Beef Buzz News
Ethan Lane says Trade Tops the National Cattlemen’s Association Lists of Wins for Beef ProducersSun, 29 Dec 2019 19:53:06 CST
With 2019 almost in the rearview mirror, it’s been an exciting year for beef producers. Ethan Lane took over the position of Vice President for Government Affairs for the national Cattlemen’s Beef Association earlier this year. As he looks back over 2019, he says the most significant achievement this year would be about trade. "This has been a momentous year in trade for the cattle industry. You know I think there have been points in this administration where we've had to kind of go on a leap of faith that the President was going to have our back, and was going to execute on some of these priorities for us. But you know, here we sit about ready to go into the new year with equal access to that Japanese market that's so important for our producers, our largest export market, finally putting us on par with those competitors around the world. You know the prospect of increased access to the Chinese market, You know, coming online with potentially the removal of some of those onerous non-tariff trade barriers, you know, the access to the European Union, which has been a long-standing fight that Kent Bacus has been working on for years now to gain access to that market."
Lane adds "You know, it just speaks to the incredible work that we're doing as an industry to find those foreign destinations for our beef, as our producers increasingly grow the quality of what we put out. I mean we grow the best beef in the world in the US. We're hearing around the world is US consumers are seeking that out they want US beef. They want what we produce. And as we kind of break down those barriers to tariff and non-tariff alike to get access to those markets, it's only going to mean a bigger pie for us here in the US"
Lane says beyond trade, the cattle industry stood up and charged head on into the issue of the Green New Deal in the early part of 2019, because it was essential to stand up for producers who were doing the right thing. "We took it as a real opportunity. Because I think every producer listening to this podcast right now knows that their stories not being accurately portrayed in the media, and that green new deal is a reflection of that. It's become in vogue and in certain cities and urban communities to bash beef and to act like beef is the root of all of all climate evil in the world when in reality we know that cattle production is a solution to climate change. I mean, we have the data to back that up, and we have the EPA affirming that we don't have a measurable impact on climate change, and we have numbers to show that we're only 2% of greenhouse gas emissions. And when you look at those numbers in comparison to cattle production in other parts of the world, we're a beacon; we're a model of what the rest of the world should be following in their production methods.
"Even if that's not a fashionable thing to say in Finland, or you know wherever these shadowy European environmental cabals exist, and they do exist in all of these odd places. Um, that's the facts. And so as we kind of have seized on that and started to educate people on Capitol Hill. It's been amazing how many meetings we've had with Democratic members of Congress over the past year, that you know we see their head nodding as we talked through those numbers and then they're getting it, and they hear it from their producers and their constituents at home as well. And what we've seen is this, this particular conversation bleeds into almost every issue we deal with here in Washington DC. I know you know I bet on this a few months back, sustainability is a word that makes people nervous, and they recoil from it because it always feels accusatory when you talk about it in the context of our industry. But we're looking at it as an opportunity, and that's a posture that we're going to continue. We're on offense here, we are not about to apologize for the way we produce our product, but we do want to make sure people understand what a good story we have to tell. So, you know, unfortunately, if you are a supporter of the green new deal I think that it to say that it crashed and burned would imply that it lifted off and that's probably giving it too much credit, but we are going to go ahead and seize on the opportunity to educate people on that front."
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear Ethan Lane as he talks with Ron Hays.
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