The Montana Cattlemen’s Association would like to provide some clarity on the two articles published by the NCBA in the March 16, 2024 issue of the Tri State Livestock News.  The Guest Opinion titled ‘Eisele – New Laws Protects American Farmland and Food Security’ needs to be addressed.  It is great that the NCBA is now in favor of protecting U.S. farmland and U.S. supply chains from foreign ownership in the name of food security.  It wasn’t that long ago in 2017 Montana Senator Steve Daines and the head of a Montana NCBA  Affiliate group signed a Memorandum of Agreement with, the largest e-commerce retailer in China, to allow the Chinese to purchase land in Eastern Montana to build a packing plant and cattle feedlot. was to invest at least 100 million dollars for the opportunity to do this. China, by the way, is a communist nation.  That was not a really secure idea, was it?  Why the big change now?  Incidentally, I was ‘in the room’ at the Ag Summit in Great Falls years ago when Senator Daines was talking about this ‘trade’ deal – Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas was also there – but nothing ever came of it and here we are now.

The next article is titled “NCBA Statement on ‘Product of USA’ Final Rule.”  This final rule changes the ‘Product of USA’ label so it can only be placed on beef from cattle that are born, raised, and processed in the U.S.A.  It is nice that the NCBA is claiming some responsibility for getting this enacted.  The truth of the matter is the NCBA petitioned the USDA to eliminate the ‘Product of USA’ label entirely in 2021 and have it replaced with a generic ‘Processed in USA’ label.  Yes, you read right.  All the beef in the U.S. would be lumped together whether imported, domestic or combined under the ‘Processed in USA’ label.  The NCBA appears to be failing in the memory department.  It appears the OFF ACT is having an affect even before it is enacted.

Richard Liebert - President of Montana Cattlemen’s Association