3/26/2018 12:00:00 AM
Cattlemen at the Capitol
Cowboy hats and polished boots have been a common sight around the grounds of the Iowa State House in 2018. In addition to the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association’s lobbyist, who is at the Capitol daily, ICA has also been using a boots-on-the-ground approach through the Young Cattlemen’s Leadership Program, Cattlemen at the Capitol and Youth Beef Team.
The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA) is Iowa’s only membership organization dedicated to the needs of cattle producers. With more feedlots than any other state in the country, as well as a robust cow/calf and seedstock industry, ICA’s 10,000 members play an important role in Iowa’s economy and communities.
Throughout the year, ICA staff and members work to build relationships with elected and regulatory officials, to protect and improve the opportunities for the cattle production in the state. In addition to events throughout the year with legislators, ICA keeps its members and priorities front and center during the legislative session.
The 2018 Young Cattlemen’s Leadership Program (YCLP) Class visited the capitol on February 21. The 22-member class met with several elected officials, as well as Governor Reynolds and Lt. Governor Gregg. YCLP participants emphasized the importance of Iowa’s cattle industry, which contributes almost $7 million to the state’s economy annually.
The class also met with former Secretary Northey, DNR Director Chuck Gipp, DNR Deputy Director Bruce Trautman and Steve Ferguson with the Iowa Finance Authority. These meetings provided the young leaders with a first-hand look at ways ICA works cooperatively with state agencies to protect and grow Iowa’s beef business.
Then, in March, the annual Cattlemen at the Capitol event brought beef industry leaders from around the state to Des Moines. “Though cattlemen’s priorities are represented at the Capitol on a daily basis by staff and lobbyists, meeting constituents from their district really strikes a chord with lawmakers,” says JanLee Rowlett, ICA’s Regulatory and Government Affairs Manager.
After visiting with the governor and legislators, elected officials and cattlemen enjoyed a brisket lunch served by Madison County Youth Beef Team members. In conversations throughout the day, cattlemen shared their support for a new ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Lab as well as additional funds for the state’s Foreign Animal Disease response program.
“We’ve had great participation by members from around the state,” says President David Trowbridge, Tabor, of ICA’s presence at the Capitol this year. “And we’ve been addressing issues to our legislators that affect not just our membership, but the entire beef industry.”
Finally, a small group of Youth Beef Team students visited the capitol March 21 to continue to foster the relationships ICA members and staff have been building and to learn about their state’s political process. Youth Beef Team is open to students in grades 7-12 who are interested in learning more about the beef industry, and this event gave participants a first-hand look at how issues that impact their opportunity to continue their families’ legacy are addressed through legislation and regulation.
ICA staff and members will continue to lobby for the beef industry throughout the rest of this year’s legislative session before gathering input from producers this summer and fall to determine the 2019 policy priorities. Producers impacted by rules or regulations should contact ICA to share their concerns.
About the Iowa Cattlemen's Association:
The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association represents nearly 10,000 beef-producing families and associated companies dedicated to the future of Iowa’s beef industry. ICA’s mission is “Grow Iowa’s beef business through advocacy, leadership and education.”
Photo Above Left to Right - Mary Greiman, Adair Lents, Ben Hein, JanLee Rowlett, Katie Morey, Eric Franje, Casey Allison, Kyle Musfeldt, Shayne Wiese, Daweyn Albertsen, Crystal Blin, David Scott Herbold, Andee Hammen, Adam Ryan, Governor Kim Reynolds, Sean Robinson, Lt Governor Adam Gregg, Zak Kennedy, Emily Kennedy, Kylie Peterson, Logan Lafrenz, Whitney Hein, Robert Cumming, Katelyn Maass, Ben Halvorson, Travis Morey, Krista Frazee, Blair Lincoln