by Mike Deering
From the estate tax to the 2012 Farm Bill and the Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed on-farm child labor regulations, lawmakers in Washington, D.C., need to hear from young cattlemen and women about how legislation and regulations impact cattle operations nationwide.
Attending the 2012 NCBA Legislative Conference April 17-19 in Washington, D.C., will give cattlemen and women the opportunity to meet with key congressional and agency influencers and articulate policy priorities of our industry for the future.
Many say that the decline in cowboys is a matter on national security. I, for one, would have to agree. We must inform elected leaders and officials at regulatory agencies that decisions made inside the Beltway have a direct impact on families providing food and fiber to a growing global population, which is expected to increase from about 7 billion today to 10 billion people by 2050. The next generation of farmers and ranchers must talk one-on-one with these leaders to ensure bad decisions – intentional or not – aren’t made that prevent you from taking over the family business.
For one, the estate tax is reported to be one of the leaders in the breakup of multigenerational family farms. First of all, death should not be a taxable event. While many claim this is simply a tax on the wealthy elite, the fact remains that farmers and ranchers are forced to spend a lot of dollars on lawyers, estate planners and more to deal with this erroneous tax. Some have to sell off pieces of land, usually to urban development, just to pay the tax. NCBA supports full and permanent repeal of the tax. Realizing that may not be possible, we support extending the current temporary level of 35 percent on estates worth $5 million per individual or $10 million per couple. Members of Congress have heard from NCBA staff on this issue but they need to hear it straight from you. Tell these members of Congress how this tax would impact your ability to keep the family business intact.
On the regulatory front, DOL’s proposed rules pertaining to on-farm child labor were obviously written without hearing from you about the importance of 4-H, FFA and good old fashioned work. DOL wants to essentially prohibit youth from being exposed to farm and ranch work. This has little to do with farm safety and a lot to do regulatory officials refusing to venture away from the city sidewalks and talk to real people in rural America. This is where the NCBA Legislative Conference comes into the picture. We want you here to tell these officials the facts – tell them your personal stories.
From legislation to regulations, you can make a difference.
Click here for more information about the conference. Registration for the conference can be completed online or by downloading a registration form and mailing it to NCBA. The conference will be held at the Dupont Circle Hotel in Washington, D.C. If you have questions or need assistance registering for the conference, contact Valerie Proni at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-850-3326.