Action Alert (Texas): New Tax on Farmers? Just Say No!

Texas Beef Checkoff Dollar Tax

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The Big Beef industry wants to double the tax that cattle owners pay for every sale of their animals. Please help us stop this!

Quick Links:

  • Take Action #1 — Spread the Word
  • Take Action #2 — Be Prepared to Vote
  • Take Action #3 — Call Your Legislators
  • More Information

  • Under the federal “Checkoff” program, a farmer is already legally required to pay $1 for every cow sold. That may not sound like a lot, but it added up to over $11 million in taxes on Texas farmers and ranchers last year.

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    Action Alert (Texas): Vote NO On Prop 6 – Not the Real Answer to Texas Water Crisis

     
    Water is our most precious resource. As the drought of 2011 so painfully reminded us, our farmers and ranchers cannot survive without sufficient water for their crops and animals.

    In 2011, Texas voters approved $6 billion for a revolving fund to loan money to local government entities for water infrastructure, without being subject to constitutional debt limitations. But no bonds have been issued under that program.

    Now, just two years later, the legislature is asking voters to approve Proposition 6, to take $2 billion from the state’s emergency fund, known as the Rainy Day Fund, to help underwrite such loans.

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    Action Alert: Speak Up for Pastured Egg Farms

     
    The FDA is yet again putting burdens on farmers who use healthy, sustainable practices, and justifying them with fear-based assumptions rather than data. The agency’s latest move is a draft guidance document that will make it all but impossible for farmers with 3,000 or more laying hens to keep the birds on pasture.

    Click here for more information about how to take action; keep reading to learn more about the history behind FDA’s guidance document.

    The stated goal is to prevent the spread of salmonella from wild birds and other animals to the hens. But there is absolutely no evidence that pastured chickens pose a food safety threat. To the contrary, all the major incidents of salmonella in eggs have come from confinement factory farms.

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    Information on the 2012 Census of Agriculture

    Several people have contacted us with concerns about the census they have received from the USDA, specifically the National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) division of the agency. Given the instances of government harassment of small farmers, any request by the USDA for people’s information understandably causes concern.

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    Action Alert: USDA Proposes Changes to Animal Welfare Act Regulations

    Under current law, most small-scale animal breeders are exempt from the Animal Welfare Act because they sell their animals directly to individual purchasers and are therefore classified as “retail pet stores.” The USDA has proposed a rule, however, that would narrow the definition of retail pet store so that it only applies to places where the buyer physically comes to the property for each and every pet sold, such as a traditional brick-and-mortar pet store.

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    Farm Bill 2012 Alerts

    The Senate is debating the Farm Bill right now, and there are several amendments that need your calls!

    Please call your U.S. Senators as soon as possible about the amendments listed below. If you don’t know who represents you, you can find out at www.senate.gov or call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

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    HR 3798: Eggs

    Several farmers have received an email asking that they endorse HR 3798. This bill was developed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the United Egg Producers (UEP). HR 3798 requires larger cages for laying hens and so-called “enriched” environments, limits the amount of ammonia in the hen houses, and prohibits forced moulting through starvation. The provisions would be phased in over a 15-year period.

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    New Rule on Nutritional Labeling for Meat

    On March 1, 2012, a federal rule requiring nutrition labeling of meat went into effect. The rule was originally proposed back in 2001. The final rule requires sellers to provide consumers with nutrition information for the “major cuts” of single-ingredient raw meat and poultry products, unless an exemption applies. Nutrition information for these products will be required either on their label or at their point-of-purchase (such as by a flyer or a sign). The final rule also requires nutrition labels on all ground or chopped meat and poultry products, with or without added seasonings, unless an exemption applies.

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