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USCA Fly-In to Take Issues to Hill:
COOL, Trade and More
Contact: Jess Peterson, (202) 870-3867 - usca@uscattlemen.org

USCA (June 5, 2015) - The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) will host its annual Washington, D.C. fly-in next week with producers from California, Nevada, Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota and Texas making the trip to speak with lawmakers and agency officials about current issues facing the cattle industry. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), trade agreements, the "Waters of the U.S." rule, new dietary guidelines and the Sage Grouse will all take center stage as ranchers take their message to the Capitol Hill and the Obama Administration.

COOL continues to dominate conversations as the House is scheduled to act on proposed legislation next week that would repeal COOL. The USCA delegation will ask their members of Congress to oppose H.R. 2393, a bill that would fully repeal COOL.

USCA President Danni Beer commented on next week’s fly-in saying, “There is no better time than next week for members to be in D.C. speaking on these issues. As the House looks to prematurely act on COOL, it is necessary that we ask our representatives to oppose repeal and stress to senators the importance of not supporting such a blanket gutting of the program. The World Trade Organization (WTO) process must be allowed to continue unimpeded. There remains ample time for the U.S., Canada and Mexico to come to an agreement on terms that will allow the program to continue.”

“The administration is advancing a rule that will allow the import of fresh and frozen beef products from Argentina and Brazil. These two South American countries remain plagued by challenges with foot and mouth disease (FMD). U.S. producers view this as a significant threat to herd health. U. S. producers are also concerned with consumer demand. U.S. beef has earned a reputation for consistent high quality, robust flavor and marbling. We want U. S. consumers to continue to be able to distinguish U. S. beef from foreign product. This proposed rule, along with pending new trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), will inevitably bring in more product from our international trading partners. I believe U. S. cattlemen and women can compete with anyone in a free market system working with full information at the point of sale, as we have had the past 6 years with COOL in place.”

“The number of issues representing potential threats to U.S. producers is growing, but by bringing the voice of producers to D.C. we will place a face on and humanize the potential harm to be caused by such government overreach as the EPA’s waters of the U.S. rule and the 2015 dietary guidelines. We will also highlight positive issues such as the collaboration being employed by ranchers in the West to conserve the Sage Grouse and the importance that this model serves to the greater discussion on the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This year’s fly-in has a large task in bringing these issues to the forefront of discussions. USCA is confident that our members’ presence will represent all of those producers across the country who will be impacted if such legislation and policy are pushed through.”

“I ask that all producers, whether you are making the trip to D.C. this year or not, reach out to your elected officials and make your voice heard on these issues; every vote counts and your representatives need to hear from you today. Be heard by the herd; cattlemen take action!”