May 6, 2024

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House and Senate Ag Committees Outline 2024 Farm Bill Priorities
On Wednesday, the Agriculture Committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate released their respective frameworks for the 2024 Farm Bill.

The House framework, released by Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA15), includes several cattle industry priorities. For instance, the House Farm Bill outline proposes to enhance “standing disaster programs and [expand] eligibility for assistance.” The framework also enhances investments in voluntary conservation programs popular with producers, such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Thompson’s proposal also focuses on investments in “livestock health and management” and “foreign animal disease preparedness.”

The full text of the House’s proposed Farm Bill is expected in the coming weeks, with a markup in the House Agriculture Committee likely before Memorial Day.

The Senate outline, released by Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), is more of a mixed bag. The Senate’s framework proposes to protect “producers, consumers, and the economy from devastating animal disease by increasing funding for early detection, rapid response, and recovery from animal disease outbreaks” and proposes reimbursing ranchers under EQIP for up to 75% of their voluntary “livestock management practices that reduce enteric methane emissions,” among other favorable provisions. But the Senate framework also proposes to newly require “confined livestock feeding operations to submit a greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan…in order to be eligible to receive payments under” EQIP and proposes designating more than 100,000 acres of forests as wilderness, among other concerning proposals.

A more detailed, 94-page outline of the Senate Agriculture Committee proposal is available here. The Senate timeline for advancing the Farm Bill is not yet clear.

CCA will keep members apprised as Farm Bill negotiations continue to take shape.

Upcoming Deadlines for Air District Grants
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) provides $60 million annually in grant funding to repower or replace older off-road and on-road equipment through the Carl Moyer Program. The program is administered by each of the 35 local air quality districts and often can provide funding to replace or repower ag equipment such as loaders, tractors, and pump engines. However, each district has some degree of latitude in how they administer the program, including the application process. While some districts accept applications on an ongoing basis, others have short application periods.

The Rancher Technical Assistance Program (RTAP) has compiled a list of these application periods and can help ranchers navigate the application process. Reach out to RTAP at (916) 409-6902 or rtap@wrstrat.com if you would like to know when your district’s application period is open or learn more about the Carl Moyer Program.

Air Quality Districts with upcoming Carl Moyer Program application deadlines: 

Yolo-Solano AQMD – Closes 5/10/24
Butte County AQMD – Closes 5/23/24
Colusa County APCD – Closes 5/31/24
North Coast Unified AQMD – Closes 5/31/24
Placer County APCD – Closes 5/31/24
Ventura County APCD – Closes 6/21/24

USDA Finalizes Animal Disease Traceability Rule Requiring Electronic Identification
Last month, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service released a final animal disease traceability rule requiring electronic identification for the interstate movement of all intact cattle over the age of 18 months, all dairy cattle and all exhibition or rodeo cattle. While tags must still be visually readable under the new rule, the new regulation additionally requires tags to be electronically readable (currently, only USDA 840 RFID tags are approved). CCA’s partner the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association was successful in securing $15 million in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2024 allocated $15 million to assist ranchers in securing tags compliant with the rule, which will take effect six months after it is formally published in the Federal Register. For more information, see last week’s edition of California Cattleman Weekly.

Administration Releases 81 Targets for Nature Based Climate Solutions
Governor Gavin Newsom has announced the release of California’s Nature Based Solutions Climate Targets 2024, which identifies “81 targets to use millions of acres to help absorb more carbon emissions.” The targets aim to “strategically harness the equivalent of more than half of [California’s] land to fight the climate crisis” and help the state meet its goal of “reaching carbon neutrality by 2045.” Much of the management in the strategy aligns with CCA goals, including the State’s priority of managing “33.5 million acres for reduced wildfire risk by 2045” through prescribed fire and “prescribed herbivory (grazing).” For additional details, see the April 22 edition of California Cattleman Weekly.

SWRCB Releases New Fact Sheets and Renews Call for Annual Reporting Compliance
The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) has announced the availability of two new fact sheets – “Water Rights 101” and “Water Use Reporting Requirements” – to improve water rightsholders’ understanding of water rights and reporting requirements. The SWRCB used the release of the fact sheets as “a reminder to all water right holders to file water rights annual diversion data from water year 2023 (October 1, 2022 – September 30, 2023).” Reports for all diverters were due February 1, but the SWRCB notes that roughly 13,000 diverters have not yet reported their diversion and use of water for the 2023 water year. In its announcement, the SWRCB asked delinquent filers to “please file immediately.” As previously reported in California Cattleman Weekly, the SWRCB is in the process of issuing notices of violation to delinquent filers.

