WCA News

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October 7, 2019

Now is the Time to Prepare Your Operation for Potential Farm Service Agency Applications and Payments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers disaster relief programs for livestock producers when they suffer a loss to their livestock, grazable forage, and/or feed due to an eligible adverse weather event. Now is the time to prepare your documents to meet FSA’s statutory requirements and ensure your operation’s eligibility in the case of a 2020 disaster.

The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) provides a payment to ranchers for livestock deaths due to qualifying natural disasters including drought, blizzard, and fire. Compensation for this program is based on roughly 75% of the national average price of the deceased livestock by type and age. To qualify for this program ranchers must have verifiable documentation of their herd size and age dated before the natural disaster occurs. Some examples of these types of documentation are as follows: veterinary records, balance sheets, inventory records used for tax purposes, loan records, bank statements, farm credit balance sheets, property tax records, brand inspection records, sales and purchase receipts, private insurance documents, and chattel inspections. Now is the time to prepare and ensure your operation has these documents in case you need to file an application this winter.

Another emergency program FSA offers to livestock ranchers is the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP). ELAP is designed to provide a payment for farmers and ranchers that suffer a loss of forage or pasture on private lands due to a natural disaster such as blizzards, fire, drought or floods. To qualify ranchers must report a loss of grazed forage or purchased feed within 30 days of the natural disaster event. Producers must also provide two years of historical data showing the normal hay/feed purchases to compare with the current year’s increased purchases. Additionally, producers have the option to provide proof of the livestock being removed from the effected pasture if purchase receipts are not available.

The final livestock disaster relief program is the Livestock Forage Program (LFP). LFP is designed to help livestock producers that experience a loss of pasture that is on federally managed ground, due to a qualifying fire or drought. If a producer experiences natural disaster on pasture that is leased from the federal government contact the local FSA office within 30 days of this event to qualify for this program.

Below are record-keeping practices that will help ensure your operation is ready for any upcoming applications with FSA:

 ·       Always keep documentable proof of all forage and feed purchases for at least three years

·       Ask your Veterinarian for itemized bills for every visit

·       Record all breeding dates and expected newborn numbers in a reliable and updated record book

·       Find reliable or verifiable proof of your herd size including old purchase records, vet records, or haul slips and then update this number as your herd changes

·       Take dated pictures of your operation

·       Take documentable proof of losses of livestock and make sure all pictures are dated

·       Keep all sales records for your livestock for at least three years

·       Keep all haul slips and if not available write down all transportation dates, times, and livestock numbers involved in any movement of your livestock

·       Save your local FSA Office’s phone number in case you need to report a loss


If you do have a loss of livestock, forage, or pasture due to a natural disaster, document the loss and immediately notify your local FSA office. You must contact your office within 30 days of the loss in order to be eligible for these programs. If you have any questions, please contact your local FSA office for more information about these programs.

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Updates on issues of interest to the agricultural community and the public.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Deadly deer disease diagnosed in four Eastern Washington cows

Chris McGann

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Four cows in Franklin and Walla Walla counties were diagnosed this week with Epizootic Hemorrhagic disease (EHD), a potentially deadly virus that primarily effects wild deer populations but occasionally crosses over to cattle.

Cattle owners should be on the lookout for EHD symptoms such as excessive drooling, lethargy, difficulty walking, or oral and nasal lesions with ulceration, which are similar to the much more devastating foot-and-mouth disease.

Fever and anorexia due to the oral erosions were seen in the recently diagnosed cattle. Supportive care is the only treatment for infected cows.

Differentiating EHD from other animal diseases requires laboratory testing so you should contact your veterinarian if you observe these symptoms.

“Although EHD is seldom prevalent in cattle, we must show an abundance of caution and investigate each case due to the similarity of symptoms this disease has with the highly contagious and economically disastrous foot-and-mouth disease,” said Washington State Veterinarian Dr. Brian Joseph.

EHD is not a threat to human health.

The disease usually occurs in cattle where environmental conditions support large populations of biting midges.

Biting midges or Culicoides gnats, commonly known as “no-see-ums” are the main way the disease is spread. Female biting midges can ingest blood from infected animals and then feed on uninfected animals. These midges typically breed near mud, so EHD outbreaks often occur when cattle congregate in wet areas.

All ruminants can be affected, but generally it is a deer disease.

No vaccines for EHD are available for EHD so controlling the midges by eliminating standing water from areas used by cows, applying insecticides around water areas to decrease the swarms, or using bug repellent on the cows is the best defense.

In the coming weeks, the cool fall weather and frost is expected to limit the gnat population and the spread of the disease.

For more information visit WSDA’s Animal Services Division web page.


Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


August 27, 2019
Julia Smith, Wolf Coordinator, (360) 902-2477
Staci Lehman, Public Affairs, (509) 892-7853

WDFW cancels in-person open houses on wolf post-recovery plan and will schedule online, interactive webinars this fall

OLYMPIA- The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is canceling a series of in-person wolf post-recovery planning open houses and will schedule online, interactive webinars this September and October.

