South Dakota rancher testifies before House Ag Subcommittee

South Dakota Ag ConnectionMay 24, 2023Agriculture News
Todd Wilkinson, President, NCBA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Todd Wilkinson testified recently before the House Agriculture Committee Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry at a hearing titled “A Review of Animal Agriculture Stakeholder Priorities.” Wilkinson, a second-generation cattle producer from DeSmet, South Dakota, highlighted stronger market conditions in the cattle industry and discussed new challenges facing farmers and ranchers from burdensome regulations and inflation.

“Many of you have said it before, and I wholeheartedly agree, food security is national security,” Wilkinson testified. “Working together, we can ensure the long-term success and viability of those on the front lines providing said crucial food security. We owe it to the next generation to get it right.”

Wilkinson explained that the cattle industry faces challenges including the threat of a foreign animal disease, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s overreaching Packers and Stockyards rules, and activist attacks against the Beef Checkoff.

Wilkinson’s testimony also focused on key priorities for the cattle industry during the 118th Congress including:

Passing the 2023 Farm Bill with provisions to protect animal health, promote voluntary conservation programs, reinforce disaster programs, and support risk management programs.

Nullifying the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s harmful Packers & Stockyards rule that injects heavy-handed government mandates in cattle producers’ businesses.

Defending the Beef Checkoff, which supports the cattle industry’s long-term success and is supported by the majority of producers.

Reauthorizing the Animal Drug User Fee Act to protect the efficient Food and Drug Administration review of animal drugs that keep livestock healthy.

Recognizing that cattle producers are America’s original conservationists and that cattle play an important role in strengthening grasslands and upcycling forages that are inedible to humans into wholesome beef.