Feb. 25, 2022
Today, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, is the last day of early voting in Texas for the Democratic and Republican primary elections. In most places, polls close at 7 p.m., so if you still need to vote and want to do it before election day, you still have a few hours.
The TSCRA PAC has released voting recommendations so you can support the candidates who support cattle producers.
Election day is Tuesday, Mar. 1, 2022, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visit this webpage at the Texas Secretary of State’s website and enter the required information to find where you are registered to vote, local polling places and more. This information and sample ballots are also available online from your local county elections department.
In other election news, Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday officially announced his endorsements from major agriculture groups, including the TSCRA PAC. TSCRA PAC vice chairman Arthur Uhl and executive director of government relations, Kaleb McLaurin, were on hand for the event in Amarillo. From the perspective of the Association, Abbott and his staff have been good to work with and pretty attentive to our issues and concerns. We appreciate his support of our organization and Texas cattle producers. We are confident he’ll continue to advocate for our members and us.
Kaleb and I were in Fort Worth for an all-staff meeting and orientation the following day. It was great to see everyone and meet some of the new faces within TSCRA, especially amongst the Special Rangers. I can tell you first-hand y’all have a fantastic and dedicated group of folks working on your behalf across the Association.
On Thursday, USDA announced funding to assist independent meat processors with startup and expansion costs. As we’ve long said, expanding packer capacity and creating alternative marketing channels for cow-calf producers is essential. This funding certainly isn’t the end-all-be-all solution, but every little bit helps, and we applaud the announcement as a good step in the right direction.
For those of you along the Southern border, USDA also announced financial assistance for producers who’ve experienced damages to their property (including fences and water infrastructure) due to illegal immigration. The press release from NRCS has more info, including the eligible counties and how to apply. You may have already seen this on our social media platforms last week, but I thought it was worth repeating.
Last but not least, I’m sure everyone has seen the wall-to-wall news coverage of the conflict in Ukraine. The resulting instability and market volatility are expected to impact everything from gas prices to cattle futures to ag input costs. Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do right now, but we are keeping a very close eye on the agricultural impacts and will engage if and where we can to mitigate the effects on your operations.
That’s all for now. Please go vote if you haven’t already, and I’ll be back with more in the next View from Austin!
Jeremy Fuchs is the director of policy communications and government relations for Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.