As a producer-funded, producer-driven organization, our work and successes rely 100% on your support and commitment. We welcomed so many new faces this year to our organization, including new volunteer policy committee members and leaders, and we want to say THANK YOU for another busy year of serving as the voice for U.S. cattle producers on Capitol Hill.
Here is just a sampling of the things we were able to accomplish in 2020 with your help:
JANUARY: Faith Livestock in Faith, South Dakota proudly hosted USCA for a rollover auction fundraiser, organized by Leo McDonnell, which brought in $15,000 to fund our efforts on Capitol Hill.
FEBRUARY: USCA, Montana Farmers Union, and others host the inaugural Winter Thaw event in Billings, Montana, with special guests Greg Ibach, Under Secretary of Marketing and Regulatory Programs at USDA; Tim Andriesen, Managing Director of Agricultural Products at the CME Group; and cattle market analyst Corbitt Wall.
MARCH: USCA policy committees prepare and submit comments on proposed changes within the Packers & Stockyards Act, proposed revisions to federal grazing regulations, and proposed revisions to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
USCA works with South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds on legislation to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to use Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) funds to offset cattle producers’ losses due to COVID-19. NCBA and RCALF-USA oppose the bill.
APRIL: USCA sounds the alarm on devastating market losses, prompting action from both Congress and the Administration to maintain slaughter capacity and provide short-term, temporary relief for producers facing the fallout from a historic event. The total actual and future impact of COVID-19 on the cattle and beef industry is forecast to exceed $14.6 billion.
MAY: USCA works with Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Jon Tester (D-MT) on the introduction of a bill to require each U.S. meat processing facility that slaughters over 125,000 head of cattle each year to purchase fifty percent of their weekly volume of beef slaughter on the open or ‘spot’ market.
Following comments at a White House press briefing on the importation of beef and cattle, USCA sends a letter to President Donald J. Trump asking that we prioritize the consumption of U.S. product before turning to foreign, imported beef and cattle.
JUNE: Nearly 50 cattle producers from 15 states participated in the first-ever virtual Washington, DC “Fly-In”. This year proved an especially critical time to meet with lawmakers as producers grapple with COVID-19-related losses and the Department of Justice undertakes an investigation into anti-competitive behavior by the Big Four meatpackers.
USCA sends a letter to Congressional leaders on concerns associated with the framework of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), including the arbitrary eligibility cutoff date and payment limits.
JULY: USCA leads letter of twelve national organizations to the Senate Agriculture Committee requesting a hearing on livestock mandatory price reporting reauthorization.
AUGUST: USCA led a letter of eleven other national, regional, and state groups in a letter to Secretary Sonny Perdue demanding that U.S. meat and meat processors be prioritized within the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farmers to Families Food Box Program.
USCA’s Lia Biondo testified in front of both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s (DGAC) Scientific Report.
SEPTEMBER: USCA hosts U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Mike Rounds (R-SD) for a live, virtual discussion on the state of the U.S. cattle market and the role of Congress in bringing forth solutions.
OCTOBER: USCA submitted comments on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposal to transition to Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) as the official eartag for use in interstate movement of cattle that are required to be identified by the traceability regulations.
NOVEMBER: USCA comments on the referendum petition for the Beef Checkoff Program.
DECEMBER: Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Heath P. Tarbert announced the members of the Agricultural Advisory Committee’s (AAC) new Agricultural Futures Contracts with Open Interest Subcommittee (Ag-OI Subcommittee). USCA Marketing and Competition Committee Member Brett Crosby of Cowley, Wyoming was among the 22-members selected.
A Few Notable Stories this Year:
- USCA President Brooke Miller speaks with RFD-TV on COVID-19 Fallout
- South Dakota Public Broadcasting: Insight On COVID Trouble In The Cattle Business
- USCA Board Member Lee Reichmuth’s appearance on CNBC, “Meatpacking margins soar”
- Jess Peterson discusses the 2020 election on Working Ranch Radio Podcast
- Lia Biondo discusses the 2020 Dietary Guidelines in Business Insider