Legislative Priorities

The Iowa Cattlemen's Association presently has three policy-making committees that deal with legislative or regulatory issues and work to recommend policy for ICA. These committees are all chaired by volunteers who are knowledgeable of the issues and have a strong desire to improve the environment for the cattle industry in Iowa.

The policy-making committees meet during the year to discuss pertinent issues. The committees also meet during the annual meeting to recommend policy, which is then voted on by the full membership at the annual business meeting. Policies adopted by the association give direction to the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and staff for the coming year. All these groups work to enforce, improve or change legislation to support our policies through the year.

2019 policies were set at the Iowa Cattlemen's Association Policy Committee Meetings and Annual Meeting in December 2018.

The new, amended and renewed policies have been added to the 2019 ICA Policy Book. Scroll down to see ICA's 2019 state policy priorities, national policy priorities, and congressional delegation. Click here for a printable version.

State Policy Priorities

(Updated 1/7/19)

Foreign Animal Disease (FAD)

  • Iowa is the most livestock dense state in the country (4th for cattle on feed, 7th for total cattle,1st for hogs and pigs).
  • Iowa is behind many states with much less at stake when it comes to personnel, technology and other FAD preparedness and response needs.
  • ICA supported the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s request for an additional $150,000 ($250,000 total) for Foreign Animal Disease preparedness and response.
  • Funding for FAD preparedness and response has increased over the last two years, and ICA will support a $500,000 appropriation in the 2019 legislative session.

Veterinary Diagnostic Lab

  • Iowa State University's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) is an important tool for protecting the animal agriculture industry and its $32.5 billion economic output in Iowa.
  • The VDL's caseload has doubled in recent years; about 1.5 million tests are now conducted annually. 
  • A highly responsive, capable VDL provides an estimated 8:1 return on investment in a normal year. During a period of animal health emergency, the payoff on investment rises dramatically to 31:1.
  • ICA supports ISU's request for a 10% increase in funding to bring state appropriated funding for the VDL to $4,510,000 in FY2020

Environmental Regulations 

  • Cattlemen understand that clean air, land and water are crucial to the long-term success of not only their family and business, but the entire state and future generations.
  • Livestock producers do more with less now than they ever have while also having less of an impact on the environment.
    • Between 1977 and 2007, we produced each pound of beef using 19% less feed, 33% less land and 12% less water.
  • The cattle industry is a partner in environmental stewardship, but increased regulation that limits the ability to make decisions on individual operations, increases costs and has little to no impact on the environment, is not the answer.

Other Topics:

  • Protect Iowa’s Fence Law
  • Support voluntary efforts and funding for cost-share initiatives, educational outreach and projects to reduce nutrient escape and improve water quality
  • Support opportunities to help young producers
  • Investigate government land ownership and its impact on cattle producers and state tax reveue 
  • Support funding of Iowa Livestock Health Advisory Council (ILHAC)

National Policy Priorities

(Updated 1/7/19)

Regulatory Reform

  • ICA is committed to representing members on the following regulatory issues:
    • Find a permanent solution to electronic logging devices/Hours of Service
    • Replace the 2015 Waters of the US (WOTUS) rule
      • 12/11/18 - Proposed rule signed to replace 2015 WOTUS with more clear and limited languages
    • Protect producers from Superfund reporting regulations (CERCLA/EPCRA)
      • 10/30/18 - Proposed rule signed to exempt livestock from reporting

Trade and Market Access

  • Cattlemen and women support open markets and science-based trade. Beef exports account for around $300 a head.
  • ICA supports ratification of the United States Mexico Canada Agreement by Congress. US beef exports to Canada and Mexico account for roughly $2 billion in annual sales.
  • ICA encourages the prioritization of a bi-lateral trade agreement with Japan. Japan is the top export market for US beef, even with a 37.5% tariff. 

Fake Meat

  • Cell- cultured alternative proteins are preparing to come on to the market, and plant-based 'fake meat' products continue to be developed.
  • ICA remains vigilant on this issue to protect our industry and consumers from untrue, disparaging claims and misleading labels.
  • ICA supports USDA oversight of cell-cultured alternative protein production and labeling and will address state provisions for regulation of alternative proteins. 

Traceability

  • The 2016-2020 cattle industry Long Range Plan emphasizes the cattle industry should secure the broad adoption of individual animal ID disease traceability systems to equip the industry to effectively manage a disease outbreak while enhancing both domestic and global trust in U.S. beef.

  • ICA will continue to represent Iowa cattle producers in national traceability discussions as the industry moves forward with the development and implementation of a traceability system.

Cattle Marketing

  • Cattle marking is key to the profitability of Iowa's cattle industry.
  • ICA is dedicated to guiding changes to CME cattle futures contracts to increase their usefulness as a risk management tool for cattle producers.
  • ICA continues to work to increase cash negotiated trade in all major cattle feeding regions of the US. 

Labor

  • Iowa's agriculture industry is facing a labor shortage. The state's most livestock dense areas are at virtually full employment.
  • In addition to farm labor, the processing sector is experiencing a severe labor shortage. This has a direct impact on producers' ability to market cattle.
  • Iowa's cattle industry needs a timely process for immigrants to gain legal status for employment.
 

 

Iowa's Congressional Delegation 

U.S. Senate


SEN. CHARLES GRASSLEY
www.grassley.senate.gov
DC Office
135 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: .......................................... 202.224.3744
Fax: ............................................... 202.224.6020
Iowa Offices
Cedar Rapids................................. 319.363.6832
Council Bluffs................................. 712.322.7103
Davenport...................................... 563.322.4331
Des Moines.................................... 515.288.1145
Sioux City ...................................... 712.233.1860
Waterloo ........................................ 319.232.6657

SEN. JONI ERNST
www.ernst.senate.gov
DC Office
111 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: .......................................... 202.224.3254
Fax:................................................ 202.224.9369
Iowa Offices
Cedar Rapids................................. 319.365.4505
Davenport...................................... 563.332.0677
Des Moines.................................... 515.284.4574
Sioux City ...................................... 712.252.1550


U.S. House of Representatives


REPRESENTATIVE ABBY FINKENAUER

http://finkenauer.house.gov

DC Office

124 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Phone:........................................... 202.225.2911


REPRESENTATIVE DAVE LOEBSACK
http://loebsack.house.gov
DC Office
1211 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: .......................................... 202.225.6576
Fax: ............................................... 202.226.0757
Iowa Offices
Davenport...................................... 563.323.5988
Iowa City........................................ 319.351.0789


REPRESENTATIVE CINDY AXNE

https://axne.house.gov/

DC Office

330 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Phone:............................................202.225.5476


REPRESENTATIVE STEVE KING
http://king.house.gov
DC Office
2210 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: .......................................... 202.225.4426
Fax: ............................................... 202.225.3193
Iowa Offices
Ames ............................................. 515.232.2885
Fort Dodge..................................... 515.573.2738
Mason City..................................... 641.201.1624
Sioux City ...................................... 712.224.4692
Spencer......................................... 712.580.7754