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Our Views

Our Views Columns

Date: 5/30/2019

Title: Kansas Rancher Fights Climate Hot Air

Climate change is one of the most salient issues surrounding environmental policy conversations in Washington, D.C. today. Last week, the Senate Committee on Agriculture held a public hearing focused on that very subject, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association had one of our own, Kansas rancher Debbie Lyons-Blythe, with a seat at the table.

From the moment Chairman Pat Roberts gaveled the hearing to order, Lyons-Blythe testified admirably on behalf of American cattle producers. Lyons-Blythe clearly illustrated the exceptional environmental work and progressive sustainability practices American cattlemen and women across this country implement on their beef operations every day - without prompting from the federal government.

“As ranchers we have always been focused on conservation, animal welfare, being more efficient and ensuring that our children and grandchildren will be able to continue that legacy,” Lyons-Blythe said. “As my grandpa used to say, ‘leave the land better than how you found it.’ Farmers and ranchers truly are the original environmentalists!”

Lyons-Blythe went on to tell the story of her own beef operation’s conservation efforts, as well as her work as a member of the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. She also asked the committee not to support legislation that would be unfair to cattle operations like Blythe Family Farms. Lyons-Blythe fielded an array of questions from senators on the committee regarding greenhouse gas emissions, resource conservation, and cattle’s overall relationship with land, water and air by providing answers driven by data and on-the-ground experience.

Members of the beef industry will continue to stand boldly when offered a microphone or any platform to communicate their story. The opportunity to share cattle producers’ proven record of stewardship and lasting dedication toward preserving the finite resources agriculture will need for generations to come is always embraced.

Read Lyons-Blythe’s full testimony transcript here.