Monday, November 23, 2009

Cattlemen Dealing With Many Issues

WINDMILL: Cattlemen bristle at EPA, USDA rules
By Jerry Lackey
Saturday, November 21, 2009

SAN ANGELO, Texas — An unbelievable number of issues confront not only the cattle business but agriculture as a whole, says Colin Woodall, vice president of government affairs for National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in Washington, D.C. But one of the biggest concerns is the Environmental Protection Agency’s dust rule.

“The EPA is proposing a tenfold reduction in the thresholds of what they call coarse particle matter, which is EPA talk for agricultural dust,” Woodall said in a recent interview during the 65th annual National Association of Farm Broadcasters convention.

“We’re talking about everything that comes out of the back of a cotton stripper or a combine (dust, leaves and harvest debris), cows that are milling around in the lot, even dust kicked up from pickup tires while driving down the ranch road,” Woodall said. “They would all be in violation of EPA’s clean air rules.” Read More

There certainly are many issues facing agriculture, and animal agriculture in particular. In my mind it highlights the need for producers to become involved in helping shape the solutions to these problems. It’s more important than ever to be active in an agriculture organization that represents your views. Your involvement can’t end there though, you need to be politically active as well by contacting your elected officials to share your thoughts and let them know how pending legislation might affect your ability to produce food and fiber. I was reminded again this weekend that politics is a contact sport. If you have been sitting on the sidelines, please suit up and get on the field!

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