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Angus Journal

The Angus Journal Daily, formerly the Angus e-List, is a compilation of Angus industry news; information about hot topics in the beef industry; and updates about upcoming shows, sales and events. Click here to subscribe.

News Update

May 23, 2018

Current Farm Bill Defeated

The House May 18 rejected the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2), better known as the Farm Bill, by a vote of 198-213.

“We may be down, but we are not out,” said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (R-Texas). “We will deliver a strong, new farm bill on time as the president of the United States has called on us to do.”

Lawmakers may take up a motion the following week, offered by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), to reconsider the Farm Bill. The legislation includes several provisions important to U.S. beef producers.

Among them is one establishing and funding a vaccine bank to deal with a potential outbreak in the United States of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in livestock. This version of the farm bill calls for first-year mandatory funding of $150 million for the FMD vaccine bank, $70 million in block grants to the states for disease prevention and $30 million for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN), which provides disease diagnostic support. For the other years of the five-year Farm Bill, there’s $30 million in mandatory funding for state block grants and $20 million to be used at the agriculture secretary’s discretion for the vaccine bank, the NAHLN and the states.

Continue reading this Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA article online.

Secretary Perdue Commits to Prioritizing
Food Waste Solutions

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue hosted a food waste roundtable with Representatives Chellie Pingree (ME-1) and David Young (IA-3), food industry leaders, and nonprofit groups at the USDA May 8. This roundtable, the first of many USDA public events on food waste, serves as an opportunity to raise awareness while discussing solutions with leaders throughout the entire food supply chain.

Following the roundtable, Perdue issued the following statement:

“Our nation’s agricultural abundance should be used to nourish those in need, not fill the trash,” said Perdue. “So many people work on food-waste issues in their own spheres, but it’s time to change the culture and adopt a holistic approach to get everyone working together and sharing ideas. I commend Reps. Pingree and Young for addressing this issue on Capitol Hill and for their desire to find collaborative, commonsense solutions. USDA remains committed to helping reduce food waste, and we are excited to work with all stakeholders from farm to fork to further elevate this effort and fulfill our motto, to ‘Do right and feed everyone.’ ”

For more information, read the USDA news release online.

Public Lands Council Calls for Project Proposals
to Strengthen Federal Lands Ranching

On May 22 the Public Lands Council (PLC) launched a formal Request for Proposals (RFP) for projects designed to strengthen the long-term viability of the public lands ranching industry. Funded by the PLC Endowment Trust, the RFP calls for submissions that address key issues facing federal lands ranchers. Desired project themes include:

With more than 22,000 public land ranchers maintaining 250 million acres of U.S. public land, grazing on federal lands contributes to the economic and social sustainability of America’s rural communities. The proposal form and any additional materials should be submitted via email to no later than Sunday, July 15, 2018.

Read more of this news release online.

R-CALF USA Urges Administration to Stay at
NAFTA Table: To Not Accept Skinny NAFTA

On May 22 Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of American (R-CALF USA) CEO Bill Bullard issued the following statement regarding reports that President Trump’s trade negotiators may accept a “Skinny NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement).”

“We urge President Trump to stay at the NAFTA negotiating table until all the deficiencies in that agreement are corrected. If those deficiencies that allow Canada and Mexico to maintain persistent and substantial price-depressing trade surpluses cannot be corrected, the United States should withdraw from NAFTA. No deal is better than a partial deal that continues to drain the economic strength of the United States’ largest agricultural sector — our U.S. cattle industry.

“Under NAFTA, the U.S. imports three times the volume and twice the value that it exports in cattle and beef, which forced the U.S. to absorb a price-depressing $33 billion deficit during NAFTA’s pendency. The value of imports from Canada and Mexico increased 41% from 2012-2013 to 2014-2015, contributing to the unprecedented 2015 collapse in U.S. cattle prices.

“It is the swamp, the entrenched agricultural lobby representing transnational agribusinesses, that is resisting the president’s effort to properly renegotiate NAFTA.”

Learn more in the R-CALF news release online.

USDA Invests $256 Million in Water Infrastructure
in Rural Communities

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett May 23 announced that the USDA is investing $256 million in 81 projects to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural areas in 35 states.

“No matter what zip code you live in, infrastructure is a foundation for quality of life and economic opportunity,” Hazlett said. “Through strong partnerships, USDA is ensuring that rural communities have the modern, reliable infrastructure they need to prosper.”

During her keynote address at the Arkansas Rural Development conference, Hazlett spoke about USDA’s longstanding partnership with state and local officials to improve the quality of life in rural communities. She met with various representatives on issues important to rural Arkansas residents and businesses, such as ways USDA is partnering with local communities to support opioid treatment, prevention and recovery services. She also highlighted USDA efforts to support e-Connectivity in the state.

Arkansas is receiving two of the 81 rural water and wastewater infrastructure projects Hazlett announced. The Tri County Regional Water Distribution District, in Russellville, Ark., for example, is receiving a $6.2 million USDA loan to construct a water treatment plant with new intake and water lines.

For more information, read the USDA news release online.



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