NCBA’s Tanner Beymer Voices Concerns with Legislation That Could Weaken Beef Industry

Listen to Ron Hays talk with Tanner Beymer about anti-animal ag legislation and more.

Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is back talking with the Senior Director of Government Affairs at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Tanner Beymer about the OFF Act, Farm Bill, changes to the Packers and Stockyards Act, and more.

“That OFF Act is something that just keeps getting introduced like a bad penny,” Beymer said. “Luckily for us, it has never been seriously considered for independent floor action in either the House or the Senate. It is usually an amendment to a Farm Bill.”

Beymer said he does not expect to see a Farm Bill for the remainder of this Congress. In fact, Beymer added he believes it will be 2025 before a completed Farm Bill is seen.

“At the time that happens, there is going to be floor action, and this (OFF Act) will be an amendment to the Farm Bill,” Beymer said. “We are going to have to work closely as all of agriculture to make sure we are pushing back against these false narratives about commodity checkoff programs so we can keep these harmful amendments at bay.”

One piece of the OFF Act is the prohibition of any lobbying ties to groups that may be associated with the Beef Checkoff.

“That is very transparently aimed at NCBA, since we do have the policy and federation divisions and that big firewall between them to make sure there is no co-mingling of funds and resources,” Beymer said. “We are not the only organization in agriculture that is structured like that. It is very narrow and short-sided because that would also apply to subcontractors as well.”

Beymer said there are already bans in place to prohibit Checkoff funds from being used to influence public policy, so it is not necessary to add further complications into the mix that are designed to decrease the efficacy of the Beef Checkoff.

Beymer discussed the latest Packers and Stockyards Rule from the Biden administration and how it will impact the industry.

Formerly known as the GIPSA rules, the fairness rules within the Packers and Stockyards Act are being rolled out as separate rules. The first and second rules have already been released, and a third is now in the pipeline and may be on the way in 2024.

“That second one is called Exclusive Competition and Market Integrity under the Packers and Stockyards Act, and it is really kind of designed to make sure that packers or other regulated entities are not discriminating against producers on the basis of age, race, sexual orientation…,” Beymer said.

The first issue with this second rule, Beymer said, is that discrimination is already illegal.

“We definitely don’t like the rule,” Beymer said. “We have some serious concerns with it’s eventual effects on the overarching harm to competition standard, but it is not nearly as scary as it was when it came out.”

Beymer said the third part of this rule, which is expected to completely roll back the harm to competition standard, is at the Office of Management and Budget at the White House awaiting review right. Therefore, Beymer said the rule could come out in its proposed form in the next six to eight weeks.

“Based on the summaries that are available online right now, I can tell you that NCBA will be very opposed to it, and we are going to be pursuing every opportunity at our disposal to prohibit that from taking final effect,” Beymer said.

To listen to Ron Hays talk with NCBA’s Ethan Lane about the Biden Administration’s changes to the Packers and Stockyards rules, CLICK HERE.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR at the top of the story 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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