Marketing rules among issues addressed during KLA meeting

Dec 10, 2010
by WLJ

Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) members have approved policy on government intervention in the cattle market, estate tax reform, agricultural burning, initiative and referendum and other issues affecting their business interests.

The action came during the annual KLA Convention, Dec. 2-3 in Wichita, KS.

Members confirmed their strong opposition to the new livestock marketing rules proposed by the USDA Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration. The new KLA resolution recognizes language in the rules would result in fewer marketing opportunities for ranchers and feeders by eliminating incentives for those who invest in improved genetics, technology and management. Taking these incentives away would result in declining beef quality and consumer demand. Based on these conclusions, members called upon the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association to exhaust all legislative, administrative and judicial avenues to prevent implementation of the rules.

The lack of adequate estate tax reform was the subject of a resolution reaffirmed by the membership.

It supports the reduction, and ultimately elimination, of the federal estate tax. The resolution also supports inclusion of stepped-up basis provisions.

KLA members retained policy strongly urging Congress and the administration to work toward a balanced federal budget. On a state-level tax issue, KLA supports increased reliance on non-property tax sources to fund local school districts.

The membership adopted a new resolution expressing concern with initiative measures used by special interests to subvert the legislative process. This policy contains language opposing attempts to institute the initiative and referendum process in Kansas.

Another of the resolutions members chose to retain urges the Environmental Protection Agency to refrain from adopting federal regulations, guidelines or policies that may inhibit the practice of agricultural land burning. Numerous studies have shown prescribed burning of the native prairie has ecological and economical benefits.

KLA members reaffirmed policy opposing legislation that would expand federal jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act (CWA), including proposals to redefine “waters of the United States.”

This resolution also requests all water quality standards within CWA be practical, reasonable and attainable.

The basis for approval of a resolution on the beef checkoff was strong producer support of the program and a proven track record of positively influencing consumer demand. KLA members support an in crease in the checkoff assessment rate to adequately fund effective demandbuilding programs.

KLA supports state legislation that would create a Kansas conservation easement funding source. There currently are 25 states that provide funding or tax incentives for the purchase of voluntary easements to preserve working farms and ranches.

A new resolution supports funding of Kansas ag market reports. Members feel by providing reliable market information used to determine the values of Kansas ag products, these reports are a core function of the state.

“Member input on these issues started during roundtable discussions this fall, proceeded through committee and council meetings, and concluded with approval by the general membership at the KLA Convention,” said KLA President Ken Grecian, a rancher from Palco, KS. “This depth of involvement gives us policy with a strong connection to our members’ business interests.” — WLJ