J.D. Alexander Takes Pride in NCBA's Successes on Government Regulations, Trade AgreementsWed, 05 Dec 2012 16:39:44 CST
With the farm bill still in limbo and drought still taking its toll, 2012 has not been an easy year to head the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, but its president, J.D. Alexander, says there are several successes beef producers can be proud of in 2012.
“The thing that we look at is over the past year we have always said if you cannot legislate, you regulate. And the thing that we have got to be here for every day in and day out, looking out for our fellow producers, is to make sure that the regulatory agencies are not putting over-burdensome things on our producers. So we’ve been able to monitor such things as the dust legislation, air, water, and so on, to make them livable. We realize there’s got to be regulatory items out there. They’ve also got to work into our own systems and allow us to still produce the great beef and the food we can across the nation.”
The Obama administration did move forward with three trade agreements that had languished since the end of the George W. Bush administration. Alexander said these types of agreements are good news for beef producers.
“We’re believers in world trade. And I think when trade works, the world wins. We as a beef producer really have to look at these and, yes, we’ve hit some good home runs on this through the TPP agreements and free-trade agreements with Panama, Columbia, and South Korea.
“We sell about ten percent of our product to 96 percent of the world’s populations, though it leaves huge potential out there for beef producers. And we will do everything we can to increase these markets and continue to work on our exports and developing further free-trade agreements.”
One issue still not resolved from 2012? The death tax. Alexander said that is a major worry for ag producers.
“We’ve always said that it’s really challenging to zero in on a moving target. And, really, nobody knows what’s going to happen and cannot do a lot of planning until they do know this. Unfortunately one of the big things that affects producers is, in agriculture in general, the uncertainty of the estate tax. This is absolutely huge. And I’m saying with whatever happens with the estate tax is going to be the future of rural America, small towns in America, and the future of agriculture. So a lot is hinging on what happens.”
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