TSCRA Cattlemen's Column: 2015 Dietary Guidelines Reaffirm Beef’s Role in a Healthy Diet

Tscra

TSCRA First Vice President Dr. Richard Thorpe discusses the integral role of lean beef in the final 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans released by the USDA and U.S. Health and Human Services. The new guidelines are based on sound science and confirm that Americans are, on average, consuming fresh lean meat (including lean beef) at levels consistent with the 2015 Dietary Guidelines. When compared calorie-per-calorie to other food sources, many studies and scientific evidence shows beef is one of the most naturally nutrient rich foods. Read more…

TSCRA’s Thorpe meets with House Ag Chairman Mike Conaway

Tscra

TSCRA First Vice President Richard Thorpe enjoyed visiting with Mike Conaway, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Wednesday in Austin about issues important to cattle raisers.

President vetoes WOTUS resolution of disapproval

EPA-WOTUS

After bi-partisan passage in both chambers of Congress, President Obama vetoed Senate Joint Resolution 22, disapproval of the EPA’s “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Philip Ellis said this is a clear indication the President does not understand the role America’s cattle producers, land owners and state governments play in preserving our natural resources. Read more…

House passes resolution to disapprove WOTUS rule

capitol

The full House passed a joint resolution to disapprove of the Environmental Protection Agency’s “waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule under the Congressional Review Act. With approval from Congress, the legislation now heads to the President, who is expected to veto the resolution. This resolution would nullify the rule submitted by EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to redefine “waters of the U.S.” under the Clean Water Act. Read more at Feedstuffs…

TSCRA statement on passage of Omnibus and tax extenders

Tscra

TSCRA President Pete Bonds mad ea statement Friday after Congress passed the Fiscal Year 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Act, H.R. 2029 and a bill to reauthorize tax exemptions that were set to expire this year. “Passage of this Omnibus and the tax extenders package is a major victory for the beef industry,” said Bonds. “H.R. 2029 includes key provisions that will better assist ranchers in running successful cattle operations…” Read more…

Federal Appropriations bill passes, holds key provisions for cattle producers

capitol

With bipartisan support, Congress passed the $1.15 trillion Omnibus Appropriations Bill Friday, which funds much of the government through fiscal year 2016. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Philip Ellis said the bill contained several victories for cattlemen and women. Coming within days of facing retaliation from two of our largest trading partners, the bill repeals mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling for beef; a significant victory for America’s cattle producers. Read more…

TSCRA statement on Red River Private Property Protection Act

Texas State Capitol photo by TexasExplorer98 at flickr

TSCRA President Pete Bonds made a statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2130, the Red River Private Property Protection Act, championed by Rep. Mac Thornberry. “TSCRA appreciates Rep. Mac Thornberry and Sen. John Cornyn for crafting this legislation and listening to our members and other landowners concerns on this issue. We encourage the Senate to swiftly consider this bill to help preserve private property rights…” Read more…

Early voting underway until Oct. 30

vote

TSCRA members are encouraged to take to the polls early to vote on 7 constitutional amendments to the November ballot. Early voting ends Oct. 30 with election day on Nov. 3. Read more…

Texas Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton asks court to halt illegal water rule in Texas

attgen

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Tuesday asked a federal judge to halt the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) overreaching new water rule, jointly issued with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which vastly expands federal jurisdiction over “navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act. Texas is asking the judge to lift a temporary judicial stay of the litigation and issue a preliminary injunction, arguing that the rule violates the U.S. Constitution, federal law and U.S. Supreme Court precedent, and places immediate and costly burdens on landowners in Texas. Read more…

EPA reaction to injunction muddies WOTUS rule

USDA/NRCS photo by Jeff Vanuga.

Organizations are concerned about the current status of the Clean Water Rule, also known as WOTUS. Listen to the audio report at Agri-Pulse..

