Kevin H. Buse, TCFA Chairman
It’s no secret—Kevin Buse loves the cattle business and his passion for the industry derives from a sincere appreciation for those around him.
“I’m a big believer in people,” Buse says. “I think the only reason I'm even successful at any level is because of the people by my side.”
Buse lives in Amarillo with his wife, Renee. They have three children, Brock, Baron and Belle. He’s quick to recognize that the cattle business is a family business, one that too few have the opportunity to experience.
“It's fun to watch them grow up on the farm and learn how to do things that 20 and 40 years ago, every kid knew how to do,” he says. “Today, that's not the case for most kids. It’s special.”
His hope is, one day, they’ll appreciate who they are and what this livelihood taught them.
PATH TO SUCCESS
The CEO of Champion Feeders grew up in Sterling, Colo. However, he spent summers in Texas, where he learned the ins and outs of a feedyard at an early age. “I grew up at Lockney Feedyard,” he says. “From the time I was old enough to be legitimate help, around eight, I spent every summer there.”
He credits his family, specifically Hank Winter, his grandfather and early TCFA member, for the opportunities that led him to a career in cattle feeding. Buse graduated from Sterling High School and attended Colorado State University, where he earned an animal science degree.
“After that, I loaded up everything I had and moved to Amarillo to work for Friona Industries,” he says. He soaked in every opportunity possible from doctoring cattle at Randall County Feedyard to managing the mill at Friona Feedyard.
In 2000, Buse became assistant manager at Swisher County Cattle Company. Three years later, Champion Feeders offered him a management position and piece of ownership. He’s been there ever since.
Champion Feeders prides itself in building champion partnerships for the future. Its priority is producing the safest beef in the world with the best producers in the business.
“There’s nothing more gratifying than building a business and watching it grow,” Buse says. “Building relationships and enabling your customers and their families to be successful is second to none.”
For some, success may become boring over time. But that’s not the case in the feedyard, Buse explains. “If you’re doing things the right way and with the right people, you’d think after time it may become boring,” he says. “There’s no boring in this business and I enjoy that.”
GET TO WORK MENTALITY
When asked about his favorite part of the job, he quickly attributes it to the daily grind. “The nonstop is great. It's seven days a week, 24 hours a day,” he says. “The action that comes with buying, feeding, selling and owning cattle is what I love most.”
Kevin recalls attending TCFA Summer Meeting with his family at a young age—a memory that guides his commitment to volunteer leadership.
“Engaging with TCFA, to me, has always been extremely important,” he says. “It was always something that my family took a lot of pride in being a part of.”
His engagement while serving as TCFA Chairman has not been lacking. Most notably, along with representatives from various cattle producing states, he served on NCBA’s price discovery and negotiated trade working groups. What may have been an unfavorable task for some, Buse eagerly took on the role with a get-to-work mentality—a mindset that paid off.
In collaboration with their respective organizations, cattle producers within the group spent 18 months voluntarily working to increase price discovery and provide tools to increase market transparency. Ultimately, these industry-led efforts proved increasing negotiated trade volumes is possible without a government mandate.
As a result, at NCBA’s Cattle Industry Convention in February, the association adopted policy to oppose government mandates or any interference with a feeder’s ability to market cattle—a win and step in the right direction for Buse and TCFA members.
“Developing member-driven policy in a transparent manner where all perspectives can be heard is essential,” Buse says. “Through that process, TCFA members demonstrated our commitment to improving negotiated trade and price discovery, yet we remain diligent in our efforts to build upon this success.”
A SEAT AT THE TABLE
In 2010, Buse represented TCFA at NCBA’s Young Cattlemen’s Conference. He also served on the TCFA board of directors from 2010 to 2012 before rejoining the board and accepting an officer position as Vice Chairman in 2020.
“There are not enough superlatives to properly commend Kevin’s work ethic and passion for our industry,” says Ben Weinheimer, TCFA president and CEO. “Kevin is a true advocate for cattle feeders as he continuously volunteers his time to find solutions to complex issues while ensuring everyone in the room has a voice.”
If there is one thing Kevin Buse aims to communicate during his time as TCFA chairman, it’s that he wants everyone to have a seat at the table when it comes to the association.
“I just would like for everybody to understand that it takes all of us to succeed and we need as many good minds at the table as we can possibly get,” he says. “If we lack the minds at the table, it hurts our business.”
