Hunt: Lummis understands ag’s role
As a Wyoming native and fourth-generation rancher, Cynthia Lummis understands agriculture’s vital role Wyoming’s economy and America as a whole as well as anyone in the state. Not only does she know the important issues facing Wyoming farmers and ranchers as well as anyone in the state, she can personally relate to the day-to-day concerns many of us in farming and ranching have when it comes to running our businesses and maintaining our western way of life. I’ve had the honor and pleasure of knowing Cynthia for many years, and I know she will represent Wyoming’s agricultural interests with the utmost integrity and tenacity.
During her eight years as Wyoming’s lone voice in the U.S. House, Cynthia succeeded in notching up a number of victories for Wyoming ranchers. Her deep-rooted knowledge of grazing impacts on agricultural legislation allowed her to help strengthen and pass through the House the Grazing Improvement Act, which extended grazing leases from 10 to 20 years and streamline the approval of no-change or minor-change permit renewals. Additionally, she successfully brought to the 2013 Farm Bill an amendment which funded brucellosis vaccination research in wildlife reservoirs. That same year, she was able to remove language from the Agriculture Appropriations bill which would have prohibited the USDA from inspecting horse meat.
Cynthia’s efforts were also crucial to halting a radical rule proposal by the Department of Labor under the Obama administration which would have disqualified 4-H and FFA training certifications and would have banned 14- and 15-year-olds from working with certain livestock, tractors and other equipment. Cynthia added language to the Labor Appropriations bill to prevent any resurrection of the proposal, and the proposal has not resurfaced again. In 2010, she even persuaded then-committee chairman Collin Peterson, a Democratic representative from Minnesota, to hold a House Agriculture Committee meeting in Cheyenne! At this meeting, seven members of the committee met to discuss conservation and forestry issues which specifically focused on Wyoming.
In her campaign for the United States Senate, Cynthia has spoken out on a number of current agriculture issues important to Wyoming’s producers and consumers alike, and she looks forward to working with her new senate colleagues on these issues come January. Cynthia believes that now, more than ever, it is critically important that consumers know where their food comes from. To this end, she is committed to reinstating Country of Origin Labeling for all food products. In the interests of strengthening food security in the wake of empty store shelves brought on by the COVID pandemic’s shocks to the food supply chain, Cynthia believes that the federal government must allow state-inspected slaughter plants to put meat in interstate commerce. Currently, meat must be processed at a USDA-inspected plant in order to be sold across state lines. This is ridiculous when state-inspected plants can do this safely and efficiently. Cynthia is also concerned about the consolidation of the packing industry, a factor which prevented producers from marketing their livestock during the pandemic, and which contributed heavily to the meat shortages seen in grocery stores across the country.
For these reasons, Cynthia has my full support and endorsement in her bid for the United States Senate. She will be an outstanding voice for Wyoming’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities. With Cynthia as our next senator, Wyomingites can rest assured that agriculture will have a strong voice representing it in Washington for the next six years.
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the July 24, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News