The Arizona Cattle Grower’s Association Focuses On Issues That Affect Ranchers

The Arizona Cattle Grower’s Association (ACGA) Says It “Represents, Protects, Promotes, And Sustains An Atmosphere Conducive To Profitable Ranching” 

The Arizona Cattle Grower’s Association (ACGA)’s Website States It “Represents, Protects, Promotes, And Sustains An Atmosphere Conducive To Profitable Ranching.” “The Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association (ACGA) was founded when a small group of concerned cattlemen took it upon themselves to help structure the future of the cattle industry in this great state. Their primary concern was that there be orderly, systematic laws protecting livestock and property. On January 4, 1903, these dedicated cattlemen organized the ACGA. Today, ACGA is a grassroots non-profit association that represents, protects, promotes, and sustains an atmosphere conducive to profitable ranching.” [ACGA, accessed 09/18/19]

ACGA’s Executive Vice President Patrick Bray Is Also A Lobbyist

ACGA’s Executive Vice President, Patrick Bray, Is Also A Lobbyist. “By contrast, lobbyist Patrick Bray, executive vice president for the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association, whose organization supports HB 2498, said the government red tape for permitting is at an all-time high.” [KJZZ, 04/12/18]

ACGA Supported Legislation Transferring Control Of All Federally Owned Public Lands To The State Of Arizona 

In 2015, ACGA Supported Three Bills That Would Facilitate Moving All Federally Owned Public Lands To Be Transferred To The State’s Control. “The Arizona Senate Committee on Rural Affairs and Environment recently advanced three bills and one memorial demanding that all federally owned public lands in Arizona be transferred to the state immediately:  HB 2321 tells the federal government to give up the title to all public lands in Arizona; HB 2176 requires the State Land Commissioner put pressure on the government, and the Attorney General take legal action if the transfer doesn’t occur;  HB 2318 establishes an interstate compact to help facilitate the process; And the memorial, HCM 2005 ‘urges the federal government to dispose of public lands in, and transfer title to, Arizona.” The purported goal of the legislation is to increase state revenue by selling or leasing acquired lands, similar to how the state land trust system works. Supporters (like the Arizona Cattlemen’s Association and the American Lands Council) argue that the federal government does a poor job of managing lands, and that the state is missing out on untapped natural resources, job opportunities, and billions of dollars.” [Phoenix New Times, 03/18/15]

ACGA Recommended Allowing Increased Cow Grazing And Suspending NEPA’s Wildfire Fuel Thinning Approval Process As Methods For Wildfire Control

ACGA Called On The U.S. Forest Service To Let Cows Graze More Forage To Reduce Fuel For Wildfires. “Ranchers have a lot to lose in wildfires. The Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association has called on the Forest Service in the past to let cows graze more forage to reduce wildfire fuel. In 2011, the group proposed a fuel reduction plan after some of the biggest wildfires in Arizona’s history charred tens of thousands of acres and displaced thousands of cattle.” [Arizona Republic, 11/21/18]

  • ACGA Also Called On Suspending The National Environmental Policy Act’s Approval Process For Thinning Wildfire Fuel. “The cattle growers’ association called to suspend the National Environmental Policy Act’s approval process for thinning wildfire fuel.” [Arizona Republic, 11/21/18]

ACGA Opposed Monument Designations As Damaging For The Local Economy And To Ranching Families

ACGA Claimed A Potential National Monument Designation For A Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument Would “Dramatically” Damage The Economy In Northern Arizona And For Ranching Families.  In April 2016, it was reported that the Obama administration had been asked to create a Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument. ACGA opposed the proposal.  “’This proposed national monument — with the stroke of a pen — will dramatically damage our economy in northern Arizona and will forever destroy economically viable ranching families,’ said Emmett Sturgill, of the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association, at a listening session last week hosted by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) in Kingman, Ariz. ‘This proposed expansion of added regulatory jurisdiction … is a covert attack on land access, viable natural resource production, and the opportunity for us in northern Arizona to live on, care for and produce food for our great nation and state.’” [E&E, 04/18/16]

  • ACGA’s Executive Vice President Patrick Bray Said The Decline In Animal Unit Months “Completely Put Two Producers Out Of Business.” In April 2016, it was reported that the Obama administration had been asked to create a Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument. ACGA claimed monument designations have led to grazing permits to be not renewed or only continued if the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) determined grazing was compatible with protecting objects within the designation. “As a result, permitted AUMs in the monument have fallen from 16,587 in 2001 to 3,318 today, according to the BLM data. ‘It completely put two producers out of business,’ said Patrick Bray, executive vice president of the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association.” [E&E, 04/18/16]

ACGA Claimed Listing The Gila Chub And Chiricahua Leopard Frog As Endangered Species Was Really About “An Anti-Grazing Agenda”

