The National Cattlemen's Beef Association welcomes you to "Beltway Beef." Initiated in 1898, NCBA is the oldest and largest national marketing organization and trade association dedicated solely to U.S. cattlemen and women. With offices in Washington, D.C., and Denver, NCBA is a producer driven organization representing the largest segment of the nation's food and fiber industry. "Beltway Beef" was created to serve as a sounding board for the U.S. beef industry. Decisions are made in Washington, D.C., directly impacting the cattle business. Our goal is to get the word out and we need your help. We encourage you to comment on the postings, ask questions and share with your friends. Posts on "Beltway Beef" are produced by NCBA staff and invited guests. Feel free to contact the bloggers at cadams@beef.org or snewsome@beef.org.

March 23, 2015

Foglesong Tells House Ag Committee the Waters of the United States Proposal is Problematic


Last week, Steve Foglesong, former president of National Cattlemen's Beef Association, appeared before the House Committee on Agriculture to explain how the proposed Waters of the United States rule, will impact famers and ranchers.

"I am extremely concerned about the devastating impact this proposed rule could have on me and other ranchers and farmers," Foglesong said. "As a livestock producer, I can tell you that after reading the proposed rule it has the potential to impact every aspect of my operation and others like it by regulating potentially every tributary, stream, pond, and dry streambed on my land."

According the Environmental Protection agency, the proposed rule is designed to explain and clarify the Clean Water Act. The EPA, along with the Army Corps Of Engineers began researching, brainstorming and drafting new rule in 2010. Both agencies had hoped the new rules would make reinforcing the Clean Water Act possible. Ranchers and farmers however, don't believe the rule is an improvement.

"This rule doesn't provide clarity, it just adds to the confusion," he said. "This ambiguity over key definitions will result in massive interpretation by bureaucrats across the country and it'll place all landowners in a position of uncertainty and inequity."

Although the EPA and the Army Corps said they consulted farmers, ranchers and small business owners when drafting the rule, most disagree.

"There was zero outreach to us in the agriculture community before the rule was proposed," said Foglesong. "And despite what the EPA and Army Corps are saying, they did not have a meaningful dialogue with the small business community as a whole."   

While animal agriculture and property owners nationwide do not support the proposed rule, they are not opposed to clarifying the Clean Water Act.

"There's no argument, clean water must be protected but this rule will only provide chaos," he said. "Farmers, ranchers, small business owners, we're all ready for a chat, but you really need to listen to what we have to say."
 
The NCBA and all of animal agriculture are calling on the EPA and the Army Corps to withdraw the proposed rule and engage in a serious and meaningful dialog with the agricultural and business communities to find the necessary solution that will provide the clarity and certainty we require.

January 20, 2015

Beltway Beef Commentary: Key Priorities for Cattle Producers

Colin Woodall, Vice President of Government Affairs, lays out some key priorities for cattle producers this legislative session.


Dietary Guidelines Committee Verbalizes Move to Limit Lean Meats

When the meetings of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Committee began, they started with the premise from prior years, that “common characteristics of dietary patterns associated with positive health outcomes include: higher intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish/seafood, legumes, lean meat, and nuts.”

However, at the last and final meeting of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee in December, the committee made the unprecedented move of striking “lean meat” from the pattern associated with a healthy diet, implying a plant-based diet. This is a major departure, not only from the past guidelines, but from more than 30 years of nutritionally-accepted science and peer-reviewed studies.

Despite recent media coverage, it is important to remember that the Committee’s final report has not yet been publically released. We expect the Committee to release their report to the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Agriculture in late January or early February. At that time, the Secretaries will have the opportunity to review the recommendations and request input and comments.

Following that, the recommendations will then be published in the Federal Register, with a comment period. Throughout this entire process, NCBA will continue to be engaged on behalf of our members.

January 7, 2015

Beltway Beef Commentary: Year in Review featuring Craig Uden

Craig Uden, NCBA Policy Division Chairman and Nebraska cattleman, talks about the past year for cattle producers.