China Reopens Trade to U.S. Beef
The government of China conditionally agreed to resume imports of U.S. beef at the 17th annual senior-level meeting of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), the American Meat Institute (AMI) reported. In 2003, China accounted for $100 million in beef exports.
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said the agreement came “after lengthy technical discussions and is based on evidence that our safeguards work and that science supports the safety of U.S. beef.”
U.S. and Chinese inspection authorities will discuss conditions for resuming U.S. beef exports in the near future, the AMI article said. China also committed to addressing U.S. trade concerns, including enhancing access of U.S. companies, farmers and ranchers to the Chinese market.
Initiated in 1983, the JCCT is an ongoing dialogue to address issues affecting U.S.-China trade and investment, the AMI article explained.
CRP Re-enrollment Deadline Friday
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) participants with contracts expiring on Sept. 30, 2007, have until Friday, April 14, to apply for re-enrollment or extension, according to a notice from the Farm Service Agency (FSA).
The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) ranked the expiring 2007 contracts using the Environmental Benefits Index and will offer renewal contracts with varying length depending on a land’s index score.
The general sign-up deadline for CRP enrollment is also this Friday. For more information see www.fsa.usda.gov/pas/fullstory.asp?storyID=2290.
National Beef Ambassadors Visit the Capital
Four of the beef industry’s top youth leaders recently viewed the inner workings of the federal government and its effect on the beef industry. Thanks to a donation from an anonymous supporter, National Beef Ambassadors Amanda Nolz of South Dakota, Peter Scharpe of Minnesota, Josh McCubbins of Kentucky and Angelle Johnson of Louisiana were able to participate in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) 2006 Spring Conference on Capitol Hill. Scharpe is a member of the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA).
The National Beef Ambassador Program (NBAP) aims to provide leadership training for the youth beef ambassadors. The NCBA Spring Conference provides an excellent opportunity for the participants to put their training to practical use. Each of the beef ambassadors spent a day accompanying their state cattlemen’s delegation as they called on their state’s members of Congress. They also made visits to several federal regulatory agencies.
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns and other officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) also addressed the participants. Each of the ambassadors had the opportunity to speak with Secretary Johanns and learn about critical issues such as animal identification (ID), international trade and disease surveillance.
The conference also gave the ambassadors an up-close perspective on future opportunities they may have to advance the beef industry. Scharpe said, “I hope to attend this conference another time. I really feel it makes a great deal of difference for the beef industry.”
release provided NCBA on behalf of the American National CattleWomen Inc.
compiled by Meghan Soderstrom, assistant editor, Angus Productions Inc.
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