Livestock committee hears testimony on bill set to impact Kansas producers

Published: May. 18, 2023 at 7:34 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Congressional livestock committee recently heard testimony from farmers and ranchers about a bill that will heavily impact producers in the Sunflower State.

On Wednesday, May 17, U.S. Congressman Trace Mann (R-KS) - Chairman of the Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Subcommittee - says he hosted a hearing on Capitol Hill to discuss the most pressing issues for livestock producers. He said witnesses included:

  • Todd Wilkinson, President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCSB)
  • Scott Hayes, President of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC)
  • John Zimmerman, Vice President of the National Turkey Federation (NTF)
  • Bryan Burns, Vice President & Association General Counsel at the North American Meat Institute (NAMI)
  • Laurie Hubbard, Region I Director for the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI)
  • Kelsey Scott, Director of Programs for the Intertribal Agriculture Agriculture Council

“As Congress works to craft livestock policy and to reauthorize the Farm Bill, it is vital that we hear from those directly involved in the day-to-day business of feeding the world,” Representative Mann said. “That’s why today’s hearing was so important – it brought together leaders from across the entire livestock sector. I was eager to learn from them about whether existing Farm Bill programs needed to be tweaked or enhanced to ensure producer success and ways regulation might be getting in their way.”

Mann indicated that he and subcommittee members asked questions. His line of questioning focused on lessening the burden of unfunded mandates on producers, pushing back on unnecessary rules and strengthening markets for protein exports.

“Today’s hearing goes to show that farmers, ranchers, and agricultural producers are all in this together,” Mann noted. “From commodity growers to livestock producers—everyone represents a piece of the American agriculture picture. We must remember that, for example, our commodity producers greatly benefit from a strong livestock sector as livestock consumes grain. The livestock sector benefits from the biofuels industry as that industry relies on them as an important feed source. Agriculture is extremely interconnected.”

Mann’s constituents include the Big First in Kansas, which is home to 60,000 farms and ranches and is the third-largest agriculture production district. He noted that Kansas producers sell $10 billion in livestock, dairy, poultry and products like beef, milk and eggs annually.