Last week legislation was introduced by Representative Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., that would make law an agreement between the Humane Society of the United States and the United Egg Producers establishing federally mandated egg production practices.
National Cattlemen's Beef Association President Bill Donald, a rancher from Melville, Mont., expressed NCBA's disappointment in the introduction of the deal. Much of agricultural production agreed with his assessment.
A point that Donald emphasized was that this bill is going to involve the role of federal government in production practices in American agriculture.
"We firmly believe the role of the federal government is not to dictate or mandate agricultural production practices in any segment," Donald said. "Whether it be eggs, cattle, pork, turkeys, whatever. That is something that should be driven by consumers and enacted by producers."
NCBA Vice President of Governmental Affairs Colin Woodall says that this legislation is a huge concern for NCBA.
"Even though there are a lot of rules and regulations that we have to comply with in order to be in agriculture, as of yet Congress has never dictated how we produce our animals," Woodall said. "If this agreement goes through it sets a precedent for similar type of legislation to be put upon the pork producers, the cattle producers, anybody else in livestock, because in Washington, D.C. it's all about precedent."
Donald urged members of Congress to reject this legislation and to work with food producers to empower and enable them to continue raising the healthiest, safest and most wholesome food supply in the world.
Use the video player below to view National Cattlemen's Beef Association President Bill McDonald express his views at the 2012 NCBA Cattlemen's Convention in Nashville, Tenn., about the legislation that would set federal standards for egg production and possibly open all of production agriculture up for increased regulation.