The U.S. Cattlemen's Association (USCA) has taken the lead to promote key legislative provisions that ensure that the success and competitiveness of the U.S. cattle industry are maintained within the 2012 farm bill. USCA, along with five major agriculture organizations, sent a letter to lawmakers asking for the inclusion of a comprehensive Livestock Title within the 2012 farm bill.

The livestock titles within the previous two farm bills have served to effectively bolster the livestock sector. These titles provide a clear, concise section within the farm bill that enables livestock producers to benefit from specific programs.

It is with this in mind that USCA reached out to likeminded agriculture groups to join together and present the Senate and House Committees on Agriculture with a proposal that would once again include a livestock-specific title within the 2012 farm bill. This letter outlines the request for a comprehensive animal health infrastructure and the necessary enhancements for the sale and interstate shipment of state-inspected meat. The issues included in this title are common sense provisions that are widely supported.

USCA President Jon Wooster commented on the provisions listed within the title: "Cattle producers across the country have long stated their support for the programs within the 2008 farm bill Livestock Title, and we appreciate Congress' previous efforts to implement these critical programs via a unique title for livestock producers.

"There have been a few that would like to take a step backward and eliminate the Livestock Title. However, this seems to stand in the way of the many successes brought about by previous titles. There are ranchers throughout Texas who are still battling fever ticks; a 'Sense of Congress' on this issue will ensure that this remains in the forefront of lawmakers' minds as an issue still in need of a resolution.

“Furthermore, comprehensive animal health issues should always remain a topic that the industry can support. There is a need for further development of Bovine Tuberculosis and Brucellosis vaccines, delivery systems, and diagnostic tests. Programs that would target such new innovations would be included within this title.

“Lastly, there remains a critical need to provide for a specific placement for the livestock disaster programs currently located within the complex Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE) package.

"These are all ongoing issues that the livestock industry should continue to rally behind via a specific Livestock Title in the farm bill. USCA and fellow livestock industry leaders continue to urge Congress to make this happen within the 2012 farm bill. USCA leaders will be flying to Washington D.C. the week of April 16 to deliver this message.”