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WASHINGTON (July 17, 2019) -- Ethan Lane, Senior Executive Director, Federal Lands, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, and Executive Director, Public Lands Council, today released the following statement in response to President Trump's nomination of Aurelia Skipwith to be Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

“Aurelia Skipwith has been an exemplary representative of the Department of Interior during her tenure as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. Her impressive background as a legal professional and scientist in the agricultural industry will serve her - and the American people - well in this new role.

"We are confident that under her leadership, wildlife issues will be handled appropriately, ensuring the delicate balance among species, people, and habitat across open spaces throughout the country. American ranchers applaud this nomination and urge the U.S. Senate to move swiftly to confirm her. We look forward to working with Ms. Skipwith on issues affecting the ranching industry."
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Lane Calls for Congress to Take Action, Consider Compromise Proposal For Sake of Wildlife, RangelandsLane Calls for Congress to Take Action, Consider Compromise Proposal For Sake of Wildlife, Rangelands

WASHINGTON (July 16, 2019) — The current system of managing wild horses and burros on public lands “has been crippled to the point of catastrophic failure” and Congress needs to step in to improve the system “to the benefit of all wildlife, rangelands, and the multiple uses of those rangelands.”

That was the direct message on Capitol Hill today from Ethan Lane of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Public Lands Council (PLC). Lane testified on behalf of NCBA, PLC and the National Horse and Burro Rangeland Management Coalition at a hearing held by the Senate’s Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining.

In his testimony, Lane pointed out the dire situation now playing out on the West’s public lands: while the rangeland can appropriately support approximately 26,000 wild horses and burros, more than 88,000 currently roam across 10 Western states as of March 2019, according to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM.) Even more concerning is that on-range populations are doubling every four to five years, with a population of approximately 366,000 on-range horses and burros likely by 2028.

“Excessive populations deplete scarce food and water resources on the arid rangelands, leading to starvation and dehydration of the horses and burros,” Lane testified. “Maintaining the status quo places our public lands - and all animals and multiple-use activities that rely on those rangelands - at risk.”

In addition to laying out a variety of specific ways that wild horse and burro populations could be brought under control, Lane also endorsed and submitted for the record a compromise proposal that has been agreed to by stakeholders across the political spectrum - from ranchers to municipalities to national humane advocacy groups.

“The management recommendations set forth are the product of extensive negotiation, debate, and compromise amongst groups with wildly disparate views on this issue,” Lane pointed out. “Such compromise between political opponents is a rarity in the modern political arena, and I would urge the Committee to look closely at what we have managed to accomplish through good-faith collaboration.”

Click here to view Lane’s full written testimony, and click here to view the compromise proposal, entitled The Path Forward for Management of BLM’s Wild Horses and Burros.


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July 18 Episode will Put Focus on Popular Beef Cuts

Centennial, CO (July 12, 2019) --    Thanks to an investment from the Federation of State Beef Councils, an upcoming episode of a popular Fox network food show will feature Beef Checkoff-funded Beef. It's What's For Dinner. 

 

As part of its biggest and toughest season yet, MasterChef Season 10 has partnered with the Beef Checkoff to bring viewers the beefiest Backyard BBQ challenge. Tune in to Fox on Thursday, July 18 at 8/7c to see how chefs use various popular beef cuts in the challenge.

Featuring Beef. It's What's For Dinner. on MasterChef, one of television’s most popular cooking shows, is a sure way to put beef on the forefront to millions of consumers throughout the country. When consumers are able to see easy, fun and enticing ways to incorporate beef into their next meal, they are more likely to purchase beef on their next trip to the grocery store. Being a part of this show is just one way the Beef Checkoff is dedicated to promoting beef to consumers through innovative and creative avenues.

   

On Friday, July 19, visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com to see the winning recipe, learn more about the cuts featured on the show and see other MasterChef-inspired recipes being promoted to consumers for them to share with their family and friends at their own backyard BBQs.


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WASHINGTON (July 11, 2019) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, told members of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) in oral comments that an overwhelming body of scientific evidence shows that healthy diets including red meat, like beef, support optimal health and well-being.

