Presented by University of Nebraska, South Dakota State University, Colorado State University, and University of Wyoming

Visit the sites in API's topic library ...


The topic sites in our library offer gateways to information on body condition scoring, beef cow efficiency, country-of-origin labeling, targeting the Certified Angus Beef® brand and more. Click here.


API event sites ...


Sign up for ...



Angus Productions Inc.
Copyright © 2009
Angus Productions Inc.

Cattlemen Urged to Stay Watchful
of Pending Legislation

Wyoming congresswoman offers insight into legislative issues of importance to the ranching community.

by Troy Smith for Angus Productions Inc.


CASPER, Wyo. (Dec. 1, 2009) — Federal estate tax, cap-and-trade and health care reform were among the touchy subjects addressed by Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis during the opening session of the 2009 Range Beef Cow Symposium in Casper, Wyo., Dec. 1-3. Speaking to her audience via computer link from Washington, D.C., Lummis advised beef cattle producers to remain watchful and wary of those legislative issues and others likely to affect their businesses.


While stair-step measures were advanced by the Bush administration to reduce the estate tax rate and move toward total repeal in 2010, the so-called "death tax" is scheduled to return in 2011, Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis explained.While stair-step measures were advanced by the Bush administration to reduce the estate tax rate and move toward total repeal in 2010, the so-called “death tax” is scheduled to return in 2011. It will come back in full force, Lummis explained, taxing estates at up to 55% of value. However, Lummis expects pre-emptive action to come before Congress in 2010. She expects lawmakers to act on a proposal calling for the exemption of estates valued at up to $3.5 million and a maximum rate of 45%.


Noting her opposition to the cap-and-trade bill passed by the House of Representatives, Lummis called it the largest tax increase ever proposed. The measure would set limits on greenhouse gas (notably carbon dioxide) emissions by U.S. industries and levy penalties on those entities that exceed limits.


“But if countries like China, India and Russia do nothing, it will have no significant effect on global emissions,” Lummis stated. “It’s a very bad piece of legislation.”


Nearly as bad, according to Lummis, is the proposed health care reform bill, which could force small “mom-and-pop” businesses, as well as farmers and ranchers, to participate in a government-run health care program.


Lummis said she is watching and monitoring other developments likely to have negative effects on beef producers. Among them is a proposal that would ban several commonly used antibiotics, including penicillin and tetracyclines, for treatment of animals. Noting many lawmakers’ withering confidence in USDA’s handling of its animal identification program, she expects a push to make the program mandatory.


“I will work to keep it voluntary,” stated Lummis, who also promised to seek funding for research and development of an effective brucellosis vaccine.


Lummis warned public lands ranchers to expect further efforts to reduce and even eliminate livestock grazing on public lands. The congresswoman also said she is looking into situations where extremist environmental groups launch lawsuits aimed at taking away ranchers’ grazing rights and then seek government reimbursement to pay costs of litigation.


Also likely to surface are efforts to ban transportation of horses to slaughter, which could prevent shipment of horses to processing plants in Canada or Mexico, and proposals for designating certain public lands areas for wild horses.


“I wish I had something good to report on the horse slaughter issue,” Lummis lamented. “Things are not going the right direction for managing wild or domestic horses, and it’s likely to get worse rather than better.”

Editor’s Note: API's coverage of the event is made available for distribution to all media via an agreement with the Range Beef Cow Symposium Committee and API. Headquartered in Saint Joseph, Mo., API publishes the Angus Journal, the Angus Beef Bulletin, the Angus Beef Bulletin EXTRA, and the Angus e-List, as well as providing online coverage of events and topics pertinent to cattlemen through the API Virtual Library. For questions about this site, or to notifiy us of broken links, click here.