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November 22, 2021

Conversations on Cattle Markets, Weather and More Set for Next Week (Dec. 1-3)
We are looking forward to being back at the Peppermill Reno next week for the 105th CCA/CCW Convention and Tradeshow! There is something for everyone at this year’s event including a few new workshops that are built into Wednesday’s schedule.

As previously detailed in the California Cattleman, an Ag Pass Informational Workshop will be held from 2–3 p.m. on Wednesday. The workshop will explain CCA’s sponsored legislation passed earlier this year that facilitates county adoption of “Livestock Pass” programs. These pass programs grant ranchers and their managers ranch access during wildfires and other emergencies to safely care for and evacuate livestock. Ranchers interested in developing a Livestock Pass program in their county are encouraged to participate.

For anyone interested in growing their advocacy and media skills, Chandler Mulvaney with NCBA’s Beef Advocacy, Training and Engagement team is leading a beef advocacy workshop from 2:30–4 p.m. on Wednesday. In this baseline training session, participants will identify key issues important to the audience and address those topics through a brief, deep dive into media tips and tricks that can be activated on an individual basis. That afternoon, Dr. Stephanie Larson, a University of California Cooperative Extension County Director/ Livestock and Range Management Advisor, is also presenting “Make America Graze Again – How to Build Rangeland Resiliency through Fire & Grazing” from 3–4 p.m.

After the opening general session from 4–5:30 p.m.—with updates from CCA, the California Cattle Council and the California Beef Council—the Allied Industry Wine and Cheese Reception will kick off the evening before the Tradeshow Welcome Party.

On Thursday, December 2, the morning’s general session speakers will focus on two subjects at the height of producers’ concerns: cattle markets and weather. From 8–10 a.m., Dr. Derrell Peel, an agribusiness professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University and well-experienced cattle feeder Rob Johnson, will provide an educational session on cattle markets. The goal of this session is to provide producers with an in-depth look at how the markets work. Following their presentations, CCA Price Discovery Subcommittee Chair Seth Scribner will join Dr. Peel and Johnson for an open discussion on what’s happening in the markets and changes currently being discussed for improvement in the markets.

The conversation on cattle markets will continue at 10 a.m. in the Cattle Marketing & International Trade Committee Meeting. During this policy committee meeting, Tanner Beymer, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA) Director of Government Affairs and Market Regulatory Policy, will give an NCBA Price Discovery and Market Transparency Update. In addition to this one, all policy meetings will take place on Thursday.

Later on Thursday, from 1–2 p.m., meteorologist Brian Bledsoe will fill producers in on what they can expect from Mother Nature in the coming months as he provides a weather outlook during the final general session of the event. Bledsoe, who has a background in agriculture and has presented to attendees at prior CCA/CCW conventions, is a meteorologist for a Colorado news station and does weather consulting.

On Thursday afternoon following the close of the tradeshow at 1 p.m., in addition to participating in policy meetings, attendees can stop by the Cattlemen’s Poster Session from 2–4 p.m. to hear about the ongoing beef cattle research and education efforts being conducted in California. The California Beef Cattle Improvement Association is also sponsoring a Cattlemen’s College Session from 3–4 p.m. with Dr. Pedro Carvalho, Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist in Feedlot Management at UC Davis, presenting on “Feeding the weaned calf for max performance in the feedlot.”

The sessions and speakers outlined above make up only a portion of what is set for this year’s event. Friday always leaves one of the best for last, as CattleFax’s General Manager Duane Lenz will give the CattleFax Outlook over breakfast. In addition to CCA’s sessions and speakers, CCW will be hosting additional workshops, meetings and more throughout the three days. The tradeshow, as usual, will have entertainment, food and other opportunities for attendees to partake in and enjoy. It’s not too late to register at calcattlemen.org/events. Don’t miss out on what is sure to be a great reunion and time to come together to better the state’s cattle industry.

EPA Announces Repeal of NWPR and Proposes to Re-Establish Pre-2015 WOTUS Rule 
On Thursday the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will officially repeal the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) passed under the Trump Administration after two District Courts vacated it. On Thursday the EPA also proposed to re-establish the pre-2015 definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS).

EPA Administrator Michael Regan stated that the EPA understands there is a need for a stable and consistent definition of WOTUS while the agency continues to engage with stakeholders to help guide future regulatory changes.

Agencies have been implementing the pre-2015 rule since early September, though this announcement makes the switch from the NWPR a formal agency proposed action and a sixty-day comment period will be initiated when the rule is published in the Federal Register.

The proposed rule would maintain pre-2015 exclusions and exemptions from jurisdictional “waters of the United States” that the ranching community relies on.

