Action Alert by NCBA- Call Your House Member and Urge a No Vote on Brat Blumenauer Amendment to 2018 Farm BillFri, 18 May 2018 05:57:22 CDT
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the American Farm Bureau and a variety of other commodity trade associations are urging Congress to stand with farmers, ranchers, and rural communities by voting down the amendment offered by U.S. Reps. Dave Brat (7th Dist. – Va.) and Earl Blumenauer (3rd Dist. – Ore.) to the 2018 Farm Bill.
The measure will be considered Friday morning on the floor of the House- with a recorded vote on the measure by late morning. NCBA has an action alert out to their members- calling for a no vote on the amendment- click here to see their call to action.
The NCBA contends that the Brat/Blumenauer amendment will negatively impact agricultural producers in all 50 states who raise, buy, and sell commodities by shackling commodity research and promotion programs commonly known as "checkoffs." It is intended to improve the transparency and accountability of commodity checkoff programs, but in turn, takes control away from producers and will gut the programs that build demand for agricultural products.
In a letter sent to Congress on Thursday, the commodity groups emphasize the amendment’s duplicative and counterproductive burdens on producer-funded programs. Click here to view the letter and the list of the groups weighing in on this amendment.
“These sweeping prohibitions are the result of the amendment’s ban on contracts with any party that engages in advocacy – even though the advocacy has nothing to do with the entity’s partnership with checkoffs,” the letter states.
Kendall Frazier, NCBA Chief Executive Officer, says that restrictions that would come from passage of the amendment and adoption into a final farm bill signed by the President would include sweeping prohibitions that ban contracts with any party that engages in advocacy on agricultural issues. In practice, this would mean that self-help checkoff programs are prohibited from collaborating with a broad range of stakeholders, including universities, public health associations, and producer education organizations. Currently these stakeholders use checkoff dollars to support producers and consumers with critical research on food safety, nutrition, marketing, and production.
Frazier says that he believes that this amendment has come from the efforts of the anti animal agriculture agenda of the Humane Society of the US. One group that is aligned on many issues with HSUS is the Organization for Competitive Markets.
They strongly support the Amendment- saying in a statement "“OCM thanks Congressmen Brat and Blumenauer for co-sponsoring the amendment to reform the commodity checkoff programs. America’s family farmers deserve nothing less than the assurance that their tax dollars are being spent appropriately. Allowing trade and lobbying organizations to receive these funds and use them to advocate against the very farmers who are paying the tax must end. We call on all members of Congress to vote yes on this amendment and restore integrity to the checkoff programs.”
OCM and NCBA are antagonists on this and other issues. OCM calls the NCBA involvement with the Beef Checkoff unacceptable- "The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a trade and lobbying organization that represents the meatpacking industry, has been the most egregious abuser of these tax dollars, receiving over 80% of the beef checkoff funds, with over 70% of the NCBA president’s half million dollar salary coming from these government payments."
Frazier's comments opposing the Brat- Blumenauer Amendment are featured in today's Beef Buzz.
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