Cattlemen's Association: eUpdate for July 28, 2006
General News Judge Rules For South Dakota Farm Families Judge Max Gors ruled in circuit court last Friday in favor of Secretary of State Chris Nelson’s decision to not file the Alliance for Our Future’s initiative petition for the November general election ballot. This initiative petition would have changed county zoning so that farm families with livestock would likely face a county-wide vote in order to grow their business. In the proceedings, Judge Gors accepted over 1,500 invalid signatures that Ag United identified.
“This is a victory for South Dakota farm families who follow the rules as they expand their business,” said Steve Dick, Ag United Executive Director.
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SDCA Member Attends EPA Hearing Brian Nagel, President of the SDCA Cattle Feeders Council, was in Ames, IA Tuesday participating in EPA hearings about proposed changes to CAFO rules and regulations. Brian was attending this hearing in preparation for SDCA to provide written comments to the proposed CAFO changes, due August 14. Following the EPA hearing, Brian met with other state cattlemen’s associations to discuss the proposed changes.
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OPEN HOUSE AND RIBBON CUTTING FOR BRULE COUNTY BUSINESS AUGUST 4 Pazour Family to host open house for feedlot
Agriculture United for South Dakota is pleased to announce they will be participating in a ribbon cutting and open house for the Tim and Karla Pazour family’s feedlot south of Pukwana.
“The Pazour’s feedlot is the perfect example of the opportunities South Dakota families have in livestock production,” said Ag United board member and Clear Lake cattle producer Neal Ruhd. “With the record land and input prices farmers have seen recently, many farm families are looking to livestock feeding as a way to grow their business.”
Much of the work for the Pazour’s feedlot, which will accommodate 5,000 head of cattle, was done by local contractors and family members.
The ribbon cutting and open house will be held on Friday, August 4, 2006 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Pazour’s feedlot located at 25725 350th Ave, Pukwana. From I-90, Exit 272: South 6.5 miles on Highway 50, then west one mile on 257th St.
Grillled burgers and drinks will be served during the open house, and is sponsored by donations from local businesses, contractors and suppliers. In addition, there will be a short program at 12:30 p.m., with SD Secretary of Agriculture, Larry Gabriel, speaking.
The Pazour’s have a 500 head cow-calf operation, and raise corn sunflowers, wheat, and alfalfa. The operation includes Tim’s brother Mark and Tim and Karla’s two returning sons: Jim, a 2005 SDSU graduate, and Joel, a 2006 Lake Area Technical Institute graduate. Daughter Jennifer is a 2006 graduate of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
There are 3.75 million cattle raised in South Dakota on 18,000 farms and ranches across the state. South Dakota is the sixth leading state in all cattle and calves in the nation.
Editor's Note: SDCA staff and leadership will also be attending the Pazour family's open house and all SDCA members are invited to attend. Additional information can be found on page 7 of the July/August issue of The South Dakota Cattleman magazine.
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Superfund Bills Gain Momentum in Congress: Congress is moving bills in both the House and Senate to clarify that Congress never intended to regulate animal manure under Superfund laws.
The Superfund laws were created to: provide for the cleanup of toxic waste dumps and hazardous chemical spills, to force reporting of releases of hazardous chemicals and to enable emergency response. But opponents of animal agriculture want to apply Superfund laws to livestock operations because of manure emissions. Superfund laws, CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act) and EPCRA (Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act), already contain provisions exempting fertilizer and other substances used in agricultural operations from their regulations.
S. 3681 was introduced July 18 by Senators Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.). This bill now has 24 Senate co-sponsors, including Senator Thune. In the House, H.R. 4341 currently has 175 co-sponsors including Representative Herseth. Visit http://capwiz.com/beefusa to see a full list of co-sponsors and encourage Senator Johnson's support of this legislation.
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House Ag Committee Farm Bill Hearings: The House Agriculture Committee convened their final field hearing this week to review federal farm policy in Scottsburg, Indiana. The Committee held a total of 11 field hearings in various regions of the country to gather feedback from America’s farmers and ranchers in preparation for reauthorizing the Farm Bill next year.
Next week, House Ag subcommittees have scheduled field hearings to review farm policy:
Monday, July 31, 9 a.m., in Wall, S.D. (Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management) President Elect Scott Jones will be testifying at this hearing! Click here to view his testimony. For more information, visit: http://agriculture.house.gov.
