Incoming NCBA president talks goals, challenges

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president-elect Scott George will soon take the reins of the organization. As President, George says he is looking forward to the opportunity to travel around the country and visit with cattle producers in their home states.

“We have such a diversity across this country of segments that people are involved in and also the terrain that they live in and the environment that they work in, and it is really educational to get a chance to look at operations of all types,” George said.

After all, he will represent cattle producers from coast to coast during his year as NCBA president. He says there are a number of issues of importance to the industry, including keeping an eye on the EPA.

“We are really concerned about the agency’s attempt to take over the waters of the United States,” said George, who also said trade opportunities as a hot topic. “We’ve expanded our trade for our exports to a lot of different countries and we would like to see more of that effort being done.”

George will also put an emphasis on continuing to cater to domestic consumers during his tenure, saying that his industry cannot ignore their own consumers as they consume the majority of the product.

George said the farm bill makes the list of important issues as well. He says there are a couple of key items NCBA will be watching closely.

“We are worried about losing conservation and EQIP programs that have helped us step up and make the changes that are moving the industry in the right direction,” George said. “Another concern is seeing disaster assistance slipping away. We are very mindful of that, especially in light of the drought conditions that we have endured.”

According to George, there is a challenge for producers at the federal level. He notes there are many people making decisions that may not fully understand agriculture or the consequences of their choices. In addition, he says they don’t give farmers and ranchers the credit they deserve for the work they do already.

“We are very good at taking care of the water and the land and the soil and the animals,” said George. “Farmers have been doing this for generations and sometimes they are misunderstood so we have to try to educate our representatives about what we are doing already and help them realize that some of the actions proposed can have very serious detrimental effects. We want to be good but we don’t want to be over-regulated so that we can’t afford to stay in business anymore.”

George says NCBA is working everyday to protect the profitability of farmers and ranchers. He says they’re doing that by promoting their product to consumers and by taking steps to ensure the regulations they’re faced with don’t become too burdensome.

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