Livestock group approves 2021 policies
TOPEKA – Policy focused on taxes, trade, noxious weeds, raw milk labeling and inspection, and other key issues was approved by members of the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) during the group’s annual business meeting held virtually December 17. Ranchers, feeders and dairymen provided input during regional roundtable meetings in the fall and committee and council meetings that took place virtually over the past few weeks, with final approval coming from the general membership.
“KLA policy is developed through broad member input,” said KLA President Jerry Kuckelman, a cattle feeder from Manhattan. “The resulting resolutions will direct officers and staff as we represent the membership on various issues during 2021.”
Members voted in favor of a new resolution regarding raw milk labeling and inspection. The policy supports legislation that requires raw milk to be conspicuously labeled with a food safety warning label. It also supports legislation requiring all dairies to meet the same basic Grade A or Grade AA inspection standards as dairies that sell milk to a processor.
Existing policy regarding income taxes was amended to support deductions or exemptions that ensure equal competition among agricultural lenders and equal access to credit for agricultural borrowers.
Policy focused on trade was amended by the membership to reflect support for bilateral and multilateral trade agreements that benefit agriculture. It also supports protecting the use of modern agricultural technology in bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. The policy originally was specific only to North American trade agreements.
An amendment was made to policy surrounding the control of noxious weeds. The policy suggests government should share financial responsibility for control of invasive plants, on private land, introduced by state and federal agencies without unnecessarily restricting the ability of landowners to utilize and manage their property.
Members reaffirmed policy containing the association’s Statement of Operating Principles, which opposes attempts to narrow the business options or limit the individual freedom of livestock producers to innovate in the management and marketing of their production unfettered by additional government regulations.
A resolution focused on environmental regulations was reaffirmed. The policy supports legislative, judicial or administrative actions to minimize the effects of environmental laws, regulations or judicial determinations on livestock operations. It also supports maximizing economic opportunities for agricultural and livestock operations to meet such regulations. Additionally, the policy supports actions that allow maximum flexibility for such operations to meet regulatory obligations.
Additionally, members reaffirmed policy that supports strengthening penalties for anyone vandalizing or gaining unauthorized entry into a livestock facility.
In all, KLA members approved 64 resolutions for 2021. Other issues addressed in KLA policy range from animal health to cattle marketing to resource conservation.
KLA is a 5,700-member trade organization representing the state’s livestock business on legislative, regulatory and industry issues at both the state and federal levels. The association’s work is funded through voluntary dues dollars paid by its members.