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Senator Ricketts’ Weekly Column: Happy Beef Month, Nebraska!

Pete Ricketts Weekly Column

Nebraska is the Beef State. Agriculture is the heart and soul of what we do. Our farmers and ranchers lead the way in agricultural production, innovation, and conservation. Beef production is the backbone of our state economy. It’s also essential to our national security. As we finish celebrating Beef Month this week, we recognize the grit and determination of the women and men who feed America and the world.

Protecting and growing Nebraska beef is essential to our state’s survival and growth. Last year, we led the nation with $1.78 billion in beef and veal exports. Nebraska also led the nation in commercial cattle slaughter, with 6.8 million head. Our 20,000 beef cow operations have a $12.1 billion impact on our state’s economy. We have the top three cow producing counties in the nation in Cherry, Custer, and Holt counties. Beef production is critical to our state economy and our nation. Global supply chain disruptions have reinforced the need to prioritize food production at home. Nothing is more important to our national security than the ability to feed our people.

As U.S. Senator, I’m also fighting to ensure our ranchers have what they need to be successful. That includes passing a comprehensive Farm Bill and pushing back on burdensome mandates.

 I’ve heard directly from ranchers across Nebraska about the importance of a comprehensive Farm Bill. Nebraska ranchers rely on the certainty and stability of these programs to make decisions to sustain and grow their operations. I proudly supported the one-year extension passed in November to avoid a lapse in funding for critical programs. However, our ranchers deserve the certainty of a full, five-year Farm Bill reauthorization. I’m working with my colleagues to get it done as soon as possible. It’s important the Farm Bill maintain risk management tools such as Price Loss Coverage and Livestock Risk Protection (LRP). We need to protect funding for the USDA Vaccine Bank and voluntary, working lands-based conservation programs that protect our natural resources while protecting private property rights.

 I’m also pushing back on burdensome mandates that threaten our way of life and private property rights from the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. As Governor, I led the fight against the Biden administration’s 30x30 land grab. We successfully fought President Biden’s Waters of the United States rule which sought to regulate drainage ditches and farm ponds. I’m continuing to fight this kind of overreach in the Senate. I’m also leading bipartisan Congressional Review Act legislation to block the Biden administration’s delusional electric vehicle (EV) mandate. EVs just aren’t practical when you’re hauling livestock. Trucks can’t just pull over on the side of the road to charge for two hours in zero-degree or ninety-degree temperatures with a full trailer.

 Producers executing critical needs like beef production deserve relief, not regulation. I’ll continue working with my colleagues to pass a comprehensive Farm Bill. I’ll also keep fighting the Biden administration’s unworkable, delusional mandates with every tool I have.

 You too can play an important role in supporting Nebraska’s beef industry this Beef Month and all summer long. The Nebraska Beef Passport organized by the Nebraska Beef Council features a list of restaurants and meat processors from across the state that offer outstanding beef. Nebraskans purchase beef products and collect points at each participating location then redeem points for prizes and exclusive offers at participating locations.

 Happy Beef Month, Nebraska!