Texas farmers brace for new clean water rule

EPA

Local uncertainty abounds as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule kicks in on Sept. 1, extending the agency’s regulatory power to smaller bodies of water, including some streams that only flow after heavy precipitation. The changes mean more landowners may need to apply for permits for work affecting water that now falls under federal jurisdiction. But some environmental law experts say the rule is so broad that it’s unclear which farmers, ranchers and landowners will be affected. Read more at The Texas Tribune…

Federal court ruling in North Dakota blocks “Waters of the U.S.” rule

USDA/NRCS photo by Jeff Vanuga.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson of North Dakota on Thursday issued a preliminary injunction against implementation of the Clean Water regulation, saying a group of 13 states was likely to succeed in their lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency regulation as unlawful. The judge gave two reasons for his decision: “(1)it appears likely that the EPA has violated its Congressional grant of authority in its promulgation of the Rule at issue and (2) it appears likely the EPA failed to comply with requirements when promulgating the Rule.” TSCRA President Pete Bonds also made a statement applauding the North Dakota federal court decision on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. Read more…

Amendment filed to repeal mandatory COOL

beefpackage

U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, filed an amendment Thursday, July 23 to repeal mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) requirements for beef, pork and chicken – required by Canada and Mexico to prevent billions of dollars in retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. economy. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, was a cosponsor of the bill. Read more…

Save the Date for Policy Conference – All TSCRA members invited to attend

Policy-Conference-Logo_thumb

Mark your calendar for Wednesday, Sept. 23, to Friday, Sept. 25, for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Policy Conference at the Westin Riverwalk, San Antonio. The TSCRA Policy Conference replaces the traditional fall meeting and offers a format in which TSCRA members will have ample time to focus on policy issues of interest to association members and any others involved in ranching and the stewardship of private property.

Cattlemen’s Column: Death tax adversely affects domestic economy

Tscra

In June’s Cattlemen’s Column, TSCRA Second Vice President and Fort Davis rancher Robert McKnight discusses the tolls death tax pays on ranchers, the middle class, and the economy as a whole. TSCRA Read more…

House passes COOL repeal legislation, Cornyn applauds action

beefpackage

The House of Representatives passed the Conaway/Costa bill (HR 2392) to repeal Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for beef, pork and chicken. The bill passed with a strong bi-partisan vote of 300 to 131. NCBA President Philip Ellis said this strong action by the House sends a clear signal that this is a failed program. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, applauded House passage of the bill, saying “The last thing Texas farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers need are onerous, unfair regulations that hamstring their ability to compete in the global market. The COOL regulations for beef, pork, and chicken need to go, and I applaud Rep. Conaway for leading the fight in the House.” Read more…

Senate committee votes to stop EPA's regulatory land grab

capitol

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works advanced legislation today to force the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to rewrite their “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule, a move applauded by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council. During the markup, Wyoming Senator John Barrasso stated that the final rule, published on May 27, is actually worse than the proposed rule. Read more…

TSCRA statement on finalized EPA water rule

groundwater

TSCRA President Pete Bonds made a statement Wednesday after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The agency finalized the rule, which unilaterally expands its jurisdiction over water in our country, only 6 months after receiving 1 million public comments. “The EPA claims the finalized Waters of the U.S. rule is an effort to keep our nation’s water clean and safe, but I fully disagree…” Read more…

NCBA: EPA writes off rural America, finalizes proposed WOTUS rule

Picture courtesy Oklahoma State University

The EPA finalized its “Waters of the United States” proposed rule Wednesday, which unilaterally strips private property rights and adds hundreds of thousands of stream miles and acres of land to federal jurisdiction. Under the guise of clarifying the Clean Water Act, the EPA and the Army Corps added ambiguous language to the law that leaves regulation up to the subjectivity of individual regulators across the country. By law, the EPA must read and consider all comments submitted on the proposed rule, but only six months after receiving over one million public comments on the proposal, EPA has finalized the rule. Philip Ellis, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president, said this is a clear indication there is no intention of considering the concerns of those most impacted by the rule. Read more…

TSCRA wraps up Texas Central Railway informational meetings

TCR_HotButton

Around 100 ranchers, landowners and guests attended the second of TSCRA’s informational meetings in Navasota Thursday evening at the Grimes County Expo Center. Kyle Workman, president, Texans Against High-Speed Rail, was there to discuss the project and answer questions. TSCRA hosted a previous meeting May 14 in Corsicana at the Navarro County Exposition Center. Read more…

