WASHINGTON, D.C. - Cattle producers look forward to working with a Bush Administration and the new Congress to solve issues important to the future of family farms and ranches across the country, the president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) said today after presidential election results were confirmed.

"President-Elect Bush and Vice President-Elect Dick Cheney share many views with American beef producers such as elimination of the death tax, local control of environmental policies and making sure that trade laws are fair, protect U.S. producers and continue to open new overseas markets for U.S. beef," said NCBA President George Hall, a cattle producer from Mustang, Okla.

"However, the narrow majorities in the House and 50-50 split in the Senate, combined with an entirely new administration, makes it imperative that cattle producers mobilize like never before to keep our industry moving forward," Hall said. "We need every able body. We need to be united. We need to speak with one voice. We need to ensure the agenda set by lawmakers includes our priorities.

"Individual cattle producers need to join local, state and national cattle organizations and work together for the future of our industry. And NCBA is the best organization to represent cattle producers' interests in this new political environment."

In addition to its strong membership base, NCBA will continue to build
coalitions with other like-minded organizations and work with both sides of the aisle to move common sense legislative and regulatory issues to completion.

"NCBA is proud of the strong, bipartisan relationships we have developed over the years in both the House and Senate," said Hall. "We look forward to continuing those relationships in the next Congress to make gains in issues important to family farms and ranches."

Hall added that the continued power and impact of suburbia is only expected to grow, with fewer congressmen focused on rural issues. The 2000 Census will be released next spring, and there is a potential for fewer rural seats due to suburbanization.

"As agriculture numbers become smaller, so does our voice," Hall said. "But by banding together, using sound scientific reasons and educating elected leaders on the importance of our industry to this great country and around the world, we can be effective."

As the new administration works to fill its cabinet positions, NCBA will urge that consideration be given to individuals who understand the
complexities of the cattle business NCBA is prepared to move ahead with such issues as:

  • death tax repeal and other tax relief measures
  • opening new overseas markets to U.S. beef producers
  • maintaining a free market system and a free flow of market information so that cattle producers can use their ingenuity to continue to develop beef products that meet consumer demands
  • continued efforts to develop innovations to solve food safety
    issues, and
  • developing common sense environmental policies to maintain open
    spaces across the country.

"We already are working to deliver positive results for cattle producers during the next session of congress," Hall said. "But to be successful, it's critical for cattle producers to stay active and make their voices heard at the local, state and national levels."

National Cattlemen's Beef Association