Colin Woodall, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA) Vice President of Government Affairs, gave updates on hot issues facing the beef industry at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s Trade Talk. He encourages all producers to step up and stay engaged with the political process. Topics discussed include Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), Water of the U.S. (WOTUS) and the most recent proposal of a new beef checkoff.
It will be a major hit financially if we loose access to Canada and Mexico because of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) recent decision about COOL. “Right now we are waiting to see if the U.S. government actually appeals the WTO decision. Because if they appeal it will take us much longer to finalize this entire process. It could be this time next year before we have a final decision on this.”
The comment period has ended for WOTUS and now Colin said their focus will be on making sure all members of Congress have a complete understanding of this issue because more than likely Congress will need to move in and take action. “When we have the new Congress start in Jan. 2015 we are going to go and ask them to step in and shut this whole process down. This has gone on too long and EPA isn’t going to shut it down themselves.”
Our Sec. of Agriculture would like to put in a new beef checkoff on top of the already existing one. The goal is to get an additional dollar to help the resourcing of the checkoff. Colin said the problem with this is every time an animal is sold there will be $2 assessed. One will go into the checkoff as it stands right now and the other will go into this new checkoff and there will be two separate programs. “It really won’t help us as we try to maximize our ability to do promotion work and there will be a lot of waste and duplication because both the checkoffs will be stepping on each other.”
NCBA’s biggest concern is the control being taken away from producers and the consolidation of it in Washington D.C. All 45 of NCBA’s state cattlemen’s organizations have formed a letter for Sec. Vilsack informing him of their disapproval of the proposed checkoff.
Listen to or download my complete interview with Colin here: Interview with Colin Woodall, NCBA