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U.S. BSE Surveillance: USDA’s Enhanced BSE Surveillance Program continues to test targeted animals identified as most likely to have the disease. Since June 1, 2004, the program has tested 764,270 cattle and has found only two confirmed cases, evidence that our safeguards are working and the prevalence of BSE in the United States is extremely low. Testing 268,500 animals can detect BSE at a rate of 1 in 10 million adult cattle at a 99 percent confidence level.
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NCBA Represents Cattle Producers on Critical Issues Before Congress This week, NCBA was engaged in a variety of activities on Capitol Hill, but among the highlights was our participation in two key Congressional hearings earlier today before the House Agriculture Committee.
This morning, NCBA member and past Young Cattlemen's Conference (YCC) Chairman Paxton Ramsey of Devers, Texas represented America's cattle producers at a hearing before the full House Committee on Agriculture. The topic of the hearing was Representative John Sweeney's (R-NY) H.R. 503, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. On behalf of NCBA, Ramsey presented testimony regarding the danger of this activist driven legislation that limits horse owners' management rights.
H.R. 503 was also the subject of a hearing earlier this week in the House Committee on Energy & Commerce. Driven by the activist community, this legislation continues to gain momentum in Washington, D.C. Yet, NCBA will continue its fight to defeat this irresponsible ban on horse processing. A vote by the full House of Representatives is scheduled for the morning of Thursday, September 7 when the House returns from its August recess.
Also in Congress this week, NCBA member and Adel, Oregon cattleman, John O'Keeffe testified before the House Ag Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Rural Development, and Research to discuss conservation issues related to the 2007 Farm Bill. As policymakers begin development of the 2007 Farm Bill, O’Keeffe says producers need more conservation programs that keep land in production. To view NCBA's press release regarding O'Keeffe's testimony, visit www.beefusa.org.
While NCBA staff work year-round on issues important to you in our nation's capitol, few things impact our success as much as active participation by our members. While not every NCBA member can have the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C. to lobby a federal agency or testify before Congress, you can take an active stand on the issues impacting you. Please visit http://capwiz.com/beefusa to learn about the issues we're dealing with on your behalf and to contact your Members of Congress on the issues important to you!
Editor's note: Earlier this week, SDCA communicated our opposition of H.R. 503 to Representative Herseth, who sits on the House Ag Committee . We have been notified that Representative Herseth plans to oppose this bill.
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Trade Updates Resumption of U.S. Beef Exports to Japan Early yesterday, USDA announced that the verification of our U.S. safeguards and negotiations to resume U.S. beef exports to Japan once-again have been finalized, and the Japanese government announced its market is now open to U.S. beef and beef products from cattle verified to be 20 months of age or younger. While this morning's announcement represents a positive step forward with Japan, we remain focused on gaining full access to the Japanese market according to international standards.
As was the case with the initial reopening of the Japanese market in December 2005, for U.S. cattlemen to meet export requirements into Japan, cattle must come through a Quality System Assessment (QSA), which is part of the Beef Export Verification (BEV) program run by USDA. The QSA stretches from the farm to the packer and ensures that the beef is source and age verified.
U.S. producers can apply for approval of their own USDA QSA Program for age verification or have their cattle enrolled in one of the approved age verification programs, listed online at www.ams.usda.gov/lsg/arc/qsap.htm or http://processverified.usda.gov.
As the many of the technical details and export requirements were defined and posted by FSIS in December, you can visit http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Regulations_&_Policies/Japan_requirements/index.asp to view the details about eligible product requirements.
As yesterday, was the "effective date" for this announcement, eligible cattle harvested at approved establishments beginning July 27, qualify for export to Japan. Further, a considerable amount of beef that was in transit to Japan when the suspension was announced has been in cold-storage with Japanese customs since December. So, U.S. beef should be flowing on the Japanese market shortly.
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STATEMENT BY AGRICULTURE SECRETARY MIKE JOHANNS REGARDING THE REOPENING OF THE JAPANESE MARKET TO U.S. BEEF
July 27, 2006
"I am pleased that Japan announced today it would resume imports of U.S. beef from cattle 20 months of age and younger. This has been a long process as we've confirmed that our system is in full compliance with Japan's import requirements and provided Japan with clear, scientific data confirming that American beef is extremely safe. It is gratifying to know that these efforts paid-off, as did the patience demonstrated by Congress.