"We've seen incredible intensity around wolf issues this summer, on both sides of the issue. For outreach to be meaningful, our meetings have to be productive. Unfortunately, we've received some information that indicates to us that the meetings could be disrupted, possibly creating an unsafe meeting environment for the public participating," said WDFW Director Kelly Susewind. "Based on our initial outreach to stakeholders, we think digital open houses and a robust survey will be our most productive means of gathering feedback on this initial scoping effort."

The open houses were aimed at helping to inform the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process that will be used to develop a post-recovery plan. The first step in the SEPA process involves scoping.

"Scoping helps us determine proposed actions, alternatives, and impacts to be considered in the post-recovery wolf plan," said Julia Smith, WDFW wolf coordinator. "The scoping process is intended to improve decisions, find early resolutions to potential conflicts, and frame the relevant issues. We want this to be a thoughtful and constructive process for all involved."

In lieu of the public open houses, the Department will hold three live webinars open to all, where participants can receive information, ask questions, and learn how to provide input. The dates for these digital open houses will be announced soon. The Department's work to develop this plan is a multi-year effort. As wolf management options begin to take shape, there will be further opportunities to engage with agency staff.

The public scoping comment period will remain open until Nov. 1 and the Department is encouraging interested parties to provide input on the scope of the future wolf plan. The Department is accepting comments via online survey and in writing. 

"We will schedule additional in-person engagement opportunities later in the process, once we have a draft plan and are requesting comments.  We will do our best to ensure that those meetings will be productive and safe." Susewind added.

Washington's wolf population has been growing since 2008. WDFW proposes to develop a post-recovery conservation and management plan to guide long-term wolf conservation and management under state authority.

More information and the survey on wolf post-recovery planning can be found at https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/at-risk/species-recovery/gray-wolf/post-recovery-planning. Live webinar dates will be posted there as soon as they are announced. Written comments can be mailed to WDFW – Wolf Post-Recovery Plan Scoping, PO Box 43200, Olympia WA 98504-3200.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlifeis the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.

Persons with disabilities who need to receive this information in an alternative format or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact Dolores Noyes by phone (360-902-2349), TTY (360-902-2207), or email (dolores.noyes@dfw.wa.gov). For more information, see http://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/reasonable_request.html.

After an abrupt halt, the process that would bring grizzly bears back to North Cascades National Park is back on

“From what I understand, that got killed a while ago and now it’s being resurrected,” said Danny DeFranco, the Executive VP of the Washington Cattlemen’s Association. “I don’t know what the purpose of revisiting this is.”

To comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement visit parkplanning.nps.gov/grizzlydeis. Or mail or hand-deliver comments to: Superintendent’s Office, North Cascades National Park Service Complex, 810 State Route 20, Sedro Woolley, WA 98284.

The comment period will go through Oct. 24.

July 24, 2019
Kurt Hammond, Senior Public Information Officer | 360-786-7794

Dent elected to board of State Agriculture and Rural Leaders

 Rep. Tom Dent has been elected to the board of directors of the State Agriculture and Rural Leaders (SARL) organization.

The organization focuses on cooperation, leadership and educational opportunities for state and provincial legislators who are passionate about agriculture and rural communities.

“With the importance of agriculture to the 13th District, I am excited to be on the board of directors of an organization that works with other legislators across the country and Canada on ag-related issues,” said Dent, R-Moses Lake. “It is a great opportunity to meet and network with folks across North America to compare ideas and talk about solutions.”

Dent has been a part of SARL for four years. He recently attended the 2019 conference in Calgary, Alberta.

“Every year gives me a fresh outlook and new ideas on the agriculture industry. SARL is focused on the future of agriculture and how we can best solve the rural, urban divide,” said Dent. “We want to continue to educate folks about the importance of agriculture so the industry can provide abundant and healthy food well into the future.”

Topics at the 2019 conference included crop protection, wildfire suppression, food safety and labeling, growing agriculture through trade and technology, workforce and job training, and water quality and water rights.

The State Agriculture and Rural Leaders group was formed as a non-profit in 2006 at the 5th Annual Legislative Agriculture Chairs Summit in Tempe, Arizona.

May 28, 2019

WCA Welcomes New Executive Vice President

After two days of extensive interviews with five finalists for the position of Executive Vice-President, the WCA Executive Committee is pleased to announce that Danny DeFranco has accepted the position. Danny has been a resident of Kitttas County since 2000. He grew up in Issaquah, Washington where he attended Issaquah High School and was part of the graduating class of ’97. In 2000 Danny moved to Ellensburg and attended Central Washington University (CWU) for a year before taking a position with a horse trainer in the Ellensburg area. During this time, Danny acquired knowledge in horsemanship and stockmanship while working with various ranches, horse trainers, and hobby horse owners around the nation. In 2008 Danny went back to CWU and graduated in 2010 with a BA in Information Technology and Administrative Management. Since graduating Danny has worked on various ranches as well as attending schools such as the Lost Rivers Grazing Academy and Ranching For Profit. In 2013 Danny purchased a small cow herd and started Bar D Livestock which he still operates today.

