Mixed views on Congressional Beef Caucus
A new Congressional Beef Caucus has been established.
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Craig Uden (YOU’ den) says the Beef Caucus was brought back to organize and educate elected officials on policy issues impacting America’s cattle and beef producers. “From trade to taxes, and from federal lands to the farm bill, there are many issues that affect our ability to provide the world’s safest and most abundant food supply. The Beef Caucus will help us highlight those issues on Capitol Hill.”
But the leader of another cattle group, R-CALF USA, questions how much the Beef Caucus will actually help farmers and ranchers. R-CALF CEO Bill Bullard says the caucus needs to recognize the live cattle industry and beef processing industry have different economic interests. “If this caucus continues down the path to believe that whatever is good for the beef industry is also good for the cattle industry, then we will continue to have some very serious problems.”
Bullard says R-CALF and the NCBA share a concern about keeping foreign animal diseases out of the U.S. “I know out counterpart, like us, has opposed the re-introduction of fresh beef from Brazil and Argentina, and Namibia, Africa, which are countries where the foot and mouth disease virus is known to exist.”
He says, however, the two groups disagree on country of origin labeling and GIPSA rules. Bullard says he would like to see a cattlemen’s caucus formed, and says R-CALF will continue lobbying for its policy positions.
The Beef Caucus has 35 bipartisan members from 21 states.