Next Thursday, the final ranch gathering of the year will be held in Waco. If you can make it, TSCRA staff will be there to provide an update on current government and political issues.
This week three new bills were introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that will impact cattle producers.
Monday brought the introduction of the Real MEAT (Marketing Edible Artificials Truthfully) Act of 2019 by U.S. Reps. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., and Anthony Brindisi D-N.Y.
The bill will create a nation-wide definition of beef to ensure that consumers are not misled or confused by alternative protein products. It will also strengthen misbranding laws, provide for better enforcement of those laws, and clarify Congress’ intent for the Beef Promotion and Research Act. NCBA compiled a summary of the bill, which is available here.
Wednesday brought two additional bills.
The Responsible and Efficient Agriculture Destination (TREAD) Act was introduced by authors Angie Craig, D-Minn., and Lloyd Smucker, R-Penn. It seeks to codify important hours-of-service exemptions for people who transport livestock.
The government places restrictions on the number of hours that commercial haulers can operate before they must rest, but hauling livestock presents unique challenges since live animals cannot be left on a trailer while the driver sleeps. The bill will provide for a 150-air-mile exemption for livestock haulers at the origin and destination to protect animal welfare.
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act was also introduced on Wednesday. That legislation was spearheaded by Reps. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., but features a long, bipartisan list of co-sponsors.
The bill would benefit cattle producers by offering year-round workers through the H-2A program, provide wage relief and reduce housing costs. A summary is available here.
Also, this week, The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture voted in favor of reauthorizing the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The bill will now move forward to receive a vote from the entire House. The bill would give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission the authority to keep pace with new technology as well as pursue market fraud and manipulation that takes place outside the United States.