Click to hear KMZU’s Nathan Stuedle speak with Missouri Cattlemen’s Association Executive Vice President Mike Deering:
The 47th annual Cattle Industry Convention held at Osage Beach has been labeled a success. Executive Vice President Mike Deering says the event saw the largest attendance since 1996. “Cattlemen are in good spirits, prices are good, and I think there’s a level of certainty right now,” said Deering, “Of course, there’s really no such thing as certainty in the cattle business, but I do think we have a better idea of where we’re going. We all had the opportunity to network and we had a great cattlemen’s college and some educational opportunities. We also had a good trade show and got to see some of the new tools and technology out there.”
Identifying legislative priorities for 2015 was a top agenda-item and Deering said many of these are items that were vetoed last year by Governor Jay Nixon in Senate Bill 506. “An increase in the hauling limits in Missouri, enabling producers to vote on a beef checkoff, as well as legislation to expand the equine liability act to all livestock. Another big initiative will be beginning farmers. We have some innovative language that we’re going to push for very hard to try and give beginner farmers a leg-up here in Missouri. The biggest challenge to Missouri agriculture, and all of agriculture, is the growing age of the cattle producer.”
The association will a pursue eliminating the use of taxpayer dollars by state agencies and commissioners for lobbying the legislature, as well as support efforts to placing a sunset on the conservation sales tax.
Members also selected their “Legislator of the Year”, 39th District Representative JoeDon McGaugh. “Our policies and legislative affairs committee reviews all the issues we go through in the year and who takes the lead on those issues and is always there to support us,” said Deering, “It’s hard to find a legislator more support of agriculture than Joe Don McGaugh. He not only leads bill, but he will stand up on the floor and fight for agriculture. He knows it’s the number one industry here in the state and that the beef cattle industry has more people in that business than any other segment of agriculture.”