 Danny and his wife Ryder have two boys, Bodie two and a half and Levi eight months.

 A Personal Note from Danny:  Thank you to the WCA for the opportunity to represent members of the livestock industry and look I look forward to working together on the challenges facing our industry.

 Please join the WCA Executive Committee in welcoming Danny! His first day in the office is Tuesday May 28th. He can be reached at 509-859-4949

Newhouse, Peterson Lead Bipartisan Letter to Support ESA Delisting of Gray Wolf

Press Release
For Immediate Release: May 28, 2019
Elizabeth Daniels (Newhouse) (202) 225-5816
Tommy Mattocks (Peterson) (202) 225-0176

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representatives Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and Collin Peterson (D-MN) led a bipartisan letter to U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Principal Deputy Director Margaret Everson expressing strong support for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s proposed rule to delist the gray wolf from the Endanger Species Act (ESA) in the lower 48 United States. The letter was signed by 34 bipartisan Members of Congress and will be submitted as an official public comment in the Federal Register. The public comment submission period deadline is July 15, 2019. Those wishing to submit public comments can do so here.

“The gray wolf should be considered a success story of the Endangered Species Act,” said Newhouse. “Federally delisting the gray wolf will allow Washington state to implement the comprehensive wolf management plan that will give relief to farmers, ranchers, and communities that are affected by growing wolf populations. It is time to listen to the experts and scientists who have determined the gray wolf is no longer endangered or threatened and give power back to the states.”

“The delisting of the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is something I’ve been working on for a long time,” said Peterson. “Scientific research clearly shows that the gray wolf population in this country has recovered, especially in the state of Minnesota. State agencies are better equipped to manage wolf populations and should have been doing so years ago.”

You can read the full text of the letter here and below:

Dear Secretary Bernhardt and Principal Deputy Director Everson:

We write to express our strong support for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) proposed rule, published March 15, 2019, titled “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) From the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife” (Docket No. FWS–HQ–ES–2018–0097).  We urge you to move forward with the implementation of this proposed rule in an expeditious manner.

We fully understand and support the statutory purpose and intent of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  When the gray wolf was reclassified as “endangered” in 1978, the best available science was used to demonstrate the species was at risk for extinction.  Now, we must use the best available science to delist the gray wolf and allow states to manage wolf populations at the local level.

Gray wolves can now be found across the United States and in nearly fifty countries around the world.  We should acknowledge the scientific findings of USFWS and celebrate their recovery.  State and local governments, tribes, and other stakeholders are best suited to develop effective, local management plans for gray wolf populations.  We should be empowering them to do so – not hindering them with unscientific, burdensome federal regulations.

In 2013, USFWS’ review found gray wolf recovery goals had been achieved and proposed a rule to remove them from the endangered list.  After objections from environmental groups, the effort to delist the species based on scientific evidence stalled and states were left with growing gray wolf populations that threaten agriculture and livestock, hunting and recreation, and other wildlife.  We cannot let scientific findings fall victim to politically-motivated attacks. As the proposed rule demonstrates, the gray wolf is a success story of the ESA.   

We understand that we have the responsibility to protect species across the country – including the gray wolf – and that these efforts to protect wildlife should be based on sound science and an open, transparent process.  For these reasons, we support the proposed rule to delist the gray wolf from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and urge you to finalize this proposed rule swiftly.


The letter was signed by Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Rob Bishop (R-UT), Ken Buck (R-CO), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Steve King (R-IA), Kevin Brady (R-TX), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Michael K. Simpson (R-ID), Scott R. Tipton (R-CO), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Greg Walden (R-OR), Russ Fulcher (R-ID), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Bruce Westerman (R-AR), Pete Stauber (R-MN), Greg Gianforte (R-MT), Sean Duffy (R-WI), Adrian Smith (R-NE), Mark Amodei (R-NV), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Ron Kind (D-WI), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), James Comer (R-KY), Bill Flores (R-TX), Gary Palmer (R-AL), Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), and Don Young (R-AK).

The letter is supported by the Public Lands Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and American Sheep Industry Association.


Management of these gray wolves was transferred from the state to the federal level following two 2014 U.S. District Court decisions that reinstated gray wolves under the protections of the Endangered Species Act. These designations leave farmers and ranchers in those states without a legal avenue to protect their livestock from wolves.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife proposed a rule in the Federal Register on March 15, 2019 to remove the gray wolf from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. The best available scientific and commercial information indicates the gray wolf does not meet the definitions of a threatened or endangered species.

In the 115th Congress, Newhouse and Peterson introduced H.R. 6784, the Manage Our Wolves Act, which passed the House on November 16, 2018.