He adds that while all TCFA members may not always agree on everything, there are aspects of the association that can benefit everyone.
Buse says the entire supply chain working together is critical moving forward. He says TCFA is one vehicle to facilitate collaboration and motivation throughout the industry. Yet, he believes it’s a matter of individuals from across the board coming to the table to improve the industry and ensure its success.
“We have new competitors. We’re up against plant-based and cell-cultured products,” he says. “And that’s okay if that’s what the consumer wants, but as cattle producers, we all have to be at the table, working together, to advocate for the beef industry and ensure folks have the opportunity to stay in this business.”
For anyone looking to start a career in cattle feeding, Buse says they should know they can’t be in it for the money, but because they love it and want to show up every day.
“You have to do it because you take pride in producing something that you know is high quality and makes everybody better,” he says. “For someone coming into this business, you have to do it for the right reasons. If you do it strictly for the money, then you won't be in it very long.”
Spend time with him, and you’ll find that he practices what he preaches. It’s not money or special status that got Buse to where he is today. Instead, it’s a pull yourself up by your bootstraps attitude, gritty work ethic, and relentless determination for success, not only for himself but for his family, customers and the cattle industry as a whole.
Throughout the month of April, 148 students representing 35 schools from the Texas Panhandle completed TCFA’s Spring 2022 Feedyard Technician Program.
The hands-on program is a collaboration between TCFA, West Texas A&M University and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Services and provides high school juniors and seniors the knowledge and skills needed to prepare them for a potential career in the fed cattle industry.
Because no two jobs are the same on a feedyard, the program covers different career paths. Spring participants learn and practice proper cattle care including safe handling techniques, the administration of vaccines and implants and Beef Quality Assurance requirements. Students also put their skills to the test in a mock-interview with industry leaders. Whereas fall participants discover the ins and outs of machinery operations along with facility maintenance and repairs.
If you are interested in potentially hiring students who have participated in the program, please contact Brady Miller at email@example.com or Rachel Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (806) 358-3681.
Students from across the state made their way to the campus of West Texas A&M University on Friday, July 30, to showcase their skills and knowledge at the 2021 TCFA Junior Fed Beef Challenge.
This annual contest gives third-12th grade students the opportunity to gain industry knowledge and practical experience in commercial cattle feeding. Students feed a pen of three steers, take a written test and compete in interviews and oral presentations. Cattle performance points are also figured into the score to determine the winners.
Students compete for a combined $20,000 in college scholarships along with trophy buckles and plaques.
The Senior Overall Champion of the contest and winner of a $5,000 scholarship was Caraline Dudley of Centerville. Senior Reserve Champion and winner of a $3,000 scholarship was Luke Bludau of Hallettsville. The First Runner-Up and winner of a $2,000 scholarship was Leroy Robert Stavinoha III of Eagle Lake.
In the Junior Division, Jake Ressler of Hallettsville was named the Overall Champion and received a $350 scholarship.
Senior Division: Best Written Exam
3rd Place Written Exam – Luke Bludau, Hallettsville; Emily Ecord, Pennington; Grant Kubala, Schulenburg; Kade Lawrence, Canyon
2nd Place Written Exam – Caraline Dudley, Centerville; Macy Lawrence, Canyon
1st Place Exam and winner of a $500 prize – Leroy Robert Stavinoha, Eagle Lake
Senior Division: Best Interview
3rd Place Interview – Emily Ecord, Pennington
2nd Place Interview – Caraline Dudley, Centerville
Best Interview and winner of a $500 prize – Kade Lawrence, Canyon
Senior Division: Best Individual Carcass
3rd Place Individual Carcass – Brett Heitschmidt, Nazareth; Ryan Heitschmidt, Nazareth; Cade Parnell, Houston; Luke Bludau, Hallettsville; Landon Koehne, Schulenburg; Jett Long, Yoakum; James Golla, College Station; Emily Ecord, Pennington
2nd Place Individual Carcass – Alexis Whitely, Sanger; Ty Whitely, Sanger; Lane Golla, New Braunfels
Top Individual Carcass and winner of a $500 prize – Clayton Stevenson, Earth; Brayden Smith, Blair; James Golla, New Braunfels
