National Ag News for March 2, 2023

Lawmakers Introduce Checkoff Reform Legislation

Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah leads a bipartisan effort to reform agricultural checkoff programs. Lee was joined by Democrats Cory Booker, Kristen Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren, and Republican Rand Paul, in reintroducing the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act. Checkoffs are mandatory Department of Agriculture fees assessed on a per-unit basis that fund boards designed to promote the commodity as a whole. However, Lee says, “Checkoff programs are filled with waste and often abuse those who are forced to contribute to their coffers.” Among other things, the bill would prohibit checkoff programs from contracting with any organization that lobbies on agricultural policy. The legislation met mixed reviews from agriculture groups. R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard says, “The decades old beef checkoff program is ill-suited to meet the needs of today’s cattle farmers and ranchers.” However, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association responded to the legislation, “In 2021 cattle producers overwhelmingly denied a referendum to end the Checkoff.”

EPA Proposes Removal of Gasoline Volatility Waiver for Select States

The Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday announced a proposed rule paving the way for year-round E-15 as a group of state governors requested. The proposal would allow states to remove the 1-psi volatility waiver for gasoline-ethanol blends containing ten percent ethanol in their states. EPA proposes removing the 1-psi waiver in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. EPA proposes an effective date for all states of April 28, 2024. Biofuel groups, however, criticized the implementation date of the proposal. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor responded, “First and foremost, we need E15 in 2023 so consumers can save money every time they fuel up at the pump.” The National Corn Growers Association supports the governors’ plan and expressed serious concern over the one-year delay in implementation and the market uncertainty the delay creates for E15 in 2023. NCGA President Tom Haag says, “These governors did the right thing, but EPA’s proposal delays this solution.”

NCBA Calls Again for Immediate Halt to Brazilian Beef Imports

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is calling on Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to immediately half U.S. beef imports from Brazil. The announcement comes as Brazil reported another atypical case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy to the World Animal Organization for Animal Health last week. That report indicated 35 days elapsed between when the case was first identified and the date it was confirmed. NCBA president Todd Wilkinson says, “We have seen Brazil repeatedly fail to meet the 24-hour requirement for reporting of animal diseases.” Wilkinson adds, “We expect USDA to keep the border closed to Brazil until they can demonstrate that they are willing and able to play by the trade rules that govern all other nations.” NCBA sent a letter to USDA, demanding immediate action on this issue. NCBA also supports bipartisan Senate legislation to suspend Brazilian beef imports pending a review of Brazil’s standards.

Chicken leads U.S. Per Person Availability of Meat

The supply of chicken available to eat in the United States continues to outpace beef, according to new food availability data from the USDA’s Economic Research Service. In 2021, 68.1 pounds of chicken per person were available for human consumption, on a boneless, edible basis, compared with 56.2 pounds of beef. The availability of chicken began to increase in the 1940s, overtaking pork availability in 1996 and surpassing beef in 2010 to become the meat most available for U.S. consumption. Since 1980, U.S. chicken availability per person has more than doubled from 32.7 pounds. There were 47.5 pounds of pork available in 2021, after fluctuating between 42.4 and 49.9 pounds per person over the last four decades, according to USDA. Per-person fish and shellfish availability data are available only through 2019, when 19.1 pounds were available per person in the United States, up from the low of eight pounds in 1943.

World Pork Expo Set for Milestone 35th Anniversary Celebration

The 2023 World Pork Expo returns to the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, from June 7 through 9. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the annual event focusing on education, innovation and networking within the pork industry. National Pork Producers Council Board President Terry Wolters says, “We’re looking forward to celebrating the event’s history while continuing to look ahead at the progress the industry continues to make.” The event has grown significantly over the last three and a half decades to become the world’s largest pork-specific trade show. Last year, more than 10,000 pork producers and ag professionals representing over 400 companies worldwide participated. This year’s event is expected to draw even more industry insiders to the more than 300,000 square feet of exhibit space. Registration information will soon be available on for those who plan to attend the 2023 World Pork Expo, June 7-9.

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health Appoints Scott King to Lead U.S. Cattle Business

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health Wednesday announced the appointment of Dr. Scott King as the new Executive Director of the U.S. Cattle Business. King says of the appointment, “I am excited to lead the team at Boehringer Ingelheim as we work hand-in-hand with them to prevent and manage conditions that can impact cattle health.” King has served as Director of Marketing for the U.S. Cattle Business at Boehringer Ingelheim since 2015. He joined Boehringer Ingelheim in 2014 as Director of Marketing for the U.S. Equine Business and has held various marketing and technical leadership roles at Bayer Animal Health and Land O’Lakes Purina Mills. King is a graduate of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine and practiced veterinary medicine for ten years. Steve Boren, Vice President of Livestock and Equine at Boehringer Ingelheim, adds, “His extensive knowledge of the cattle industry and background in veterinary medicine will be integral to helping uphold Boehringer Ingelheim’s commitment to whole herd health.”


By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.

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