NEW ORLEANS – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) identified the issues it plans to focus on during the coming year as part of the trade group’s annual convention and trade show. NCBA’s official Policy Priorities were announced Jan. 31, addressing a wide swath of issues, including nutrition, international trade, regulatory reform and competition from non-meat proteins, which NCBA refers to as “fake meat.”

Kevin Kester, NCBA president, told members that a complacent approach to the policy issues producers are facing is not an option.   

“Thanks to the dues-paying members of NCBA and our outstanding team in Washington, DC, we’ve made a lot of good progress over the past couple of years,” he said. “But this is no time to rest on our laurels.”

Under the heading of “Regulatory Reform and Implementation,” NCBA plans to promote its members’ interests on topics such as implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill; staving off restrictive hours of service rules; and resolving conflicts over environmental issues. The priorities also include ensuring dietary guidelines related to beef reflect scientifically credible information as well as protecting beef’s position in the marketplace by preventing misleading and inaccurate marketing information focused on “fake meat.”

Additionally, solidifying trade agreements with key partners continues to be a prominent area of concern for NCBA and its members. Increasing accessibility to North American trading partners and shipments of US beef to Asian markets through bilateral trade agreements is an ongoing initiative the association supports.

“There are many policy challenges still facing our producers,” Kester said, “and these policy priorities will act as our roadmap over the coming year. I’d encourage my fellow producers who are not yet members of NCBA to join us in the important battles ahead.”