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Texas Poultry Federation Newsletter 595 ROUND ROCK WEST DRIVE, SUITE 305 ROUND ROCK, TX 78681 www.texaspoultry.org Phone (512) 248-0600 Fax (512) 248-0664 January – March 2011 Editor: Marta Wingert TEXAS POULTRY FEDERATION 2011 CONVENTION AND EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM The Texas Poultry Federation Annual Convention and Symposium will be held May 10 – 12, 2011 in College Station at the Hilton. Registration will be available on-site May 10 and the horseshoe tournament will be held. Registration will open at 9 am on May 11, followed by the symposium held from 10 – 2:30. Board meetings will follow. The Western Party will open at 6 pm at the Hilton followed by the TAPA Auction. All other activities such as golf, skeet, etc. will be held on May 12. If you haven’t received a convention packet and would like one, please call us at the phone number listed above. We are still in need of Western Party sponsors and auction items for the scholarship auction. PRESIDENT OBAMA’S PRIORITY ON FDA’S OVERALL FOOD SAFETY RESPONSIBILITIES In releasing his $3.73 trillion FY2012 budget proposal, President Obama signaled his priority on FDA’s overall food safety responsibilities, with a recommended funding increase of $324 million to begin implementation of the estimated $1.4 billion Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA) signed by the President January 4. However, that same budget recommends cutting USDA’s Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) by about $8 million, and proposing new user fees to cover the government’s cost of recalls and other meat and poultry industry regulations. Republicans slammed the White House budget, saying it “punted” tough spending cuts. While the President’s budget – from either party – is generally viewed as a “guide” by congressional appropriators, the following are budget highlights for various agencies: FDA: Overall, FDA’s appropriation recommendation from the White House is about $2.7 billion, not counting user fees, a 5.6% increase from FY2010 levels, and 16% more than contained in the current continuing resolution covering FY2011. With user fees added, FDA’s overall spending level would be about $4.4 billion, nearly 33% more than FY2010. The Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), which oversees animal feed, pet food, and animal drugs, would see an increase in spending of more than $21 million from previous years. USDA: USDA’s budget would be $144 billion overall, with about $24 billion of that in discretionary spending. This is about $1.82 billion less than current spending. In addition to recall user fees, the budget recommends “performance fees”, charges that would be levied January – March 2011 Page 2 against egg, poultry, and meat companies for infractions of the law. Flat fees for facility registrations and renewals are also recommended. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, reported the Administration is recommending changes to the 2008 Farm Bill’s formula for direct payments, lowering the maximum payment from $40,000 to $30,000, and supporting reducing the cap on non-farm income to receive payments to $250,000 from the current $500,000. Mandatory spending for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), and the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) would be reduced by $1 billion over 10 years. EPA: The White House is recommending cutting 13% -- about $1.5 billion -- out of EPA’s budget, dropping overall funding to roughly $9 billion for FY2012. State funding for water infrastructure programs takes the biggest hit in the Obama budget, slashed by more than $1 billion, while funding for Great Lakes restoration projects is also scaled back. Another $70 million is cut from the Superfund program, but $46 million is requested for agency greenhouse gas regulation, with $25 million going to the states to implement state permitting programs, and $5 million for EPA’s administrative actions. Also recommended is an enhanced $71 million overall chemical review program, a $16 million increase from current spending. THE HOUSE CONTINUES FY2011 FLOOR FIGHT AS AG GROUPS SAY AGRICULTURE IS TARGET OF TOO MANY CUTS The newly minted House leadership brought to the floor its FY2011 appropriations package, legislation seeking nearly $100 billion in spending cuts from President Obama’s FY2011 budget request. The net amount of spending cuts from actual levels is closer to $61 billion below current funding. House leadership is under pressure to act on an FY2011 spending package before a continuing resolution passed in the last Congress expired March 4. But almost before floor debate began, 32 national agriculture and food organizations wrote to House appropriators and their House colleagues to let them know agriculture is bearing an unfair share of the budget cuts. The bill cuts USDA accounts across the board from FY2010 levels, including conservation (cut $173 million), rural development (cut $645 million), foreign agriculture (cut $811 million), and food assistance programs (cut $782 million), as well as reductions in FDA spending (cut $298 million). “While we applaud the bill’s efforts to decrease discretionary spending, we are concerned that agriculture is being required to absorb a disproportionate amount of the discretionary cuts,” the groups wrote. Within hours of introduction, 583 amendments were filed by both sides of the aisle. A major target of House budget hawks is energy/environmental programs, with the bill proposing to cut $4.5 billion from all programs. EPA’s share of that total amounts to nearly $3 billion, 29% less than overall spending in FY2010. The major target of specific amendments from both sides of the aisle is EPA and a variety of pending regulations for which members sought to kill FY2011 funding. The spending package