South Dakota Legislature wrap | TSLN.com

South Dakota Legislature wrap

Steve Miller

Photo by Nicky GroenewoldAs the sun sets on the 2009 South Dakota Legislative session, two South Dakota cattle groups share their thoughts on several bills.

Two major South Dakota cattle groups praised the 2009 South Dakota Legislature for continuing the state’s move toward assessing agricultural land for tax purposes based on its productivity rather than on nearby land sales.

But the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association differed on some other bills, including one that would have prohibited state officials from participating in a mandatory national animal identification system.

Livestock and other agriculture groups are beginning their assessment of how ag fared in the 2009 legislative session, which ended its main run on March 13. The Legislature meets again on Monday, March 30, to consider any vetoes by Gov. Mike Rounds. The governor has already signed Senate Bill 3, which continues the process begun by the 2008 Legislature to use productivity to assess ag land.

The move away from a market-based approach toward productivity-based assessment was the highest priority in the session for the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, according to SDCA Executive Director Jodie Hickman.

“SB 3 was a victory for all of agriculture and many of the ag groups worked together to pass the bill,” Hickman said.

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association backed the bill, too, Stockgrowers Executive Director Margaret Nachtigall said this week.

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“There’s probably a lot of work left to be done on it,” Nachtigall said in a phone interview. “But it’s a move in the right direction.”

But the two cattle groups took different stances on a proposal to restrict state participation in a mandatory animal ID system. Talk is resurging in Washington of late on a National Animal Identification System.

Failure of the ban in Pierre was the biggest disappointment of the legislative session for the Stockgrowers Association, Nachtigall said. The Stockgrowers favor voluntary animal ID, but have long opposed any form of mandatory ID, including premises registration.

The group brought HB 1224, which was sponsored by a number of West River legislators. It would have prohibited any state official from forcing anyone into a national animal ID system and from withholding any payments or denying any benefits or services to anyone based on their participation in the NAIS.

The Stockgrowers say a mandatory ID system would put an undue record-keeping burden on livestock producers.

“If a mandatory NAIS is implemented, it would put a lot of people out of business,” Nachtigall said.

The SDCA opposed the bill, although it favors a mostly volunteer ID program. The SDCA does favor a mandatory ID system for breeding stock.

But BH 1224 would have gone too far, according to SDCA, by prohibiting state officials from participating in federal disease management and surveillance programs, such as those for brucellosis and tuberculosis. The South Dakota Animal Industry Board, if restricted in that way, could no longer be able to certify the state’s free status for those diseases, according to the SDCA.

The group also said state law already ensures that any ID program must be for the sole purpose of maintaining animal health and ensuring the safety of the food supply.

But Nachtigall said the bill was amended to specifically allow state officials to continue participating in disease tracking and surveillance.

“It was written so there was no way it would tie the hands of the animal industry board,” Nachtigall said.

The Stockgrowers oppose mandatory ID even for breeding stock. “The federal government is going to be demanding farmers and ranchers disclose everything there is about their operation. I don’t think they should have to,” Nachtigall said.

The SDCA contends the ID issue will be driven by federal regulations and the debate should take place in Washington, DC.

“Dividing the state’s livestock industry by continually proposing this or similar legislation is not advancing agriculture’s interests at the Capitol,” Hickman said in an e-mail message.

Two major South Dakota cattle groups praised the 2009 South Dakota Legislature for continuing the state’s move toward assessing agricultural land for tax purposes based on its productivity rather than on nearby land sales.

But the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association differed on some other bills, including one that would have prohibited state officials from participating in a mandatory national animal identification system.

Livestock and other agriculture groups are beginning their assessment of how ag fared in the 2009 legislative session, which ended its main run on March 13. The Legislature meets again on Monday, March 30, to consider any vetoes by Gov. Mike Rounds. The governor has already signed Senate Bill 3, which continues the process begun by the 2008 Legislature to use productivity to assess ag land.

The move away from a market-based approach toward productivity-based assessment was the highest priority in the session for the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, according to SDCA Executive Director Jodie Hickman.

“SB 3 was a victory for all of agriculture and many of the ag groups worked together to pass the bill,” Hickman said.

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association backed the bill, too, Stockgrowers Executive Director Margaret Nachtigall said this week.

“There’s probably a lot of work left to be done on it,” Nachtigall said in a phone interview. “But it’s a move in the right direction.”

But the two cattle groups took different stances on a proposal to restrict state participation in a mandatory animal ID system. Talk is resurging in Washington of late on a National Animal Identification System.

Failure of the ban in Pierre was the biggest disappointment of the legislative session for the Stockgrowers Association, Nachtigall said. The Stockgrowers favor voluntary animal ID, but have long opposed any form of mandatory ID, including premises registration.

