Reps. Craig and Smucker Introduce Bipartisan Bill Providing Regulatory Relief to Livestock Haulers
Today, U.S. Reps. Angie Craig (MN-2) and Lloyd Smucker (PA-11) introduced the Responsible & Efficient Agriculture Destination (TREAD) Act to give farmers and ranchers more flexibility when transporting live animals and perishable goods.
"I've heard about the unique challenges farmers in my district face when transporting livestock, and the burdensome regulations that stand in the way of their businesses," said Rep. Craig. "This common-sense bill would allow agricultural haulers bringing livestock back to their farms to drive the hours and distances that make sense for them and their farms, and I'm proud to be leading this effort that is so critical to so many Minnesota farmers."
“This legislation is a big win for Pennsylvania and its sprawling agriculture community, especially our dairy sector which moves milk over long distances. For too long, haulers have been at the mercy of an overly burdensome hours of service requirement. That’s why I’m introducing this bipartisan legislation with Rep. Craig that will bring necessary relief to our farmers. As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, it is my hope that this commonsense legislation is brought up for a vote and adopted,” said Rep. Smucker.
Agriculture haulers often travel on rural, unpaved roads with low-speed limits and run out of Hours of Service while only being a short distance from where they need to go. This bipartisan bill would make it possible for drivers hauling live animals and perishable goods to finish their routes if they are within 150 air miles of their destination. The bill additionally allows this exemption to be utilized year-round rather than only during harvesting seasons.
“Farmers and ranchers need safe and humane transportation for the animals and goods they raise. The Craig-Smucker bill promotes both highway safety and animal welfare by ensuring that hours-of-service regulations do not unfairly burden farmers and ranchers or the truckers who help deliver a healthy, affordable food supply,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation President. “This legislation strikes the right balance for all involved. We appreciate the leadership of Reps. Craig and Smucker and encourage all members of Congress to support this much-needed regulatory relief.”
“Agricultural haulers – and especially livestock haulers – face very unique challenges that haulers in other industries don’t face, and this bill recognizes that need,” said National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President, Jennifer Houston. “On behalf of America’s cattle producers, I want to thank Representatives Craig, Smucker, and all the other original co-sponsors for their leadership on this issue and working towards needed flexibility within Hours of Service for our livestock haulers.”
“Milk is a highly perishable commodity that can now travel a longer journey from farm to plant as the dairy sector has evolved. Therefore, it is critical to maintain a flexible regulatory climate for milk hauling. We thank Reps. Angie Craig and Lloyd Smucker for their bipartisan bill to increase the hours of service exemption for agriculture – this measure will provide welcome relief to dairy producers across the country,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO, National Milk Producers Federation.
The bipartisan original cosponsors include Reps. Bob Gibbs (OH-07), John Garamendi (CA-03), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), and Cindy Axne (IA-03).
The Responsible & Efficient Agriculture Destination (TREAD) Act is supported by: Agriculture Transportation Coalition, American Beekeeping Federation, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Frozen Food Institute, American Honey Producers Association, American Sheep Industry Association, American Soybean Association, Corn Refiners Association, The Fertilizer Institute, Livestock Marketing Association, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, National Aquaculture Association, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Cotton Council, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Farmers Union, National Grain and Feed Association, National Grange, National Milk Producers Federation, National Pork Producers Council, National Sorghum Producers, National Turkey Federation, North American Meat Institute, North American Renderers Association, USA Rice, United States Cattlemen’s Association.