Missouri Cattlemen announce 2013 priority issues
The Missouri Cattlemen's Association released their 2013 policy priority issues. MCA Executive Vice President Mike Deering said that these issues are priorities that Missouri cattlemen and women put on the top of their list for 2013. He said the there are five over-arching priorities with specific objectives accompanying each priority. Deering said the top priorities are cattle health and well being; conservation and sustainability; education; transportation; and the 2013 farm bill.
MCA President Chuck Massengill said in regard to cattle health and well being, the priorities are clear-cut.
"We will be working alongside the state veterinarian and the director of agriculture to amend the state's rule regarding trichomoniasis in cattle. Most importantly, we will be encouraging that the rule incorporates an option for cattlemen to retest their cattle should they receive a positive test," said Massengill, who is also a veterinarian. "We will also be working to ensure the enforcement of the Animal Disease Traceability Rule that U.S. Department of Agriculture published earlier this month (January) will not disrupt the marketplace or inflict financial burden on cattlemen."
Massengill said MCA also supports H.B. 117, sponsored by Rep. Tony Dugger, which establishes petition circulator and sponsoring signature requirements and duties for the secretary of state. In short, Massengill said this bill would bring "much-needed" accountability and transparency to the ballot petition process.
MCA will be working with the Department of Conservation to reestablish quail habitat. They will also be a force behind Rep. Jason Smith's HJR 7, which Deering says proposes a constitutional amendment affirming the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in modern farming and ranching practices.
Regarding education, Deering said the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has displayed a disregard for career and technical education. Most recently, DESE proposed eliminating minimum requirements for career and technical education, such as agricultural education.
"Career and technical education empowers young people to follow their passion of working with their hands and minds. It readies the next generation of farmers and ranchers to enter into a noble profession expected to feed more than 9 billion people by the year 2050," Deering said. "We are going to push for the passage of Sen. Brian Munzlinger's S.B. 16, which exempts farm work from certain labor requirements. We will also work with allied organizations to stop the attack on agricultural education by supporting S.B. 16, which minimizes the absolute control DESE has on career and technical education."
MCA will work to develop consistent livestock hauling limits on Missouri roadways.
Massengill said MCA will partner with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association to ensure the passage of a farm bill that excludes a livestock title and ensures funding for conservation programs.