Jennifer Houston, President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, today testified about the current state of the cattle industry before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
Topics ranged from the effects of the recent fire at a Tyson beef processing facility in Kansas to the pending reauthorization of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Mandatory Price Reporting to implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill.
“I want to start by thanking you, Chairman (Pat) Roberts and other members of the committee who have been helpful over the last few weeks as we have dealt with the recent fire at the Tyson plant in Holcomb, Kansas,” Houston said. “We also support the work of (Agriculture) Secretary (Sonny) Perdue and look forward to the results of the USDA investigation.”
Houston also stressed the importance of foreign trade, better access to lucrative foreign markets like Japan and China, and the need for Congress to approve the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
“The future success of the U.S. beef industry relies on competitive market access to a growing consumer base in Asia,” Houston testified. “In 2018, we sold over $8 billion of U.S. beef to foreign consumers, with one-quarter of those sales coming from Japan. We also still need Congress to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement as soon as possible to send a message to the rest of the world that the United States is open for business.”
Houston concluded her oral testimony with a pledge to keep doing the hard work that’s necessary to help improve prospects for America’s cattle producers.
“I’m proud to lead and represent the members of NCBA, as we fight tirelessly to improve the lives and business prospects of every single member of the cattle industry,” Houston said. “As Henry Ford said, ‘Don’t find fault – find a remedy.’ That’s exactly what NCBA will continue to do.”