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Karina Jones is a real-life ranch wife in the Nebraska Sandhills, former Field Director for R-CalfUSA and one of the most highly sought-after speakers in the cattle industry nationwide!
Good day everyone in farm & ranch country.
Looks like more than American cattle producers have beef with USDA’s recent announcement to open our borders and market to Paraguay beef. Now, Congress has stepped in.
U.S. Senators Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) introduced bipartisan legislation to suspend beef imports from Paraguay. The senators’ bill would also require the establishment of a working group to evaluate the threat to food safety and animal health posed by Paraguayan beef. This comes after the Biden administration recently lifted a long-standing ban on Paraguayan beef imports.
Senator Rounds stated, “Paraguay has historically struggled to contain outbreaks of foot and mouth disease. Unfortunately, the Biden administration has prioritized diplomatic initiatives in the region over the interests of the American cattle industry. This poses a significant threat to not only our producers, but our consumers as well. Consumers should be able to confidently feed their families beef that has met the rigorous standards required in the United States.”
“Montana ranchers work tirelessly to ensure their livestock are safe,” said Tester. “Paraguay has failed to meet the standard put forward by Montana ranchers. That’s why I’m leading bipartisan legislation to stand up to the Biden Administration and block beef imports from Paraguay until we have good, reliable data to show they can meet these same high standards as American ranchers.”
This legislation is supported by R-CALF USA, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).
“We applaud Senator Rounds and Senator Tester for introducing this bill to protect both American livestock and American citizens,” said Bill Bullard, CEO of R-CALF USA. “By requiring a timely and thorough evaluation of potential risks to disease introduction and food safety associated with importing fresh and frozen beef from Paraguay, the bill will ensure that America’s food supply remains safe and it’s cattle herd remains healthy.”
“The U.S. cattle industry has been absolutely clear on the immediate need to halt the importation of beef from countries such as Paraguay and Brazil,” said Justin Tupper, President of U.S. Cattlemen’s Association. “There are numerous reasons to take action. Senators Rounds and Tester continue to demand accountability and transparency from countries like Paraguay and Brazil.”
“The United States has the highest food safety and animal health standards in the world, and any country who wishes to trade with the United States must demonstrate that they can meet those standards,” said Ethan Lane, Vice President of Government Affairs of NCBA. “Paraguay’s long history of foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks and the lack of recent site visits, makes importing beef from Paraguay too risky.”
It is great to see all 3 major cattle organizations agreeing on this issue. Let’s hope Congress can unite, as well, and lend their support to this legislation.
Join me right back here next week as I bring you more ag news from our nation’s capital.
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Karina ranches with her husband, Marty, and 4 children near Broken Bow, NE. She grew up in western NE, with roots also in southwest SD. The cattle industry and raising kids is her passion.
Tune in Fridays on The Hot Barn Report, where she deep dives into cattle industry issues and highlights industry reforms or listen to Ranch Raised with Karina Jones a slice of daily life on the Jones Ranch.