(Jamie) Welcome to Farm Factor! Let’s join Duane as he visits with Tracy Brunner, in-coming President of NCBA.
(Duane) Duane Toews joining you once again with AGam in Kansas. And while at the Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in San Diego, California, an opportunity to catch up with Kansas born and raised Tracy Brunner from Ramona, Kansas, roughly, President-Elect of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association joining us on the program. And Tracy, San Diego in January are a pretty good option for a lot of producers. (Tracy) This is great, isn’t it Duane? They tell me that San Diego has the most stable climate and the smallest temperature variation of anywhere in the Continental United States. (Duane) And we are good with that here this week. Down to business Tracy this is a meeting of a lot of different organizations around the cattle industry, NCBA being one of those. And you’re set to take the helm of the organization as President as we head toward the weekend of the conference. As far as the organization itself, the cattle industry has seen some turbulent times this year, but some victories for the industry as well. (Tracy) We’re coming off a very successful Congressional session in the Omnibus Appropriation Bill at the end of 2015. We were able to get some wins, some inclusion of some items that were very important to cattlemen, or some tax credits that were included in that bill. The death of the Country of Origin Labeling Bill that was about to impose $1.1 billion dollars in tariffs on us by our two best trading partners, Canada and Mexico. And we’re happy to put that to rest. And then the dietary guidelines were finalized and at the end of 2015 and we’re able to keep sustainability initiatives and the mention out of the dietary guidelines and also make the inclusion of beef in a healthy diet also preserved in the dietary guidelines. (Duane) Obviously cattlemen across the country have always said, we’ll compete with anyone with our product, but competing with a level playing field’s pretty important. Trans Pacific Partnership, the agreement’s put together, we’ve got some ratification things to deal with yet though. (Tracy) Well you’re sure right there Duane and cattlemen took the lead, if you will, as far as business interests and helping assure the signing of the negotiation of the Trans Pacific Partnership. And now we’ve got that big hurdle of getting it ratified in Congress. So, that’s a top priority of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in the coming years, ratification of TPP. It would, as you say, level the playing field. We’re currently at a disadvantage into one of our biggest and most lucrative markets, that of Japan. Our competitor Australia is enjoying only a ten percent tariff rate, while we’re paying 38 percent. TPP would lower that to the same rate for everyone within the agreement and level our tariff with Japan. And also decrease that tariff from 38 percent down to 9 percent over about a 15 to 16 year period. So, additionally it would gain us access to about 40 percent of the global economy. (Duane) Our thanks to Tracy Brunner, President-Elect, soon to be President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, joining us in San Diego. Jamie, we’ll send it back to you.
(Jamie) Folks, stay with us – Duane will be back with Matt Perrier, President of Kansas Livestock Association.