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"EPA is proposing a rule that would require concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to submit basic operational information to EPA so the Agency can more effectively carry out its CAFO permitting programs on a national level and ensure that CAFOs are implementing practices to protect water quality an More...
SPCC Compliance Date Extension for Farms On October 18, 2011, the U.S. EPA amended the date by which farms must prepare or amend and implement their Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans, to May 10, 2013 (76 FR 64245). If EPA receives no adverse comment by November 2, 2011, then the rule will be More...
Brands Rerecord - 22 September, 2011 - 11:37 am
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Trich Rules - 22 September, 2011 - 11:33 am
The Montana Department of Livestock has proposed significant changes to the way it manages Trichomoniasis (trich), a venereal disease of cattle that can cause serious reproductive problems in cows. The proposed changes are open for public review and comment through October 12, 2011. More...
DSA: The board approved changes in administrative rules to adjust the DSA’s boundaries and revise animal identificatio...
MCA LOOKS FORWARD TO PASSAGE OF FARM BILL
The Montana Cattlemen's Association (MCA) congratulates all the folks and organizations that helped push the Farm Bill through conference committee. Erik Somerfeld, MCA president in waiting as well as a director of the Montana Beef Council, sends a particular thank you to the National Farmers Union, United States Cattlemen's Association, and to all the members of MCA who have worked on this matter.
Erik points out, "Throughout this process it became clear who is looking out for farming and ranching families as opposed to those organizations who work for different interests."
Mark Boone, MCA's outgoing president, notes that more than 70% of NCBA's operating budget is derived from the Beef Checkoff and that a portion of those funds are then used to lobby against mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). Mark notes, "The meat industry led by NCBA opposed the Farm Bill because it didn't scuttle COOL."
NCBA and the meat industry signed onto a letter opposing COOL, which was sent to Senate and House members of the agriculture conference committees. Somerfeld emphasized that the signatories to this letter represent the vertically integrated packers and importers and clearly do not represent the interests of Montana's family ranchers.
The Montana Cattlemen's Association (MCA) has formed a committee to evaluate the feasibility of leading a nationwide petition drive seeking a vote on the Beef Checkoff Program.
MCA is concerned that since the passage of the Checkoff in 1985, thousands of cattle producers have entered the industry, have paid their $1 per head of cattle sold, but have never had an opportunity to voice their opinion on this $83 million per year program. This is fundamentally wrong and contrary to the basic principles of democracy. A periodic vote is the only means of granting producers the opportunity to voice their support or lack thereof for this program. MCA is also concerned that one national organization serves as the primary contractor and that a disturbingly large amount of all dollars collected goes to implementation costs (administrative fees). Accordingly, MCA will explore the process involved in a nationwide effort to bring accountability to this mandated program.
MCA is mindful that since the Checkoff was implemented, 28 years has passed without a vote. The Livestock Marketing Association undertook a similar effort in 1998 and collected over 127,000 producer signatures. However, only 83,464 signatures were validated of the 107,880 that was required to force a referendum. A portion of the signatures stricken were from producers less than 18 years of age, despite there being no legal basis for doing so.
MCA expects to make a decision on this effort sometime this spring.
For questions or comments, please contact Dennis McDonald at 406-537-2333.