What is in this article?:
- Cattlemen testify against onerous regulations
- Lack of scientific evidence
• Anne Burkholder, a cattle feeder from Cozad, Neb., and Jim Strickland, a cow-calf producer from Myakka, Fla., and president of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association, testified during the hearing about the challenges and opportunities for the industry and the impact federal regulations have on their operations.
Lack of scientific evidence
“More importantly, EPA’s charge under the Clean Air Act is to protect public health and there is no scientific evidence that agricultural dust has an adverse impact on human health.”
Strickland agreed that proposed regulations coming from the EPA cause great concern for cattlemen.
“EPA’s numeric criteria restrictions in my home state of Florida strike me and many others as being based on dubious background data and their impact on water quality is unproven,” Strickland said. “One element that is not debatable, however, is that some farmers and ranchers will be forced off their land if this rule goes forward as proposed.”
Both Burkholder and Strickland said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Grain, Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) proposed livestock marketing rule is another major concern for cattlemen. Burkholder said the best thing Congress can do to ensure a fair and competitive beef industry is to use its oversight power to ensure that laws on the books are uniformly and carefully enforced.
“Many other cattlemen and I have made the choice to participate in an alternative marketing arrangement that will offer us an opportunity for a larger share of the consumer’s dollar, while managing market risk and volatility,” Burkholder said. “However, if marketing arrangements are greatly reduced, as the proposed GIPSA rule would do, cattlemen are the losers because it takes away our ability and incentive to manage risks, finance production and compete with one another to negotiate premiums.”
Strickland understands the importance of his advocacy efforts and of educating elected officials about the U.S. beef industry but said he would rather be doing what he knows best.
“While it is an honor to be here today representing U.S. cattlemen and women, I would rather be home with my wife and family raising cattle and quarter horses,” he said. “I appreciate your invitation because it my duty to participate in public policy discussions and to give voice to the concerns I share with most of my fellow ranchers.”