NCBA’s Tanner Beymer Discusses the Fight Against Anti-Beef Checkoff Legislation

Listen to NCBA’s Tanner Beymer talk about threats from anti-animal ag groups to the beef industry.

At the National Association of Farm Broadcasters Washington Watch Event, Farm Director KC Sheperd had the chance to visit with the Senior Director of Governmental Affairs at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Tanner Beymer. In this episode of Beef Buzz, Senior Farm, and Ranch Broadcaster Ron Hays is featuring comments from the conversation regarding the OFF (Opportunities for Fairness in Farming) Act.

The OFF ACT, which targets the Beef Checkoff, is part of a bigger effort to slow down meat consumption. To listen to Ron Hays talk with NCBA’s Colin Woodall about some background on the OFF Act, CLICK HERE.

Although the OFF Act is not included in the Senate Agriculture Farm Bill proposal, there is still some concern that the supporters of the OFF Act may attempt to sneak the bill in during negotiations.

“The deceptively titled Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act is a continuation of legislation that tends to get introduced at least once every Congress,” Beymer said. “Unfortunately, because this is a Farm Bill year and because there is so much pandemonium unfolding on Capitol Hill right now, we cannot afford to take threats like this lightly. This effort has really been picked up by these radical activist animal rights groups because, if you think about it, what is the most effective marketing tool for U.S. beef in the world? It is the beef checkoff.”

Fortunately, Beymer said NCBA has been able to work with allies in the livestock industry to push back on this narrative.

“We are anticipating there will be an effort made in the Farm Bill, but there was a test done during the appropriations bills that were being debated here several months ago,” Beymer said. “An amendment from Victoria Spartz out of Indiana was kind of a ‘test balloon’ for the OFF Act. That amendment was defeated on the floor by a vote of 49 to 377. In a town that is divided as this one right now, we are going to call that a pretty good win.”

In an earlier conversation with Beymer this spring, Ron Hays talked with Beymer about some of the deceptive practices animal rights groups are using to try and convince a wide array of lawmakers to support them. Beymer says, unfortunately, these groups have seen some success. To listen to this past conversation with Beymer regarding anti-animal ag groups agendas, CLICK HERE.

While liberal Democrats have been the typical base of support for anti-animal agriculture groups over the years, Beymer said recently more moderate individuals and some Republicans have also been more sympathetic to the messages being relayed.

“I think part of the reason for that is these animal rights activists have gotten more creative, and they are using some of these shell groups, and using what they think are cattle producers, and dressing them up in a costume and sending them up to Capitol Hill saying, ‘I’m a farmer, and by golly, I want you to kill the Beef Checkoff,’ or ‘I want you to allow California to implement Prop 12.’ Things that no farmer or rancher in their right mind would ever ask for.”

Beymer said because this act has been promoted by Senators such as New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and many ruthless animal rights groups, educating those in Washington, D.C. about this issue is critical.

“We have to constantly be thinking about where our vulnerabilities are with folks on Capitol Hill so we can make sure we can push back on these harmful narratives,” Beymer said.

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 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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