“Beef is a high-quality protein powerhouse providing a unique combination of bioavailable iron, zinc and B vitamins essential to building and maintaining strength from infancy through our later years,” said Shalene McNeill, PhD, RD, NCBA Executive Director of Nutrition Research.  

NCBA also emphasized to the committee that beef is rich in nostalgia and nutrients and has been enjoyed for centuries and continues to be part of most Americans’ diets, traditions and celebrations. Beef nourishes bodies and minds and optimizes health at every stage of life. As more Americans are overweight, it is important to make every calorie count. Calorie for calorie, no other protein food delivers the same package of 10 essential nutrients. Today’s beef is leaner than ever before and Americans’ consumption of calories and fat from beef have declined.  

“As a registered dietitian, nutrition scientist and advocate for healthy eating, it’s important for people who include beef as a source of nourishment and satisfaction in a healthy diet to know that the best science available today continues to reinforce this is a smart approach for a healthy lifestyle,” McNeill said. 

Jointly updated every five years by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the DGAs serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy. During this process, a group of experts in the fields of nutrition and health are appointed to the DGAC. These individuals are tasked with reviewing the latest nutrition research to make science-based recommendations to HHS and USDA on the food and beverages that promote a healthy, balanced diet.  

Providing oral comment is an important part of the DGA process. On behalf of beef farmers and ranchers, NCBA, a contractor to the to the Beef Checkoff, an industry research and promotion program that utilized scientific evidence as the basis for its information, urges the DGAC to systematically review the totality of scientific evidence, using best practices that are thorough, transparent and relevant when making decisions that will ultimately result in nutritional policies that can measurably improve the health of Americans.   

Learn more about beef’s nutrient-rich profile and find ways to incorporate the mouthwatering, high-quality protein into your healthy lifestyle at Beef. It's What’s for Dinner.
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WASHINGTON (July 8, 2019) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) today sent a letter signed by 39 of its state affiliates to U.S. Senate and House leaders urging them to support the swift ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is NCBA’s latest salvo in the battle to build support for USMCA ratification, coming less than two weeks after the group launched a new media campaign to push the accord.

“American cattle producers need to maintain our unrestricted, duty-free access to markets in Canada and Mexico, and that’s exactly what USMCA would guarantee us,” said NCBA President Jennifer Houston. “Jeopardizing that access by having Congress not take action on USMCA is simply not an option for us.”

In addition to calling on Congress to quickly ratify USMCA, the letter also encouraged the Capitol Hill leaders to oppose efforts to re-instate failed policies of the past, such as mandatory country-of-origin labeling, or MCOOL.

“MCOOL was U.S. law for six years until it was repealed by Congress in 2015 to avoid $1 billion of retaliatory tariffs from Canada and Mexico that were sanctioned by the World Trade Organization (WTO),” the letter says. “The truth is MCOOL cost the U.S. beef industry hundreds of millions of dollars to implement, and the vast majority of consumers never paid attention to it. Our industry has suffered enough with this bad idea and we do not need to relive the sins of the past.”

Click here to read the full letter, and click here to view NCBA’s “Faces of USMCA” media campaign, which launched in June


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WASHINGTON (June 20, 2019) - Today NCBA President Jennifer Houston issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s change to the haying and grazing date for prevented planting:

“When disaster strikes, it is good to know that livestock producers have strong allies in Washington. Today’s move by USDA will provide much-needed relief for hardworking farmers and ranchers trying to recover from this year’s planting season. NCBA worked closely with both USDA and Congress to get this change across the finish line. Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey and Risk Management Agency Administrator Martin Barbre deserve a great deal of thanks. The announcement would also not have been possible without the tireless advocacy of U.S. Representatives Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and Angie Craig (D-MN), and Senators John Thune (R-SD), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Joni Ernst (R-IA).”

Background

Today USDA's Risk Management Agency announced that it has adjusted the 2019 final haying and grazing date from November 1 to September 1, 2019 to help farmers who were prevented from planting because of flooding and excess rainfall this spring.


