Taking stands on inheritance tax to immigration to the beef check off, members of Nebraska Cattlemen adopted polices at their annual meeting on Dec. 7 regardig potential legislative or rule making. “The members of Nebraska Cattlemen came together to position themselves on current topics affecting the beef industry,” said newly elected Nebraska Cattlemen President Dale Spencer of Brewster.
Brief overviews of new policies:
Use of out-of-state brands
Producers from other states purchase cattle in Nebraska and occasionally need to have the cattle branded with an out-of-state brand prior to loading for movement. Because this is currently illegal, Nebraska Cattlemen support legislation to allow a one-time permit be issued to apply an out-of-state brand.
Nebraska Cattlemen asks for the immediate cease of aerial surveillance being conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) due to the blatant violation of private property rights of businesses, residents and adjoining businesses and residents.
Updated brand statutes
Due to needed updates in brand inspection laws, Nebraska Cattlemen will seek legislation that will update and better reflect the current industry as well as resetting fees to keep the inspection system viable.
Alternatives to hot and freeze brands
Nebraska Cattlemen support the study of alternatives to hot iron and freeze branding methods that new technology may contribute.
FCM Insurance Program
Due to the effects of the bankruptcy of CME clearing member MF Global, Nebraska Cattlemen urges the development of an insurance program for Futures Commission Merchants (FCMs) that would protect the value of excess customer funds on deposit in futures margin accounts.
Nebraska State Beef Checkoff
A working group has come together to discuss the idea of a producer-driven, state-based beef checkoff program and has released a white paper with preliminary recommendations and is now leaving it up to Nebraska beef producers to consider the issue.
Nebraska Cattlemen will work with other beef organizations to conduct a series of at least 9 producer input meetings to further refine the recommendations. Upon approval of the majority of Nebraska beef producers, legislation will be sought to implement such a plan.
Due to needed updates in current immigration laws and because the beef industry relies on immigrants as a substantial portion of its labor force, Nebraska Cattlemen support federal and state immigration reforms that creates a non-seasonal guest worker program, eliminates barriers for authorized immigrants to pursue permanent residence, creates a skilled agricultural worker preference category for visas, allows beef producers to employ H2A visa holders year round, etc.
Nebraska Cattlemen also support education and informational campaigns to increase awareness of immigration issues as they impact the beef industry.
Nebraska Inheritance Tax
Since inheritance tax is paid to county governments, elimination of the Nebraska inheritance tax would result in pressure to replace lost revenue by increasing property taxes.
Nebraska Cattlemen supports continuation of the existing Nebraska inheritance tax.
Cattle and beef producers need access to antimicrobials in a timely manner to maintain healthy animals and prevent diseases. Nebraska Cattlemen support judicious us of antimicrobials by cattle producers and supports risk assessments, government approval procedure, and guidance rules that are based upon peer reviewed sound science from the appropriate species.