May 20, 2024

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CCA Priorities Fare Well During Appropriations Committees’ “Suspense Day”
Last Thursday was “Suspense Day” in the State Legislature, the day in which appropriators in the Senate and Assembly consider hundreds of bills on their “suspense files” in rapid succession. Bills previously referred to the committees’ suspense files included bills which would cost more than $50,000 in General Fund spending and bills that would pull $150,000 or more from special funds.

The Assembly considered 668 bills on its suspense file, holding 232 of them in committee (killing just under 35% of the bills it considered). The Senate killed 87 of the 341 bills it considered on suspense, giving one-fourth of its suspense file the axe.

CCA’s legislative priorities fared incredibly well on suspense day. All CCA-supported bills advanced out of the Appropriations Committees and remain viable. CCA-supported AB 2900 (Soria), which seeks to establish the Small Agricultural Truck Fleet Assistance Program at the California Air Resources Board, was weakened via cost-savings amendments that remove funding assistance from the bill, but the bill in its current form would still provide technical assistance to farmers and ranchers subject to CARB’s regulations.

There was favorable movement on several CCA-opposed bills on Thursday, as well. CCA-opposed AB 2200 (Kalra), the latest attempt to establish a costly California Guaranteed Health Care for All Program, was held by Assembly appropriators, and will not advance this year. AB 2722 (Friedman), a measure which would have required the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to “assess the feasibility of a population reintroduction or supplementation program with the goal of restoring a viable population of wolverines in the state,” also died during the Assembly’s suspense file hearing. While CCA had not opposed AB 2722, the Association did file a Letter of Concern regarding the bill’s intent to prioritize reintroduction of another predator species at a time when the Department has insufficient resources to manage existing predator populations.

CCA-opposed AB 2149 (Connolly), which would have mandated costly inspections for virtually every gate in the state, was amended to exempt from the bill gates on agricultural properties. CCA is working to further clarify the scope of the exemption, but the amendments currently in print vastly reduce the bill’s burden upon California cattle producers.

For details on these and other bills CCA is lobbying at the Capitol, see the May/June edition of California Cattleman. Bills which moved out of the Appropriations Committees on Thursday will be taken up this week for floor votes ahead of Friday’s “house of origin deadline,” the date by which bills must advance out of the chamber in which they were introduced to remain viable this legislative session.

Governor Newsom Releases May Revision of Proposed 2024-25 State Budget
Governor Gavin Newsom earlier this month released the “May Revision” of his proposed 2024-25 State Budget, seeking to close this year’s projected budget gap of $27.6 billion and “next year’s projected $28.4 billion deficit” through a number of spending cuts, funding shifts from the General Fund to special funds such as the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and delayed spending of previously-authorized expenditures. Of particular note for CCA members, the May Revise does not propose any additional funding for the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Wolf-Livestock Compensation Program. Negotiations between the Administration and Legislature will continue over the next month ahead of a June 15 Constitutional deadline for lawmakers to finalize a Budget, during which time CCA will continue advocating for funding for the Association’s fiscal priorities, including wolf-livestock compensation funding and wildfire-resilience investments. For more information, see last week’s edition of California Cattleman Weekly.

CDFW Releases Gray Wolf Updates
On May 6, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife released its quarterly wolf update for the first quarter of 2024. The update names a new wolf pack identified in Nevada and Sierra counties as the “Antelope Pack” and identifies four “Areas of Wolf Activity” in addition to the previously-identified territories of seven known wolf packs in the state. The Department also released nine new depredation investigation reports from the first quarter of the year, confirming three new depredation events in Lassen and Siskiyou counties. For more information, see last week’s edition of California Cattleman Weekly.

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: 

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

Upcoming CCA Events

2024 Feeder Meeting 
May 22-23, 2024, San Diego, CA
Feeder Meeting is this week! The 2024 Feeder Meeting will take place at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront, May 22-23. For further information about the event and to view a tentative schedule, 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

Ranch Hardening & Wildfire Preparedness Strategies for Agricultural Structures
May 21, 2024, 6pm – 7pm, PST, Virtual
The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Fire Network are hosting a series of webinars on wildfire preparedness strategies for farmers and ranchers. In this webinar, UCCE Fire Advisor, Luca Carmignani and Forest Advisor, Yana Valachovic, will conduct discussions about best practices for incorporating principles of structure hardening and defensible space into agricultural structures and operations. To learn more, click here. To register, click here.

The Realities of Managing Livestock Health During Wildfire 
May, 28, 2024, 6pm – 7:30pm, PST, Virtual
The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Fire Network are hosting a series of webinars on wildfire preparedness strategies for farmers and ranchers. In this webinar, UCCE Livestock and Natural Resource Advisors and their partners will present about managing livestock health during wildfire events and what to do if you find yourself trapped by an approaching wildfire. To learn more, click here. To register, click here.

Conserving Your Legacy Workshop
June 5, 2024, 8am – 1pm, San Luis Obispo Farm Bureau Office
Join the California Rangeland Trust for an engaging discussion about transitioning your ranching operations to future generations. For more information and to register, 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.

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.

Industry News

House Farm Bill Includes Top Cattle Industry Priorities National Cattlemen’s Beef Association “Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) announced support for the Farm Bill crafted and released by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA)—the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024. The bill includes numerous priorities for America’s cattle producers, strengthens essential USDA programs, and protects farmers and ranchers from emerging threats.” To continue reading, click here.

Updates on H5N1 Beef Safety Studies USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service “USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and Agricultural Research Service (ARS) are announcing results from the ground beef cooking study. The study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of cooking related to H5N1 and beef. Ground beef patties were inoculated with a very high concentration of an H5N1 virus surrogate. The ground beef patties did not previously contain any virus particles prior to inoculation for the purposes of the study. No virus remained in burgers cooked to 145 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit. These results validate that FSIS’ recommended cooking temperatures are sufficient to kill H5N1 in meat.” To continue reading, click here.

Sorting through Assemblymember Gregg Hart’s efforts to represent ranchers on the Central Coast

Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast
A new episode of Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast is out now! Assemblymember Gregg Hart joined the California Legislature last January. In that time he’s gone out of his way to work with CCA’s government affairs team and get to know ranchers. On this episode, get to know Assemblymember Hart. Hear about the priority issues he is working on in Sacramento, how he shares about rural issues and needs with other legislators from more urban districts, and more. To listen, click here.

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