The beef industry is focused on a few key priorities for the next farm bill, one challenged by tight budgets and a difficult political landscape.
It’s not the best of times to write a new farm bill, with little new money after the debt limit-budget deal, a dwindling legislative clock, and a hyper-partisan Congress before a presidential election year. But that’s not stopping the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and CEO Colin Woodall from pursuing priorities, though notably not stressing spending increases.
Woodall; “We want to make sure that we maintain voluntary conservation programs like EQIP. EQIP has been a very popular program among cattle producers. We are also big producers of the research dollars that are included in the farm bill.”
Woodall on a recent NCBA ‘Beltway Beef’ podcast, says USDA research at the Meat Animal Research Center in Nebraska and at land grant universities is key to foreign animal disease protection.
And Woodall sees another opportunity in the farm bill; “Being able to show how effective programs like the Risk Management Agency’s Livestock Risk Protection are in proving true risk management for smaller producers.”
The value of which Woodall says, was driven home during the pandemic, when smaller producers needed an effective tool to manage risk and didn’t have one. Woodall says LRP is that tool.