The group brought HB 1224, which was sponsored by a number of West River legislators. It would have prohibited any state official from forcing anyone into a national animal ID system and from withholding any payments or denying any benefits or services to anyone based on their participation in the NAIS.

The Stockgrowers say a mandatory ID system would put an undue record-keeping burden on livestock producers.

“If a mandatory NAIS is implemented, it would put a lot of people out of business,” Nachtigall said.

The SDCA opposed the bill, although it favors a mostly volunteer ID program. The SDCA does favor a mandatory ID system for breeding stock.

But BH 1224 would have gone too far, according to SDCA, by prohibiting state officials from participating in federal disease management and surveillance programs, such as those for brucellosis and tuberculosis. The South Dakota Animal Industry Board, if restricted in that way, could no longer be able to certify the state’s free status for those diseases, according to the SDCA.

The group also said state law already ensures that any ID program must be for the sole purpose of maintaining animal health and ensuring the safety of the food supply.

But Nachtigall said the bill was amended to specifically allow state officials to continue participating in disease tracking and surveillance.

“It was written so there was no way it would tie the hands of the animal industry board,” Nachtigall said.

The Stockgrowers oppose mandatory ID even for breeding stock. “The federal government is going to be demanding farmers and ranchers disclose everything there is about their operation. I don’t think they should have to,” Nachtigall said.

The SDCA contends the ID issue will be driven by federal regulations and the debate should take place in Washington, DC.

“Dividing the state’s livestock industry by continually proposing this or similar legislation is not advancing agriculture’s interests at the Capitol,” Hickman said in an e-mail message.

Two major South Dakota cattle groups praised the 2009 South Dakota Legislature for continuing the state’s move toward assessing agricultural land for tax purposes based on its productivity rather than on nearby land sales.

But the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association differed on some other bills, including one that would have prohibited state officials from participating in a mandatory national animal identification system.

Livestock and other agriculture groups are beginning their assessment of how ag fared in the 2009 legislative session, which ended its main run on March 13. The Legislature meets again on Monday, March 30, to consider any vetoes by Gov. Mike Rounds. The governor has already signed Senate Bill 3, which continues the process begun by the 2008 Legislature to use productivity to assess ag land.

The move away from a market-based approach toward productivity-based assessment was the highest priority in the session for the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, according to SDCA Executive Director Jodie Hickman.

“SB 3 was a victory for all of agriculture and many of the ag groups worked together to pass the bill,” Hickman said.

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association backed the bill, too, Stockgrowers Executive Director Margaret Nachtigall said this week.

“There’s probably a lot of work left to be done on it,” Nachtigall said in a phone interview. “But it’s a move in the right direction.”

But the two cattle groups took different stances on a proposal to restrict state participation in a mandatory animal ID system. Talk is resurging in Washington of late on a National Animal Identification System.

Failure of the ban in Pierre was the biggest disappointment of the legislative session for the Stockgrowers Association, Nachtigall said. The Stockgrowers favor voluntary animal ID, but have long opposed any form of mandatory ID, including premises registration.

The group brought HB 1224, which was sponsored by a number of West River legislators. It would have prohibited any state official from forcing anyone into a national animal ID system and from withholding any payments or denying any benefits or services to anyone based on their participation in the NAIS.

The Stockgrowers say a mandatory ID system would put an undue record-keeping burden on livestock producers.

“If a mandatory NAIS is implemented, it would put a lot of people out of business,” Nachtigall said.

The SDCA opposed the bill, although it favors a mostly volunteer ID program. The SDCA does favor a mandatory ID system for breeding stock.

But BH 1224 would have gone too far, according to SDCA, by prohibiting state officials from participating in federal disease management and surveillance programs, such as those for brucellosis and tuberculosis. The South Dakota Animal Industry Board, if restricted in that way, could no longer be able to certify the state’s free status for those diseases, according to the SDCA.

The group also said state law already ensures that any ID program must be for the sole purpose of maintaining animal health and ensuring the safety of the food supply.

But Nachtigall said the bill was amended to specifically allow state officials to continue participating in disease tracking and surveillance.

“It was written so there was no way it would tie the hands of the animal industry board,” Nachtigall said.

The Stockgrowers oppose mandatory ID even for breeding stock. “The federal government is going to be demanding farmers and ranchers disclose everything there is about their operation. I don’t think they should have to,” Nachtigall said.

The SDCA contends the ID issue will be driven by federal regulations and the debate should take place in Washington, DC.

“Dividing the state’s livestock industry by continually proposing this or similar legislation is not advancing agriculture’s interests at the Capitol,” Hickman said in an e-mail message.

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