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WASHINGTON (June 4, 2019) – Today Jennifer Houston, President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, released the following statement in response to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s finalization of a rule exempting livestock producers from unnecessary reporting requirements under EPCRA:

“Farmers, ranchers, and emergency response officials all agree: routine emissions from agricultural operations are not a threat to local communities. Congress made a common-sense decision to exempt livestock producers from frivolous reporting requirements at the federal level with its passage of the FARM Act, and we are glad to see EPA fully implement the law by providing relief from burdensome state and local reporting requirements. Rather than submitting needless paperwork, talking to responders about potential on-farm hazards can save lives. The removal of this unnecessary burden will allow first responders to focus on real emergencies, and will allow livestock producers to focus on feeding the world.”  

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Direct Emissions From Beef Cattle Only 2% of Total U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Lyons-Blythe Testifies

WASHINGTON (May 21, 2019) – Testifying on behalf of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Kansas cattle producer Debbie Lyons-Blythe delivered a clear message at a U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on climate change this morning.

“The U.S. cattle industry is proud of its history as stewards of our nation’s natural resources,” Lyons-Blythe testified at the Committee’s hearing on Climate Change and the Agricultural Sector. “The industry takes very seriously its obligation to protect the environment while providing the nation with a safe and affordable beef supply. Cattle producers are America’s original conservationists, and we work hard every day to ensure that we can pass our operations on to the next generation.”

Lyons-Blythe, who helps run Blythe Family Farms in the Flint Hills of Kansas, also pushed back against claims that beef cattle production in the United States is responsible for a disproportionate or even significant percentage of greenhouse gas emissions.

“The beef cattle industry has a great story to tell in the climate conversation and the facts support that,” Lyons-Blythe testified. “According to the Environmental Protection Agency, direct emissions from beef cattle represent two percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the country. A recent study published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that emissions from cattle ‘were not a significant contributor to long-term global warming.”

Lyons-Blythe also highlighted her work as a board member with the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, which recently released its landmark U.S. Beef Industry Sustainability Framework and encourages operations all along the beef value chain to measure key environmental metrics like water resources, air and greenhouse gas emissions, and land resources.

“The Roundtable is an example of ranchers leading the way on conservation,” Lyons-Blythe said. “Cattle ranchers took the initiative to identify their unique footprint in beef sustainability, demonstrating their positive contributions to landscapes, wildlife populations, rural communities, our nation’s economy, and a global food supply. But we also reflected on opportunities where we can improve. It demonstrates our commitment to doing right by the land, responsibly raising animals, caring for the people who raise beef, and making money to support our families and the next generation of beef producers.” 

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"Great News," Will Hopefully Lead to Elimination of More Non-Tariff, Non-Science-Based Trade Barriers In Near Future

WASHINGTON (May 17, 2019) - National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Jennifer Houston today issued the following statement regarding the announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that Japan will allow products from U.S. cattle, regardless of age, to be imported into that country for the first time since 2003:

"This is great news for American cattle producers, and Secretary Sonny Perdue and the Trump Administration deserve a lot of credit for helping knock down this non-tariff trade barrier in Japan. This underscores the safety of the U.S. beef herd, and it will hopefully send a signal to other Asian nations that non-science-based trade barriers like this one should be eliminated in their countries, as well.

"Tariff rates grab all the headlines, but non-tariff barriers are often just as important, if not more so, when it comes to determining market access. Hopefully this will help spotlight this important point and lead to more trade victories in the near future."

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WASHINGTON (May 17, 2019) - National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Colin Woodall, today released the following statement in response to a deal that will lead Canada and Mexico to drop retaliatory tariffs against U.S. producers:
 
“NCBA is grateful to President Trump for working with Canada and Mexico to resolve the steel and aluminum tariff situation. Removing this trade barrier opens the door for Congress to ratify the U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USMCA). NCBA strongly supports the USMCA, and now is the time for Congress to work with President Trump to ratify the USMCA as soon as possible. We cannot afford to delay action on this monumental agreement.”

Editor's Note: Click for an overview of how the USMCA benefits cattle producers.

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