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USDA delays GIPSA final rule implementation

The USDA Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) announced on April 11 that it is delaying the effective date of the Scope of Sections 202(a) and (b) of the Packers and Stockyards Act Interim Final Rule until Oct. 19, 2017. This section pertains to the regulations about finding of harm or likely harm to competition. In a separate action, USDA announced that it is also asking the public to comment on four possible actions (allow, suspend, delay or withdraw) USDA should take in regards to the disposition of the Interim Final Rule. The comment due date is June 12, 2017. Read more…

General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Apr 11, 2017

House Ag Committee examines impacts of tax code on agriculture industry

The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing on Wednesday to examine how the tax code impacts agricultural producers. Members of the committee heard from a panel of Members of Congress, including Rep. Kristi Noem, South Dakota, and Rep. Lynn Jenkins, Kansas, from the House Committee on Ways and Means, the committee charged with crafting our nation’s tax code. The committee also heard from a diverse panel of witnesses including agricultural and tax professionals. Read more…

General Discussion, General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Apr 05, 2017

Cattle Raisers testify in support of SB 740 for eminent domain reform

SB 740 was heard before the Senate State Affairs Committee Monday. The bill, authored by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, takes several steps to protect private property owners from abuse in the eminent domain process whereby land is taken by private corporations and government entities for the “public good.” Clayton Henry, a rancher from Wichita Falls, testified in favor of SB 740 on behalf of TSCRA. Other ranchers, landowners and TSCRA members also testified in favor of the bill. Karen Thorpe of Winters and Reed Stewart of Sterling City both gave telling accounts of their own battles with eminent domain condemnors. General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Apr 04, 2017

Cattlemen applaud re-establishment of Congressional Beef Caucus

At a Capitol Hill news conference Wednesday, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) applauded the re-establishment of the bipartisan Congressional Beef Caucus. The Beef Caucus will organize and educate members of Congress and their staff on policy issues that impact America’s cattle and beef producers. The Congressional Beef Caucus will be co-chaired by U.S. Reps. Henry Cuellar, D, Dist. 28 – Texas, and Kevin Yoder, R, Dist. 3 – Kansas, who joined NCBA at the news conference. The Beef Caucus currently stands 35 members of Congress strong, hailing from 21 states. Read more…

General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Mar 30, 2017

Texas ranchers face blowback from Trump’s plans for NAFTA

U.S. beef exports to Mexico have skyrocketed since the North American Free Trade Agreement phased out tariffs. Representatives of the cattle industry warn reopening the treaty would put those gains in jeopardy. TSCRA Director Coleman Locke and Member Kelley Sullivan, Santa Rosa Ranch, talks trade and the hope Texas ranchers have a seat at the table during negotiations. Read more and listen to the interview at HoustonPublicMedia.org…

General Discussion, General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Mar 27, 2017

Subcommittee examines livestock producer perspectives on next farm bill

Rep. David Rouzer, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture, held a hearing Tuesday to gather perspectives from key members of the livestock community as part of the committee’s hearing series on the next farm bill. Members of the committee heard from representatives of four major livestock producer groups who discussed the issues facing their respective industries as well as their priorities for the upcoming farm bill. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Craig Uden, of Nebraska, touched on priorities like the need for Congress to authorize $150M for a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccine bank, regulatory relief, and supporting international beef trade topping the agenda for the beef cattle industry. Read more…

General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Mar 22, 2017

Coalition of property rights advocates applaud latest eminent domain legislation

The Texans for Property Rights Coalition applauds the filing of HB 2684 aimed at eminent domain reform. Authored by state Representative DeWayne Burns, the legislation will help level the playing field for property owners who confront corporations and government entities with deep pockets and skilled legal teams. Reps. Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin, Kyle Kacal, R-Bryan, and Justin Holland, R-Rockwall, will also carry legislation offering significant improvements to current eminent domain laws. General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Mar 03, 2017

Cattle Raisers commend President Trump’s order on EPS overreach

TSCRA President Richard Thorpe issued a statement Tuesday in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers reevaluate the waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. “The WOTUS rule is a misguided attempt to control water on our ranches and private lands by imposing overly burdensome regulations and harsh penalties on landowners. It would destroy the livelihoods of Texas ranchers by regulating them out of business, and threaten our ability to provide America with a safe and affordable food supply. I commend President Trump for recognizing the peril of such a rule and taking action to control federal overreach.” The chairmen of both the House and Senate’s agriculture committees also issued statements applauding the action. Read more…

General Discussion, General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Mar 01, 2017

TSCRA leader testifies before Texas Senate committee  in Austin about veterinarian shortage

TSCRA Director Coleman Locke, of Hungerford, testified Monday before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs in Austin. In his testimony, on behalf of TSCRA, he addressed a current shortage of large animal veterinarians to serve rural Texas. He conveyed a number of facts, including that Texas is tied for last in the country in the number of animals per veterinarian, and the situation is likely to worsen, because 46 percent of rural veterinarians are over the age of 60. Locke closed by strongly asserting the need for state legislature and Texas public universities to make a priority of addressing this growing shortage of food animal veterinary practitioners. Read more…

General Discussion, General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Feb 27, 2017

Water issues in the courts could impact all landowners 

Ongoing water legal battles around the state and nation could set precedents that affect all landowners, so they bear watching, according to Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agricultural law specialist in Amarillo. Dowell Lashmet, speaking at the recent High Plains Irrigation Conference, outlined several legal actions concerning the Clean Water Act and corresponding definitions of Waters of the U.S., or WOTUS. If you’re interested in learning more, Dowell Lashmet will talk about water and ranching at TSCRA’s School for Successful Ranching during Cattle Raisers Convention in San Antonio March 31-April 2. Read more…

General Discussion, General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Feb 24, 2017