ICA members adopt policy for 2013
Members of the Iowa Cattlemen's Association adopted policy at their annual meeting that supports improvement in infrastructure for farmers, protecting animal health, and providing information and transparency to consumers. Outgoing ICA President Ross Havens of Wiota said the resolutions indicate that cattle producers recognize "there is a lot of work to do, especially on the social side."
The infrastructure issues include protecting the purposes of the Road Use Tax Fund and the formula from fuel taxes and pickup license fees that direct dollars to rural roads and bridges. ICA supports efforts that increase funding as long as those increases are used for intended purposes.
Other infrastructure issues include support for renewable fuels production that maximizes access to co-products for the Iowa cattle industry; and encouraging efforts for clean and safe water supplies while not enforcing criminal penalties in cases where manure spills are accidental.
In regard to animal health, ICA members said they want an aggressive and coordinated response to animal diseases such as Food and Mouth Disease and bovine spongiform encephalopathy to be maintained, and they want state government to do a facility assessment of the ISU Veterinarian Diagnostic Lab to make sure it continues to meet safety regulations relative to bio containment and space for diagnostic needs. If that assessment shows weaknesses in those areas, they want the state to allocate resources to address those weaknesses.
In the area of providing consumers with good and transparent information, the members said ICA should advocate for judicious use of antimicrobials in both animals and humans, and create ongoing education for producers and veterinarians to continue the judicious use of the products. They also called upon all niches in the beef market to work cooperatively to promote beef without attacking other methods of beef production as being inferior.
Several directives were also adopted by ICA members. One calls for ICA to develop plans that would initiate a petition drive to reinstate a 50-cent voluntary state checkoff, and report to the ICA executive committee by July 1 how that plan could be implemented.
"We are adopting policies that are level-headed," said incoming ICA President Ed Greiman of Garner. "We're headed in the right direction."