It is unclear if EPA intends to revise the rule again in the near future, though it is likely given that the agency does plan to continue engaging with stakeholders on a “lasting and durable WOTUS rule.” The California Cattlemen’s Foundation will submit written comments to EPA after the proposed rule is published.

Stories from California Cattle Country Podcast Releases New Episode
Stories from California Cattle Country part two with Likely Land & Livestock Company in Modoc County is out now! In this episode we start with an April interview with the three Flournoy brothers Billy, Dave and John, all fourth generation ranchers in Likely where they provide a bit of ranch history and illustrate the importance of the ranch cookhouse. We then meet Jessica, the new cookhouse cook and end the episode with a bit of Cowboy Poetry by Sunny Hancock and recited by Billy Flournoy. Listen and see photos from the ranch, plus watch a video about a custom feed truck the ranch designed and built in their on-site machine shop at https://calcattlecouncil.org/likely.

The episode is also available on a variety of platforms for streaming podcasts. Stories from California Cattle Country is produced by the California Cattlemen’s Foundation with support from the California Cattle Council.

SWRCB Announces Reimposition of Curtailments for Certain Water Rights in the Delta Watershed
Last Friday, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) reimposed curtailments in certain sub-watersheds of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Watershed. The SWRCB stated in the announcement that this reimposition is due to water runoff from rain beginning to decline.

This announcement comes after the SWRCB revised the Water Unavailability Methodology for the Delta Watershed just a few days earlier. The reimposition affects post-1914 and pre-1914 appropriative water rights in the Chowchilla River sub-watershed, the Fresno River sub-watershed and the Upper San Joaquin River sub-watershed. It also affects post-1914 appropriative water rights in the Putah Creek sub-watershed that have a priority date of 1945 or later.

The SWRCB has not provided a projected date yet for when curtailments will be lifted. Information on curtailment statuses in the Delta Watershed can be found here. The Ranchers Technical Assistance Program can provide assistance with any compliance issues. You can reach them at (916) 409-6902 or rtap@wrstrat.com.

Russian River Watershed Curtailment Suspensions Extended into December
Earlier this month, Legislative Bulletin reported that the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) had suspended all curtailments on the Upper and Lower Russian River Watersheds through November 30. On Friday, the SWRCB announced that “Temporary curtailment suspensions will remain in place through December 15, 2021, and may last through the month of December, based on current forecasts.”

The SWRCB cautions that “Curtailments may resume in late December or early January unless additional precipitation beyond what is currently forecasted occurs,” and anticipates issuing an update on the status of curtailment suspensions on December 15. While water rights holders in the Russian River Watershed should continue to monitor the Russian River Drought Response webpage for updates, CCA will continue to keep members apprised of developments.

CDFW Issues Wolf Updates
On Friday the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) issued five new wolf depredation investigation reports. All of the incidents took place in Eastern Siskiyou County between November 5 and November 11 and resulted in three moderate to severe calf injuries, one heifer injury and one calf death.

Four of the incidents were reported as confirmed wolf attacks, with only one being probable due to an inability to examine the injury up close. According to the reports, lone dispersing wolf OR-103 was the attacker in the four injuries while OR-85, the breeding male of the Whaleback Pack, was the attacker in the incident that ended in a calf death. The Whaleback Pack was spotted feeding on the carcass by ranch hands the day after the calf was killed.

Additional information about gray wolves in California is available on CDFW’s “California Known Wolves – Past and Present” document. You can also view the map of wolf packs’ areas of known activity here. CCA will continue to keep members informed about gray wolves within the state.

LAST CHANCE: Comment on Draft Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy by Wednesday
Early in October, the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) released a public comment draft of its Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy. The document was mandated by Governor Gavin Newsom’s Oct. 7, 2020 Executive Order which also initiated the state’s “30×30” initiative – the goal of conserving 30% of the state’s land and waters by 2030 in an effort to preserve species diversity and slow climate change. CNRA recently announced the deadline for public comments has been extended until this Wednesday.
As detailed in previous editions of Legislative BulletinCCA encourages members to submit comments on the draft strategy by selecting “How to Provide Input on the Draft Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy” here. For further information, contact Victoria Rodriguez at the California Cattlemen’s Foundation at victoria@calcattle.org.

Episode 7: What are my California Cattle Council dollars funding?
On this episode of Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast, California Cattle Council Chairman Dave Daley gives producers an update on where their Council dollars are going and a refresher on how the Council operates. Later in the episode future opportunities for the Council are discussed. To hear the conversation, click here. All episodes are also available on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts and Spotify.