Senior Division: Best Pen Steer Points
3rd Place Carcass Pen – Lane Golla, New Braunfels
2nd Place Carcass Pen – Clayton Stevenson, Earth
Top Carcass Pen and winner of a $500 prize – Brayden Smith, Blair
Senior Division: Top Rookie Award
3rd Place Rookie – Clay Aborn, Spearman
2nd Place Rookie – Emily Ecord, Pennington
Top Rookie and winner of a $500 prize – Caraline Dudley, Centerville
Junior Division: Best Written Exam
3rd Place Written Exam – Levi Golla, New Braunfels
2nd Place Written Exam – Kilian Leheska, Canyon
1st Place Exam and winner of a $250 prize – Alexandra Kelley, New Braunfels
Junior Division: Best Presentation
3rd Place Presentation – Malley Ecord, Pennington; Levi Golla, New Braunfels; Kilian Leheska, Canyon
2nd Place Presentation – Emily Valicek, Houston
Best Presentation and winner of a $250 prize – Jake Ressler, Hallettsville
Junior Division: Best Individual Carcass
3rd Place Individual Carcass – Jenna Stevenson, Earth; Tilden Smith, Blair; Abby Ressler, Hallettsville; Rileigh Golla, College Station; Riggin Mosimann, Kim; Cash Cribbs, Fluvanna; Holly Ressler, Hallettsville; Sorrel Mosimann, Kim; Noah Preston, Abilene; Jake Ressler, Hallettsville; Cason Cribbs, Fluvanna
2nd Place Individual Carcass – Bailen Kocurek, Caldwell
Top Individual Carcass and winner of a $250 prize – Wyatt Johnson, Panhandle; Baiden Beavers, Dalhart
Junior Division: Best Pen Steer Points
3rd Place Carcass Pen – Cash Cribbs, Fluvanna; Cason Cribbs, Fluvanna; Noah Preston, Abilene
2nd Place Carcass Pen – Bailen Kocurek, Caldwell
Top Carcass Pen and winner of a $250 prize – Tilden Smith, Blair
Junior Division: Top Rookie Award
2nd Place Rookie – Emily Valicek, Houston
Top Rookie and winner of a $250 prize – Holly Ressler, Hallettsville
Perry, Robby and Carson Kirkland
Perry Kirkland said he knew nothing about feeding cattle when he began Kirkland Feedyard in 1983. In fact, he fell into the business by accident. He and his wife Melanie purchased land to expand their farm. The cattle pens came as a bonus.
It took some encouraging from his neighbors, but eventually, armed with determination, a pickup and buckets of corn, the couple made their start in the business. Perry said he quickly learned the harder you work, the more successful you could be.
In those early days of the feedyard, securing financing was the biggest challenge. It was hard to get bankers to understand the bigger vision, Perry said. “It was really a struggle to grow from scratch.”
But despite challenges, the yard grew from an 800-head, primarily preconditioning yard to a larger operation.
“We finally bought a feed truck and continued to build and grow slowly as a one-man operation until 1995, when Robby came back and joined us.”
Robby Kirkland was just out of college in 1995, and it wasn’t always his plan to come back to the family feedyard.
“My dad was really good about saying, you know, there’s opportunity here,” he said, “but don’t feel obligated. You’ve got to know what you want to do.”
When Robby and his then-fiancé Amy made the decision to go all in, Robby learned how to do everything from riding pens, running the mill and shipping cattle.
“That probably taught me as much about feeding and feeding cattle as anything,” he said. “It allowed me to learn.”
Together, Perry and Melanie, Robby and Amy have grown a successful custom feedyard with a strong and loyal customer base. Their customers rely on them to market and protect their cattle investment, and that’s a job they take pride in. It’s a reputation they hope to pass on to Robby’s son Carson.
Carson, a freshman animal science major at Texas Tech University, plans to come back and work at the feedyard and continue the legacy of hard work and determination the family is known for. He said once he was old enough to realize what his grandpa and dad built, he knew he wanted to be a part of it.
“I’ve seen my grandpa a month after his heart surgery, back working already,” Carson said. “And I’ve seen my dad coming in late at night and going to work early in the morning, and my Mimi and my mom, working right alongside them.”
No doubt the feedyard life presents challenges. Finding and retaining a skilled workforce and marketing cattle are two of the most pressing issues facing the industry. These issues will likely be top-of-mind for cattle feeders long after Carson takes the reins.
“The marketing aspect of the cattle is a real issue,” Perry said. “It was an issue when I was sitting behind the manager’s desk, and it’s an issue that will continue to need to be addressed in the future.”
While Carson plans to keep the family business going, his sisters, Calleigh and Cydney, said the lessons they learned watching their parents and grandparents gave them the confidence to be successful themselves.