In Washington, the gray wolf is only listed as endangered in two-thirds of the state. The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife has publicly supported changing the federal designation in order to fully implement their local management plan. Click here and here to read the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s 2015 and 2018 letters requesting the federal delisting of the gray wolf.

TO:                  NCBA/PLC Officers, Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and State Affiliates

FROM:             Ethan Lane, Sr. Executive Director, PLC/NCBA Federal Lands & Scott Yager, Chief Environmental Counsel, NCBA

DATE:              Wednesday, May 15, 2019

RE:                   FY2020 Interior-EPA Appropriations Bill Released  

 Good Afternoon:

 Last night the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies released their draft of the FY20 appropriations bill.  This afternoon, the bill was marked up out of the Subcommittee and will now go to the Full Committee for a markup in the coming weeks.  This legislation increases discretionary spending by $1.7 billion over FY19 levels, with $883 million more going to the Department of the Interior (DOI), $672 million more for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and $168 million more to the National Parks Service (NPS).  With respect to DOI and NPS, the majority of those additional funds are earmarked to address the $16 billion maintenance backlog across federal holdings.  The Environmental Protection Agency saw large funding increases over FY19 levels, but many of the emissions reporting riders from previous years were excluded in this bill.

 In general, there are few red flags contained in this draft, but we are continuing to comb through the minutia of the bill for hidden provisions.  We will keep you apprised of new developments moving forward, as there is still potential for harmful amendments from ant-grazing Members of Congress in either the Full Committee markup or during floor action.  While there is no limit to the types of hostile amendments we could see, some that we are especially looking out for are grazing fee surcharges and unfair targeting of the ranching industry similar to what we saw from Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) during debate on the 2018 Farm Bill.  A copy of the bill is attached and a more complete breakdown of key accounts is included below:


 Wild Horse and Burro Program

The bill allocates $6 million to the Wild Horse and Burro Program for a pilot project examining the efficacy of the proposal crafted by NCBA, PLC, Farm Bureau, the Society for Range Management, ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States, and Return to Freedom.  This is in stark contrast to our initial request of 50 million additional dollars to carry out the provisions of the proposal.  We will continue to work with House appropriators throughout the markup and amendment process, as well as with Senate appropriators, to reiterate the urgent need for immediate and drastic action to curb wild horse and burro overpopulation on western rangelands.

 In addition, the Forest Service was previously not beholden to the same sale-without-restriction prohibition as the BLM.  This allowed for sales of horses gathered off the Modoc National Forest last year.  House Democrats have included in this bill a provision to restrict sale-without-limitation for the Forest Service as well.

 Grasslands Grazing Credit

The bill contains a new provision in the Forest Service section, which would give a credit, up to 50%, to grasslands grazing permittees or grazing associations who have implemented conservation practices on their allotments.  This is an interesting new proposal, and we are partnering with the Association of National Grasslands, a PLC affiliate, to determine the best path forward for this provision.

 Range Improvements

No changes were made to Range Improvement funding or the formula for grazing fee revenue distribution.

 Payment in Lieu of Taxes

The PILT program is funded at the FY19 level of $500 million.

 Land and Water Conservation Fund

After being permanently reauthorized in the lands package earlier this year, appropriators have opted to increase LWCF funding across all the federal land management agencies. 

 Wildland Fire Management

Firefighting at the Department of the Interior is funded over FY19 levels at $952 million, of which $194 million is dedicated to fuels management and $20 million is for burned area rehabilitation.  For the Forest Service, $2 billion is appropriated to firefighting efforts.

 Greater Sage Grouse

The current rider prohibiting listing the Greater Sage Grouse under the ESA is not included in this bill.

 Gray Wolf Delisting

Neither of the provisions which have typically been included regarding gray wolves are present in this bill.  The need for the typical provision which compels the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to delist the wolf range-wide is unnecessary in light of the Proposed Rule from FWS to that effect (this is also a good reminder to submit comments on that rule at policy.ncba.org).  The other usual provision requires the FWS to re-issue the delisting rules from 2012 and 2013 for the Wyoming and Western Great Lakes populations, and is not included.


 Greenhouse Gas Reporting

The current rider prohibiting the EPA from implementing the GHG reporting mandate for manure management systems is not included in this bill.

Clean Air Act Title V Permits

The current rider prohibiting the EPA from promulgating a Title V permit for GHG emissions from livestock is not included in this bill.

 Clean Water Act 404 permits

The current rider prohibiting the Army Corps from implementing the 404 permit for otherwise excluded agricultural and ranching activities is not included in this bill.

 As always, do not hesitate to reach out to us, Tanner Beymer (tbeymer@beef.org), or Mary-Thomas Hart (mhart@beef.org) with any questions or concerns.


