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Washington, DC - More than 140 organizations, ranchers, farmers and businesses applaud Senators Booker and Lee for filing legislation that, when passed, will stop commodity checkoff program abuses. Yesterday, the Senators filed the Commodity Checkoff Program Improvement Act (S. 3201), which would put an end to the most egregious abuses committed by the boards of the federally-mandated commodity checkoff programs. In addition, Senator Lee filed the Voluntary Checkoff Program Participation Act (S. 3200), which would ensure no farmer or rancher is forced to pay fees into programs that do not promote their market segment. The 143 organizations, individuals and businesses delivered to the sponsors and to other Senate offices a joint letter of support.

BOZEMAN – Montana State University Extension beef cattle specialists will host summer meetings across Montana to help livestock producers understand a new ruling by the United States Food and Drug Administration concerning feed-grade antibiotics.

The veterinary feed directive, or VFD, was developed by the USFDA and will impact how producers feed their livestock. The VFD impacts feed-grade antibiotics that are medically important, which are antibiotics used in both human and animal medicine. The VFD rule will be implemented on Jan. 1, 2017

Billings, Mont. - In  a letter sent yesterday to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, her deputy, and the leadership of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, R-CALF USA requests immediate antitrust enforcement action to block the proposed mega-feedlot merger between Cargill Cattle Feeders, LLC (Cargill Cattle Feeders), and Friona Industries (Friona). Cargill, Inc. (Cargill) is proposing to sell two of its four Cargill Cattle Feeders feedlots to Friona.
R-CALF USA states the two feedlot companies, which together market about 1.5 million cattle per year, are tied as the third-largest cattle feedlot companies in the United States. The group wrote that while it fully supports the divestiture of feedlots owned by meatpacker giant Cargill, the effect of the proposed sale of two of Cargill Cattle Feeders feedlots to Friona will substantially reduce competition in both the feeder cattle market and the fed cattle market.
WASHINGTON (July 12, 2016) -The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) sent a letter this week to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) on recent lobbying efforts regarding the national beef checkoff program.  The letter, sent ahead of this year’s NCBA Summer Meeting, asks for clarification on work done by NCBA to limit Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests specific to the beef checkoff program.

During Fiscal Year 2017 Appropriations discussions earlier this year, NCBA worked to insert language to the FY2017 spending bill that would restrict any FOIA requests on the checkoff program.

USCA specifically asks why the Beef Checkoff Enhancement Working Group (BCEWG) was not included in any conversations leading up to this action.  The BCEWG was convened in recent years to address concerns within the checkoff program.  Industry stakeholders met multiple times to review the program and needed revisions; their inclusion in this recent action was warranted.

Fergus/Petroleum County Farm Service Agency (FSA) wants to remind producers that the 2014 Farm Bill authorized Loan Deficiency Payments (LDP) for the 2014-2018 crop years for certain crops including wheat.  Producers may be able to obtain an LDP payment under certain market conditions. As of July 5, the LDP is $0.07 away from an LDP payment rate occurring. The LDP amount equals the LDP rate times the quantity of the commodity for which the LDP is requested.  

To protect producers from losing eligibility for an LDP payment due to loss of beneficial interest, the FSA office strongly encourages producers of Hard Red Winter Wheat to file a CCC-633EZ page 1 form with the Fergus/Petroleum County FSA Office prior to harvest.