Texas cattlemen excited about ag legislation

Three important agriculture bills were recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. Each of the bipartisan bills address very different issues, but all will benefit cattle producers according to Robert McKnight, Jr., president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA).

U.S. Reps. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., and Anthony Brindisi D-N.Y. have introduced the Real MEAT (Marketing Edible Artificials Truthfully) Act of 2019.

The bill will create a nation-wide definition of beef to ensure that consumers are not misled or confused by alternative protein products. It will also strengthen misbranding laws, provide for better enforcement of those laws, and clarify Congress’ intent for the Beef Promotion and Research Act, TSCRA said.

Another bill is the Responsible and Efficient Agriculture Destination (TREAD) Act, introduced by authors Angie Craig, D-Minn., and Lloyd Smucker, R-Penn. It seeks to codify important hours-of-service exemptions for people who transport livestock, TSCRA said.

The government places restrictions on the number of hours that commercial haulers can operate before they must rest, but hauling livestock presents unique challenges since live animals cannot be left on a trailer while the driver sleeps. The bill will provide certain exemptions for livestock haulers so they can safely reach their destination while protecting animal welfare, TSCRA said.

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act was also introduced. That legislation was spearheaded by Reps. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., but features a long, bipartisan list of co-sponsors.

The bill would benefit cattle producers by offering year-round workers through the H-2A program, provide wage relief and reduce housing costs, TSCRA said.

“I applaud the U.S. House of Representatives for their recent bipartisan legislation to address the concerns of cattle producers on fake meat, livestock transportation and labor,” McKnight said. “These are all very important issues for our industry, and as we prepare to gather with family and friends for Thanksgiving, there is no better time to remember the crucial role agriculture plays in our society.”

Read the original article by Special to The Watchman at panolawatchman.com here.

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