growing Asian markets of China and Japan remain vitally important, where limited access and high tariffs continue to put American producers at an unnecessary disadvantage to producers in nations like Australia.

Source: National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Cherry Creek Ranch wins regional award from national cattlemen’s beef association

MSGA members, Lon and Vicki Reukauf, discuss winning NCBA’s Environmental Stewardship Award with Northern Ag Network’s Lane Nordlund

This commercial cow-calf operation, located in eastern Montana, is one of the few remaining original homesteads, a fact that instills pride in Lon and Vicki Reukauf, the third generation to operate the ranch. That legacy also drives the management philosophy for the Reukauf’s, who place a strong emphasis on rotational grazing as a way to manage pastures and maintain soil health.

Cherry Creek Ranch, Terry, Mont., was honored last week as one of six regional Environmental Stewardship Award Program winners. The award, which is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the National Cattlemen’s Foundation, is presented to farmers and ranchers who are working hard to protect America’s natural resources.

Recently the Northern Ag Networks Lane Nordlund spoke with the Reukauf’s on their award!

Click the video above!

Source: Northern Ag Network

Montana Stockgrowers Association sends two attendees to elite cattle industry conference

Representing Montana Stockgrowers Association, Ariel Overstreet-Adkins and Andy Kellom participated in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s 2016 Young Cattlemen’s Conference. Over 50 cattle producers from across the country and across the industry attended the conference.

Andy

Andy Kellom hales from Hobson, MT. He is currently cattle manager for Bos Terra LP which is a 15,000 head feedlot and up to 7,000 head stocker operation. Andy is responsible for day-to-day cattle management.

Andy was born and raised in Dubois, Idaho. He was involved with his family’s ranch from a young age.  Andy’s love of the beef cattle business started here, as well as days working on many neighboring family ranches in the area.

Andy attended Montana State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science in 2002. From there he worked on the cowboy crew of the 1.5 million acre IL Ranch in northern Nevada.  He then spent two years as head cowboy for Harris Feeding Company which is a 100,000+ head feedlot and vertically integrated beef operation in Coalinga, California. Andy then became involved with the Montana Beef Network which was an MSU extension program that dealt mainly with Animal ID as it related to Montana ranchers. Andy was instrumental in the startup of Verified Beef LLC which is a company that at the time offered Source and Age, NHTC, and Never Ever 3 Natural certifications to cow- calf operations throughout Montana and surrounding states.

Ariel

Ariel Overstreet-Adkins is a 2016 graduate of the University of Montana School of Law. Ariel’s article “Extraordinary Protections for the Industry that Feeds Us: Examining a Potential Constitutional Right to Farm and Ranch in Montana,” was published by the Montana Law Review in February. In August, she will begin a yearlong clerkship for a U.S. District Court. Then she will work as an associate attorney at the Moulton Bellingham law firm in Billings, focusing on ag, water, property, and natural resource law.

Ariel was named a W.D. Farr Scholar by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation in 2014. Prior to law school, Ariel served as director of communications and lobbyist for the Montana Stockgrowers Association for five years. She graduated from Princeton University with a degree in cultural anthropology where her senior thesis was entitled: “Growing Up Cowboy: High School Rodeo in Montana.” Ariel grew up on her family’s horse ranch in Big Timber.

She and her husband, Zac, raise a few acres of alfalfa in Helena. Ariel is currently serving as vice president of the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center.

NCBA’s YCC program is an opportunity for these young leaders to gain an understanding of all aspects of the beef industry from pasture to plate, and showcase the industry’s involvement in policy making, issues management, research, education and marketing.

Beginning at the NCBA headquarters in Denver, Colo., the group got an inside look at many of the issues affecting the beef industry and the work being done on both the state and national level to address these issues on behalf of the NCBA membership. While in Denver, participants were given an organizational overview of NCBA and the Beef Checkoff Program and CattleFax provided a comprehensive overview of the current cattle market and emerging trends. At Safeway, the participants received a first-hand account of the retail perspective of the beef business and then toured the JBS Five Rivers’ Kuner feedyard, one of the largest in the nation, and the JBS Greeley packing and processing plant.

From Denver, the group traveled to Chicago where they visited McDonald’s Campus and OSI, one of the nation’s premiere beef patty producers. After the brief stop in Chicago, the group concluded their trip in Washington D.C., for an in-depth issues briefing on current policy issues including international trade and increasing environmental regulations. Following the issues update, the participants were given the opportunity to visit one-on-one with members of their state’s congressional delegation, expressing their viewpoints regarding the beef industry and their cattle operations. John Deere then hosted a reception in the evening at their office.

The following morning, the group then traveled to Aldie, Va., for a tour and barbecue at Whitestone Farms, one of the nation’s elite purebred Angus operations.

With the beef industry changing rapidly, identifying and educating leaders has never been so important. As a grassroots trade association representing the beef industry the NCBA is proud to play a role in that process and its future success. Over 1,000 cattlemen and women have graduated from the YCC program since its inception in 1980. Many of these alumni have gone to serve in state and national committees, councils and boards. YCC is the cornerstone of leadership training in the cattle industry.

Beltway Beef discusses WOTUS with Scott Yager, NCBA Environmental Counsel

Chase Adams discusses legislative and litigation efforts against the EPA’s WOTUS rule with NCBA Environmental Counsel, Scott Yager.

