The Ranchers Technical Assistance Program
RTAP is a free regulatory assistance program for all cattle ranchers provided by the California Cattlemen’s Foundation and funded by the California Cattle Council.
Recognizing that many cattle producers could benefit from additional regulatory expertise and professional support, in the Spring of 2021 the California Cattle Council awarded a grant to the California Cattlemen’s Foundation to develop a technical assistance program. This new program, called the Rancher Technical Assistance Program (RTAP), is now underway.
Take a minute to look over the questions and answers below to learn how you may be able to use RTAP to help you navigate regulatory compliance issues.
WHAT IS RTAP? GET THE ANSWERS.
RTAP is a joint project developed by the California Cattlemen’s Association, California Cattlemen’s Foundation and Western Resource Strategies, LLC and funded by the California Cattle Council.RTAP’s goal is to help ranchers stay ahead of the latest regulatory requirements by providing technical assistance to ranchers, enabling them to understand and navigate complex regulatory, environmental and business issues.
The technical assistance RTAP provides is limited to understanding and navigating regulatory requirements. The team will provide general guidance on what is required and where you can find the resources you need to fulfill your regulatory obligations. RTAP cannot provide legal, tax or accounting advice. You should engage your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before making any decisions.
RTAP’s initial focus is helping cattle producers navigate regulatory requirements related to their operations. This can include water, land use, wildlife, transportation and other issues. For example, a cattle producer may call with questions about stockpond registrations, prescribed fire regulations or vehicle code requirements. When the RTAP team does not know the answer immediately, they will research the issue and respond as quickly as possible.
The RTAP team will also work to help you with non-regulatory questions where they can. This might include issues like the tax provisions related to drought-related livestock sales, conservation programs and disaster relief. Recognizing that cattle producers in California are always facing new challenges, RTAP will work to help you understand and adapt to new issues.
Examples of issues RTAP may be able to assist with include:
- State and federal labor laws
- Air quality regulations and permitting
- Access to public lands and grazing opportunities
- State and federal vehicular/transportation regulations
- Depredation/take permit compliance
- California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) water rights applications
- SWRCB measurement and reporting regulations
- Rangeland water quality planning and state and regional water quality regulations
- Various state and federal permitting issues (lake and streambed alteration agreements administered by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, dredge and fill permits through the Army Corps of Engineers, etc.)
- Safe Harbor Agreements
- Rangeland monitoring
All cattle producers in California can seek assistance at no cost.
When you contact RTAP you will be connecting with Jack Rice and Noah Lopez of Western Resource Strategies, LLC. Jack and Noah work with the team at CCA to provide the best technical assistance possible to cattle producers.
Prior to starting Western Resource Strategies, LLC, Jack worked for eleven years as an attorney with California Farm Bureau Federation, where he focused on water and environmental issues. In addition to consulting, Jack also owns and operates a small cattle and hay operation on the North Coast. Noah recently joined Western Resource Strategies, LLC after working several years in production agriculture and related businesses.
Livestock producers can reach out by calling (916) 409-6902 or emailing email@example.com.
RTAP is available to all California ranchers. Any cattle producer struggling to deal with a regulatory or technical issue can reach out to RTAP and the team will work to help you understand what is required and how to fulfill those requirements. As RTAP assists cattle producers in grappling with regulatory requirements, it will provide valuable insights regarding the real-world challenges of California’s complex regulations; CCA can use this information as we work in Sacramento to reduce these regulatory burdens on ranchers.
The California Cattlemen’s Foundation will be working with the California Cattlemen’s Association, local Farm Bureaus and county cattlemen’s associations throughout the state to provide updates and reminders about the program. Where appropriate to address specific regional issues, in-person technical assistance at industry meetings will be provided through RTAP.
In the 2019 referendum to create the Council, the need for this type of assistance was repeatedly brought up as an example of the type of critical work that could be done if the Council was created. Getting this technical assistance program off the ground is an exciting step forward for the Council fulfilling its purpose and all efforts will be made to ensure this benefit serves as useful as possible for all cattle producers.
EVEN MORE ABOUT RTAP
Jack and Noah were featured on Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast talking about how they are now providing regulatory expertise and professional support to all California cattle producers through RTAP with funding from The California Cattle Council. You can listen to the episode to learn more. Click here for options to listen.