Legislation introduced in House to repeal COOL

Photo © 2012 Cattlemen's Beef Board

After more than a decade and 2 administrations failing to successfully implement the rule, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, introduced legislation (H.R. 2393) to repeal Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). Originally introduced in the 2002 Farm Bill covering beef, pork and chicken; and implemented in 2008, COOL has been detrimental to the U.S. livestock industry and without benefit to U.S. consumers. After multiple rulings against the U.S. by the World Trade Organization, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Philip Ellis said this action by Congress is long overdue. Read more…

TSCRA Hosts Texas Central Railway Informational meeting

TCR_HotButton

TSCRA welcomed members and local ranchers to an informational meeting Thursday evening in Corsicana on the proposed Texas Central Railway (TCR). Pete Bonds, TSCRA president, welcomed attendees and noted that the meeting was an opportunity to learn more about the project. Read more…

Committee hearing scheduled for Senate Bill 474 by state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst

Texas State Capitol photo by TexasExplorer98 at flickr

Thanks to those who called Rep. Joe Deshotel urging him to schedule S.B. 474 by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst for a committee hearing. Your efforts were successful and the bill is scheduled for a House Land and Resource Management Committee hearing on Monday, May 18 at 2:00 p.m. or upon adjournment of the House. While this is a step forward, our work isn’t finished yet. It is important to tell the committee members to vote YES on S.B. 474, which helps level the playing field for landowners by requiring condemnors to pay the landowner’s litigation fees if the initial offer is too low. Please call the House Land and Resource Management Committee members and tell them to vote YES on this bill and pass it Read more…

Conaway supports legislation to stop WOTUS proposed rule

capitol

House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, spoke May 13 in support of H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Act of 2015. The bill, which would force the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers to stop moving forward with the proposed “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule, passed the House by a vote of 261-155. Read more…

TSCRA submits comments opposing 2015 DGAC report

Tscra

TSCRA submitted comments on Friday, May 8 opposing the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee;s (DGAC) report, which encourages Americans to consume less beef. The report provides recommendations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) secretaries as they develop their plan for revised dietary guidelines. Read more…

TSCRA to host Central Texas Railway Informational meetings

TCR_HotButton

TSCRA is hosting two informational meetings on the proposed Texas Central Railway (TCR) in Corsicana on May 14 and Navasota on May 21. The featured speaker at both meetings will be Kyle Workman, president of Texans Against High-Speed Rail. Workman will be available to answer questions about the project from attendees. Read more…

Last chance to submit comments opposing flawed 2015 dietary guidelines

DG_button_Revise

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) recently submitted their dietary recommendations to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Health and Human Services (HHS). Their suggestions are very negative toward the meat industry. In fact, they are recommending a reduction in the consumption of red meat. The DGAC’s report will guide the USDA and HHS Secretaries as they finalize the 2015 Dietary Guidelines by the end of the year. The report is open for public comment until May 8, and it is extremely important for cattle raisers to voice opposition to these severely flawed recommendations. Take a stand against the federal government’s bureaucratic anti-meat agenda and submit comments telling them beef should always be on Americans’ plates. Read more…

Ag committee chairman rejects generic label option

meat case

House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, has rejected the latest recommendation to establish a generic mandatory label option, an option typically referred to as a “Product of North America” label, should the U.S. lose its World Trade Organization (WTO) appeal regarding country of origin labeling (COOL) in the coming weeks. Read more…

Senators call for repeal of WOTUS

USDA/NRCS photo by Jeff Vanuga.

Senators John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., announced Thursday they are introducing bipartisan legislation to repeal the EPA’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) proposal, a proposal that will jeopardize the rights of private property owners across the country. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council applaud the Senators for actively working to stop the EPA’s aggressive attempt to expand federal jurisdiction over nearly all waters. Read more…

TSCRA Cattlemen's Column: Texas Water Shortage Spurs Legislative Concern

Tscra

Jay Evans, TSCRA director and chair of the Natural Resources and Environment Committee, talks drought, groundwater, legislation and how all three are putting pressure on the private property rights of ranchers across the state. Read more…

TSCRA statement on House passage of death tax repeal act

Tscra

TSCRA Second Vice President Robert McKnight, a rancher from Fort Davis, made a statement following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1105, the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015, The legislation, which passed with a with a 240-179 vote, was authored and championed by Rep. Kevin Brady, Texas, Dist. 8. Read more…

