Michael Kelsey of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association feels good about policy that was hammered out this past week at CattleCon 2024 in Orlando, Florida. He told Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster Ron Hays that at the top of the list for policy issues that Oklahoma producers were watching was language on traceability.
“This has been the lightning rod issue of the last few weeks, there’s no question about that, and appropriately so. It’s very important that we get this right.” Kelsey describes the NCBA policy development process saying that NCBA has policy on Animal Disease Traceback for twenty years. He adds that one proposed policy that cattle producers had in front of them at the Committee level in Orlando went farther than what was eventually hammered out- and would have required electronic ID tags for all breeding cattle by the end of this year- and for feeder and stocker cattle under 18 months of age by 2026. That was a proposal was scaled back by delegates which is not unusual in previous debates that the organization has had for a variety of policy discussions.
Kelsey goes on to say “the final results is a really good piece of policy in our opinion- it matches OCA policy very well- it takes out all of the feeder cattle- we are not going to talk about feeder and yearling cattle right now under this policy. We are going to target on the 18 month and older cattle, sexually intact so that takes out steers from the policy…moving those cattle to electronic ID. “
This was a policy proposal that cleared the Friday Board of Director’s meeting and lines up with what USDA is working to put into place this year.
Kelsey is convinced that electronic ID is coming and it’s important for the industry to drive the decisions and direction of this coming down the road- and not let government or groups unfriendly to the industry to seize control of this traceability conversations.
Hays and Kelsey also talked about the fears of not getting an extension on the current deduction levels for Federal Estate taxes.
And- they talked about the state legislative session kicking off on February fifth.
Click on the listen bar above to listen to Hays and Michael Kelsey.
Below is a PDF of policy worked on at the NCBA Board meeting on Friday, February 2, 2024