 Ethan Lane                                                                                   Scott Yager
Sr. Executive Director                                                                        Chief Environmental Counsel

Public Lands Council &                                                             National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

National Cattlemen's Beef Association                              Center for Public Policy

Center for Public Policy                                                           The Pennsylvania Building
The Pennsylvania Building                                                               1275 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 801

1275 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 801                                           Washington, DC 20004-1701
Washington, DC  20004-1701                                                         (202) 879-9102 | C: (202) 640-9481
O: (202) 879-9126 | C: (602) 320-3220                                        syager@beef.org




NCBA Welcomes Legislation Aimed to Help Livestock Haulers

WASHINGTON (May 1, 2019) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association today welcomed the introduction of legislation in the U.S. Senate aimed at reforming federal Hours of Service (HOS) rules in a way that ensures animal welfare, highway safety, and the well-being of livestock haulers. S. 1255, the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act, was introduced by Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) with a bipartisan group of original cosponsors, including Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Jim Risch (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Doug Jones (D-AL), John Hoeven (R-ND), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Mike Braun (R-IN), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and James Lankford (R-OK).

“The current Hours of Service rules for livestock haulers present major challenges for our industry and can often jeopardize the health and well-being of livestock,” said Colin Woodall, NCBA’s senior vice president of government affairs. “Hauling livestock is inherently different than hauling typical consumer goods, like paper towels or bottles of water. Live cattle cannot simply be left unattended in a trailer – especially in very hot or cold weather – for extended periods of time. This bill recognizes the unique needs of livestock haulers, and we are grateful for the continued support of Senator Sasse and the other co-sponsors.”

NCBA helped secure a delay from the implementation of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) for livestock haulers until September 30, 2019. However, the need for a long-term fix and increased flexibility for livestock haulers remains. In addition to working with allies on Capitol Hill, NCBA submitted a petition to the Department of Transportation (DOT) requesting changes to the HOS rules for livestock haulers.


The summary of S. 1255, the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act, is as follows:

• Provides that HOS and ELD requirements are inapplicable until after a driver travels more than 300-air miles from their source. Drive time for HOS purposes does not start until after 300-air mile threshold.

• Exempts loading and unloading times from the HOS calculation of driving time.

• Extends the HOS on-duty time maximum hour requirement from 11 hours to a minimum of 15 hours and a maximum of 18 hours of on-duty time.

• Grants flexibility for drivers to rest at any point during their trip without counting against HOS time.

• Allows drivers to complete their trip – regardless of HOS requirements – if they come within 150-air miles of their delivery point.

• Ensures that, after the driver completes their delivery and the truck is unloaded, the driver will take a break for a period that is 5 hours less than the maximum on-duty time (10 hours if a 15-hour drive time).


The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) has represented America's cattle producers since 1898, preserving the heritage and strength of the industry through education and public policy. As the largest association of cattle producers, NCBA works to create new markets and increase demand for beef. Efforts are made possible through membership contributions. To join, contact NCBA at 1-866-BEEF-USA or membership@beef.org.


Ed Frank, 202-879-9125, efrank@beef.org

Max Moncaster, 202-879-9124, mmoncaster@beef.org

NCBA’s Young Cattlemen’s Conference Trip Opportunity

The NCBA Young Cattlemen’s Conference, held May 29 - June 7, is a great opportunity for cattlemen and women between the ages of 25 and 50 to visit segments of the beef industry in other parts of our nation with young cattlemen and women from other states. For more details visit the event’s website here. This year, the Washington Cattlemen’s Association (WCA) will fund one participant to travel to the event. Fill out an application for this awesome opportunity. Completed applications must be received at the WCA office by April 20, 2019.


By: Mark Streuli 

Beef day was a HUGE success in so many ways yesterday. Not only did the industry really do itself proud serving some fantastic tri-tip to legislators and staff, but I am finally pleased to report that SB 5959 was passed off the House floor yesterday without any amendments (the committee amendment we were concerned about was removed from the bill). As everyone knows, when it comes to legislation this year, this has been our number one priority. There are so many to people to thank because so many WCA members chipped in to help along this journey, but we certainly wouldn’t be where we are without President Sam Ledgerwood, the WCA Executive Committee and Executive Vice President Sarah Ryan. They aren’t the kind to go looking for thanks, but they sure do deserve it. A HUGE shout-out to them!!

Many legislators helped us on this journey, but a few really made the difference in pushing this across the line, including Senator Warnick, Representative Kretz and Representaive Blake. They really deserve our thanks and appreciation. In addition, please thank WSDA director Derek Sandison. He stood with us at critical times on this, when it could’ve easily gone a different direction. Thank you Director!

