The 2015 Iowa Legislative Session
The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association has adopted policy on many issues, but will especially focus on these key issues during the 87th General Assembly of the Iowa Legislature.
Increased funding for Iowa’s rural road infrastructure – SUCCESSFUL. SF 257 was signed by Governor Terry Branstad on Feb. 25, 2015, and the 10-cent increase went into effect March 1, 2015. ICA worked for the passage of this bill since bridges and roads that are traveled regularly by Iowa farmers need attention. There have been continuous delays in addressing the shortfall in transportation infrastructure. Dollars raised through the bill will be a start to making necessary repairs and improvements.
A livestock truck wash bill, HF 583, was introduced by Representative Mike Sexton of Rockwell City in an effort to expedite building truck washes for those vehicles that haul livestock. “Right now, it takes 18 months to get the needed permits to build a truck wash because the effluent is considered industrial wastewater. With this bill, it would take 30 days for permits because the water would be treated like manure and could be land applied,” Sexton said. ICA supports the bill because it's important to have trucks cleaned after each delivery of livestock, and sometimes those truck washes are more than an hour away from the delivery point.
Increased funding for the ISU Ag Experiment Stations – There are over 750 active research projects underway at the Iowa State University Ag Experiment Stations around the state. This research is the basis for many farm management issues that help all Iowa, including efforts to protect the water as well as new management practices that improve livestock production. ICA supports the ISU request for an increase in its budget of $1.038 million, for a total request of $30.9 million. The Governor has this appropriation in his proposed budget, but no budget bills have been proposed from the House or Senate.
Secure funding for the ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Lab – This facility is one of the crucial links for evaluating and controlling livestock diseases in Iowa. In order to best prepare those veterinarians that are responsible for the food supply, ICA is supporting increased funding of $4 million for the lab.
This would include increased funding for Iowa Livestock Health Advisory Council (ILHAC). Currently, ILHAC is allocated just $200,000 to split among pork, dairy, beef, sheep and poultry research projects. ICA wants an increase in this funding to address these priority cattle diseases for Iowa: Trichomoniasis, Digital Dermatitis, Animal Well-being, and Bovine Respiratory Disease/Mycoplasma Bovis.
Trained labor force to work in the beef industry – ICA is asking the Iowa Legislature to support efforts that will increase collaboration between community colleges and post-secondary ag schools to develop curriculum and outcomes that would provide hands-on training for student in cattle production. ICA also supports increasing the skills and numbers of vet tech practitioners who use reproductive ultrasound. The Iowa Legislature can take action to encourage the Iowa Veterinarian Medical Association, the Iowa State University Department of Animal Science, the ISU Vet College, and the Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship to work together in developing reasonable and effective training and certification for vet tech practitioners.
Read how some of the bills that ICA watched in the 2014 session turned out.
The basis for ICA legislative activities
Producers have a voice in setting priorities and developing policy to support Iowa's cattle industry. ICA policies are developed at the ICA Annual Meeting and the policies are taken before the Iowa Legislature or the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Annual Convention. These policies result in new programs, laws or regulations that improve the state and national business climate for the beef industry.
Here is ICA policy for 2015:
• Beef Product
• Business Issues
• Cattle Production
You can also download the current ICA Policy Book.