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.

2018 policies were set at the Iowa Cattlemen's Association Policy Committee Meetings and Annual Meeting in December 2017.

The new, amended and renewed policies have been added to the 2018 ICA Policy Handbook. Scroll down to see ICA's 2018 state policy priorities, national policy priorities, and congressional delegation. Click here for a printable version.

State Policy Priorities

(Updated 9/21/18)

Foreign Animal Disease (FAD)

  • 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.
  • 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.

Veterinary Diagnostic Lab

  • Funding is needed for the building and renovation of the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab (VDL).
    • ICA supported the request for $100 million to be combined with private gifts and university funds. 
    • The legislature appropriated $63.5 million of the $100 million request.
  • ISU's VDL is an important tool for protecting the animal agriculture industry and its $32.5 billion economic output in Iowa.
  • Currently facing biosafety, biocontainment and biosecurity issues due to overcrowding, poor layout and outdated systems
    • 500% growth of caseload and staff since 1976
  • Accreditation and critical disease response is at risk

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
  • Improve the accuracy of the US Drought Monitor and other weather measurements used by government entities.
  • Support opportunities to help young producers
  • Support funding of Iowa Livestock Health Advisory Council (ILHAC)

National Policy Priorities

(Updated 9/21/18)

2018 Farm Bill

  • Full funding for a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccine bank
  • Protect conservation programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program
  • Address challenges in CRP to incorporate cattle production opportunities
  • Maintain research funding
  • Protect trade promotion programs (Market Access Program/Foreign Market Development Program)
  • Prevent market-disrupting policies

Regulatory Reform

  • Find a permanent solution to electronic logging devices/Hours of Service
  • Modernize the Endangered Species Act
  • Replace the 2015 Waters of the US (WOTUS) rule
  • Protect producers from Superfund reporting regulations (CERCLA/EPCRA)
  • Revisit and correct Range Reform '94
  • Reform wildlife management and funding programs

Trade and Market Access

  • Overcome current trade barriers with China and continue expanding markets for U.S. beef 
  • Protect market access under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
  • Protect market access under the Korea-U.S. Trade Agreement (KORUS)
  • Promote bilateral trade agreements

Fake Meat

  • Protect our industry and consumers from untrue, disparaging claims and misleading labels 


  • Represent Iowa cattle producers in national traceability discussions



  • 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 

Rod Blum

Dist. 1 Representative

(202) 225-2911



David Loebsack

Dist. 2 Representative

(202) 225-6576



Charles Grassley


(202) 224-3744



Joni Ernst


(202) 224-3254



Steve King

Dist. 4 Representative

(202) 225-4426



David Young

Dist. 3 Representative

(202) 225-5476