LINCOLN, Neb. (Dec. 31, 2018) – Nebraska Cattlemen (NC) once again reflects on membership and leadership happenings as another year passes.
2018 was anything but predictable. In terms of an essential element, moisture was as plentiful as any year. Rainfall was abundant in the spring, summer and fall depending on your location in the state. The impact by Mother Nature provided plenty of moisture for grass and crop production. And to close out the calendar year, it was too much. Prior to NC annual convention, the rain/sleet/snow the first weekend in December nearly statewide forces us to remember the winter of 1983-1984.
An exciting occurrence in 2018 was the once in a lifetime mission in creating a member-owned office in Lincoln. Since the merger over thirty years ago, the membership of Nebraska Cattlemen has never enjoyed or benefitted owning an office in Lincoln. Being frugal and prepared, every NC Board since the merger has planned and saved for this opportunity. The 2017 NC Board established a fundraising campaign to supplement the financial demands of owning our building. The campaign is well within reach of the monetary goal and the building is on track to being completed the first part of the 2019 year.
Another unpredictable variable was all things related to trade. Trade has become a necessity to our profitability based on the reality the world’s consumers desiring our product. Depending on the week or month, the value of exports can range as high as $300+ per value of the total dollars of a harvested beef carcass. That fact referenced against the noise certain media cries about the current administration’s trade efforts, sometimes it’s difficult to know the truth. However, the facts through the first eleven months of 2018, USDA/Foreign Ag Service statistics reported beef exports up cumulatively for the year 768,276 metric tons, 13.6% versus 2017, which is significant. “We can be hopeful of what could happen. But that reinforces two points. Trade is essential for beef producers. And regardless of negotiations being successful or unsuccessful, we as producers will be impacted. It does feel like superior success is on the cusp of happening as this administration has negotiated for improvements, specifically for beef trade like none in recent times.” NC Executive Vice President, Pete McClymont.
2018 finishes with yet again a critical need for property tax relief and reform. The year brought another wasted attempt to bring any measure of improvement to how ag land taxation and/or K-12 school funding is addressed in the country’s fourth largest ag cash receipts state. Despite the frustration, the commitment by current NC leadership, members and staff continues.
The year-end has NC staff and leaders preparing for the 2019 legislative session. Nebraska Cattlemen will continue working for Nebraska beef producers – pasture to plate in 2019.