specifically blocks EPA from spending money to promulgate greenhouse gas emissions regulations, new rules opposed by Republicans and coal-state Democrats. At the same time, 15 organizations sent a letter to House leaders this week supporting an amendment by Rep. John Sullivan (R, OK) to bar EPA from using federal funds to cover the costs related to increasing the January – March 2011 Page 3 ethanol blend rate to 15%. The groups wrote: “Our organizations rarely agree on any public policy issue, but we are united in opposing the premature introduction of E15.” VILSACK RECEIVED AN EARFUL AT HOUSE HEARING Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, in an appearance before the House Agriculture Committee at a hearing on the ag economy, heard from member after member that while they understood the Secretary could not speak for EPA, they wanted him to carry back to the White House the committee’s admonition that EPA greenhouse gas regulations, dust rules and others were going to devastate U.S. agriculture. For his part, Vilsack was diplomatic, explaining his department is in contact with EPA, though not daily, and that he heard and understood the message being delivered by the agriculture committee members. At the same time, 32 Senators sent a letter to Jackson this week asking that she give special consideration to agriculture when evaluating the impact of stringent air particulate rules pending at the agency. “Given the ubiquitous nature of dust in agriculture settings and many rural environments, and the near impossible task of mitigating dust in most settings, we are hopeful that the EPA will give special consideration to the realities of farm and rural environments, including retaining the current standard,” the senators wrote. USDA FORMALLY DEREGULATES GENETICALLY ENHANCED AMYLASE CORN WITHOUT CONDITIONS The corn variety is a product of Syngenta designed to provide a corn variety more suitable to ethanol refining than food use. Food processing groups and others decried the deregulation move, expressing concerns over possible commingling of the GE corn with corn destined for human food processing. The North American Millers Assn. (NAMA) said it was “disappointed” in USDA’s action, saying Syngenta’s own data shows if the corn is commingled with other corn, “it will have a significant adverse impact on food product quality and performance.” NAMA President Mary Waters said USDA has failed to provide sufficient data on the economic impacts of contamination. The corn contains an enzyme that allows the starch to break down quickly, a cost-savings for ethanol refining. However, Waters said, that same ethanol benefit works against food producers and processors. THE TEXAS COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY OFFERS FREE ASSISTANCE The TCEQ, the state environmental regulatory agency offers free, confidential assistance to small businesses and small local governments in Texas through its Small Business and Local Government Assistance section. “Our services and activities enable customers to comply with environmental regulations without fear of inspections or citations.” In addition to compliance assistance, they offer several specialized services to ensure that small businesses know what they January – March 2011 Page 4 need to meet TCEQ regulations. TCEQ announced the availability of a new resource at its assistance web page at www.TexasEnviroHelp.org. (All previous info taken from TGFA’s Washington Insider, Feb. 18, 2011) OBITUARIES Roger Franklin Crouch, age 51, of Smiley, died January 18, 2011 in Temple. He was born in Augusta, AR, on January 7, 1960. Roger attended the Church of Christ and was a member of the WSPBR. He is survived by his wife, Paula; four daughters, Adrianna Mitchell and husband, Nic, and Pamela Crouch, all of Guntersville, AL; Taylor Carrington and Jordan Carrington, both of Smiley; his son, Ethan Crouch of Plaquemine, LA; a grandson; his parents; a brother; and sister, numerous other family, his WSPBR Rodeo family, many “adopted” children and loving friends. Memorial contributions may be made to the Roger Crouch Memorial Scholarship, c/o Nixon State Bank, P.O. Box 188, Nixon, TX 78140. Donald John Tyson, age 80, passed away January 6, 2011, after a brief illness. Donald was known to everyone as “Don”, son of Tyson Foods, Inc. founder, John W. Tyson, and father of current company Chairman, John H. Tyson. He was the former Chairman of the Board and CEO of Tyson Foods, Inc., a company he led through phenomenal growth in the 1970s and 1980s. He attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, studying business and agriculture, but left before graduating to join his father in the family business in 1952. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree by the University of Arkansas at its May 2010 graduation ceremony. Don was known by all to work hard, but also to play hard. He was famous the world over for his “No Bad Days” outlook on life, and well know for telling everyone that “I don’t have time to have a bad time.” He was also well known for his active involvement in state and national politics, having been led by his father to believe that it was a citizen’s duty to take part in the political and electoral process. He was a world renowned fisherman, a founder of the Billfish Foundation that promotes the catch and release of marlin and other billfish, and was a long time member and benefactor of the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), a group that tracks and certifies world records for fishing. Memorials may be made to the following: The Billfish Foundation, P.O. Box 8787. Fort Lauderdale, FL 3310-8787 The Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905 University of Arkansas, Dale Bumpers College of Agriculture, Food & Life Sciences, E108 AFLS Building, Fayetteville, AR 72701.
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