Calleigh, now in her senior year at Texas Tech, is working toward a master’s degree in speech pathology. She plans to open her own practice.
My family showed me that if I want to do something, I can go do it. Just like they did, she said.
“I’ve watched my grandparents and parents work hard to become successful. They started from basically the bottom, and they worked hard.”
Cydney, the youngest Kirkland, said that her family has shown her what hard work really means. “They are strong through it all. They’ve taught me to do lots of good things.”
“It’s awesome to see the family business handed down, but more than that,” Robby said, “it’s awesome that the next generation wants to continue.”
As anyone in the feedyard business will tell you, it takes more than hard work to be successful.
“I’ve told them all that farming and agriculture is not a job. It’s a passion, and you have to have that passion to be a success,” Perry said.
Scott Anderson, TCFA Chairman
As Earth Day approaches, those of us involved in production agriculture would like to share our appreciation for taking care of the environment. Since our livelihood and future relies upon making sure we leave this earth better than we found it, we believe it is critical to share how serious we take our responsibility as stewards of the land and animals we care for.
There is a common misconception that U.S. agriculture, especially animal agriculture, is a major greenhouse gas contributor. However, from a holistic perspective, the U.S. agriculture and timber system is a net carbon sink. This means that, collectively, the system removes more carbon than it emits.
In many countries’ forestland is viewed as reserve farmland to be cleared and used for food production when additional food resources are needed to feed a nation’s growing population. Because of the productivity of U.S. farmers and beef producers who utilize 800 million acres of range and pastureland, we as a country can preserve our forestland. Over the last 100 years we have added about 40 million acres of forestland in the United States. This was accomplished while also building 200 million more homes, feeding a population that is three times larger than it was in 1920, and exporting 15 to 20% of production. Yet, we are still a net carbon sink.
A primary contributor to this productivity is the unique digestive system of a beef animal. Cattle consume grasses, forages and other food by-products and “up-cycle” them into a delicious, nutrient dense wholesome protein source for humans. In total, about 90% of what a beef animal eats is inedible by humans. Even a grain-finished beef animal in the U.S. generates 19% more protein for the human supply than it consumes.
There is also talk about “cow burps” and their contribution to global warming. As the beef animal digests grasses and forages they eat, they expel methane. However, this biogenic methane is part of a carbon cycle that has been happening as long as ruminants have walked the earth. This cycle does not create any “new” carbon. The same carbon cycles from plant to animal to air and then through photosynthesis in the plant, CO2 is pulled out of the air back into the plant to be consumed by another beef animal next year. This cycle has been repeating for centuries.
Beef producers in the United States are continuously looking for ways to manage their resources better and to improve the efficiency of their production practices. We produce 18% of the world’s beef with only 6% of the world’s cattle. That is producing more beef with less resources. The U.S. production model is the envy of the world. And we still work hard to make it better every day. As we celebrate Earth Day, please remember that every day is Earth Day for beef producers. Beef production is sustainable and part of the climate solution.
The beef lifecycle is a unique food production system. It takes anywhere from 1.5 to 3 years bring beef from pasture to plate. Top priorities for everyone in the beef supply chain include health animals, environmental care, and safe, nutritious, high-quality protein for consumers.
Panel of experts ask Texas lawmakers to keep misleading food labels out of the meat case.
Brandi Richards, fourth-generation rancher and owner/operator of Diamond Cattle Feeders in Hereford, Texas, testified before the Texas House Public Health Committee meeting Wednesday encouraging support of H.B. 316, a bill to ensure food labels of plant-based and cell-cultured tissue products do not wrongfully identify as meat products.
"Like most consumers, I strive to purchase nutritious food for my family. I review labels to determine which foods best support our nutritional needs, and I expect those labels to be truthful," Richards said. "Consumers deserve to know exactly what they are purchasing and consuming. Food labels should be clear and avoid any attempt to mislead, confuse or misrepresent what is included in a food product."
H.B. 316, introduced by Rep. Brad Buckley (R-Salado), would consider food products misbranded if " any part of its labeling is false or misleading” and “the food includes a label stating "meat," "beef," "chicken," "pork," or any common variation of those terms, if the food does not contain the products listed on the label."
The bill also defines meat as it pertains to food as, "any edible portion of a livestock carcass that does not contain lab-grown, cell-cultured, insect, or plant-based food products."