‘Death tax’ punishes success

capitol

Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the House majority whip, discuss the death tax and why it is the wrong tax at the wrong time and hurts the wrong people, like ranchers and farmers. Read more at USAToday…

TSCRA submits comments opposing EPA water rule proposal

Tscra

TSCRA President Pete Bonds made a statement after TSCRA submitted comments on Friday opposing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule proposal. The rule would redefine the term navigable under the waters of the U.S. to give the federal government jurisdiction over all water in the country. Read more…

Deadline for submitting comments to stop EPA land grab is Friday

EPA-WOTUS

The EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a rule proposal in March attempting to expand their authority over waters of the U.S. The EPA currently has jurisdiction over “navigable” waterways, meaning a body of water you could sail a large ship through. If adopted, the rule would redefine navigable to include jurisdictional tributaries, ponds, streams, creeks, ditches, puddles, man-made conveyances, wet areas on pastures, etc. Basically, the federal government would control every drop of water in the country. The rule proposal amounts to the largest land grab in history and would result in additional onerous regulations for you as ranchers and landowners. TSCRA is urging you, your family, friends and neighbors to comment on this flawed rule proposal by visiting www.tscra.org and clicking on the “EPA Land Grab” button. The deadline for submitting comments is FRIDAY, NOV. 14, 2014. Read more…

Cattlemen's Column: Securing Texas Landowners' Private Property Rights

Tscra

Since TSCRA was established in 1877, one of the association’s top priorities has been to represent landowners by working to preserve and protect private property rights. This goal remains vital today as we monitor issues that could adversely affect the important rights held by ranchers and agricultural producers as stewards of our nation’s land. TSCRA has recently been monitoring a new rule proposed by the Railroad Commission of Texas, in the wake of the 2013 Denbury case. This new rule attempts to clarify how oil and gas pipeline companies can obtain “common carrier” status when applying for a permit to operate a new pipeline. Read more…

Staples testifies before US House Committee on Natural Resources, encourages Endangered Species Act reform

Texas Department of Agriculture

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples testified Sept. 9 before the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources. Committee members considered six bills to amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Staples spoke in support of H.R. 4284, the ESA Improvement Act of 2014, sponsored by Congressman Randy Neugebauer, R, Texas – Dist. 19. Read more…

GOP rep: 'Dangerous' EPA rule could increase food costs

groundwater

Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., said Monday that a proposed Environmental EPA rule would wreak havoc on farmers and possibly drive up food prices. The EPA has the authority to issue rules for bodies of water on farms to ensure runoff is safe and not damaging to the environment, but Republicans argue the EPA has been too heavy-handed and could end up regulating a drainage ditch instead of just streams and rivers. Read more at The Hill…

EPA, Corps of Engineers hijack Clean Water Act to expand regulatory authority

EPA

States could be facing upwards of 100,000 added regulated stream miles as a result of the “Waters of the United States” rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers. While the agencies continue to claim their proposal does not expand the scope of the Clean Water Act, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), Missouri Cattlemen’s Association and Missouri Farm Bureau showcased new interactive maps on Aug. 14, 2014, at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, Mo. These maps highlight just how far the proposed rule would expand federal jurisdiction over waters across the country Read more…

New rules proposed on eminent domain process for new pipelines

photo: Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram recently talked to TSCRA President Pete Bonds about pipelines, due process, eminent domain and private property rights The Texas Railroad Commission has proposed a set of rules designed to provide more transparency when a pipeline operator seeks what is known as “common carrier” status: a designation that automatically gives the operator the power of eminent domain to seize land. According to the commission’s general counsel, the proposed rules would create a more developed process that would bring “greater confidence” in the common carrier classification and provide more “certainty for both pipelines and landowners.” The agency is accepting comments on the proposed rules until Aug. 25. Read more at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram…

Rep. Graves files bill to stop all EPA regulations

EPA

Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., introduced a bill Wednesday that would stop every regulation the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently developing and require a review of all existing rules. Graves’ legislation would prohibit EPA from taking action on any rules until its retroactive review is complete, and require congressional approval of all regulations that have an economic cost above $50 billion, including past ones. Read more at The Hill...