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NCBA sets 2021 priorities, elects new president

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Key priorities include cattle market transparency, COVID-19 recovery and plant-based meat alternatives labeling.

The executive committee of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) approved during its recent virtual Winter Business Meeting the organization’s top 2021 policy priorities to focus on advocating for a business climate that increases opportunities for producer profitability. Jerry Bohn, a cattle producer from Wichita, Kan., was also elected as NCBA president.

“There is no doubt the past year has been difficult for cattle producers and it’s crucial that we work to implement sound policy and focus our attention on the legislative and regulatory areas that will give U.S. cattle producers the most added value,” said Bohn. “I am looking forward to collaborating with volunteer leadership, state affiliates and stakeholders across the country to tackle the most pressing issues facing our industry.”

NCBA’s policy priorities for the coming year demonstrate several pressing issues facing farmers and ranchers, including:

  • Price discovery and transparency in cattle markets, which is a concern for NCBA members and a priority for the organization along with ongoing COVID-19 recovery efforts.
  • NCBA will continue to ensure that all alternative plant-based or cell-grown protein products are labeled truthfully and their ingredients are fully represented.
  • NCBA is committed to protecting those in the cattle industry while strengthening the beef supply chain to meet the growing demand for U.S. beef. The removal of non-tariff barriers to increase worldwide markets for U.S. beef will also remain a priority for the organization.

NCBA remains committed to working closely with Congress and the Biden Administration to emphasize the U.S. cattle industry is the global model for sustainable beef production and its commitment to environmental stewardship, along with engaging on the regulatory policies, including the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), that promote stability and continuity for cattle producers that face uncertainty every day.

“This framework of policy priorities is one of the most important documents approved each year. It provides direction to our staff guidance for meeting the needs of our members,” the organization said. “The focus on improving the business climate for producers hits especially close to home for me, because I was born into the cattle business and I want to do my part, defending our industry and legacy – not just for the multi-generational producers but also newer producers that might only have a few calving seasons or sale barn trips under their belts.”

Bohn ‘ready to fight’ for producers

Jerry Bohn is a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves but has been a part of the cattle industry his entire life. Bohn has had an expansive career in the cattle industry since his early days of custom grazing cattle with his family in Flint Hills, to his time on Kansas State University’s award-winning livestock judging team, and eventually serving 34 years as the manager of Pratt Feeders, a commercial cattle feeding operation in his home state of Kansas. He has also dedicated his time as a leader for several state-level associations, using his expertise and experiences to mentor the next generation of industry advocates.

“As I look forward to this year as NCBA president, I have immense pride for the cattle industry and our dues-paying members that help to make this the leading cattle organization representing U.S. producers,” said Bohn. “Becoming president is my greatest honor and opportunity to give back to the industry that made me who I am today and for that I am forever grateful.”

Bohn’s term as president along with a new officer team was approved by NCBA’s Board of Directors. Don Schiefelbein of Minnesota was named president-elect, Todd Wilkinson of South Dakota was elected vice president. Wyoming rancher Mark Eisele was elected chair of the NCBA Policy Division and Nebraska cattle producer Buck Wehrbein was elected policy vice chair. Clay Burtrum of Oklahoma and Brad Hastings of Texas were elected as chair and vice chair of the NCBA Federation Division, respectively.

"I have heard quite a few producers in the past year say if you want to get something done in Washington, D.C. in agriculture, you better do it with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, or it is not going to get done. This is the greatest testament to the grassroots power of our members and state affiliates. It is why I am so proud to represent NCBA as president, and it is the reason I get up every day, ready to fight for the American producer."

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