Te National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) outlined its fiscal year 2006 appropriations request to Congress this week on behalf of America’s cattle producers.
NCBA emphasized the need for funding to protect the health of our nation’s cattle herd, ensure continued confidence in our food supply, conserve our natural resources and enhance the viability of the U.S. beef industry.
“Many of these priorities reflect what we’ve learned since dealing with the first-ever case of BSE in the United States,” says Texas cattle producer and NCBA President Jim McAdams. “Animal health and food safety are top priorities for our industry, but we have also asked that funds be put toward foreign market development and market access programs. Now more than ever, we know the opportunities that foreign trade holds for growing our industry.”
NCBA’s top priority is that the agriculture appropriations bill fund continued enhancement of our nation’s animal health infrastructure. This infrastructure includes the National Animal Disease Center, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, and the Center for Veterinary Biologics, and provides for research on animal diseases and monitoring and surveillance programs to protect our animals from the introduction of foreign animal diseases.
“Even though we have made great strides in our fight to eradicate BSE, we recognize that we must remain vigilant against it and all other animal diseases,” says McAdams. “This funding request reflects our need to maintain the health of our cattle herd and confidence in our product. Our nation’s animal health and food safety infrastructures are vital for the continued success of our industry. “
In addition, NCBA’s funding request reflects U.S. cattle producers’ commitment to be good stewards of the land. “USDA’s conservation programs play a vital part in conserving and preserving our natural resources to ensure the sustainability of our industry, and we support the President’s budget for conservation and the important role cattlemen play in implementing those programs on the ground,” says McAdams.