WASHINGTON – Despite what leadership in the 111th Congress may have believed, cattle producers don’t need big government setting up camp in cattle country, said National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Steve Foglesong regarding the results of the 2010 midterm election.

“Over the past two years, our nation’s farmers and ranchers have overcome threats of a cap and trade bill, legislation to ban the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture and a rapidly expanding federal government,” he said. “I am hopeful the newly elected members of Congress will restore some much needed balance and commonsense to Congress.”

America’s farmers and ranchers will face a daunting list of challenges in the 112th Congress, including passing a new Farm Bill and working on tax policies; environmental regulations; international trade; renewable fuels policies; and food safety and nutrition, Foglesong continued.

“We are ready to work with the new Congress to build a stronger and more prosperous agricultural industry across the country,” he said. “The transition starts now. NCBA is eager to start building relationships with all of the new members of Congress. We will take our stories to Capitol Hill and discuss the challenges and opportunities we face each day as we work to shape policy affecting the way we operate our farms and ranches.”

Foglesong thanked Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) for her support of US cattlemen and women. “We would also like to thank House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) for his leadership,” he added. “We look forward to continue working with him in 112th Congress on the Farm Bill and other critical issues. We also look forward to working closely with Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), as he is likely to become the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, and with the new Senate Agriculture Committee leadership.”

Foglesong concluded by saying everyone must not forget that the 111th Congress isn’t over yet. “Over the course of the next few weeks, Congress must take action to prevent family farmers and ranchers from being hit with the return of the 55% death tax on Jan. 1, 2011,” he added. “Family-owned and-run farming and ranching operations are the lifeblood of rural America, but the return of the death tax would be a devastating blow to farmers and ranchers who’ve planned their entire lives to pass their operation on to the next generation.”