March 11, 2024

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President Biden Signs Six-Bill Federal Funding Package
President Joe Biden on Saturday signed a six-bill appropriations package funding more than a dozen federal agencies through September 30. The move caps off five months of contentious negotiations in Washington, D.C. during which a series of continuing resolutions were passed to narrowly avert government shutdowns.

Of greatest interest to cattle producers, the appropriations package addresses funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Transportation. Specific provisions of the legislation include:

  • An extension of the Electronic Logging Device exemption for livestock haulers (note that the California Highway Patrol retains an equivalent exemption so long as the federal exemption remains in place);
  • $15 million for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to purchase tags to assist producers in complying with the agency’s proposed animal disease traceability rule;
  • An extension of Livestock Mandatory Reporting;
  • An extension of the Cattle Contracts Library pilot and an additional $1 million to fund that pilot; and
  • A prohibition against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listing the Greater Sage Grouse under the federal Endangered Species Act.

This is the first of two funding packages that must pass to finalize the FY 2024 federal budget. Lawmakers have until March 22 to finalize the second package of appropriations bills and avoid a partial government shutdown.

SEC Excludes Scope 3 Emissions from Final Climate Disclosure Rule
The federal Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday finalized its regulations governing corporations’ “Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors.” The final rule is much narrower than the regulation initially proposed two years ago; it does not require corporations to disclose greenhouse gas emissions related to their supply chains (so-called “scope 3” emissions), and it gives companies greater leeway in disclosing their direct emissions (“scope 1”) and energy use (“scope 2”).

The federal rules come after California last year established its own corporate climate disclosure law, SB 253 (Wiener), which requires corporations with annual revenues of at least $1 billion which do business in California to annually disclose their scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. CCA has expressed significant concern that the state law could harm small family ranches that are within one or more major corporation’s supply chain.

As previously reported in California Cattlemen Weekly, business interests earlier this year sued to overturn SB 253 (that lawsuit is still pending). The SEC’s recent move, while establishing a more workable reporting framework for corporations nationally, creates additional uncertainty regarding the application of California’s broader mandate. CCA will continue to keep members apprised of developments relating to the enforcement of SB 253 and the latest SEC rule.

FSA Offers Assistance for Winter Storm Damage
The California state office of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has announced that the agency “has technical and financial assistance available to help farmers and livestock producers recover from” recent severe storms in the state. For information on available USDA Disaster Recovery Assistance, see FSA’s news release or see the February 20 edition of California Cattleman Weekly.

Upcoming CCA Events

CCA Steak and Eggs Legislative and Regulatory Breakfast + Lobby Day
March 13, 2024, Sacramento, CA 
The 43rd CCA Steak and Eggs Legislative and Regulatory Breakfast + Lobby Day will take place in Sacramento on Wednesday, March 13. Over breakfast, enjoy sharing about your ranch while meeting representatives from regulatory and legislative offices in Sacramento. Following the breakfast, attendees will head across the street to the state Capitol to continue conversations about ranching in California.

2024 Feeder Meeting 
May 22-23, 2024, San Diego, CA
The 2024 Feeder Meeting will take place at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront, May 22-23. For further information about the event and to book your room click here. To register, click here.

Upcoming Industry Events

UCCE Offers AB 589 Water Measurement and Reporting Course 
March 15, 2024, 9:00am-12:30pm, Walnut Room, 1834 Walnut Street, Red Bluff, CA
The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) will offer a water measurement and reporting course, as authorized by CCA-sponsored AB 589 (2017) and SB 880 (2022), on Friday, March 15. Given the limited number of trainings offered in 2024, early registration is encouraged. Registration is $30 and pre-registration is required. For additional details and to register for the training, click here or contact Larry Forero or Sara Jaimes.

UC Beef Cattle Symposium 
March 16, 2024, UC Davis Gladys Valley Hall, Davis, CA
Unversity of California Cooperative Extension, UC Davis Department of Animal Science and UC Davis Veterinary Medicine are hosting a beef cattle symposium on Saturday, March 16, 2024 in Davis, CA. Topics that will be discussed include beef cattle health updates, beef carcass evaluation, emerging breeding technologies and much more. For more information and to register, click here.

2024 Ag Legacy Symposium 
March 16, 2024, Sierra Valley Grange Hall, Vinton, CA
The 2024 Ag Legacy Symposium will take place on Saturday, March 16 in Vinton, CA. The event helps to prepare a farm, ranch or agribusiness for the transition to the next generation. The sessions will cover legal aspects, financial topics, political factors, family dynamics, and provide real life scenarios for you to consider incorporating into your succession plan. Early bird registration is $25 and includes morning refreshments, lunch, and materials. To register and view the agenda, click here.

UC Davis Young Cattlemen’s Artificial Insemination Clinic
March 25-27, UC Davis Feedlot and Beef Barn
The UC Davis Young Cattlemen’s Artificial Insemination Clinic will take place March 25-27 at the UC Davis Feedlot and Beef Barn. The signup form opens on Thursday, Feb. 22. Spots are filled on a first come first serve basis. To view the flyer click here. For further information and questions reach out to davisyoungcattlemens@gmail.com.

2024 NCBA Legislative Conference 
April 17-19, JW Marriott, Washington,  D.C.
The 2024 NCBA Legislative Conference will take place April 17-19 at the JW Marriott in Washington D.C. The conference provides attendees the opportunity to join NCBA’s policy team in meeting with members of Congress, and agency officials and hearing from various guest speakers. To learn more about the event and to register, click here.

Industry News

USDA Announces Conservation Reserve Program General Signup for 2024 USDA Farm Service Agency “The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that agricultural producers and private landowners can begin signing up for the general Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) starting March 4 and running through March 29, 2024. The announcement was made earlier today by Zach Ducheneaux, Administrator of the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) at this year’s National Pheasant Fest, in Sioux Falls, SD.” To continue reading, click here.

NCBA Statement on Latest Packers and Stockyards Rule National Cattlemen’s Beef Association “NCBA’s concern with this regulation has always been based in the rule’s unforeseen impacts to standard business practices. We have remained consistently opposed to any discriminatory practices in the marketplace. While we still have concerns about the unintended consequences of the rule, we are pleased that USDA has addressed most of our significant concerns between the proposed and final rules. We continue to urge USDA to ensure this rule remains focused on its stated objective—with which we wholeheartedly agree—and does not stray into extraneous, unrelated subject matter discussed in the proposal’s preamble.” To continue reading, click here.

A new episode of Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast is out now! In this week’s episode, Assemblymember Jim Wood joins Katie on the podcast. Tune in to hear why Asm. Wood has a kinship for cattle ranching, why he loves CCA’s Steak & Eggs Breakfast, about the handful of priorities he’s worked on in the legislature that positively impact ranchers and more. To listen to the episode click here.

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