While 2014 turned out to be a strong rebuilding year for much of the cattle industry, we saw a number of our policy priorities stalled due largely to the build up to the election and the regulatory zeal of this administration. While the drought receded from much of cattle country, hard hit for so many years, we saw new areas face difficult conditions. Thankfully a strong market helped mitigate these effects for many producers.
The title pretty much says it all, and for all intents it comes as no surprise. In October, the WTO publicly released their awaited opinion from the dispute settlement body on the US Country of Origin Labeling rule. The rule, placed into effect in 2008 requiring all beef be labeled as to its origin, was found not to be compliant with our international trade obligations, first in 2011. It was amended in May 2013 by the USDA to include born, raised and slaughtered information. The intent according to USDA, was to bring this rule into compliance.
Cattlemen and women are taking over San Antonio come February when the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association sets up shop for the 2015 Cattle Industry Annual Convention and NCBA Trade Show. The Cattle Industry Convention is the oldest and largest convention for the cattle business, now in its 117th year. The convention and trade show create a unique, exciting environment for cattle industry members to come together to network, create policy for the industry, and to have some fun.
The Cattle Industry Annual Convention features meetings and events from the NCBA, Cattlemen’s Beef Board, CattleFax, National Cattlemen’s Foundation and the American National Cattlewomen.
As we look forward to the current and future political landscape, one of the critical concerns for cattlemen and women, and for all small businesses nationwide, is a stable tax code. A stable tax code allows businesses to plan and manage profits and losses efficiently. The absence of a stable tax code, further adds uncertainty to an already volatile economy and commodity market. And while progress in this legislative session has been slow, at best, there may be momentum yet in 2014. This year, a number of tax provisions, important not only for the cattle industry but for the business community as a whole, expired. We lost key provisions like bonus depreciation, taking away our ability to accelerate depreciation schedules, and the Conservation Easement Tax Credit.
As many cattlemen and women know all too well, one of the greatest threats our industry faces is regulation from Washington, D.C. And for many years now, the industry has braced for a rule-making by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers that would substantially impact all uses and users of land, not just farming and ranching. That rule-making came this spring in the form of the EPA and Corps’ Waters of the United States proposed rule, or WOTUS.
Sustainability is a word we hear a lot in the beef industry these days. Some of the nation’s largest buyers of beef are heavily focused on the topic right now and I don’t think it’s a topic that will go away any time soon. You’ve no doubt heard McDonald’s plan to source verified sustainable beef by 2016. Walmart is also developing plans to ensure the sustainability of its beef supply chain.
The American Cattlemen likes to keep our readers informed about what the is going on in the Beef industry. Next generation of cattle producers discussing key issues in new blog "Cattle Call".”WASHINGTON (Sept. 23, 2009) — This is not your father’s cattle industry any more. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA) Young Producers’ Council (YPC) has motivated the newest faces of U.S. cattle production to tell their story on the organization’s blog, Cattle Call (http://ypcblog.beefusa.org/). Next generation of cattle producers discussing key issues in new blog “Cattle Call”