"It is unfortunate that the trade resumption launched last December was cut short in January of this year. Nations need reasonable methods of addressing the inadvertent shipment of products that don't meet an importing country's specifications, without disrupting an entire trading relationship. The U.S. has such methods of addressing noncompliant shipments from Japan, as well as our other trading partners, and I am hopeful that going forward Japan will take a similar approach.
"As we look forward, we must also continue to strive to move beef trade with Japan and throughout the world toward science-based international guidelines. Science provides us with clear data upon which to build trading standards. All of us must be mindful of these guidelines and work toward complying with them.
"In 2003, the United States exported $1.4 billion worth of beef and beef products to Japan. I look forward to the day when we resume that level of trade. To that end, I have asked the Japanese Government to meet with us this fall to discuss the next steps toward strengthening our beef trading relationship and graduating to standards based in science."
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Death Tax Update on Senate Death Tax Possibilities As you know, in late June the House passed H.R. 5638, the Permanent Estate Tax Relief Act of 2006. At that time, it appeared that the Senate could take up this bill before leaving for the August recess. With the House leaving for recess tomorrow and the Senate scheduled to leave for the August recess at the end of next week, both chambers are very hard to predict right now as they rush to tie up loose ends. However, there is once again talk that this bill could come up again before the Congressional August recess. While the House moved H.R. 5638 as a stand-alone bill, it appears unlikely that 60 votes for the bill currently exist in the Senate.
Another option that exists for moving this Death Tax language could entail tying it to a package of around two dozen tax breaks that will expire if Congress doesn't vote to extend them. In addition to the Death Tax relief language, this potential package would include a research credit tax break, a one year extension for a federal deduction for state and local sales taxes paid, breaks for college tuition, and incentives for employers to hire former welfare recipients, in addition to possible tax breaks aimed at encouraging individuals to save money.
Editor's Note: At our June Board of Directors meeting, SDCA leadership passed a directive regarding the Death Tax to allow support of compromise legislation that would minimize the impact of this burdensome tax. While still indicating support for full and permanent repeal of the Death Tax, this directive supports increased exemptions, indexing values to inflation and capping the tax rate at no more than 15%.
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News Release Contact: Sam D. Holland, DVM, State Veterinarian (605)773-3321 July 24, 2006
Anthrax has again appeared in South Dakota livestock. Dr. Sam Holland, State Veterinarian, reports the disease has struck a group of unvaccinated cattle in Hyde County. The State Veterinarian was called on Sunday, July 23, and the state veterinary diagnostic lab confirmed the diagnosis on Monday, July 24th.
Dr. Holland reports the case involves a pasture containing a group of approximately 100 unvaccinated cow-calf pairs with initial death loss of 5 cows.
“In spite of repeated recommendations, some producers fail to preventatively vaccinate their herds,” says Dr. Holland. The infected herd was scheduled to be immediately treated with antibiotics, vaccinated and carcasses properly disposed of under the supervision of the local veterinary practitioner and the Animal Industry Board. Anthrax is a very serious quarantinable disease because it can cause the rapid loss of a large number of animals in a very short time. Animals are often found dead with no illness detected.
Anthrax is communicable to humans and other animals through carcasses, so strict enforcement of quarantine and proper burning and burying of carcasses suspected to have died from Anthrax is important. Anthrax is not usually spread from animal to animal and quarantines are imposed to prevent further soil contamination by movement of affected livestock. Dr. Holland states producers and veterinarians have been urged to make anthrax vaccination part of routine health programs. Not doing so presents the risk of further environmental contamination, animal and public health risks, fire risks, and associated costs.
Dr. Holland reports that Anthrax spores survive in contaminated soil indefinitely and that much of South Dakota has the potential of experiencing an outbreak. Significant climate changes such as drought, floods, and winds can expose Anthrax spores to grazing livestock. Alkaline soils, high humidity and high temperatures present conditions for the Anthrax spores to vegetate and become infectious to grazing livestock.
Dr. Holland says he advised practicing veterinarians to be alert for Anthrax in his April and July newsletters. Rendering companies have also been alerted so that carcasses are not rendered but properly burned and buried on the farm.