Rancher Discusses Critical Habitat Designations

NCBA Federal Lands Committee Chair Robbie LeValley discusses the potential consequences of Fish and Wildlife Service’s recently finalized rule regarding critical habitat designations, which expands their ability to designate habitat.   – See more online.

 

2016 Cattle Industry Convention Update with Young Stockgrowers Chair, Lacey Ehlke

Young Stockgrowers Chair, Lacey Ehlke, gives us an update on San Diego and the 2016 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show

 

Op-Ed: Tax Extenders are Critical to Stable Rural Growth

Philip Ellis_headshotAs we approach the end of the year, minds turn toward family, Christmas, big dinners, and snow. But for many in rural America, it’s also time to wrap up the tax year and set the strategy for the year ahead. For cattle producers and farmers equipment purchases, new buildings, and other major capital expenses are logical considerations. Unfortunately, for many the tax code has looked more like a gamble than a sure bet. Key provisions like Section 179 deductions and bonus depreciation that had been extended in 2014, again have been pushed to the end of the year. Earlier this year, the House permanently extended both Section 179 and bonus depreciation, but the Senate has yet to act. Without action, Section 179 dropped back down from $500,000 to $25,000 and bonus depreciation completely disappeared for the current tax year.

If Congress fails to act in December, producers will not be able to take these provisions into account during this tax year. Congress can retroactively extend these provisions, but in the real world, we cannot retroactively make plans or purchases. These provisions are key considerations when making the decision to purchase machinery and equipment. Those capital expenditures provide the pass through growth for much of the rural economy that relies on agriculture. That is why it is so important for Congress to act to pass a multi-year extension of Section 179 and bonus depreciation in early December. Producers need access to these tools while they still may be of use this tax year, and the certainty in future years to plan without waiting until the last minute to make major financial decisions.

We understand all too well the cyclical nature of the markets and weather we live with every day. These forces are beyond our means to control. But the tax code should not be as unpredictable as the weather or the markets. There is bi-partisan support for these provisions, and these provisions provide inducements for small businesses nationwide to grow and expand. In turn, that increases economic growth in areas where it is needed most. I encourage you to join with the members of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in talking with your members of Congress and ask them to pass a multi-year tax extender package.

By: Philip Ellis, NCBA President

The Science Doesn’t Support IARC Decision

Philip Ellis_headshotBy Philip Ellis, Wyoming Rancher, NCBA President

We learned this week that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), has voted to tell the world that they believe processed meats are a human carcinogen. Similarly, they have decided red meat is a “probable carcinogen.” Let me be clear, this group did not conduct new research during their meeting, they simply reviewed existing evidence, including six studies submitted by the beef checkoff. That evidence had already been reviewed and weighed by the medical and scientific community. The science reviewed by IARC simply does not support their decision.

We know that there isn’t clear evidence to support IARC’s decision because the beef checkoff has commissioned independent studies on the topic for a decade. In fact, countless studies have been conducted by cancer and medical experts and they have all determined the same thing: No one food can cause or cure cancer. But that hasn’t prevented IARC from deciding otherwise.

Since IARC began meeting in 1979, these experts have reviewed more than 900 compounds, products and factors for possible correlation with cancer. To date, only one product (caprolactam, which is a chemical primarily used to create synthetic fibers like nylon) has been granted a rating of 4, which indicates it is “probably not carcinogenic to humans.” Most other factors or products that have been examined by the body, including glyphosate, aloe vera, nightshift work and sunlight have fallen into three categories: 2B “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” 2A “probably carcinogenic to humans,” or 1 “carcinogenic to humans.”

It seemed likely from the beginning that we’d find ourselves here. We knew the deck was stacked against us, so the beef industry and others have long been working on providing credible research that would support what many others outside our industry have already verified: A full, fair and unbiased examination of the entire body of research does not support a finding that red or processed meats cause cancer. This conclusion isn’t mine alone and you can evaluate the information for yourself. We’ve posted the studies reviewed by IARC on the website: factsaboutbeef.com. At NCBA, our team of experts has also been working with our state partners and other industry organizations to mount a full-scale defense of beef.

As just one example of the work we’ve done, we commissioned a study with the same body of research reviewed by IARC. Our study engaged a panel of 22 epidemiologists from the United States and abroad who were recruited by a third-party research group. Participants in the study averaged 22 years of experience and the full panel had a combined total of 475 years of experience. They were provided with a meta-analysis graph which showed data for a specific exposure and a specific human disease outcome, but the specific human disease outcome and exposure were not revealed. In other words, they plotted the results of the study findings on a graph, without telling the participants what product the studies examined. Of the 22 participants in the study, 21 (or 95 percent) said their assessment of the magnitude of the association was weak. Of the 22 epidemiologists, only 10 (or 45 percent) said there was even a possible association. Perhaps most importantly, the epidemiologists agreed that, given the evidence provided, there is not sufficient evidence to make public health recommendations.

Cancer is a complex subject and no one understands fully what causes it or how it can be prevented. Despite billions of dollars spent on research, we only know that no one food can cause or prevent cancer. We also know, thanks in part to decades of producer-funded work on the subject, that when people lead overall healthy lifestyles and maintain a healthy weight, they reduce their risks for chronic diseases, such as cancer, and our team and our state partners are hard at work on this topic to be certain that consumers and their influencers know and understand that beef should remain in their diets, regardless of what IARC might say.