 Don’t hold back – please send them a note of appreciation:



Brian.blake@leg.wa.gov (Chair of House Ag Committee)

Derek.sandison@agr.wa.gov (Director of Agriculture)

In addition, you can get your legislators email here to thank them for their support after you see the final roll call on the bill belowhere is a link to their phone numbers and addresses -   https://app.leg.wa.gov/Rosters/Members



Roll Call
SB 5959
Livestock identification
Final Passage

Yeas: 84 Nays: 12 Absent: 0 Excused: 2

Voting Yea: Representatives Appleton, Barkis, Bergquist, Blake, Boehnke, Caldier, Callan, Chambers, Chandler, Cody, Corry, Davis, DeBolt, Dent, Doglio, Dolan, Dye, Entenman, Eslick, Fey, Fitzgibbon, Frame, Gildon, Goehner, Goodman, Graham, Gregerson, Hansen, Harris, Hoff, Hudgins, Irwin, Jenkin, Jinkins, Kilduff, Kirby, Klippert, Kraft, Kretz, Lekanoff, Lovick, MacEwen, Maycumber, Mead, Morgan, Morris, Mosbrucker, Orcutt, Ormsby, Ortiz-Self, Orwall, Pellicciotti, Peterson, Pettigrew, Pollet, Reeves, Riccelli, Robinson, Rude, Ryu, Santos, Schmick, Sells, Senn, Slatter, Smith, Springer, Stanford, Steele, Stokesbary, Stonier, Sullivan, Sutherland, Tarleton, Thai, Tharinger, Valdez, Vick, Volz, Walen, Wilcox, Wylie, Ybarra, Chopp

Voting Nay: Representatives Chapman, Dufault, Leavitt, Macri, McCaslin, Paul, Ramos, Shea, Shewmake, Van Werven, Jim Walsh, Young

 Also Including the Senate Roll Call so folks can thank their Senators as well:


Roll Call
SB 5959
Livestock identification
3rd Reading & Final Passage

Yeas: 43 Nays: 2 Absent: 0 Excused: 4

Voting Yea: Senators Bailey, Becker, Billig, Braun, Brown, Carlyle, Cleveland, Darneille, Das, Dhingra, Fortunato, Frockt, Hasegawa, Hawkins, Hobbs, Holy, Hunt, Keiser, King, Kuderer, Liias, Lovelett, McCoy, Mullet, Nguyen, O`Ban, Palumbo, Pedersen, Randall, Rivers, Rolfes, Saldaña, Salomon, Schoesler, Short, Takko, Van De Wege, Wagoner, Maureen Walsh, Warnick, Wellman, Wilson, C., Zeiger

Voting Nay: Senators Ericksen, Padden

 Please Remind Us – What’s in SB 5959?

 Brief Summary:

The Livestock Advisory Board is expanded to allow two representatives and is required to meet for a minimum of twice a year.There are provisions for dismissal for lack of attendance.

  • Provides for Brand Registration

  • In addition to WSDA inspectors, it provides for field livestock inspectors to be licensed and allowed to provide livestock inspection services.

  • Expands the ECTR system to include all cattle for electronic transactions

  • Provides for Electronic Identification

  • $20 Call Out Fee

  • $4.00 Slick Cattle

  • $1.21 Identified Cattle

  • 10% Across the Board Fee Increase

  • Sunset provisions 2023

 Here is a link to the Bill:  http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2019-20/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Bills/5959.pdf

What’s Next – The Governor

When does a bill reach the governor’s desk?

Before the governor signs a bill, it must first be signed in open session in both the Senate and House. Once the house speaker and senate president sign the bill, it’s delivered to the governor’s office. This process can take several days following the passage of a bill by the Legislature.

How long does the governor have to sign a bill?

Bills that are delivered to the governor more than five days before the Legislature adjourns have five days to be acted on. Bills that are delivered fewer than five days before the Legislature adjourns have 20 days to be acted on by the governor.

How are the five days and the 20 days counted?

Both are counted as calendar days, not business days. Sundays are not counted, but Saturdays and state holidays are counted. 

Livestock Producers Praise Recovery of Gray Wolf as "Conservation Success Story"

The WCA appreciates Acting Secretary Bernhardt and his team at Department of Interior, especially those at the US Fish and Wildlife service for their work to delist the grey wolf using scientific and commercial data. In Washington state we have a collaborative group who helps set protocols for instances when wolves depredate or harass livestock, we appreciate the federal delisting as it puts the management of the wolves into state hands. Ultimately, we hope this action allows us to take a serious look at state delisting. ~ Sam Ledgerwood, WCA President

WASHINGTON (March 6, 2019) – Today Jennifer Houston, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and Bob Skinner, president of the Public Lands Council, released a joint statement in response to the Department of Interior’s announcement that it will publish a gray wolf delisting rule in the Federal Register:

“The recovery of the gray wolf in the United States is a conservation success story. When the federal government collaborates with state wildlife officials and local land managers, it enhances our ability to protect the wildlife and ecosystems that we all cherish. This is exactly how the Endangered Species Act is supposed to work.

“Unfortunately, as ranchers know all too well, the current Endangered Species Act rarely functions as Congress originally intended. Radical environmental activists use an endless cycle of lawsuits and procedural tricks to thwart effective conservation. That is why it has taken so long to delist the gray wolf, even though science has long shown the species had reached stable population levels. That is also why the Endangered Species Act’s overall effectiveness hovers at an abysmal rate of just two percent.

