Newly appointed U.S. Senate Ag Committee Chair Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) said she does not support the climate change bill passed by the U.S. House. Sen. Lincoln told cattle producers attending the NCBA Legislative Conference she will highlight the impact the legislation could have on consumer prices.

“What's the impact going to be on consumers in terms of an increase in the price of food?" asked Lincoln . "Nobody can answer that question.”

KLA officers and staff participated in the conference. During congressional office visits, the KLA group expressed concern about upcoming competition workshops being organized by the Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration and the Department of Justice. KLA officers pointed out the importance of maintaining the ability of cattle producers to utilize forward contracts and other alternative marketing arrangements.

The group also outlined the importance of estate (death) tax relief for agriculture. Under current law, after being fully repealed in 2010, the death tax reverts to a $1 million exemption and 55% rate. KLA members explained the difficulty many operations face in generating enough cash to pay death tax obligations without crippling the operation by selling assets.

KLA leaders also sought support for targeting dairy industry assistance funds toward cheese purchases for food banks. Dairy producers, including members of the KLA Dairy Committee, believe this approach would have the most impact on excess supplies, while minimizing any potential negative impacts on the beef market.

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