Beef Buzz News
NCBA's Allison Rivera Shares Cattle Industry Priority List for 2023 Farm BillFri, 29 Jul 2022 09:23:32 CDT
As we get closer to 2023, there are a lot of conversations going on within agricultural groups regarding what they want to see as a part of the 2023 farm bill. Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, features comments from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Executive Director of Governmental Affairs, Allison Rivera, talking about the NCBA’s top priorities for the 2023 farm bill.
While major grain and oil seed groups are very preoccupied with Title 1 of the farm bill, which is the federal farm safety net, Rivera says NCBA is most concerned about items relating back to the successes they achieved in the 2018 farm bill.
“For us, number one is going to be protecting those animal health provisions that we got into the last farm bill when we talk about our vaccine bank which currently houses foot and mouth disease,” Rivera said. “We know that foreign animal disease prevention is a huge topic as we see countries like Indonesia who now have an FMD outbreak, and Australia is their neighbor, and they are very concerned, so the need for this bank continues to be super important for the protection of our industry.”
Rivera said NCBA will continue to look at bolstering that bank as well as the state animal preparedness programs that have been effective.
“We sit on that board that makes those decisions about where those dollars are going to be best spent to prevent the spread of foreign animal disease and then our diagnostic labs which do all of our testing’s and are important for that three-legged stool we fought for in the last farm bill,” Rivera said.
That three-legged stool includes the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan.
“The second item would be protecting our voluntary conservation programs,” Rivera said. “Our members use EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentives Program) and really appreciate that program.”
NCBA, Rivera said, is working on some flexibilities within EQIP to make sure members have access to the practices they are accustomed to and that NRCS agents are accessible to assist producers in implanting those programs and providing information about them.
“We will be keeping a close eye on programs like EQIP and CSP (Conservation Stewardship Program),” Rivera said.
Priority number three, Rivera said, is risk management products.
“I think in the last couple of years, we have certainly seen a huge uptick in our industry as far as the usage of risk management programs out of USDA,” Rivera said.
Because of this uptick, Rivera said in programs like the Livestock Risk Protection Program that has become increasingly popular among producers, NCBA wants to make sure the right tweaks are made to that those programs can continue to get the funding they need to continue.
“We are also going to look at disaster programs,” Rivera said. “This country has seen every single disaster probably possible in the last couple of years and so we need to make sure those programs are bolstered and that producers have what they need.”
Rivera said they have been able to make some changes outside of the farm bill, but the upcoming farm bill will be a good opportunity to move things legislatively.
“I think those disaster programs like LIP (Livestock Indemnity Program) and ELAP (Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-Raised Fish Program) have been hugely beneficial to our producers as they continue to deal with things like wildfire and drought and extreme heat, of course, so we will continue to keep an eye on those programs.”
Lastly, Rivera said NCBA is focused on making sure there is no livestock title in this next farm bill.
“At the end of the day, it is going to be a bit of a heavy lift to get this farm bill done,” Rivera said. “We have a lot of new members of congress that are more than likely going to be coming in that have never taken a vote on a farm bill. Maybe they are coming from districts that are not super ag heavy or they are not coming from necessarily an ag background and so it is going to be hugely important and a priority for NCBA and our staff to make sure that we remind those members and we educate them on how important the farm bill is to agriculture, to this country, and to our producers.”
Click the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Allison Rivera on NCBA’s priority list for the 2023 Farm Bill.
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