In a recent survey of 1,200 Texas consumers, one in five of the respondents who had purchased a plant-based product indicated they felt misled by the labels noting that they thought the product contained real meat.
The same survey also indicated that 71% of Texas consumers routinely examine food labels before making grocery store purchases. Additionally, 74% prefer to ban cell-cultured tissue and plant-based products from using words like meat, beef, chicken, eggs, or images of livestock on their packages if the product does not contain actual meat or eggs.
Likewise, two-thirds of respondents in a recent national consumer study believed imitation products labeled as meat contained real beef or some form of animal byproduct.
"The sole focus of this bill is to assure consumers, like me, that the labels on the food we purchase are truthful," Richards said. "This bill provides certainty that a package of beef is beef."
Joining Richards in support of the bill were Shalene McNeill, Ph.D., nutrition scientist, registered dietician and past president of the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and Rhonda Miller, Ph.D., meat and consumer scientist and past president of the American Meat Science Association (AMSA).
“Artificial product labels are misleading, whether it be ultra-processed plant-based or cell-cultured tissue,” McNeill said. “And this undermines the consumer’s ability to make reliable decisions about what they are eating.
“The food label is one of the most sacred promises we have to maintain consumer’s confidence about their food choices. I can’t think of a food more important than meat to label truthfully and accurately,” she said. “Whether you are a meat eater or a vehement vegetarian, you want to know for sure if you are buying real meat or not.”
According to McNeill, health professionals are increasingly skeptical and concerned that ultra-processed alternatives labeled meat may be detrimental to human health.
“These products are not healthier,” she said. “They have added sodium and are higher in fat and calories than real lean beef. Foods are unique in their food offering, and no other food source offers the same nutrient mix. A three oz. serving of beef, for example, provides 10 essential nutrients, including high quality-protein, zinc, iron and B vitamins.”
Miller said that consistent labeling across federal and state agencies is crucial for consumer confidence in the food system.
Current USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service definitions for labeling of products that contain non-meat, protein-based materials provide standards of identity so that real beef products that do not contain non-meat ingredients have recognized names, such as ground beef or hamburger. But when non-meat ingredients such as plant-based materials are added, the final product cannot be called ground beef. Rather it must be called Ground Beef and Isolated Soy Protein, for example.
"These regulations have been in place for an extended period, to protect the consumer, and have withstood the test of time," Miller said. "H.B. 316 is needed to protect and help educate consumers, increase their confidence and unify labeling declarations for cell-culture tissue and plant-based food products that are computing in the traditional meat space."
Winter weather continues to affect Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. The Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) issued an emergency order on Feb. 12 to prioritize the use of natural gas for human needs and operation of gas fired electrical generation. All other users of natural gas were advised to curtail use. On Feb. 17, the RRC extended the order through Feb. 23.
“The entire beef supply chain across Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico has been affected by grueling weather conditions this week. Despite the harsh conditions, feedyard employees and cattle care remained a top priority. In addition to our challenges at the feedyards, packing plant closures and reduced processing capacity have also been significant challenges,” Scott Anderson, TCFA chairman, said.
“Feedyards were fortunate that the weather was predicted in advance, and cattle feeders were prepared to adjust and pivot, as necessary. Feedyards were encouraged to scale back their use of limited natural gas and electrical resources in coordination with their energy providers and worked with commodity and fuel suppliers to ensure availability of critical inputs. Crews worked around the clock, sacrificing their own comfort, to keep equipment running, check on every animal and make sure feed and water stayed plentiful. These individuals kept feedyard operations running,” he said.
Ben Weinheimer, TCFA vice president, noted for Farm Journal that cattle feeders immediately began consulting with nutritionists to ensure cattle health and well-being and initiated multiple conversations with state officials and gas companies to ensure animal safety.
Additionally, Gov. Abbott waived oversize and overweight permits allowing critical infrastructure, food, water and supplies to travel on state highways. He also waived the state Hours of Service requirement.
TCFA continues to communicate with the Texas Animal Health Commission, RRC, Governor’s office, the Texas Department of Emergency Management, and natural gas and energy companies.
Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo), Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock), Rep. Ken King (R-Canadian), Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo) and Rep. John Smithee (R-Amarillo) have all been in close contact with TCFA to work through issues. In those conversations, TCFA emphasized the importance of restoring gas supplies to processing plants in our region as soon as possible to prevent extended supply chain disruptions like those that occurred during COVID.
