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Boots on the Hill: NCBA and PLC host cattle producers from across the nation to discuss ag policy  

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Following two years of holding an online conference due to the residual effects of COVID-19, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and Public Lands Council (PLC) played host to a group of cattle producers from across the nation, who converged on Capitol Hill April 24-25 to discuss ag policy directly with legislators. 

“We had over 300 boots on the Hill here in Washington, D.C. for the legislative conference this week, and cattle producers had a great opportunity to meet members of Congress and talk about some of the issues they are facing,” explains NCBA’s Director of Policy Communications Hunter Ihrman during an episode of NCBA’s Beltway Beef podcast, dated May 2. 

During the podcast, Ihrman sits down with NCBA’s Executive Director of Government Affairs Allison Rivera to discuss the event.

Voicing concerns

Rivera notes the NCBA and PLC Spring
Legislative Conference is specifically designed to give U.S. cattle producers a chance to visit Capitol Hill and speak directly to members of Congress on current concerns in the agriculture industry.

“They are able to brief members of Congress on the things that are important to them and their states – things they really need to be paying attention to,” she says. “They get to sit down and tell their stories to individuals who are part of the regulatory process, which is so impactful.” 

Rivera further notes one of the overarching concerns she heard from producers during the conference related to priorities in the upcoming farm bill.

“Some of these priorities include voluntary conservation and how producers are the best stewards of the land, maintaining and furthering funding for animal health provisions and making sure disaster and risk management programs will continue to be available to producers down the road,” she explains. 

“We have a great staff here at NCBA, and we spend a lot of time on the Hill sharing producer stories. But, nothing beats hearing directly from cattle producers,” she continues. “I know it is hard for them to leave their farms and ranches, but it really does matter when they come to town, and it is extremely impactful.”

Celebrating conservation

On the last day of the conference, NCBA held their Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) Reception and Award Ceremony, where they announced Carter Cattle Company, LLC of Pintlala, Ala. as the 2022 National ESAP Award winner. 

The operation was selected from a group of six other regional winners who were recognized during the Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in New Orleans in February. 

These regional winners include Lamb Farms, Inc. of Oakfield, N.Y.; Huth Polled Herefords and S&H Livestock Enterprises, LLC of Oakfield, Wis.; Parks Ranch of Goliad County, Texas; Mannix Brothers Ranch of Helmville, Mont.; Fulstone Ranches of Smith, Nevada and Jorgensen Land and Cattle Partnership of Ideal, S.D.

NCBA explains the award annually recognizes the outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of cattle producers throughout the country who work daily to improve public and private lands and run sustainable businesses. 

During the ceremony, NCBA President Todd Wilkinson stated, “Carter Cattle Company is an excellent example of how cattle producers across the country undertake stewardship efforts unique to their environment, landscape and resources. The Carters are keenly focused on conserving natural resources for future generations.”

Dr. Will Carter expressed his gratitude while accepting the award.

“It is an honor and lifelong dream to receive this award and extremely humbling. We are in the cattle business, but we are in the grass business first. Our job is to manage the grass and allocate it to the cattle that then take the resource and produce something of greater value,” he said. 

“I think the biggest take away from the ceremony was the fact our producers are the best stewards of the land and how important it is for them, particularly the winners from the great state of Alabama,” Rivera notes in the podcast. 

“Sometimes, it is hard to break through those Washington, D.C. bubbles, so it was great to hold the event here and be able to showcase what producers are out there doing every day to a wide array of agency officials and Hill staffers,” she concludes. 

Hannah Bugas is the managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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