I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving! For your TSCRA government relations staff, a couple of days with friends and family was a welcome reprieve from the usual hustle and bustle. We were right back at it this week, though, with plenty to do.
On Wednesday, Kaleb McLaurin was in Fort Worth at TSCRA’s new leader orientation to give the association’s newest directors insight into everything the government relations team does. The same day, Peyton Schumann was in Mission at our last ranch gathering of the year to give attendees the latest and greatest policy update.
Yesterday we hosted the Haskell FFA ag issues team at our office as they practiced their presentation on WOTUS ahead of the state contest. Today, Peyton is back on the road for a meeting in Brady with State Representative, friend and fellow cattle raiser Andrew Murr.
Through it all, we’ve been busy finalizing comments to state and federal regulatory agencies as they go through the rulemaking process on various issues.
I know I’ve talked about it before, but it’s prime season for these types of regulatory comments. Many of the state laws passed during the 2021 Texas Legislative Session are now being implemented by state agencies, prompting a flurry of activity on the state level. Federally, the Biden administration is now about a year into their tenure, and many staff appointments to federal agencies have been finished. That means the new administration is finally hitting its stride in trying to change many of the things they didn’t like about the last administration’s regulations.
The bottom line is that we’re crazy busy making sure they know how cattle producers feel about those new proposals and their plans to implement them.
Wednesday, we submitted comments to USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service as they prepare to regulate the labeling of lab-grown fake meat. We sent out a press release today, which you can read in our newsroom, and the comments can be read here. I think the comments and press release speak for themselves, so I won’t bore y’all with further commentary here. Also, be sure to check out the December issue of the Cattleman magazine, which has a great article from Hughes Abell on the lab-grown protein labeling issue.
We’re also submitting comments today to the Texas Animal Health Commission on proposed rules for managing Chronic Wasting Disease. I’ll have a link to those for y’all in the next update since they’re not quite finalized as of writing.
Last but not least, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration approved and extended the Hours-of-Service emergency declaration for livestock haulers until Feb. 28, 2022. The full declaration is available on their website here.
I think that’s it for now!
Until next time,
Jeremy Fuchs is the director of policy communications and government relations for Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.