ACGA Objected To A Deal That Would List The Gila Chub And Chiricahua Leopard Frog As Endangered Species, Saying It Was More About “An Anti-Grazing Agenda” Than Protecting Species.The Arizona Cattleman’s Association, however, criticized Wednesday’s deal, saying it was more about an anti-grazing agenda than concern for endangered species. ‘There are people who don’t like grazing, so they try to find tools to remove grazing,” said C.B. “Doc” Lane, the group’s director of natural resources. Environmentalists complain that cattle can hurt the water sources the chub and frog rely on, but Lane said the impact of non-native species and other wildlife that graze gets ignored. ‘It’s a very shallow science being used to make an awful lot of important decisions,’ he said.” [Arizona Daily Star, 08/30/01]

ACGA Has Advocated For Increased Border Security

ACGA’s “Political Action” Section On Its Website Lists “Border” First As A Priority. [ACGA, accessed 09/19/19]

  • ACGA Claims “Violent Criminals” Are What Worry Arizona Ranchers The Most. “It’s the violent criminals who worry Arizona ranchers the most, according to the Arizona Cattle Growers Association (ACGA).” [Beef Magazine, 09/03/10]

ACGA Released Its “Restore Our Border Security Plan. “Last spring, the Arizona Cattle Growers Association (ACGA) released its “Restore Our Border Security Plan,” a program that resulted after 18 months of research and work with local and state authorities, says Patrick Bray, executive vice president.” [Beef Magazine, 09/03/10]

  • Plan States The U.S.-Mexico Border “Must Be Credibly And Sustainably Secured And Existing Immigration Laws Judiciously Enforced!” “The 18-point plan states: “The U.S.-Mexico Border must be credibly and sustainably secured and existing immigration laws judiciously enforced. Talk is over; it’s time to act!” (see the plan at www.restoreourborder.org).” [Beef Magazine, 09/03/10]
  • ACGA Executive Vice President Claimed Border Security Had Been Promoted By The Organization For Over 10 Years. “Bray says better border security has been promoted by ACGA for over 10 years. ‘The dynamics of people coming across the border have changed significantly the past five years,” he says. ‘Ranchers had always had a good working relationship with ranchers on the other side of the border. Mexican cowboys came here to help out, and ours went there. There was a good relationship.’” [Beef Magazine, 09/03/10]
  • Bray Claimed People Seeking A Better Life Have Been Subject To “Violent Criminals.” “‘But when the drug cartels and criminals took over, once they realized that people coming across the border could be drug ‘mules,’ they took over that business, as well. People wanting to come across the border looking for a better life are subject to these violent criminals.’” [Beef Magazine, 09/03/10]

ACGA Released A Statement Recommending The Increase In Funds For Private Communications Equipment For Citizens Living In Remote Areas Along The U.S. Border. “In 2010, we as the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association (ACGA) made a series of recommendations to improve security along the border in response to tragic murder of Arizona rancher Rob Krentz. One of those recommendations was to increase funding for private communications equipment so that citizens living or working in remote and sometimes dangerous areas along the U.S. border where cell phone service is not available could contact law enforcement. The ACGA is pleased to see this recommendation included in the Schumer-McCain immigration bill.” [Senator Marco Rubio Press Release, 04/22/13]

ACGA’s Executive Vice President, Patrick Bray, Praised The Trump Administration For “Taking Border Security Seriously.” “Patrick Bray, executive vice president of the Arizona Cattle Growers Association, which represents 1,000 ranchers, praised the new administration for ‘taking border security seriously.’” [Wall Street Journal, 03/15/17]

  • Bray Said Ranchers Foresaw “A Mix Of Physical Structures, Additional Border Patrol And More Technology Like Drones Or Helicopters.” “He said in practical terms, however, ranchers foresee a mix of physical structures, additional Border Patrol officers and more technology like drones or helicopters.” [Wall Street Journal, 03/15/17]
  • Bray Said They Did Not “Think A Wall To Happen,” The Wall Would “Look Different Than What People Assume.” “‘I don’t think we expect a wall to happen,’ he said. ‘The wall in our mind will look different than what people assume.’” [Wall Street Journal, 03/15/17]

ACGA Opposed Water Wells Being Metered

ACGA Opposed Water Wells Being Metered. In September 2019, it was reported Arizona residents faced an increasingly diminished water supply due to corporate farms taking all the available water. The ACGA objected to proposed regulations that would increase monitoring and reporting on water wells.  “We don’t think wells should be metered at all,’ Gaither Martin, executive vice president of the Arizona Cattle Growers Association, said. ‘Our point of view is once it starts, where does it stop? It becomes like every other policy issue that becomes a slippery slope.’” [NBC News, 09/17/19]