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NCBA supports second-generation biofuels in stimulus package

In a letter sent to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, National Cattlemen's Beef Association president and cattle producer Andy Groseta encouraged the development of second-generation biofuels as part of the stimulus package being considered in Congress. The text of the letter follows:

"Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid:

"Cattle producers support energy independence and the development of the renewable fuels industry. However, this energy commitment has created opportunities and challenges for agricultural producers. Corn ethanol production is significant to the cattle industry because of its impact on feed grain prices. For more than two years producers have seen their operating costs dramatically increase due to government support of the corn-based ethanol industry, and from January to June 2008 the cattle industry lost a record $1.5 billion in equity as a direct result. These costs are now contributing to lower calf and feeder cattle prices.

"Cattlemen strongly promote the research and development of second generation biofuels that do not utilize feed grains, grasses or forage production which may be used for cattle production. If policy is included in the economic stimulus package supporting renewable fuels we encourage Congress to focus on the development of advanced biofuels technologies that will reduce our dependence on feed grain sources for energy. Cattle producers support new technologies to utilize non-feed crops and industry wastes as an energy source.

"The National Cattlemen's Beef Association and its members continue to advocate for a market-based approach when building any industry. The market place offers many adequate risk management tools, which, when combined with good business practices, help build a competitive and strong industry. Cattle producers do not support government interventions via subsidies and mandates. They disrupt the market and are never substitutes for good business practices. We appreciate the opportunity to share our support for renewable fuels that do not utilize feed grains or animal feed resources."

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