House Farm Bill Includes Top Cattle Industry Priorities

| May 20, 2024

WASHINGTON (May 20, 2024) – Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) announced support for the Farm Bill crafted and released by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA)—the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024. The bill includes numerous priorities for America’s cattle producers, strengthens essential USDA programs, and protects farmers and ranchers from emerging threats.

“America’s cattle producers don’t ask for much from the federal government, but we do need a few essential programs that protect our industry from foreign animal diseases, reward voluntary conservation, and keep farms and ranches in business after a natural disaster,” said NCBA President and Wyoming rancher Mark Eisele. “Chairman Thompson’s Farm Bill supports these critical needs for the cattle industry, and I am very grateful that the Chairman listened to groups like NCBA when writing this bill. We strongly support this legislation and urge Congress to pass this bill.”

Chairman Thompson’s Farm Bill is the result of months of stakeholder input and dialogue with farmers and ranchers. NCBA members have been involved in these conversations and had the opportunity to weigh in on Farm Bill priorities.

“Last summer, I had the chance to talk to Chairman Thompson during a Farm Bill listening session in Virginia. The provisions that cattle producers asked for during the listening session are now in the draft bill, and that’s a testament to Rep. Thompson’s commitment to listening to the producers who rely on the Farm Bill,” said NCBA Vice President Gene Copenhaver, a Virginia cattle producer. “This is exactly how our system should be working with Congress asking questions, listening to feedback, and using that knowledge to craft our laws. I am very pleased with this Farm Bill, and I hope members of Congress from both parties join together and get this bill passed.”

The House Farm Bill addresses several key priorities for the cattle industry including:
  • Protecting the cattle industry from foreign animal disease.
    • Increasing funding for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN), National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP), and National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank (NAVVCB).
    • Strengthening resources for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection “Beagle Brigade” dogs that screen shipments, luggage, and people coming into the United States to prevent the spread of pests and disease.
  • Improving disaster relief programs to deliver payments to cattle producers by expanding the Livestock Indemnity Program to cover 100% of the cost of an attack by a federally protected predator and allowing for supplemental payments for the loss of unborn calves.
  • Protecting voluntary conservation and eliminating government mandates, while also supporting popular programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
  • Recognizing that food is national security by directing the Secretary of Agriculture to review the cybersecurity, foreign dependence, and supply chain risks to American agriculture.
  • Upping support for feral swine eradication efforts by providing $150 million of funding for USDA-APHIS and USDA-NRCS.
  • Boosting local processing capacity by incorporating the A-PLUS Act and allowing livestock markets to invest in small meatpacking facilities.

The bill also includes numerous other provisions that support cattle producers and strengthen our food and national security.