(TOPEKA) – Ranchers, feeders and dairy producers addressed business concerns through policy approved at the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) Convention, December 3-4 in Wichita. KLA members voted to endorse resolutions dealing with taxes, livestock marketing, transportation issues and water policy, among others.
“These resolutions were built on member input, starting with roundtable discussions across the state this fall, continuing through committee and council meetings at the convention and ultimately gaining approval from the general KLA membership during the annual meeting,” said KLA President Mark Smith, a rancher and farmer from Sharon Springs.
A number of resolutions have application to the state’s current budget challenges. As lawmakers look for additional revenue going into the 2010 Kansas legislative session, KLA members support continued sales tax exemptions for inputs and livestock. These include exemptions on new and used farm machinery, grain storage facilities, drying and cleaning equipment, repair parts and the service and labor on repairs. Kansas would be at a disadvantage to surrounding states if these exemptions were lost.
KLA members support continuation of the Kansas Animal Health Department (KAHD) as a stand-alone agency. This policy is based on the belief that effectively protecting the health of the state’s livestock population is important to the overall economy, and KAHD, as a stand-alone agency, is best suited to the task.
A viable transportation system is the subject of one resolution. Members support passage of a new, comprehensive transportation plan for Kansas. Language suggests the new plan should prioritize the maintenance of existing transportation systems and the construction of major infrastructure projects connecting the economic activities of Kansas with other states.
KLA members adopted a new resolution supporting the prohibition on harvesting non-ambulatory cattle for human consumption. This policy suggests non-ambulatory cattle should be humanely euthanized.
Long-standing policy opposing government regulations that narrow the business interests or limit the management and marketing freedoms of individual producers was retained. Another resolution charges KLA with guarding members’ freedom of choice to conduct business and utilize marketing programs as they see fit.
A new resolution suggests futures contract specifications match industry needs and facilitate convergence of futures prices with the cash market. KLA members believe this is necessary for a meaningful risk management system.
Proposed changes to the Clean Water Act (CWA) are opposed in KLA policy. Members oppose expanding CWA jurisdiction by redefining “waters of the U.S.” The resolution also opposes amendments to CWA that would usurp state primacy issues or impair state water allocations, management systems and property rights.
Water conservation was addressed during policy discussions. KLA members support continuation of the Water Rights Conservation Program administered by the Kansas Division of Water Resources.
The KLA membership formed new policy opposing the translocation of wild and feral horses and burros to geographic areas outside the western U.S. Members favor, as an alternative, using humane means to reduce the population and manage these animals.
KLA is a trade organization representing the state’s livestock business on legislative, regulatory and industry issues at both the state and federal levels. The association’s mission of protecting members’ common business interests and enhancing their ability to meet consumer demand is funded through voluntary dues dollars paid by its members.