Beef Buzz News
Beef Checkoff and Government Regulations Headline Cattle Industry Convention
Tue, 03 Feb 2015 11:26:38 CST
Cattle producer Richard Gebhart is no stranger to the national scene. He currently serves as National Cattlemen's Beef Association Treasurer, he is a past Chairman of the Federation of State Beef Councils and he currently serves as President of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association. He is looking forward to being in San Antonio this week for the 2015 Cattle Industry Convention that offers all things about the cattle industry. Gebhart said this will be one of the largest trade shows held at the Cattle Industry Convention.
Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with RichardGebhart, OCA President
"Just the ability to walk into a trade show and see all the new products and everything, it's still kind of like Christmas," Gebhart said.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Gebhart on the Beef Buzz feature. Click on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to the full interview.
The national beef checkoff will be one of the major topics of discussion at the 2015 Cattle Industry Convention. This is also an opportunity for the checkoff committees to present to cattlemen on how their checkoff dollars are being spent on research, education and promotion of beef. Cattlemen will be discussing an increase in the federal checkoff assessment rate. The checkoff assessment rate was established through the 1985 Farm Bill at $1 per head and remains at that rate today. The Beef Checkoff Working Group recently released a draft "Memorandum of Understanding" to increase the assessment to $2 per head. Gebhart said this will be presented to NCBA members at convention.
"I'm really excited about this, I think this will be a threshold event in this effort," Gebhart said.
For the federal beef checkoff assessment to be increased, representatives from the 11 members of the Beef Checkoff Working Group will have to reach an agreement and then ultimately the change in federal policy will be voted on by Congress. If passed, Gebhart said producers will vote through a referendum, just like the 1985 Act.
"This is an opportunity for cattlemen to decide how they want their program to look," Gebhart said.
Over the course of the meeting in San Antonio, regulatory over reach will likely be a hot topic, including what happens next on the 'Water of the US' proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency. The public comment period ended in November, so now the EPA is reviewing millions of comments, he has heard as many as 4-million comments were submitted. Gebhart said they are now waiting to see what EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy does next with the proposal and the interpretive rule. He is glad to see Senator Jim Inhofe serving as Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which brings optimism this proposal will be stopped.
"I think Senator Inhofe will do us a great favor and put great pressure on the Administration to not publish this rule," Gebhart said.
In the interview, Hays and Gebhart also discuss an increasing number of Endangered Species and at-risk species being protected by the Endangered Species Act, the nation's nutritional guidelines and other regulatory challenges that cattlemen need to aware of. To listen to the full interview, click here.
Gebhart will be the featured guest on the In the Field TV segment Saturday morning on KWTV, News9 at 6:40 AM.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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