“The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Public Lands Council would like to commend Acting Secretary Bernhardt and his team for making this science-based decision. We look forward to continuing our work with the Department of Interior and state wildlife agencies as this process moves forward."  

ELD delay for livestock haulers in place until September 30, 2019

TO:                      NCBA Officers, Executive Committee, and State & Breed Affiliates

FROM:                Allison Rivera – DC Office

DATE:                 Thursday, February 14, 2019


Happy Valentine’s Day!


To celebrate this day, the Senate has passed an approps package to fund the rest of the government until September 30th, 2019.  The House is set to vote soon, and: President Donald Trump plans to sign a bipartisan spending deal and then declare a national emergency to fund his border wall, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Thursday.

The move will avert a government shutdown Friday.

"He is prepared to sign the bill," McConnell said. "He will also be issuing a national emergency declaration at the same time."

This package includes a great Valentine’s Day gift of a continued ELD delay for livestock haulers until September 30, 2019. 

Below is the exact bill language.  Please have haulers print this out and place it in their trucks as proof that they are exempted from the elds.  Much like as it has been, FMCSA will not provide any formal documentation b/c they delay has not been granted by them, but instead Congress. 

 As always, send any questions my way.  Thank you, Allison

SEC. 131. None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department of Transportation by this Act or any other Act may be obligated or expended to implement, administer, or enforce the requirements of section 31137 of title 49, United States Code, or any regulation issued by the Secretary pursuant to such section, with respect to the use of electronic logging devices by operators of commercial motor vehicles, as defined in section 18 31132(1) of such title, transporting livestock as defined in section 602 of the Emergency Livestock Feed Assistance Act of 1988 (7 U.S.C. 1471) or insects.


Allison Rivera
Executive Director
Government Affairs
National Cattlemen's Beef Association
Center for Public Policy

Transportation: Petition posted, comment period open

TO:                      NCBA Officers, Executive Committee, and State & Breed Affiliates

FROM:                Allison Rivera – DC Office

DATE:                 Wednesday, February 6, 2019


As of this morning, the petition (which the agency prefers we reference as a request for temporary exemption) submitted by NCBA, AFBF, and LMA to the FMCSA for livestock haulers to achieve additional drive time upon the completion of certain training/documentary requirements has been posted for public comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/02/06/2019-01276/hours-of-service-of-drivers-national-cattlemens-beef-association-livestock-marketing-association.


The comment period is scheduled to close on 3/8/19. We will not be seeking any extensions as we want this process to be expedited.  We have been told that the comment period will not be extended or put on hold in the case of another government shutdown, unless the website used for submissions has any issues. They will contact us if this is the case.


To remind you of the details within the petition, it is attached along with a summary document.


I strongly encourage everyone to submit comments.  Although we do want a large volume of comments, unique and well drafted comments mean a great deal to FMCSA aswell.  I can provide helpful comments within the next week or so for you to tweak to give specific examples from your state and your producers, but there are also helpful talking points below and attached.


Again, official comments in support from each state affiliate are requested, as well as comments from individual members. Even if member/producer/trucker comments are very simple and merely voice their concerns with the current situation and their vote of confidence in the request, that is helpful.


Please also reach out to Hill offices who have been supportive on this issue, and encourage them to submit comments in support of the request.  The letters that have already been sent from the hill in support of the petition when it was dropped will be submitted into the system by DOT.  They have reassured us of that.

Several laws have taken effect in Washington state

After the clock struck midnight, Washington state saw a handful of new laws go into effect, ranging from minimum wage changes to paid family medical leave.

Read the whole list here.


Modifications made to sage grouse land use plans

Goal is to better align management for the bird between state and federal agencies.

Read the full story from BEEF Magazine, here.

Trump administration’s WOTUS revisions fail to deliver

Sacramento, California; December 11, 2018: In February 2017, President Trump issued an executive order instructing the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army to revise the overly broad definition of “navigable waters” under the Waters of the United States rule.

Read the full press release here.

Colville National Forest plan too big to corral

Ranchers in northeast Washington have identified what they call a "fatal flaw" in the Forest Service's plan to manage the Colville National Forest: No one can be expected to understand it.

The plan and supporting documents run thousands of pages, notes Chance Gowan, a consultant for the Stevens County Cattlemen's Association. He says he's dedicated well over 40 hours studying the materials and "sadly" reports being sure he's missed something harmful to cattlemen.

Read the full story here.

Blue Mountains Forest Plan likely to be updated

The U.S. Forest Service will present an updated Blue Mountains Forest Plan in 2019 after considering the objections presented in the recent forums. 

Read the full story here.

Research concludes cattle are not destroying the ozone layer

Cow burps are destroying the ozone layer — we’ve all heard that one, and frankly, it’s time for the industry to ditch that myth once and for all.

Read the full story here.

Transportation Update: Extending the Electronic Logging Devices Delay for Livestock Haulers

Livestock haulers across the country are currently exempt from implementing electronic logging devices (ELDs). The question is: For how much longer?

