Agriculture is critical to Wyoming’s economy, our open spaces and our abundant wildlife. Although not from an ag family, Robert Short learned the value of the dollar at the age of 12, by working on the Duncan Ranch in Converse County for Hugh and Blanche Duncan. The $1 an hour pay afforded Robert the luxury of purchasing new shoes for the school year, but more importantly, working on the ranch reinforced in him the values of diligence, honesty, integrity, and grit. Robert recognizes the importance of agriculture to our way of life, and that agriculture is a matter of national security.
- End the Death Tax. The continuation of Wyoming’s family farms and ranches can be hampered by the death of the family leader. Wyoming ag families need the certainty that they can pass their operations on the next generation by a permanent repeal of the capital gains tax also known as the “death tax.” The death tax is a major hindrance for family ranching operations try to move to the next generation. Conservation easements can also assist in the logical transition of ranching operations. No Wyoming family should ever lose their generational heritage because they are cash poor and land rich.
- Manage Wild Horses. The Bureau of Land Management must manage the wild horse population in Wyoming in accordance with the range carrying capacity. While we all enjoy the splendor of Western romance, the wild mustang rearing up on hind legs, mane blowing in the wind and sunsets as big as our imaginations, the reality is that unchecked populations of wild horses threaten the livelihoods of many providers of our food stock. Robert will work to ensure Bureau of Land Management is fulfilling its role as a good neighbor and land manager.
- Encourage Interstate Shipment of Meat and Direct Sale to Consumers. Wyoming producers need the ability to ship their product directly to consumers and across state lines. The shutdown of major meat processing facilities across the U.S. highlighted the need for more options to process meat and the national security risks associated with the monopoly in meat packing. Robert will work to help secure State inspected facilities are able to ship product across the State and over State lines. We simply cannot rely on the foreign agents who own many of our processing facilities. As a ‘free-market’ economy, we cannot allow our own government to pick winners and losers in this critical sector of our economy. We must enact policies that allow processors to compete.
- Ensure Wyoming Management of Wolves and Grizzlies. Wyoming has achieved recovery goals and the management of wolves and grizzlies should be returned to and remain under Wyoming State control despite the constant barrage of litigation from out of State environmental groups. Robert will work with the Department of the Interior to craft policies and rules that return the State’s Rights to the States. We cannot expect the Federal government to manage an issue with which they have no expertise nor boots on the ground experience. Wyoming has proven its commitment to species by leading the way in environmental consideration while balancing multiple use.
- End Dumping of Foreign Beef and Lamb on the U.S. Markets. Unscrupulous actors in Canada, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand have used unfair trade policies and lax safety measures to adversely impact Wyoming’s cattle and sheep producers. Dumping of foreign meat on American markets must halt. Robert will work to level the playing field with these foreign actors. We deserve to have an equal opportunity when marketing our products, which the current climate clearly demonstrates is not the case. Bureaucrats have stacked the deck against us and it’s time to change that situation.
- Reinstate Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). Robert will sponsor legislation to reinstate COOL. Wyomingites must have the opportunity to purchase locally sourced products. This can only be achieved if we know where the product originates. There is no acceptable reason to disallow for the clear labeling of products so that consumers know who is providing their nutrition.
- Maintain Multiple Use and Access to Public Lands for Grazing. Robert grew up in a public lands county where access to public lands grazing is critical. He will work to ensure that grazing allotments and public lands leases continue as well as access to responsible recreationalists and mineral developers who help fund our economy.
- Reform the H2-A Visa Program. Wyoming agriculture needs access to dependable and predictable agricultural workers. Sheep shearers and herders that utilize the H2-A program and come to Wyoming annually, should have a streamlined and certain process that works for producers. Other segments of Wyoming’s farm and ranch economy that use this type of visa to fill voids in our labor supply cannot be held up by deficiencies in federal bureaucracies and Washington inaction. Robert will work to help our ag producers have certainty in their workforce.
- Enforce Packer Concentration and Captive Supply. Wyoming is home to cow-calf operators and range production for sheep. We must enforce existing laws to ensure packers and feeders are not manipulating the market at the expense of Wyoming sheep and cattle producers. Robert will coordinate with Wyoming producers to develop strategies to promote and protect our Ag producers.
- Prevent the Listing of Sage Grouse. There is no greater threat to grazing in Wyoming than the listing of the sage grouse, prairie dog, raptors and other species. Robert will work to ensure that science, rather than the courts, guides species decisions and that no new species are listed under the Endangered Species Act.
- Make the Beef Check-off Work. Wyoming producers have a right to be skeptical of the beef check-off marketing program. Every time a dollar is withheld from their sale check, they need the confidence that it is going to market American bred, born and fed beef. Robert will work for transparency and accountability in the check-off program.
- Develop Markets for Wyoming Grown Hemp. The hemp industry in Wyoming is beginning to take off, but it needs access to markets and processing facilities. Robert will ensure federal agencies do not limit the growth of this industry.
- Address Aging Irrigation Infrastructure. The backlog of deferred maintenance on irrigation infrastructure must be addressed. As we witnessed in 2019, we are one blowout away from a catastrophic failure of our aging infrastructure which will destroy Wyoming crops. Robert is aware of the critical nature of our agriculture infrastructure and the blind eye Washington has shown towards it. He will work to educate folks on the origins of their food supply and how important it is that we invest in it for our national security and our health.
- Continue the Operation of State and Federal Wildlife Feed Grounds in Wyoming. State and federally run elk feed grounds must continue to operate in Wyoming. The devastation we will create on private grounds due to closing feed grounds is unacceptable. Robert will work to continue the funding for these critical feed grounds so that ag producers are not eaten out of house and home by starving herds left unchecked by environmental group’s ignorance and arrogance.
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