Cattlemen meeting in Reno, NV, last week passed 11 interim resolutions, directives and recommendations. Top items on the National Cattlemen's Beef Association membership's agenda were the 2007 Farm Bill, environmental policy issues, the Death Tax, and ongoing international trade issues. All policy changes will serve as interim policy until reviewed and voted on again by NCBA members at their Annual Convention next year and subsequent mail in balloting process. The list below details these changes:

Property Rights and Environmental Management:
Members passed a resolution that NCBA will seek regulations and legislation to clarify federal wetlands and non-navigable waters jurisdiction consistent with recent Supreme Court decisions.

Agriculture Policy:
Cattle producers passed a directive outlining NCBA's guiding principles and priorities in the 2007 farm bill, including specific priorities for natural resources and conservation, marketing, commodity programs, nutrition, credit, trade, research, energy, disaster assistance, animal activism, animal identification and animal health policy.

NCBA officers are directed to establish a task force to address immediate needs of livestock producers following natural disasters to facilitate cattle-specific emergency needs and coordinate interagency activites to respond to the industry in a timely manner. Members passed a resolution supporting updating the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act to standardize requirements and reduce the burden of regulations on vehicles used for transporting cattle and farm equipment.

International Markets:
NCBA members passed a resolution supporting retaliatory measures against nations that close their borders to U.S. beef due to unscientific food safety concerns, administrative errors or a single shipment of beef not meeting agreed upon requirements. Members passed a resolution instructing staff to work to require U.S. troops worldwide to be supplied with U.S. processed beef.

Tax and Credit Issues:
NCBA approved a resolution aimed at relieving the Death Tax burden from thousands of America's farmers and ranchers. While NCBA still steadfastly supports full and permanent repeal of the Death Tax, cattlemen in attendance approved a directive providing NCBA with the flexibility to support a compromise measure, if it is the only option for reducing the uncertainty surrounding the current Death Tax timetable.

Members passed a resolution supporting changes to the IRS Code section 1031 g (1) to: (1) increase the reporting deadline on replacement properties from 45 to 180 days, (2) increase the limit of replacement properties from three to six and (3) increase the amount of time a taxpayer has to receive exchanged property from 180 to 365 days.

A resolution was passed directing NCBA to work to exempt income received as rent on agricultural property from Social Security taxation.

Product Enhancement:
NCBA members passed a resolution to work to secure a permanent commitment of annual funding for specific research by the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium including: research on data management, database preservation, DNA inclusion in genetic evaluation, application of multi-breed capacities for genetic evaluation programs, enhancement of the scope of international evaluation, development of new traits for evaluation, new methods to enhance accuracy and productivity of evaluations, and user-friendly software.
-- Troy Marshall