A few months ago, NCBA worked closely with allies in Congress to secure a temporary exemption through December 7, 2018. With less than ten days to go before that exemption expires, NCBA has been making the rounds on Capitol Hill to remind lawmakers that a further extension is necessary.

“The livestock industry needs additional time to work with Congress and the Administration on a long-term solution to overly-restrictive Hours of Service rules,” said Executive Director of Government Affairs Allison Rivera. “Extending the ELD implementation delay for livestock haulers will give us more breathing room while that process moves forward.”

A draft fiscal year 2019 government spending bill includes a provision that would delay ELD implementation for livestock haulers until September 30, 2019. Keeping that provision included in any spending bill is an immediate priority.

NCBA is also looking forward to further conversations with the Department of Transportation (DOT) on the recent petition that requests flexibility for livestock haulers on Hours of Service (HOS) requirements. Authored by industry groups including NCBA and the Livestock Marketing Association, the petition asks for increased drive time for livestock haulers and includes a plan for working with the DOT on additional fatigue-management practices. The petition has already garnered bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress (read the letters of support here and here). As a next step, DOT is expected to open a public comment period on the petition.

Wilderness Land Restriction Bill moves forward

The legislation from U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. — named the “Restoring Local Input and Access to Public Lands Act” — made it through the House Natural Resource Committee on party lines: 19 Republicans on the committee backed the bill while 11 Democrats opposed it.

Read the whole story here.

HR 6784, the Manage our Wolves Act passes House

HR 6784 passed a House vote Thursday and now moves on the Senate.

To read the press release from WCA, click here.

Ferry County rancher featured in KREM 2 News broadcast

Ron Eslick offers his perspective on the Ferry County wolf issue to lead the reporting package put together by KREM 2 News. The two-part report aired Wednesday and Thursday.

You can see the first half of the broadcast here and the second half of the broadcast here.

ELD Exemption.png

WCA offers to coordinate fire relief donations

ELLENSBURG, Wash. – The Washington Cattlemen’s Association is accepting donations of hay, pasture, pasture seed, or funds for cattlemen or cattlewomen effected by the recent wildfires in Washington state. In the past, the monies donated to the fire relief fund have been used to pay for fencing materials, feed, and veterinary supplies.

“Cattlemen and CattleWomen across the state have been impacted by wildfires. Given the number of acres and people impacted, WCA is honored to revitalize our fire relief fund and coordinate donations of physical commodities,” said Washington Cattlemen’s Executive Vice President Sarah Ryan. “Cattlemen support their communities and the economy of the state, this provides an opportunity for the communities to give back.”

A prime example of the devastation this wildfire season has caused is Douglas County, where cattlemen and cattlewomen have lost nearly all their grazing ground for the year.

Anyone interested in providing support to cattlemen and cattlewomen in Washington state, can contact the Washington Cattlemen’s Association office to coordinate matching a donor with a person in need of relief.

The Washington Cattlemen’s Association office is located at 1301 N. Dolarway Rd., Ellensburg, WA 98926, can be reached via phone at 509-925-9871 or via email at wacattle@kvalley.com.

For information on the ELD Exemption: 

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Report From the WA State Department of Agriculture

by Dr. Amber Itle, Interim Assistant State Veterinarian

Livestock Inspection Program - Financial Status

The financial status of the Livestock Inspection program has been a topic of conversation for several years.  Former analysis provided to the LID Advisory Board in 2016 projected a budget shortfall of - $695,000 by the end of the 2017-19 biennium with no additional revenue.

Following series of listening sessions on Animal Disease Traceability, USDA releases report

Dr. Amber Itle

Assistant State Veterinarian

In the spring of 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture hosted a series of listening sessions across the country to hear from the agriculture industry about animal disease traceability.

The USDA has now compiled this information into a 30-page report, “Animal Disease Traceability: Summary of Program Reviews and Proposed Directions from State-Federal Working Group,” which it released in April. The report provides an overview of the Animal Disease Traceability Program and preliminary recommendations of the State-Federal Animal Disease Traceability Working Group.

Read more in the upcoming Ketch Pen.


Over the past few years we have received many questions about how the Beef Checkoff functions. Not as many, however, about the demand building work that is conducted on your behalf, through the research, promotion and education work the program is designed to do. The questions we are receiving focus on who does and does not pay and who should and should not pay!

WCA Takes Stance on Reintroduction of Grizzly Bear's in WA State

The Washington Cattlemen’s Association strongly opposes the proposed action of the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Parks Service to re-introduce Grizzly Bears into Washington State. The WCA does not think it is proper or prudent to reintroduce an apex predator into Washington State. The WCA believes that Grizzly Bear recover and re-colonization must occur naturally with human augmentation.

Washington Cattlemen's Association | P.O. Box 96 | Ellensburg, WA 98926 | 509-925-9871

Email us at frontdesk@wacattle.org