TCFA was among 119 Texas industry groups that sent a letter to Congress this week calling for swift action and support of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The groups reinforced the need for ratification of USMCA in order to provide certainty for the many business sectors in Texas, including agriculture, that rely on trade with Canada and Mexico, while in turn contributing to the U.S. economy.
“USMCA would create much needed certainty for Texas farm and ranch families who contribute to the economy and feed and clothe millions worldwide,” the letter stated. “Over 60,400 Texas jobs are supported by exporting agricultural products to Mexico and Canada. The annual value of Texas’ agricultural exports to our North American neighbors totals more than $7.2 billion. USMCA would only build on these achievements by breaking down existing trade barriers and opening more market access for products like beef, dairy, corn, wheat and pork.”
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Mexican Senate passed the USMCA becoming the first country to ratify the new trade agreement.
“The Texas beef industry has flourished under sound trade policies. The beef supply chains between the United States, Mexico and Canada have worked together for decades to serve consumers at home and abroad a safe and consistent supply of affordable, quality beef," said Levi Berry, TCFA chairman. "We must protect this vital trade relationship by ratifying the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.”
In a statement, U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-The Woodlands) also praised Mexico and reiterated Congress’ need for swift action.
“Today’s action, combined with passage of Mexico’s landmark labor legislation earlier this spring, demonstrates Mexico’s solid commitment to serious reform and tough new rules to create fairer trade. Now it’s time for the U.S. Congress to pass USMCA as soon as possible to unlock the benefits of this agreement for U.S. workers and our local businesses. The longer Congress delays, the more our country loses out on new jobs, more customers for Made-in-America goods, and a stronger economy,” Brady said.
Wednesday marks National Jerky Day which means people from across the country will head to social media to proclaim their love for one of America's favorite snack foods. Rightfully so. Research shows that spreading protein intake evenly throughout the day - about 25 to 30 grams per meal or snack - may be the most beneficial for overall health and wellness. Snacking on beef jerky is a great way to help meet those goals.
But for cattle feeders, National Jerky Day, has a deeper meaning. A few years ago, a local charity organization in the Panhandle, Snack Pak 4 Kids, came to the beef and dairy community with a need. The organization had a system in place to help end weekend hunger for local children by providing a backpack filled with kid-friendly snacks each Friday of the school year, but one key element was missing from the backpack: animal protein. And what better protein to help fuel the body and mind of a young child than beef and milk.
Fast forward a few years later, and the need sparked an idea that became a reality. Now, more than 10,000 kids in the Texas Panhandle and 24,000 across the nation receive weekend bags filled with nutritious food, including the SP4K Beef Stik and Fairlife Milk, to sustain them through the weekend. The beef stick is made from 100% premium beef chuck roast and brisket and produced locally in the Texas Panhandle.
The addition of these products added an extra 54 grams of protein to each bag. That's a tremendous nutritional improvement, and it is making a difference. In fact, teachers from participating schools report better attendance, academic performance and behavior.
It gets better. For every beef stick you buy, another is provided for a child in need.
You can help provide protein for kids in need in a number of ways:
1. Buy SP4K Beef Stiks. You can order a case online, or you can purchase in-store at Pak-A-Sak,
Toot 'n Totum, Allsup's or Texas Tea.
2. Consider SP4K Beef Stiks for your next school fundraiser. Raise money for your school,
club or cause and support hungry kids.
3. Sponsor protein or dairy for your local school's SP4K Program.
4. Donate live animals to the SP4K Beef Fund. Call (806) 337-5252 for logistical information.
5. Give out SP4K Beef Stiks. What better way to spread the story of the beef and dairy communities working to end childhood hunger than by giving out sticks at your next event or meeting.
Every stick purchased provides another for a child in need. So far, because of your support, we've been able to provide over 160,000 beef sticks to kids, and that number keeps growing.
Good news for cattle feeders regarding the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge George Hanks, of the Southern District of Texas, ruled that the Obama administration failed to adequately notify the public of key working changes in its 2015 rule redefining “Waters of the United States” or WOTUS.
The summary judgement sends the rule back to the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers on grounds that it violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in making changes in the final rule that were not proposed in the preliminary rule.
Court rulings across the country have created a patchwork of WOTUS implementation, with the 2015 rule in force in 22 states but blocked in 28. This week’s ruling does not change that, but it does validate what TCFA and NCBA have said all along — that the rule is illegal and must go.
“For years TCFA feedyards have dealt with uncertainty regarding Obama’s 2015 WOTUS rule,” said Tom McDonald, 2015 TCFA chairman and leader on TCFA’s work to replace the 2015 rule. “We hope this decision will expedite that process. In the meantime, TCFA will still work with Congress to put an end to the 2015 rule.”