Idaho producers hold mid-year meeting

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Jul 10, 2006
by WLJ
—New policies on beef for troops set.
Members of the Idaho Cattle Association (ICA) met in Jackpot, NV, June 20-22 for the annual Mid Year Conference. Nearly 150 producers were in attendance as members heard the latest updates on policy priorities important to Idaho’s cattle industry, and those present set new policy positions in place to guide the association in the coming months.

The conference was highlighted by the announcement of an Executive Order by Governor Jim Risch—also a cattle producer and ICA member—that outlines the steps that will be taken by the state to regain the Brucellosis Class Free Status that was lost in January. Those steps include the development of a brucellosis management plan and appointing of a task force that will develop recommendations to manage wildlife and cattle interactions in eastern Idaho.

Updates were provided on the efforts of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) by Andy Groseta, NCBA Policy Division Chairman and Cottonwood, AZ, cattle producer and Cevin Jones, NCBA Region 5 Vice President and Eden, ID, cattle feeder. Groseta and Jones provided an update on NCBA’s push to permanently repeal the Death Tax, amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and exempt manure from regulation as a hazardous substance, among other issues.

Conference attendees enjoyed a presentation by Dr. Sam Barringer, a veterinarian with Pfizer. Dr. Barringer has served for over a year in Iraq as a veterinarian and major in the Army Reserves, assisting with animal health, human health, and biosecurity issues. Dr. Barringer offered personal insight into the positive efforts of the U. S. Military to make life better for everyday Iraqis.

Ty Groshans of the American Angus Association provided those present with an update on the Angus Source program. Angus Source is a program that provides source verification services to producers that utilize Angus genetics.

The Wolf Management Workshop included representatives of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Governor’s Office of Species of Conservation, and USDA-Wildlife Services. Panel speakers outlined the steps that have been taken to facilitate state management of wolves until delisting of wolves in Idaho becomes a reality. Planning efforts are underway for future workshops around the state.

New policy positions were also taken by members at the conference, including the decision that ICA will work with Idaho’s Congressional Delegation and NCBA to ensure that U.S. troops are supplied with U.S. beef.
ICA also took a position on the proposed Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act. Based on existing ICA policy stating concern for the creation of wilderness and of permanent grazing buyouts, while also recognizing the right of individuals to seek solutions that are in their best interest, ICA does not support the passage of this legislation as currently written because it will potentially establish a precedent for grazing permit buyouts and it fails to adequately protect and promote grazing within the SNRA and the proposed Boulder White Clouds Management Area. — WLJ