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Voice for state cattle producers

Cattlemen Roundup: Leaders represent producers at the state and federal levels.

April 23, 2024

2 Min Read
Top of state capitol building
TAKING THE HILL: Leaders of the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association make sure that beef producers’ voices are heard at the state Capitol, as well as in Washington, D.C. Farm Progress

by Kaitlyn Root

Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association leaders have been actively working for our members while traveling to meetings and events and testifying in the Minnesota House and Senate.

One role of the MSCA is to advocate for cattle producers at the Capitol during the legislative session. I testified in the Minnesota House and Senate Environmental Committees in March against a statutory change which would allow the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to increase elk herd populations, even when crop and fence damage payments have been increasing. This statutory change could negatively affect northern producers facing serious damage to crops and fencing from elk.

Diverse efforts

MSCA member Don Schiefelbein testified in the Senate Ag Committee in support of two bills enforcing “cell-cultured” or “lab-grown” labels to be required on lab-grown meat products. This is a way for the state of Minnesota to be proactive with this issue and ensure consumers are aware of what they are purchasing.

MSCA President-elect Rachel Gray and I headed to Washington. D.C., April 16-19 for NCBA’s Legislative Conference. We sat down with U.S. representatives and senators representing Minnesota while in D.C. to discuss issues cattle producers face in this state.

Earlier this year we headed to Orlando, Fla., for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Convention in the first week of February. Grassroots efforts are showcased each year through NCBA’s CattleCon. MSCA worked to ensure Minnesota cattle producers’ voices were heard on a national level during policy committee meetings this year.

The MSCA passed a resolution on disaster payments and amended two NCBA policies. These resolutions are now interim policy, and they will be discussed and voted on again during the summer business meeting. Then, all NCBA members have the opportunity to vote on the resolutions before they are officially added to NCBA’s policy book.

These are just a few examples of how the MSCA strives to ensure cattle producers’ voices are heard. The MSCA will continue to advocate for members as we move forward.

The MSCA hosted the March quarterly meeting in Aitkin, where we discussed organizational updates and heard from Bruce Kleven, MSCA legislative consultant, on this year’s legislative session.

Steak on a stick this week

One of our favorite events is just around the corner as well. MSCA volunteers are grilling steaks for legislators and staff at the Capitol on April 25. This “Steak on a Stick” event is our opportunity to discuss top priorities, while legislators and staff enjoy our grilled steaks. It also showcases the product farmers and ranchers work so hard to produce.

The MSCA is made up of Minnesota cattlemen and cattlewomen working to defend producers and members of the beef industry within Minnesota. We strive to ensure cattle production remains a relevant, safe and sustainable way of life for generations to come. For more information, or to become a member, visit or email me at [email protected].

Root is the executive director of the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association.

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