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Austin, Texas

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) hosted their annual Policy Conference Sept. 28-30 in Austin, Texas and adopted new policies related to surface water rights, beef sustainability and live cattle contracts. Over 300 TSCRA members and guests attended this year’s Policy Conference.

TSCRA adopted surface water rights policy supporting the “Prior Appropriation Doctrine,” otherwise known as “first in time - first in right,” surface water right system in Texas. The policy opposes legislative and regulatory changes to the surface water rights system that would negatively affect agricultural producers. This action also supports the protection of surface water right holders from any efforts or initiatives that would negatively affect surface water flow and remove or diminish the availability of surface water regulated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

TSCRA also adopted new policy to ensure the beef industry’s leadership role in the growing global conversation about the topic of sustainably produced beef. The beef sustainability policy enacted supports a sustainable beef industry in which the full value chain is able to balance economic viability, environmental stewardship and social responsibility while meeting the growing global demand for beef.

TSCRA approved another policy regarding delivery of live cattle contracts, which serves to promote convergence of cash and futures prices and produce a more consistent basis. The new policy states TSCRA opposes any changes by the CME Group that would create a cash settlement process for live cattle in the place of live delivery and any contract changes which would adversely affect a cattle producer’s ability to deliver on live cattle contracts.

Lastly, the TSCRA Cattle Health and Well-Being Committee discussed the issues of cattle fever ticks and chronic wasting disease (CWD). The TSCRA Property Rights and Tax Committee discussed eminent domain, surface damage and municipal growth issues. TSCRA Policy Conference attendees also heard from many invited guests and state leaders who gave their perspectives on the upcoming 85th Texas Legislative Session.

“TSCRA leaders covered a lot of ground at this year’s Policy Conference,” said Richard Thorpe, TSCRA president and rancher from Winters, Texas. “The new policies enacted and issues addressed at this meeting will help to better serve our members and fellow ranchers who work hard daily to provide beef for consumers worldwide. We look forward to continuing our work and serving the ranching industry."

TSCRA is a 139-year-old trade association and is the largest and oldest livestock organization based in Texas. TSCRA has more than 17,000 beef cattle operations, ranching families and businesses as members. These members represent approximately 50,000 individuals directly involved in ranching and beef production who manage 4 million head of cattle on 76 million acres of range and pasture land primarily in Texas and Oklahoma, but throughout the Southwest.

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