Oct. 30, 2020
It’s been a couple of weeks since my last update, but honestly, I’ve been hesitant to add to the wall-to-wall election coverage we’ve all been experiencing lately. It seems like every TV, radio and social media advertisement and every news program over the last two weeks has been about the election. In most places, you can’t even go for a drive without a barrage of campaign signs along the roadside.
Fortunately, the election is almost upon us, and we will soon get a reprieve from the constant campaign advertising overload. Even for those of us who are politically inclined, it becomes a bit monotonous. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m about ready to see something else. Maybe some TV commercials and billboards along the highway for personal injury attorneys? Those never get old, right?
Despite the election burnout, I genuinely hope all of you have voted or plan to head to the polls on Tuesday. Our federal, state and local elected officials have faced some tremendous challenges of late and will continue to do so over the coming years. Who we elect on Tuesday will have a considerable impact on how things are handled moving forward. It is hard to overstate voting’s importance, especially this year, with record turnout and such stark differences between candidates.
For our part, TSCRA has compiled voting recommendations for many of the national and state races. You can check them out here. The recommendations are bipartisan and identify the candidates that the association believes will most effectively represent our members.
Our staff and leaders have also been busy meeting with candidates and assisting, through the TSCRA PAC, for select candidates. That assistance and your vote will be especially important since most political observers anticipate a lot tighter margins between candidates this year. I’ll leave my electoral speculation at that, but we’ll have some post-election thoughts to share next week.
Despite the dominance of the election in most realms, other business is moving forward as well.
TSCRA has been spending quite a bit of time working with legislative staff on the sunset process for the Texas Animal Health Commission, Texas Department of Agriculture and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The Sunset Advisory Commission had a preliminary meeting several weeks ago on the three agencies and others. It will have another on Nov. 12, where they will make final recommendations.
With the impact those three agencies have on cattle producers and property owners, TSCRA will continue to stay very involved in the sunset process.
We’ve also been working with federal regulators on several conservation initiatives, especially USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service on habitat for the Northern Bobwhite Quail. Collaborative conservation efforts for quail have shown success in recent years and are far better than heavy-handed regulatory measures. Thus, TSCRA is working to continue and build those collaborative programs.
Finally, trade deals continue to make the news occasionally. Despite coronavirus slowdowns and increasing tensions, USDA reported that China has implemented at least 50 of the 57 technical commitments under the Phase One Agreement last week. They also noted U.S. beef and beef products exports to China through August 2020 are already more than triple the total for 2017. Good news for beef demand.
In Texas, deer season opens next week, so happy hunting!
Until next time,