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The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is a grassroots organization whose individual producer members determine issues of importance to the state's livestock industry. With input into the policy development, each member has the opportunity to influence SDSGA's policy and priorities. Individual members of the Association pull together to make powerful decisions - dedicated to promoting the livestock industry and enhancing the opportunity for profitability.

SD Stockgrowers News

Thune, Sinema Introduce Bill to Prevent Regulation of Livestock Emissions

April 29, 2021

Washington — 

U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) today introduced legislation to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from issuing permits related to livestock emissions. The Livestock Regulatory Protection Act would amend the Clean Air Act to prohibit the EPA from issuing permits for any carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, water vapor, or methane emissions resulting from biological processes associated with livestock production.  

“Livestock producers are working to improve efficiency and reduce emissions from their operations,” said Thune. “They should not be subject to onerous regulations and costly permit fees for their animals’ emissions, which could ultimately lead to higher food costs for consumers. I’m grateful for Senator Sinema’s partnership on the Livestock Regulatory Protection Act, which would provide producers long-term certainty on this issue.”

“Cutting unnecessary regulations frees Arizona cattlemen from costly permit fees and keeps prices affordable for Arizona families,” said Sinema.

“SDCA thanks Senators Thune and Sinema for working to prevent the EPA from requiring unnecessary air quality permits for livestock producers,” said Eric Jennings, president of South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association. “America’s beef producers, like consumers and regulators, are focused on continuous improvement in environmental conservation and sustainability. Creating burdensome permitting requirements that aren’t firmly backed by sound science aren’t an effective solution to improving the environment, incentivizing good environmental management is.”

Thune previously introduced this bill in 2009 with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and this restriction has been included in annual appropriations legislation since then. The Livestock Regulatory Protection Act would provide long-term certainty for producers that their livestock’s biological emissions will not be subject to costly regulation. 

Supporters of the Livestock Emissions Regulatory Protection Act include the American Farm Bureau Federation, Ducks Unlimited, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, American Sheep Industry Association, National Bison Association, and Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative.

Thune, Rounds Condemn Biden Administration’s Radical 30 by 30 Directive

April 27, 2021

Washington — 

U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to express concern with the directive in President Biden’s climate change executive order to conserve 30 percent of land and waters by 2030 (30 by 30). The senators strongly urged the secretaries to consider farmers and ranchers as they develop environmental policy.  

“We urge the administration to refrain from using the 30 by 30 directive as a means to pursue additional federal land acquisitions,” the senators wrote. “In addition, the 30 by 30 directive should not be used to advance undue restrictions on the use of private land. A multiple-use approach to the management of our public lands benefits agriculture, outdoor recreational sports, wildlife enthusiasts, and natural resource development. This approach also plays an important role in creating jobs and supporting local economies.” 

Full text of the letter below:

Dear Secretary Vilsack and Secretary Haaland,

We write to express concern with the directive in President Biden’s January 27, 2021, climate change executive order (E.O. 14008) to identify strategies to conserve at least 30 percent of our land and waters by 2030, commonly referred to as 30 by 30.

The federal government already possesses approximately 640 million acres of the land in the United States. Unfortunately, there is a significant maintenance backlog on this federal land. Given this reality, acquiring additional federal land would be concerning to us and many of our constituents. With relatively few details about how this proposal would be achieved, additional concerns have been raised about the potential for onerous regulations and land use restrictions as a possible strategy. Such a proposal would have a devastating effect on private landowners.

We urge the administration to refrain from using the 30 by 30 directive as a means to pursue additional federal land acquisitions. In addition, the 30 by 30 directive should not be used to advance undue restrictions on the use of private land. A multiple-use approach to the management of our public lands benefits agriculture, outdoor recreational sports, wildlife enthusiasts, and natural resource development. This approach also plays an important role in creating jobs and supporting local economies. 

Farmers and ranchers work every day to be good stewards of their land. Instead of pursuing federal land acquisitions and burdensome regulations, the administration should prioritize the targeted implementation of existing voluntary conservation programs, like the Conservation Reserve Program, Environmental Quality Incentives Program, and Conservation Stewardship Program, to help address natural resource concerns. These programs play a critical role in improving wildlife habitat and water quality, building soil health, and sequestering carbon. 

As you work to provide recommendations on climate focused initiatives, we would urge you to keep rural America and farmers at the front of your mind. Our policy should help, not hinder, those who feed the world. Thank you for your prompt consideration of this request.