Issues faces the beef industry and agriculture as a whole where a top priority for organizations who attended last week’s Trade Talk at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s annual convention. I took this chance to ask National Cattlemen’s Beef Association representatives about hot topics going into 2013.
Don Pemberton, Chairman of the NCBA Policy Division is also a beef farmer from central Missouri. He truly understands the ups and downs of the beef industry and brings a personal passion to his role at NCBA. Don discussed not only his outlook for the cattle markets and the Farm Bill, but how the recent drought affected him and his neighbors.
“We are doing what we can do from the Washington D.C. office. We need this Farm Bill passed, we are working with all of our counterparts to get congress to pass the Farm Bill. The version that passed the Senate, we are fine with. The version that passed the House Ag Committee, we are fine with. So, now that the election is over with I hope they can put politics aside and come together and get the Farm Bill passed before 2013.”
Listen to my complete interview with Don here: Don Pemberton - NCBA
Craig Uden, Chairman of NCBA’s Federation Division, works with all 45 beef councils across the country. He shared how Beef Checkoff dollars are going to educate influencer groups. These people consist of those vocal in social media, nutritionists, dietitians and others who really need to understand the difference between what beef is today and what they learned as a child.
“One thing we have seen with less numbers is less dollars. We have had to become very efficient. We have had very good organizational meetings to dive down and see where we need to be. One thing is we always want to get the money where the people are. How do we do that? We are working with a lot of influencer groups out there. The money comes in will be appropriated by the Beef Operations Committee and a lot of that will be directed to the state beef councils who are part of the federation to host influencers for tours. That has been very successful because a lot of people are removed from beef production and don’t understand how the cattle are raised and processed.”
Listen to my complete interview with Craig here: Craig Uden - NCBA
NCBA is also urging US House of Representatives and Senate to provide farmers and ranchers with a permanent relief from the estate tax. The current estate tax relief is set to expire at the end of 2012 with exemption levels dropping to $1 million per individual and the tax rate increasing to 55%.
J.D. Alexander, NCBA President, said that at a minimum, NCBA supports extending the exemption level to $5 million per person and retaining the top rate of 35 percent until permanent repeal is achievable.
“If Congress allows current estate tax relief to expire it will have a devastating impact on the cattle industry. America’s farmers and ranchers are small business owners who cannot afford to foot the bill for government inaction. The fate of American agriculture and our economic recovery rests on there being certainty in the tax code and continued relief from the burdensome death tax.”
I challenge you to get involved and find out more about what NCBA is doing to promote beef, educate consumers and give a voice for producers.