TCFA is working with Texas A&M AgriLife and the Ag and Food Policy Center to compile an economic impact assessment to document the impact this winter weather event has had on cattle feeders and other crop and livestock producers. The information will be provided to elected officials and state agency representatives to emphasize the urgency of much needed improvements in energy infrastructure.
Cattle producers may also be eligible for emergency assistance from USDA through programs that are administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) such as the Emergency Assistance for Livestock Program (ELAP), Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP). A summary of disaster assistance programs available to producers impacted by winter weather is available here. A more comprehensive summary of FSA disaster assistance programs can be found here. Producers should contact their local FSA office for more information.
From pen riding to working in the mill or driving a feed truck, there is little Luis Garcia hasn’t done at Kirkland Feedyard. A jack of all trades, Garcia’s days can differ. But one thing is steady: his first responsibility is to manage the feed bunks. It’s a crucial job he takes great pride in.
“My job is to look at the bunks every day before the feed trucks go to the bunk and see what I need to do to adjust the feed,” Garcia says. “I want to know for sure these cattle have enough feed in the bunks.”
If feed is left in the bunks, Garcia makes sure it is cleaned so no mold accumulates.
Garcia’s love for cattle care stems from his upbringing on his family’s farm and ranch. He has worked at the feedyard since 1983 and understands that successful cattle feeding begins with proper cattle care.
“We want to be sure cattle are fed right,” he says.
Managing feed bunks, or calling feed, is essential to an efficient feedyard. The process ensures cattle are delivered the right quantity and quality of feed every day to minimize variation. A successful bunk manager must be observant, responsive and above all else, understand the cattle in their care. Garcia fits the description to a tee.
“I love the animals. I like to take care of them, like myself,” he says. “I do my best to do anything for the cattle and for the company, too.”
Yesterday the House released details of a $1.4 trillion FY21 omnibus and $900 billion COVID-relief package. It is TCFA's understanding that both chambers intend to clear the stimulus bill, which will be paired with the year-end spending measure, by midnight when the latest CR is set to expire.
Below are some high-level details on key provisions of relevance to cattle producers. Full text of the COVID agreement can be found here, and a summary of all agriculture provisions can be found here. Several of the provisions listed below have been priorities for NCBA since the start of the pandemic and were ultimately included as a direct result of our advocacy efforts on capitol hill.
Includes $11 billion for USDA’s Office of the Secretary to prevent, prepare for and respond to coronavirus by providing support to agricultural producers, growers and processors. From this amount, the Secretary:
CFAP for Cattle Producers – As mentioned above, the bill provides additional assistance for cattle producers impacted during the height of the pandemic. The mathematical formula for determining the cattle payment is as follows:
Slaughter/Fed cattle, Feeder cattle +600, Feeder cattle -600:
Slaughter/Mature cattle and All Other Cattle:
To ensure assistance more closely aligns with actual losses, USDA is required to make supplemental CFAP 1 and CFAP 2 payments, subject to available funds, not to exceed 80% of losses, notwithstanding payment limits, and broadening agriculture income for AGI purposes to include agricultural sales, including gains, agricultural services, sale of agricultural real estate and prior year net operating loss carry forward.
Grants for Improvements to Meat and Poultry Facilities to Allow for Interstate Shipment – The bill provides $60 million to make facility upgrade and planning grants to existing meat and poultry processors to help them move to federal inspection and be able to sell their products across state lines. The bill also requires USDA to work with states and report on ways to improve the existing Cooperative Interstate Shipment program. This is a modified version of the RAMP UP Act, spearheaded by NCBA earlier this Congress.
Meat and Poultry Processing Study and Report – The bill requires a report on the availability of financing for new and existing meat and poultry processing capacity.
PPP Tax Deductibility – The bill specifies that forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans will not be included in taxable income. Additionally it clarifies that deductions are allowed for expenses paid with proceeds of a forgiven PPP loan, effective as of the date of enactment of the CARES Act and applicable to subsequent PPP loans. The bill also includes $284 billion in a second round of PPP loans and simplifies the forgiveness process for loans under $150,000.
Statutory Dealer Trust – The bill establishes a Federal livestock dealer trust, similar to the Packer Trust. Note, this provision is identical to the Securing All Livestock Equitably (SALE) Act of 2020.
FY 21 Omnibus:
Please note that we are reviewing the 5,593 package but believe the above covers the bulk of relevant cattle industry provisions. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with questions or additional information.