University of California Cooperative Extension and UC Davis Veterinary Medicine 2024 Cattle Health Webinar Series
From the University of California Cooperative Extension and UC Davis Veterinary Medicine
The University of California Cooperative Extension and UC Davis Veterinary Medicine are sharing recordings of their 2024 cattle health webinar series for California cattle ranchers. This series was co-hosted by UC Cooperative Extension advisors Tracy Schohr, Grace Woodmansee and Rebecca Ozeran and UC Cooperative Extension specialist Dr. Gabriele Maier. The video recordings and additional resources from the webinar series can be found by clicking here. The 2024 video topics and featured speakers include:

  1. Foothill Abortion Management Options and Vaccine: Dr. Jeffrey Stott, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and Jenna Chandler, Hygieia Biological Laboratories
  2. Beef Cattle Mineral Health: Dr. Gabriele Maier, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and Josh Davy, UC Cooperative Extension Livestock and Range Advisor
  3. Neonatal Beef Calf Health: Dr. Gabriele Maier and Dr. Essam Abdelfattah, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
  4. Cattle AI Tips for Herd Improvement: Dr. Brett McNabb, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

For questions or suggestions on future topics, please contact Tracy Schohr at tkschohr@ucanr.edu.

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Seeks Nominations for the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board 
The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking nominations for the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board for the Southwest Unit. Beef producers within the United States who own cattle or any importers that import cattle or beef can be nominated by eligible organizations. To learn more about the Cattlemen’s Beef Board click here. To learn more about eligibility, click here. For more information, contact CCA’s Associate Director of Communications Maureen LaGrande.

Upcoming CCA Events

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, view a tentative schedule and to register, click here. Registration prices will increase onsite.

Registration for 2024 Midyear Meeting is Open!
June 26-27, 2024, Nugget Casino Resort, Sparks, Nev. 
Registration for Midyear Meeting at the Nugget Casino Resort is now open! To register, click here. For more information on the CCA room block, click here. Look for more details on the meeting schedule to be posted in the coming weeks.

Upcoming Industry Events

Planning for Fire Resilience in the Coastal Zone: A case study of Marin County 
May 20, 2024, 9:30 am – 2:45 pm, in person
The field workshop will allow participants to increase their knowledge of planning for fire resilience through a case study of Marin County. To learn more and register, click here.

Registration Open for 2024 NCBA Summer Business Meeting
July 8-10, Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel, San Diego, CA
Registration for the NCBA Summer Business Meeting happening July 8-10, 2024 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel in San Diego. To register, click here. To view the agenda click here.

UC Davis Young Cattlemen’s Association Dinner Fundraiser
June 1, 2024, 5:00 pm  – 11 pm, California Agriculture Museum, Woodland, CA 
The UC Davis Young Cattlemen’s Association will host their first end-of-year dinner fundraiser on Saturday, June 1 at the California Agriculture Museum in Woodland, CA. Individual tickets are $60, $45 for YCA members and $550 for a table of ten. To learn more about the event and purchase tickets, contact UC Davis Young Cattlemen’s Association at davisyoungcattlemens@gmail.com. To view the flyer, click here.

Industry News

Ground beef tested negative for bird flu, USDA says CBS News “Tests of ground beef purchased at retail stores have been negative for bird flu so far, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday, after studying meat samples collected from states with herds infected by this year’s unprecedented outbreak of the virus in cattle. The results ‘reaffirm that the meat supply is safe,’ the department said in a statement published late Wednesday after the testing was completed.” To continue reading, click here.

Biden Expands Two National Monuments in California The New York Times “The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument and the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument each have new boundaries designed to preserve land that holds cultural significance for Native American tribes and that is teeming with biodiversity as well as wildlife corridors.” To continue reading, click here.

NEPA amendments criticized by NCBA The Fence Post “‘In a time when the Biden Administration should be focusing on reducing regulatory burden on themselves and their partners, this new NEPA framework does the opposite. The Biden Administration largely ignored the requirements Congress passed in the Fiscal Responsibility Act that would streamline NEPA processes. Instead, this final rule changes the focus of NEPA, making it more ambiguous, less targeted, and nearly impossible to navigate,’ said Kaitlynn Glover, NCBA executive director of natural resources and PLC executive director. ‘This rule will make federal permitting, including for grazing permits, so much more difficult and expensive, and gives radical activists groups further license to weaponize NEPA against ranchers and rural communities.’” To continue reading, click here.

A new episode of Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast is out now! In this week’s episode, Danya Ghiradelli, Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s Executive Director and Jennifer Beretta, fourth-generation Sonoma County dairy farmer, board member of Sonoma Farm Bureau and dairy representative for the California Cattle Council join Katie on the podcast to discuss “A ballot measure being proposed by an animal extremist group from Berkeley, CA aimed to eliminate Sonoma County’s diverse animal agriculture production.” Tune in to learn what the ballot measure is, potential impacts and how to support Sonoma County farmers and ranchers amid this attack. To listen, click here.

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