NCBA Calls for Suspension of Fresh Beef Imports from Brazil
Earlier this month, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) submitted a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urging the immediate suspension of all fresh beef imports from Brazil.

The request follows two incidents of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Brazil this summer which the nation failed to disclose to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) for at least ten weeks. Atypical BSE cases identified on June 11 and June 25 were not reported to OIE until September 3.

While OIE does not explicitly require reporting of atypical BSE cases, most nations immediately report such cases as a matter of transparency, according to NCBA. Because “Brazil’s irresponsible behavior may pose a significant threat to the health and safety of the U.S. cattle herd,” the letter requests that “USDA take immediate action to indefinitely suspend Brazil’s fresh beef access to the U.S. market until USDA conducts a thorough review, including a risk assessment, of Brazil’s…Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food Supply (MAPA), as well as its veterinary diagnostic laboratory system.”

“NCBA has long expressed concerns about Brazil’s history of failing to report atypical BSE cases in a timely manner, a pattern that stretches back as far as 2012,” said NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane. “Their poor track record and lack of transparency raises serious doubts about Brazil’s ability to produce cattle and beef at an equivalent level of safety as American producers. If they cannot meet that bar, their product has no place here.”

For more information, see NCBA’s press release here.

Update: President Biden Signs Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
A week ago, President Joe Biden signed into law H.R. 3684, the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684 is the bipartisan hard infrastructure bill, not to be confused with the “Build Back Better Act,” the Democrats’ $1.75 trillion social spending reconciliation bill).

In addition to $127 billion for roads, bridges, ports and waterways, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act contains several wins for cattle producers, including:

  • A 150 air-mile exemption to Hours of Service regulations on the back end of livestock hauls. A 150-mile exemption already exists for the front-end of livestock hauls, and the additional back-end exclusion is intended to give haulers additional time to safely navigate rural roads and to ensure animal welfare;
  • Broadband internet expansion, including $42.45 billion to states and territories to expand broadband internet infrastructure and $2 billion for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expand broadband in rural areas;
  • Wildfire prevention and suppression. The bill allocates more than $3.3 billion through 2026 to the U.S. Forest Service and Department of the Interior for wildfire prevention and suppression activities, including $500 million for prescribed fires;
  • Codification of “One Federal Decision.” Former President Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13807 sought to streamline permitting for major infrastructure projects through a “One Federal Decision” framework which aims to complete environmental review and permitting for major infrastructure projects within two years with one federal agency taking the lead in navigating the project through the regulatory process. H.R. 3684 codifies the One Federal Decision rule, which the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association notes “is valuable for all cattle producers who engage with EPA, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture” because “A government-wide commitment to ensuring uniformity in decision-making drastically increases access to federal programs by saving regulated stakeholders valuable time and resources.”

Upcoming CCA Events

105th Annual CCA/CCW Convention and California Cattle Industry Tradeshow
December 1-3, Peppermill Reno
Reserve your room at the Peppermill today by calling 1-866-821-9996 or by clicking hereRegister today at https://calcattlemen.org/convention2021.

Upcoming Industry Events

CCA in the News

Legal Ledger Brief: Death tax repeal act cleared for signatures Western Livestock Journal “The Repeal the Death Tax Act would amend provisions related to intergenerational transfers of real property and provide additional exemptions from property tax reassessment for nonresidential real property, according to the California Cattlemen’s Association.” To continue reading, click here.

Industry News

New UC ANR publication educates public on cycles of cattle production, grazing and economics University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources “The pandemic has brought more people into nearby parks and public lands for hiking, biking and other recreational activities. In areas like the East Bay Regional Parks – a San Francisco Bay Area park system totaling more than 120,000 acres where about 65% of the land is grazed by livestock – visitors might see goats, sheep and, most likely, cattle.” To continue reading, click here.

Area burned by wildfires could increase by as much as 92% by 2040s in Sierra Nevada, study finds CNN “Rising summer temperatures could lead to an exponential increase in the number of wildfires and acres burned in the Sierra Nevada in California, researchers have found.” To continue reading, click here.

CDFA and CARB share next steps on methane reduction CDFA Planting Seeds Blog “‘Really the magic here is the low-carbon fuel standard,’ said Ross. ‘It’s very powerful if we can rededicate [the emissions] to replacing fossil fuels.’ The most challenging area, she explained, is enteric emissions from cows, since no ‘magic solutions’ exist yet.” To continue reading, click here.

Episode 7

Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast
California Cattle Council Chairman Dave Daley gives producers an update on where their Council dollars are going and a refresher on how the Council operates. Later in the episode future opportunities for the Council are discussed. To hear the conversation, click here.

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