As a function of TSCRA’s commitment to representing ranchers and landowners in Texas and across the Southwest, our governmental and public affairs office is hard at work tackling the issues important to the beef industry. The association’s team of knowledgeable and experienced representatives are out in the field both locally and nationally to defend landowner rights and the ranching way of life. Each week we will keep TSCRA members informed and up-to-date on the activities and issues taking place in Austin, Washington D.C. and around the globe. This week includes farm bill listening sessions, committee hearings for bills in Texas legislature.
TSCRA President Richard Thorpe testified Monday in San Angelo at the farm bill listening session hosted by the U.S. House Agriculture Committee. He outlined issues in the farm bill that are important to cattle raisers including: no restrictions on how cattle producers can market their cattle, the continuation of conservation programs like EQIP, the need to fund a foot and mouth disease vaccine bank, and continued support for international trade programs such as the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program.
Thorpe also presented these issues on Tuesday in San Angelo at the 14th Annual West Texas Legislative Summit, which was focused this year on the farm bill.
TSCRA First Vice President Bobby McKnight, many TSCRA board directors and members, and TSCRA staff were also present at both events.
The Texas Legislature’s Special Session reached the half-way mark this week. TSCRA supported several bills in committee hearings this week that would benefit cattle raisers and landowners.
- HB 6 would reform municipal annexation procedures and among other benefits would give landowners an opportunity to vote on whether or not they want to be annexed
- HB 7 would limit some municipal tree removal regulations and allow landowners to offset municipal penalties by planting new trees
- HB 162 would ensure that landowners with certain agriculture land would not be responsible for additional property taxes if the purpose of that land changes as the result of condemnation
- HB 249 would reduce the roll back from five years to three years if open-space land changes use